AS (2017) CR 16



(Second part)


Sixteenth sitting

Thursday 27 April 2017 at 10.00 a.m.

In this report:

1.       Speeches in English are reported in full.

2.       Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk.

3.        The text of the amendments is available at the document centre and on the Assembly’s website.

Only oral amendments or oral sub-amendments are reproduced in the report of debates

4.       Speeches in German and Italian are reproduced in full in a separate document.

5.       Corrections should be handed in at Room 1059A not later than 24 hours after the report has been circulated.

The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the report.


      (Mr Jordana, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 10.10 a.m.)

      The PRESIDENT* – The sitting is open.

1. Debate under urgent procedure: Alarming developments in Hungary: draft NGO law restricting civil society and possible closure of the European Central University

      The PRESIDENT* – The first item of business this morning is the debate on the report “Alarming developments in Hungary: draft NGO law restricting civil society and possible closure of the European Central University, Document 14298, presented by Mr Mogens Jensen on behalf of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy.

      I remind colleagues that speaking time is limited to four minutes, and that we should conclude the examination of the report, including the vote, by 12 noon.

      I call Mr Jensen, the rapporteur. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – Let me start by saying that although we are holding an urgent debate on this subject following a proposal from the Socialist Group, I prepared this report not in my capacity as a socialist Danish MP but as Chairperson of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy. I thank my colleagues for the trust they have shown in me.

      Why are we having this urgent debate? Where is the urgency? Today, we have an opportunity to have our voice heard and to avoid being here again two months later condemning a law that raises concerns about its compatibility with Council of Europe standards and blaming the Hungarian authorities for what they did. Today, we can suggest dialogue, co-operation and expert assistance, rather than issuing mere condemnations and making declarations without much effect. The proposed law on “Transparency of Organisations Receiving Foreign Funding” has not yet been adopted by the Hungarian Parliament, and we can effectively and constructively offer our expertise to improve the draft, before it is too late.

      Why is this so important? This draft law touches upon fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, such as freedom of association, freedom of expression and the right to privacy, which are the cornerstone of a democratic society. Moreover, the role of a dynamic civil society is very important for the good functioning of democracy.

      In recent years, the Assembly has denounced the dramatic deterioration of the situation of civil society in certain Council of Europe member States resulting from the adoption of restrictive legislation on the registering, operating and financing of NGOs, or from the bad implementation of well-drafted legislation. Only one year ago, our Assembly criticised the Russian so-called “foreign agents law”, which was previously greatly criticised by the Venice Commission, our constitutional expert body. Equally, our Assembly criticised new NGO legislation in Azerbaijan that imposed inappropriate restrictions on their activities. Regrettably, these alarming trends seem to be spreading in Europe.

      Thus, today we are concerned with developments in Hungary, where a draft law proposed by the ruling party provides that organisations that receive foreign funding over a certain yearly threshold will have to register themselves and self-identify as "organisations receiving foreign funding". This labelling should appear on all NGO publications, be they press releases, leaflets, websites or reports. Failure to comply may lead to the closure of the NGO in question.

      The report I have written accepts that NGOs must be transparent about their sources of funds. But what is unacceptable are allegations that civil society organisations serve foreign interest groups, rather than the public interest, and may endanger the national security and sovereignty of a country simply because they receive foreign funding over a certain yearly threshold. Although seemingly inspired by the corresponding Russian law, the Hungarian draft law does not include some of the latter’s elements that were criticised by the Venice Commission. For instance, the Hungarian draft does not use the controversial term “foreign agent”, or the specific and thus discriminatory reference to NGOs defending human rights. It also provides for a judicial, rather than administrative, review.

      However, the Hungarian draft law still gives rise to a number of important problems with fundamental freedoms, and it needs to be amended if we want to avoid post-facto regrets and condemnations by this Assembly. First, there has been insufficient public consultation prior to the draft’s submission to the parliament. Secondly, the obligation for NGOs receiving foreign funding to indicate this on all the materials published or distributed raises serious issues of compatibility with freedom of association and expression. Thirdly, the obligation on NGOs to submit the detailed personal data of foreign donors, including private individuals, violates the right to privacy and the protection of donors’ personal data. Fourthly, the gravity of the sanctions provided in the draft, including dissolution of the association in question for non-compliance with mere administrative obligations, is disproportionate to the aim of the law. Fifthly, the draft law applies to certain associations but excludes others, such as sports and religious organisations – a discrimination one cannot easily understand.

      It is no coincidence that the draft law has caused numerous reactions in Hungarian and international civil society, as well as among the international community as a whole. For its part, the Council of Europe Conference of International Non-governmental Organisations, on 24 April 2017, called on the Hungarian authorities not to adopt the draft on the basis of its incompatibility with international and European standards.

      The report and draft resolution I am proposing to you today does not draw definitive conclusions, precisely because the draft law can still be modified and improved to ensure compliance with Council of Europe standards. This is why we suggest using the Venice Commission, which can indicate better than anybody the precise issues that are problematic and, on the basis of dialogue with Hungarian counterparts, contribute to their amendment so that the law will respect our standards.

      The report also expresses great concern about a second piece of legislation, the law amending the national higher education law, which unfortunately has already been passed by the parliament. The draft resolution explicitly refers to the risk that the new law will lead to the termination of the activities of the Central European University, founded by George Soros in 1991 and operating in Budapest.

      Only yesterday, the European Commission took legal action in relation to the new national higher education law, which was found to be incompatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights, including in relation to academic freedom. This important recent development is directly relevant to the report, which is why I will be proposing an oral amendment to update our resolution, so that we do not appear to be ignoring what is happening next door.

      Again, we propose to consult the Venice Commission so that it can assess the compatibility of the Hungarian education law with Council of Europe standards. Its opinion would complement the European Commission’s assessment. Most importantly, in both cases we propose that either the parliamentary debate on the draft law on NGOs or the implementation of the new education law be suspended pending the opinion of the Venice Commission. That is the only way to ensure that consulting the Venice Commission is not a waste of time and energy.

      Beyond the specific legislation, the report also draws attention to, and expresses regret about, the overall accusatory and labelling rhetoric used by Hungarian public officials against civil society bodies, including the George Soros Foundation. This rhetoric raises doubts about the real aims of the proposed legislation.

      That brings me to the last issue I want to raise. In Hungary, refugees are completely dependent upon NGOs. However, it is precisely the NGOs that work with migrants and refugees that are the victims of most verbal attacks, in relation to both their funding and their activities. For example, the recent consultation “Let’s stop Brussels!” compares NGOs to smugglers and describes their activities as illegal. All that is against the background of amendments to migration law that have been highly criticised and a general negative attitude towards migrants and refugees.

      The draft resolution suggests that the situation in Hungary merits close attention. It invites the authorities to engage in dialogue with Hungarian civil society and international organisations. I believe that dialogue is still possible. The chairperson of the Hungarian delegation confirmed that several times at the meeting of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy.

      To prepare a report on two pieces of Hungarian legislation in less than 24 hours has of course been a challenge, not only for me as rapporteur, but for the whole Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy and our secretariat. However, I think that, despite the lack of time, we managed to produce a balanced report and draft resolution, which I hope will remain as such at the end of the debate and following the vote on the amendments. A large majority of the committee voted for the report, which is why I am against all proposed amendments. I look forward to the debate and thank colleagues for their attention.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Jensen. You have one minute remaining to respond at the end of the debate. We will now hear from the spokespeople for the political groups.

      Mr HANŽEK (Slovenia, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – In recent years we have seen increased pressure to reduce the scope of human rights and limit freedom of expression and association and academic creativity that certain political elites disagree with. We have seen this both in Europe and globally. These elites spread fear of imaginary enemies, with the aim of governing without the democratic control of the public.

      In most cases those enemies are created by the same elites, whether they are the refugees fleeing the horrors created most often by exactly the same irresponsible politics, or so-called socially dangerous elements, such as people of a different sexual orientation or artists who spread freedom by critiquing social reality. Critical thought and knowledge are especially dangerous for totalitarian ideologies, as they reveal to the people the abuse of power. That is why such politics builds different kinds of fences, whether physical, cultural or legal, to protect itself against different kinds of so-called enemies.

      That type of defence, against the supposed threat to the State by civil society organisations and NGOs, is embodied in the Hungarian draft law on the transparency of organisations receiving foreign funding. The Hungarian Government intends to prevent civil society organisations and NGOs having any kind of control. Less than a year ago we adopted Resolution 2096, “How can inappropriate restrictions on NGO activities in Europe be prevented?”, which underlines the importance of a dynamic civil society to the good functioning of democracy. It emphasises that freedom of association, freedom of expression and the right to privacy are fundamental rights and vital to the proper functioning of society. All member States must respect those rights and protect them effectively.

      Unfortunately, those demands are increasingly being violated. Hungary is not the first country to do this, and we fear that it will not be the last. That Act is not yet like its Russian equivalent, but nevertheless it shrinks many Council of Europe principles. This should be emphasised, and we should demand that Hungary introduces corrections to the Act. The Act is discriminatory, because it leaves out sport and religious organisations. It is also hostile, as proved by the accusatory and labelling rhetoric used by Hungarian public officials when discussing it.

      The problem is that the Act was really prepared for one institution: the Central European University. That confirms doubts about the real aims of the proposed legislation. The Group of the Unified European Left cannot accept the assumption that civil society organisations serve foreign interest groups, rather than the public interest, and might endanger the national security and sovereignty of a country simply because they receive foreign funding. Many international organisations – the European Commission, for example – have already reacted to the Act, which is only one item in a long line of human rights violations and freedoms. The Council of Europe, as the frontrunner in human rights protection, must not stand silent. We must react to it, in line with our own principles.

      Mr FISCHER (Germany, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party)* – We are discussing what is happening in Hungary. There are two subjects: the national higher education Act and the law relating to the transparency of organisations receiving foreign funding, which has not yet been approved. The National Higher Education Act will close down the Central European University as a result of the foreign funding it receives. It will also introduce restrictions to the transparency of organisations receiving foreign funding. We know that this has an impact on civil society, and we always want to ensure that civil society organisations and NGOs can work with us transparently and without restrictions. Member States’ universities have a number of possibilities to have a say on how they are run. In Germany, it is under the jurisdiction of the federal states.

      On 26 April the European Commission decided, as a result of the National Higher Education Act, to institute infringement proceedings against Hungary because the measure is seen as incompatible with the fundamental rights of the internal European market, the right of academic freedom, the right to education and because there have been violations of an EU trade agreement. The Act targets 28 foreign universities, and those possibly include the Central European University. There is a misunderstanding with regard to the dual legal personality; the law does not concern the Central European University – it concerns diplomas issued by a New York-based university. Agreements need to be signed between the different States concerned. It must be possible for students to carry on their studies without restrictions.

      The subjects we are discussing have an impact on how opinions are formed, and we need to take them seriously. In Hungary, if public tasks are to be taken seriously, it is important to be accountable for your actions. It is important that the transparency of foreign funders relates to general transparency. In the opinion of the European Parliament’s expert committee it is important for all civil organisations to stick to financial rules and for their funding to be transparent.

      We think that the Commission’s infringement proceedings and this report will provide clarity on the importance of discussing problems and of Hungary taking them seriously, and on what statements can be made and action can be taken as a result. We need to have an open discussion. We support the report and the resolution, and think it is important to take a clear position. The Group of the European People’s Party says that the main objective is that there needs to be freedom in the academic and scientific worlds in all member States. All NGOs and civil society should be able to work freely and openly with us in the Council of Europe and in all member States.

      Mr CILEVIČS (Latvia, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group) – I congratulate the rapporteur, Mr Jensen, who has prepared a very accurate report within a very short time. Civil society’s role is crucial for ensuring standards of democracy and human rights. Freedom of association is one of the fundamental principles granted in a democratic society. In recent years, our Assembly has deplored those member States who have exerted pressure on human rights NGOs and have adopted legislation that might endanger freedom of association and prevent NGOs from operating freely. The Russian “foreign agents” law is one of the most salient examples of that. Regrettably, that alarming trend seems to be spreading in Europe. I fully agree that the Hungarian Bill we are discussing does not go as far as that notorious Russian law, but it nevertheless causes serious concerns. In particular, the requirement to label all publications by NGOs that receive a certain amount of foreign funding can only be understood as an attempt to discredit them and to undermine their reputation and credibility.

      Needless to say, financial transparency must be ensured; however, the relevant regulations exist in almost all member States. Before my election to parliament, I worked in NGOs. They have a double burden of financial reporting; as well as reporting to funders, NGOs must report to fiscal authorities and revenue agencies. All that is in place – NGOs absolutely are not exempt from financial transparency rules. Unfortunately, comments made by some high-ranking Hungarian politicians leave no room for doubt about the genuine aim of the Bill.

      The threat to the Central European University’s existence is another serious matter of concern. The university plays an absolutely unique role in post-communist Europe, including for my country, Latvia. In fact, a whole new generation of politicians from the entire political spectrum – I stress that they are from very different parties – academics, journalists and NGO leaders were educated there after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

      In the early 1990s, Hungary was a leader in democratic reforms and Budapest became a capital of human rights and democracy. We were envious of our Hungarian colleagues and learned a lot from them. I strongly believe that Hungary remains a vivid democracy and that the manifestations of intolerance towards critical voices from civil society and attempts to silence them based on conspiracy theories will remain isolated incidents. I call on our Hungarian friends and colleagues to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Venice Commission, other relevant international bodies and, first of all, with their own civil society, of which they have good reasons to be proud. I believe that today’s debate is timely and will help to find a solution that fully complies with the Council of Europe’s standards. On behalf of the Socialist Group, I support the draft resolution and call upon the Assembly to vote for it.

      Mr KIRAL (Ukraine, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – The Hungarian draft laws are neither timely nor adequate alongside the country’s commitments as a member of the European Union and Council of Europe to build an open society based on the rule of law and democratic governance. The report rightly addresses that concern, urging the Hungarian authorities to allow more time for consideration while interacting with the Venice Commission and their own civil society. In the post-truth era it is easy to be tempted into populism and to overreact to contemporary challenges of corruption, hybrid warfare, migration and globalisation, triggering further deterioration in the long run rather than repairing it.

      In this Assembly we hear growing concerns about the unrestricted access of different NGOs and lobbying groups to delegates, which may be part of corruption allegations. This autumn, Ian Liddell-Grainger’s report will be presented with concrete suggestions for action on the code of conduct and possible changes to our rules and procedures. That is different, however, from attempts to tarnish the credibility of civil society organisations, especially those that target corruption and work on human rights abuses. Ukraine serves as another example. NGOs that focus on revealing top-level corruption and draft 90% of anti-corruption legislation have recently been ordered to declare their funding sources by a new law that was passed by a majority in the parliament. The transition period is for that to be achieved by the end of this year. Faced with overwhelming criticism and international pressure, the president had no choice but to commit to revisit it and he established a special working group that will propose amendments by the end of the year and before the new rules come into force.

      Often NGOs and academic institutions are part of broader networks that work to support the opposition in their attempts to keep a check on the majority and control public spending and policies. In democracy, the opposition plays an important role in keeping the majority accountable. The Venice Commission, which also criticised the labelling of NGOs as “foreign agents”, is now working on proper guidelines to member States, to ensure that the majority interacts with the minority in a way that benefits the common good, and shall present its final report by the end of this year. The priority shall be building institutional capacity to provide better services to people and businesses, while enforcing laws and rules, as well as strengthening the middle class – the backbone of democracy.

      Without an up-to-date education system based on cultural diversity and the diversity of the faculty, it is not possible to meet the modern challenges of globalisation and technological innovation. For example, the foundation of the modern United Kingdom was laid in the Northcote-Trevelyan report from 1854, which led to the demand for an impartial, high-quality civil service, and the shakeout of both Cambridge and Oxford universities that resulted in broader education reform.

      Similarly, in the US, the Pendleton Act created a demand for qualified personnel supplied by Harvard, and the École Normale Supérieure, founded after the French revolution, is an outstanding educational institution for training civil servants. These countries are better benchmarks than Russia. These are free nations, and according to Robespierre the secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.

      If Hungary was inspired by the Russian example, as the report suggests, I point out that Russia is all about killing democracy and freedom of expression and assembly; gaining full control over the judiciary; using the media for propaganda; and hybrid warfare. The Prussian Bismarck warned that Russians could not be trusted, and events in the Assembly this week have demonstrated how slippery and dangerous following the Russian example can be, as we all await President Agramunt’s resignation before the King of Spain speaks.

      It would be wise for the Hungarian authorities to follow the suggestions in this report for closer co-operation with both the Venice Commission and civil society, and to suspend the laws, one of which has already been adopted, until consensus is secured.

      Ms LUNDGREN (Sweden, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – Thank you, Mr Jensen, for presenting a very good resolution in a short time. Of course it is important to follow developments in Hungary. We have several times in this Assembly spoken about Hungary and these developments, and have said that we will follow them closely. Once again, we are debating those developments and asking the authorities to follow the recommendations of the Venice Commission. It is sad to have to ask this, but have you seen any reaction from the Hungarian authorities, and seen them taking on board the recommendations of the Assembly or the Venice Commission? So far, there has been very little of that. We have seen them stepping back from the values that this Organisation was founded to promote and safeguard – human rights, individual freedoms, the rule of law and democracy.

      We have also seen this in other countries. Today, many of them are talking about fighting liberal values, freedoms, independent justice, civil society, freedom of association and so on – values that are the basis of real democracies, not just election democracies. We see suggestions of a fight against the independence of civil society. The Bill is about not just transparency – we all sign up to that – but strengthening the grip of civil society. We have seen other countries transform non-governmental organisations into government-organised non-governmental organisations. That is eroding the base of democracy, because, as was said earlier, a strong civil society is crucial for our democracies.

      This legislation fights academic freedom and threatens to close one of the most famous and best reputed universities in Hungary and the region, as Human Rights Watch stated in this report. Central European University has educated a generation of leaders in Central and Eastern Europe. It is a star that is being threatened and will perhaps close. Let us hope that the Hungarian authorities will not carry out this threat, but will listen to us and the Venice Commission. We urge you all to vote in favour of the resolution and to keep talking to ensure a better future for the Hungarian people.

      The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Ms Lundgren. Mr Mogens Jensen, you may reply to the spokespersons for the groups. You have up to four minutes.

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – I thank all the spokespersons from the groups who support this resolution. The report will, I hope, send a powerful signal to the Hungarian Government. Ms Lundgren asks, “Is this of any use? Does it have any effect?” We could ask that of our work on various problems and countries, but of course we always have to believe that putting political pressure on governments and parliamentarians from various countries – including neighbouring countries – holding a strong position, will have an influence.

      One of the laws has not yet been voted on in the parliament. It is possible for us to influence that through the Venice Commission, the experts of the Council of Europe. Not least, it is important that we, as an Assembly and as parliamentarians, support the civil society organisations affected – those who fight against the violation of human rights and of freedom of association. That is why we always have to believe in our work – and in some cases, we can see its results.

      I thank all the spokespersons of the political groups for their positive approach to the report and the resolution, and I hope that we will send a clear signal to the Hungarian Government that it is time to suspend the legislation until we have the opinion of the Venice Commission.

      Mr NÉMETH (Hungary) – We look at this debate as an opportunity to clarify the Hungarian approach to these two important pieces of legislation. It will probably be useful for the whole Council of Europe to consider the new developments and legal solutions. On the so-called Soros university, I underline that we look at it as an asset to Budapest, and we are committed to finding an appropriate solution so that it can continue to operate. There are 29 international universities that have not been properly regulated under Hungarian law. Other countries have regulated in this area; we have just decided to do so.

      On non-governmental organisations and civil society, we are committed to civil society, which is very strong in Hungary, but we realise that more and more civil society organisations are not really that; they may actually be non-governmental organisations, and there are global networks, including Gülen and Open Society networks, financing activity, not just in Hungary but in the whole of Europe. An appropriate level of transparency is required.

      I would like to debate the approach of the spokesperson of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. She said that there was no dialogue and that Hungary had no intention of holding it. That is not true. We have had close dialogue with the European Union, the Council of Europe and other international organisations, for which we are grateful. I draw the Assembly’s attention to the fact that the Secretary General just received the Hungarian Minister of Justice to discuss the legislation, and they have agreed to co-operate, which has happened many times over the years. Hungary has always been and remains committed to the basic values of the Council of Europe.

      Finally, I express my gratitude to the political groups that have been trying to understand the motivations. I thank the Group of the European People’s Party spokesperson, and I am grateful to the national delegations who understand that new phenomena require flexible reactions. Our task is to find through dialogue appropriate solutions that are aligned with the basic values of the Council of Europe: defending human rights and the rule of law. For that reason, I reiterate that I am grateful for this opportunity to clarify our position. We have plenty of amendments, and I hope that the Assembly will be able to support them.

      Ms de SUTTER (Belgium) – I congratulate Mr Jensen on this excellent and balanced report. The situation in Hungary is indeed alarming, and we must focus attention on tackling the problem of the restriction of the Hungarian civil society. I hope the report will raise awareness of the critical situation in Hungary, which seems to be following the same route as Russia and Turkey. Only yesterday, Prime Minister Orbán was criticised in the European Parliament, and Hungary was asked to explain how the education legislation that we are discussing here complies with European Union law. If it cannot be explained, the matter will be taken to the European Court of Justice. The European Union is not amused by what is happening in Hungary, and we should not be amused either.

      Imposing budgetary and legal restrictions on independent NGOs is a clear sign of the violation of the freedom of speech. NGOs must not be classified as undesirable organisations, as they have been called in Russia since Mr Putin signed his famous 2012 law on non-profit organisations – even calling them foreign agents, which is not the case here. On the contrary, NGOs should be considered valuable partners of civil society. Restricting such organisations takes away society’s voice and therefore challenges the proper functioning of democracy. When civil society is free, that dynamic is reflected in a democracy in which people are free. Muzzling NGOs and human rights defenders leads to the erosion of democratic values and to totalitarianism. As the rapporteur suggests, we should remember the joint guidelines on the freedom of association adopted in December 2014 by the Venice Commission.

      As an academic, I have deep concerns about the amendments to the Hungarian National Higher Education Act that would enable the government to shut down all the activities of Budapest’s Central European University. If that happens, independent research cannot be guaranteed. Not only will the education of hundreds of students be restricted, but the shaping of critical minds will be affected. Let me be clear: without critical minds, there will be no critical voices to judge these or other measures from the Hungarian Government. A critical attitude is necessary to tackle such action. This would not only be an attack on civil society and freedom of speech, but on academic freedom. Let us at least be critical and help the Hungarian people to avoid these anti-democratic actions. We must not be intimidated. We must call for awareness. Let us not forget that civil society and academic freedom are at the core of democracy, and we should not indulge in measures that could lead to its dismantling.

      In conclusion, let us hope that the situation in Hungary does not deteriorate further in such a way that the Council of Europe has to take further action. Let us call upon our Hungarian colleagues to stop going down the route of Russia and Turkey and to preserve democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, which are the core values of our Institution.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – Here in the Council of Europe’s Chamber it is not uncommon to be discussing NGOs or the position of such organisations in our different member States, but I note that we are debating a law that does not yet exist. We are discussing a proposal that was tabled a few days ago in the Hungarian National Assembly. It is just a proposal and it was just tabled. Nobody knows how many amendments there will be, how many of them will be agreed to, or what the law will look like. Anyhow, as far as I can see, the main objection is that the proposal suggests that NGOs financed from abroad should be obliged to mention that fact in all their printed and electronic publications. Some of you say that that represents stigmatisation, but humanitarian organisations should be proud of their origin. Take USAID, Hungary Helps, or the different churches around the world, for example. They help, and they do not feel that their funding should be secret. They do their job and they are proud of it. At those organisations, which do not want to influence local politics, the above mentioned obligation does not mean stigmatisation.

      NGOs with a political mission have a totally different attitude. They try to keep their sources of financing secret. Whether from the East or the West, foreign-financed NGOs do not want to be transparent. Neither the Russian network nor the Soros network wants to show their real face to the public, which is no wonder given that an independent image is essential for such NGOs. Transparency is essential for people and for society. People have the right to know who finances a political opinion-shaper. Nowadays, hidden Russian influence through NGOs and online sites financed by the Kremlin is a growing problem in Europe. The new Hungarian legislation is trying to make that transparent and to ensure that the necessary information is made public irrespective of who is behind the organisation – whether the attempt to influence comes from the East or the West, from the Kremlin, from Soros or from somebody else.

      Mr HARANGOZÓ (Hungary) – I congratulate the rapporteur on his balanced report, and I thank the Assembly for this debate. I thank you for carefully watching what is happening in my country, because I find it very sad. We Hungarians suffered a lot to become a proud member of the democratic free Europe.

      Victor Orbán and Zsolt Németh used to be important actors of democratic change, and both of them were supported by the Soros Foundation – the current enemy. What is happening now? Orbán and Fidesz passed a law 24 hours after proposing it to make it impossible for the country’s best ranking university, the Central European University, to continue to operate in Budapest. According to another draft law, they also want to stigmatise NGOs. They have created tailor-made hostile legislation that is likely to undermine public trust by labelling genuine civil organisations as being in receipt of foreign funds and by creating their own governmental NGOs that are exempt from this foreign agent law. NGOs in Hungary are currently obliged to declare and report all of the funding received, whether foreign or domestic, in a manner that is accessible to the public. The transparency requirement is already a part of Hungarian law.

      What is the reason for having this item on our agenda? Are the concerns related to public trust in civil society or to the Fidesz government’s proposal for a draft law adopting a variant of the Russian foreign agent law? In fact, there are concrete textual overlaps between the two texts. Notably, Article 1, Article 2 paragraphs 5 and 6, and a number of elements of Article 3 of the draft Hungarian law are literally identical with the original Russian text, not to mention the whole spirit of it. Oligarchs close to the government and to Fidesz have acquired the biggest newspapers, television channels and websites. All of them are echoing the government’s propaganda.

      I am afraid that what is happening in Hungary is Putinisation of the country. I do not understand why Orbán decided to follow the Putin way instead of the free and democratic European one. Of course the Hungarian people can decide what to follow, but we all have to know what the choices are.

(Sir Roger Gale, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Jordana.)

      The PRESIDENT – Mr Eseyan is not here, so I call Mr Billström.

      Mr BILLSTRÖM (Sweden) – For me, as for many others, Hungary is an example of a State moving in the wrong direction. It is a case both of what is being said and what is being done. In recent years, we have seen many strange comments being made by representatives of the Government of Hungary.

      The statement made by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in July 2014 was a turning point for me and many others. He said: “I don’t think that our European Union membership precludes us from building an illiberal new state based on national foundations.” That statement was important in that it represented a very worrying declaration. For those of us who represent a different point of view, and read liberal with a small “l” not a capital “L”, it was deeply disturbing. It represented something remarkable: if the leader of a State within the Council of Europe declares that the values of that State are about to change fundamentally away from our charters and acquis, it represents something dark, difficult and dangerous.

      It is also a case of what is being done by the Government of Hungary. Freedom of association, freedom of expression and the right to privacy are cornerstones of a free society. If we as an Assembly allow a member State to impose legislation that infringes on those rights, we do not fulfil the mandate and the responsibility that have been entrusted to us as the foremost organisation for the protection of human rights. Eroding these rights is simply wrong. Transparency is paramount in preventing States from trying to circumvent the values that I just spoke about, but the infringement of transparency is embedded in the proposed legislation we are talking about. That is unacceptable for those who do not believe that the big and strong State is a good thing in itself. There have to be clear boundaries for the operation of the State, combined with checks and balances.

      It is precisely for that reason that the proposal for the infringement of academic rights as well as the demand for registration is so serious and has to be criticised. I also wish to underline that we cannot possibly be credible in our criticism of countries such as Turkey or Russia if we look away from developments in Hungary. The bill presented is not a Russian bill, but it mirrors the Russian legislation in the same field in a very alarming way. It is for that reason that the report should be adopted. It represents a clear signal of the need to protect democracy and uphold the values of this Assembly.

      Mr TILKI (Hungary) – In Hungary, every university, domestic or foreign, must follow the rules. Three weeks ago, the Hungarian Parliament passed the amendments to the higher education law that protects the interests of European universities against unfair practices.

      European students enjoy the benefits of a wide variety of foreign institutions of higher education, colleges and universities operating in Hungary. But everyone has to follow the rules. Hungary’s Education Authority began its review procedure in the second half of 2016 due to the fact that the five-year operating licences of these education institutions are set to expire this year. During the review, the Education Authority uncovered several irregular practices. One of the 28 institutions concerned is the Central European University, which was founded by billionaire George Soros. The CEU is unusual in that it currently grants both Hungarian and American diplomas. The former is fully regularised: problems only arise with the latter, as the CEU does not carry out academic activities in the United States – as is required legally. There is nothing to prevent the CEU from continuing as a European Hungarian institution until its US status is sorted out.

      There is no plan to close down the CEU: it can continue its activities offering Hungarian degrees, similar to all the other universities functioning in Hungary. A United States-Hungarian intergovernmental agreement could be the basis for offering further United States degrees. Every institution must abide by the effective Hungarian law. Institutions will have until February 2018 to meet the new criteria.

      The Soros university has enjoyed privileges unavailable to any other institution of higher education in Hungary. That may be good business for George Soros, but in the competition between universities it represents an unfair advantage to the CEU. Although most foreign university students in Hungary do not study at the CEU, it has been the only institution enjoying those privileges. I am sorry that many speakers said things that are not true, like Mr Harangozó from Hungary. The Venice Commission issued its opinions about the Russian NGO law, and that opinion was taken into account when we prepared the Hungarian draft. Next year will be the election in Hungary and I am sure these discussions will be part of the campaign.

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – I warmly thank the rapporteur for this resolution, which comes at the right moment given the infringement proceedings yesterday. Fear prevails and horizons have shrunk, and the intellectual winds that are blowing are not good. Many people cannot bear the narrowness that is creeping in when it comes to non-governmental organisations and universities in Hungary.

      The Central European University was and remains a flagship. Yesterday, Prime Minister Orbán said that illegal migrants enter the country through the university. Perhaps he was thinking about the intellectual streams that have come in: people have been able to teach freely – perhaps he was apprehensive about the ideas. We can certainly make a comparison between authoritarian rulers such as Erdoğan, Gülen and Orbán, and they represent a worrying phenomenon. The situation is such that a charitable organisation such as SOS Kinderdorf International, which helps orphans in Hungary, is likely to be shut down and is fearing for the future. That reflects the pressure it is operating under, which is a source of great concern.

      Orbán has said that these are not genuinely independent organisations but rather the Hungarian branches of international networks. He says that they want to influence political decisions and that they represent international lobby organisations based in America and elsewhere; this has all emerged in the past few days. Supposedly, foreign money wants to influence the course of events in Hungary. It is alleged that rapacious animals are swimming in Hungarian waters. Sorry, but what we are talking about is freedom of expression, freedom to teach and academic freedom. The issue is whether young people should be able to take part freely in the European and international exchange of ideas and whether organisations can operate freely. It is about resistance to this narrowing of the areas that people are allowed to think about.

      Time and again, the Hungarian Government has come close to infringement proceedings – think of the ethnic discrimination against the Roma and the slow dismantlement of democracy. On Tuesday, we decided to reintroduce monitoring for Turkey. I urge the Chamber to consider a monitoring procedure for Hungary and to discuss the matter in the months to come.

      Ms ROJHAN GUSTAFSSON (Sweden) – I start by congratulating Mr Jensen on this urgent and important report.

      Dear colleagues, a dark shadow is spreading over Europe. We are hearing reports of political actions that question and seriously challenge democratic values in countries such as Poland, Chechnya, Russia and Turkey – as well as Hungary, the country that we are now discussing. An American scholar of Soviet history, Mr Charles Shaw, moved from Russia to Hungary in 2015 to teach at the Central European University. “Coming from Moscow to Budapest, it certainly felt like I was finally coming to Europe – to the European Union", Mr Shaw told The New York Times. But now he feels as if repression has followed him. The university where Mr Shaw is working is at risk of being shut down, following Prime Minister Orbán and the right wing government passing legislation that could enable that to happen. The Central European University was created after the fall of communism and promotes the ideal of an open society.

      The attack on the ideal of an open society is repeated in the Bill, to be voted on by the Hungarian Parliament, about non-governmental organisations. That Bill not only interferes with basic human rights principles such as the freedoms of expression and of association, but will undermine the role of NGOs in the public mind. It should not matter whether an NGO has foreign or domestic donors, but by creating suspicion in public opinion the Hungarian Government is damaging democratic developments and discouraging participation in democratic processes. That could have a long-term and damaging effect.

      These steps back from values such as democracy and human rights represent only a fraction of all the things going on in Hungary; I have not even mentioned the horrible treatment of refugees and national minorities and the growing homophobia and anti-Semitism.

      I started my speech by saying that a dark shadow is spreading over Europe. That shadow and what comes with it is terrifying. Democracy is being systematically dismantled and aggressive populist ideas are growing stronger. These illiberal populists are acting according to a clear pattern: they are shutting down institutions that have been created as democratic watchdogs. If we do not push back on these developments, a new era will start in Europe – a darker era. I thank the rapporteur once more for this important and urgent resolution.

      Mr MULLEN (Ireland) – It is customary around here to congratulate people who publish reports, but I am afraid that this report is a bit of a sick joke; I can conclude only that its proponents smoked something funny on the way to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The report purports to defend civil society and the participation of ordinary people in public decision making. If that is the case, what a strange champion its authors have picked in George Soros. When we examine Mr Soros and his Open Society Foundation, what we actually discover is the attempt to manipulate large numbers of people by paying people to occupy space in civil society and to seek special privileges for elite groups.

Here is why Mr Soros is putting hundreds of thousands of euros into the campaign to legalise abortion in Ireland – we have WikiLeaks to thank for this revelation: “With one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world,” the foundation claims, “a win there could impact other strongly Catholic countries in Europe, such as Poland, and provide much needed proof that change is possible, even in highly conservative places.” Remember that Ireland has consistently had the best maternal healthcare in the world.

      Until recently in Ireland, hardly anybody knew about all this Soros money. Who are the children of Soros? They are people such as the Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Muižnieks, who told this Chamber yesterday that the right to life does not apply before birth. What a chilling and Orwellian statement! He mocks the freedom that the European Court of Human Rights concedes to member States to protect unborn babies under their laws, not to mention paragraph 9 of the preamble to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which describes the need for “legal protection, before as well as after birth” for the child. But Mr Muižnieks never objects to babies being aborted in Britain late term for conditions as treatable as cleft palate, left to whimper to their deaths in a sluice room or be injected in the heart with potassium chloride. That is our Human Rights Commissioner: the child of Soros. Mr Soros, you see, bankrolled Mr Muižnieks in the past.

      What a mockery! This perverse selectiveness about human rights diminishes the moral authority of human rights defenders and gives comfort to regimes that disregard authentic human rights. It is a scandal – a mockery of the Commissioner’s stated claim to respect the dignity of all persons and his claim to support children’s rights and oppose violence. What a laugh!

      What are Mr Orbán and his government doing? Like Britain at the outset of the Second World War, they stand alone against a tyranny. Mr Orbán’s country is plucky and its demands are reasonable because all it seeks is transparency. Friends, this Assembly is under a shadow at the moment because some of its leading lights are thought to have been taking money secretly from certain governments in order to advance certain political ends. Shame on anybody here who attempts to deny that Mr Soros and his people seek similar influence. Bankrolling organisations, secretly if possible, to create the impression that there is growing public support for certain ends – that is the game.

      Mr Orbán may not get everything right and, when he attempts to restrict free speech or harass human rights defenders in the streets, you can expect my support. But do not come into this Chamber championing the right of foreign organisations to inject large wads of cash secretly into political organisations, left or right, in a given country. Please do not sully the cause of authentic human rights by trying to clothe yourself in its mantle. Let Mr Orbán and his government legislate and, if you have a problem, come back to us.

      How many people who have spoken in the Assembly today have taken money directly or indirectly from Mr Soros? It would be interesting to see, if we get the investigation that we all want into secret goings-on around here, whether it will extend to Mr Soros and his sinister influence. It is ironic that a billionaire seeking to influence politics in different countries is backed by socialists – who never had a great interest in democracy anyway.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you. I think it is time that we returned to the substance of the debate. Making unfounded or unsubstantiated allegations against parliamentary colleagues is neither customary nor courteous.

      Mr HONKONEN (Finland) – I thank Mr Jensen for this topical and important report. Freedom of association and academic freedom are weakening in Hungary. The Parliament of Hungary has confirmed a new law, the National Higher Education Act, which aims to restrict the work of the Central European University in Budapest. The Act is directed not only against the CEU, but against all other forms of education and research funded by non-Hungarian sources.

      This month, the ruling party also launched a legislative proposal to increase control of NGOs, in the name of increasing transparency on associations receiving foreign funding. That raises a serious question: does that law to control the activities of NGOs have the same purpose as similar legislation in another country – the legislation against “foreign agents” in Russia?

      The intention is to put the National Higher Education Act to the Constitutional Court, so at the moment the situation is frozen. As a result of these developments, the Hungarian people and society need support from European institutions.

      Recently, students and supporters of the CEU have organised large demonstrations in Budapest, but we have also seen counter-demonstrations. Last week, there were violent attacks in public places against those who carried a badge in support of the Central European University. That is an alarming sign of the developments in Hungary.

      Free science, academic freedom and education are part of our basic European values. I fully agree with the conclusions of the report and I support the suggestions in the draft resolution. It is necessary to put the law to the Venice Commission for its opinion. It is also necessary that the Hungarian authorities fully co-operate with the legal experts of the commission. I hope that there is a will to reconsider the legislation, which could considerably shrink the freedom of civil society in Hungary.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you.

      Mr Jensen, you have formally utilised the time available to you, but the beneficence of the Chair allows you a couple of minutes if you wish to respond to the debate.

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – Thank you, Mr President. I will try to use the minutes wisely.

      I thank colleagues for their strong support for the report. I also thank my Hungarian colleague Mr Németh for, in the committee and here, conducting a normal dialogue and not bringing it to hysterical levels, as Mr Mullen did. As has been stated, there has been and is a dialogue between Hungary and the Council of Europe. There have been meetings between the Hungarian Minister of Justice and the Secretary General here. What we must ask is: what has come out of that dialogue so far? For years, we have not seen the changes that are necessary in Hungary to bring it into compliance with the standards of the Council of Europe. The criticism in the report is not that there is not dialogue between the Council of Europe and Hungary; the criticism is that there was a lack of dialogue with civil society before the laws were introduced.

      It has been said that this is only a draft law. Colleagues have asked, why are you concerned about a draft law that has not even been voted on yet? However, the education law has been voted on, so we can specifically criticise that. On the law on NGOs, that is exactly why we wrote the report – it is still possible to change that law, so that it complies with the standards of the Council of Europe. That will be possible if one suspends the law and waits for the assessment of the Venice Commission. I hope that that will be the result of the vote here. It will mean that we can have changes in the law so that it complies with the standards that we are defending in the Assembly.

      I thank colleagues for their positive reception overall for the report. I look forward to the vote.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you.

      Mr Daems, you have two minutes to reply on behalf of the committee.

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – I congratulate and thank our rapporteur for his balanced report. I also thank all the people who spoke and participated in our committee meeting. It was a civilised, high-level discussion. I thank colleagues for that. The result is a balanced report.

      The PRESIDENT – Thank you.

      The debate is closed.

      The Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy has presented a draft resolution to which 14 amendments and one oral amendment have been tabled.

      The amendments will be taken in the order in which they appear in the Compendium and the Organisation of Debates. I remind you that speeches on amendments are limited to 30 seconds.

      We come to Amendment 4. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – The amendment proposes including in the text reference to a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights which stated that the whole system is not transparent.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – The committee rejected the amendment by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 4 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 5. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – The situation is more or less the same in this case. The Committee on Budgetary Control of the European Parliament has also said that the financing of NGOs is non-transparent.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – The committee rejected the amendment by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 5 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 6. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – The text is about an intention only, so we propose to change the sentence.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – The committee rejected the amendment by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 6 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 7. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – We reject the similarity of the Hungarian draft law to the Russian law, which makes reference to “agents”. The Hungarian law merely requires disclosure of financing from abroad and has nothing to do with NGOs being agents.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – The committee rejected the amendment by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 7 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 8. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – We propose the deletion of paragraph 6, because it is very detailed but is about a law that has not yet been adopted. It is unnecessary to talk in such detail about a law that does not yet exist.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

      I call Mr Schennach.

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – The law is in the pipeline, and inspired by the Russian NGO law. If we delete the paragraph, we delete our concerns about the draft, so please do not accept the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – The committee rejected the amendment by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 8 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 9. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – In a democracy, different opinions will be discussed before a decision is made. Paragraph 7 is trying to change opinions before the law is adopted. The main aim of the law is transparency.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

      I call Mr Schennach.

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – That is exactly the situation I described in my speech. An atmosphere of fear is being created by the rhetoric of officials: hatred of everything coming from outside and any criticism, which puts pressure on those protesting on the streets. Please do not delete the paragraph.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – The committee rejected the amendment by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 9 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 1. I call Mr Harangozó to support the amendment.

      Mr HARANGOZÓ (Hungary) – We would like to include the so-called national consultation in the report. The consultation was part of the process of stigmatising civic organisations. Furthermore, specific mention of talk about the deliberate non-fulfilment of recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights would strengthen the text.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

      I call Mr Csenger- Zalán.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – Mr Harangozó talked about the non-fulfilment of judgments, but the recent decision in question was not a final judgment and Hungary has appealed. It is incorrect to speak about non-fulfilment, because the judgment is not final.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – The committee rejected the amendment by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 1 is rejected.

      I have received an oral amendment from Mr Jensen, on behalf of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, which is, in the draft resolution, after paragraph 9, to insert the following paragraph: “The Assembly notes that the European Commission decided, on 26 April 2017, to take legal action on the Act amending the Hungarian National Higher Education Act, based on its conclusion that ‘the law is not compatible with the fundamental internal market freedoms, notably the freedom to provide services and the freedom of establishment but also with the right of academic freedom, the right to education and the freedom to conduct a business, as provided by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union’.”

      The President may accept an oral amendment if it is designed to take account of new facts. In my opinion this oral amendment meets that criterion. Is there any opposition to the amendment being debated? More than 10 members should stand to indicate opposition.

      That is not the case. I therefore call Mr Jensen to support the oral amendment. You have 30 seconds.

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – The text states what happened. Yesterday the European Commission concluded that the law is against the internal market freedoms of the European Union. We want that in the text because it is a fact. That is why I proposed the oral amendment and ask members to vote for it.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral amendment? That is not the case.

      The committee is obviously in favour.

      The vote is open.

      The oral amendment is adopted.

      We come to Amendment 10. I should explain that the amendment relates to the English version of the text only. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – The amendment proposes more courteous wording. That is all.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – The committee rejected the amendment by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 10 is rejected.

      The PRESIDENT – We come to Amendment 12. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – Again, there is a prejudgment in the report, because the Venice Commission has not discussed the law. The report mixes it up with the Russian regulation – the Hungarian proposal has nothing to do with that.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

       I call Mr Harangozó.

      Mr HARANGOZÓ (Hungary) – As I mentioned in the debate, parts of the Hungarian law are identical to the Russian law, so I strongly recommend that we do not accept the amendment.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – Against, by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 12 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 11, which relates to the English version of the text only. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – As with Amendment 10, this is just an issue of wording.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – Against, by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 11 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 14. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – We propose to change one word, because dialogue is already going on, so “continue” is the correct word, not “engage”.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

      I call Mr Harangozó.

      Mr HARANGOZÓ (Hungary) – Actually, the law was adopted 24 hours after it was proposed to the parliament, so there was no dialogue at all. What is not started cannot be continued.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – Against, by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 14 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 2. I call Mr Schennach to support the amendment.

      Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – I simply want to state that the Council of Europe is not alone in asking for engagement and open dialogue. The OSCE and its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights have also asked for that, so it is fair to mention them in the report.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

      I call Mr Jensen.

      Mr Mogens JENSEN (Denmark) – I agree with Mr Schennach that we should mention the OSCE and ODIHR, but they are mentioned in paragraph 2, and in paragraph 10.3 we refer to international organisations, which include those ones.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – Unanimously against.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 2 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 13. I call Mr Csenger-Zalán to support the amendment.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – We should delete the relevant words in paragraph 10.3, because we want to strengthen civil society through transparency.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment? That is not the case.

      What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – Against, by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 13 is rejected.

      We come to Amendment 3. I call Mr Harangozó to support the amendment.

      Mr HARANGOZÓ (Hungary) – In this amendment, we urge Hungarian political actors to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric, which is part of the stigmatising of civil society and should be avoided.

      The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?

      I call Mr Csenger-Zalán.

      Mr CSENGER-ZALÁN (Hungary) – In the Hungarian proposal, there is absolutely no mention of agents or traitors – there is in the Russian and American laws, but not in the Hungarian one.

      The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?

      Mr DAEMS (Belgium) – Against, by a large majority.

      The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.

      Amendment 3 is rejected.

      We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft resolution contained in Document 14298, as amended. A simple majority is required.

      The vote is open.

      The draft resolution in Document 14298, as amended, is adopted, with 89 votes for, 27 against and 12 abstentions.

      We now have to suspend the sitting briefly to await the arrival of His Majesty the King of Spain at 12 noon. I would be grateful if colleagues stayed in their seats in the Chamber until then.

      The sitting is suspended until 12 noon.

(The sitting, suspended at 11.50 am, resumed at 12 noon, with Mr Gutiérrez, Vice-President of the Assembly, in the Chair in place of Sir Roger Gale.)

2. Address by His Majesty the King of Spain

      The PRESIDENT* – We now have the honour of hearing an address by His Majesty the King of Spain.

      Your Majesty, gratitude best defines the finest aspects of humanity, and as Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly and on behalf of all parliamentarians I would like to set out our gratitude to you for being here today, and to welcome you most warmly to this house of democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

      Today is the third time in the history of the Council of Europe, and since Spain’s accession to the Organisation 40 years ago, that the Spanish Head of State has addressed members of this Assembly. The first two times were in October 1979 and January 1988, with appearances by His Majesty the King, Juan Carlos. The Spanish monarchy has been committed to Europe for decades. Your Majesty is firmly engaged with Europe. You are a convinced European, and your involvement in strengthening European unity continues to be one of the main pillars of your reign.

      In the almost three years since your accession, you have visited almost all the European institutions and met many European leaders. Your Majesty has also taken part in the past two awards ceremonies for the Charlemagne Prize, and every year you preside over the awards ceremony for the prestigious Carlos V European Award, which takes place in the royal monastery of Yuste, which has historic links to the Spanish monarchy. Every year, on 9 May – Europe Day – the Carlos V European Award recognises the work of those people who have contributed to furthering European values and the unity of the continent.

      On 10 March, all members of the Assembly’s Standing Committee had the honour of being received by Your Majesty at an audience in Madrid’s El Pardo Palace. It was a unique and special occasion that was worthy of recognition. Thank you once again for the time you spent with our almost 100-strong delegation.

      Your Majesty has been kind enough to be with us today. You have come to Strasbourg to join in the acts of celebration marking the 40th anniversary of Spain’s accession to the Council of Europe, and to restate Spain’s commitment to the values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We are honoured to have this opportunity to celebrate the anniversary with Your Majesty.

      Your Majesty, it is a huge pleasure and a great honour to give you the floor.

      HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF SPAIN* – Mr President, Mr Secretary General, ladies and gentlemen, members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on 10 March I had the pleasant task and personal satisfaction of receiving the Standing Committee in Madrid as part of the celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of Spain’s accession to the Council of Europe. I now have the great honour of addressing the Parliamentary Assembly to underscore Spain’s undertakings as a member of the Council of Europe, an institution that embodies, defends and represents our best values, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. I especially thank you for your kind invitation in this anniversary year, which is so important to Spaniards and relevant to Europe and its institutions.

      On 24 November we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Spain’s accession to this institution. The anniversary prompts us to consider the past four decades and the path that we are following towards the future. Above all, it invites us to record that democracy must be preserved and perfected at all times with determination and constancy, and with the firm undertaking of everyone, as it concerns us all and protects us all.

      Democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as I have just indicated, are the three pillars upon which the Council of Europe was founded. It is the common home of all Europeans. Freedom, equality, justice and political pluralism are the higher values that are proclaimed in the Spanish constitution of 1978, and that inspire our living together in democracy. Spain shares with the Council of Europe its values and principles. Both hail from the recognition of the dignity of people as an essential prerequisite for living together in political and social action. The acknowledgment and protection of that dignity is Europe’s greatest bequest. We should never forget that that is the reason for our identity as Europeans and that it constitutes a fundamental reference for progress and for the essential dignity of humanity at large.

      It is for that reason that I wish on this occasion to pay tribute to the founders of that Europe, which emerged from the Second World War after being largely destroyed. Europe rebuilt its moral, political and legal foundations, thanks to the assiduous efforts of a generation that was firmly convinced that the highest meanings of human rights and democracy are antidotes to tyranny, dictatorship, oppression and exploitation. Thanks to those pillars, this institution is the engine that promotes democratic values across Europe, and its vitality is a thermometer for the health of a civic and democratic Europe.

      Forty years ago, the democratic heart of Spain beat in unison with the heart of Europe, as represented here. Indeed, after the referendum to approve the law on political reform, 1977 was a year of extraordinary political importance in Spain’s history. On 15 June that year, we held the first democratic elections in which the Spanish people, freely voting, full of hope and with great emotion, opened the path towards democracy, and thus began one of the brightest and more transformative periods in our country’s recent political history.

      Spain’s entry into the Council of Europe in 1977 – a year before the approval of our constitution –meant that there was important support for the success of our political transition. In an address to your Assembly in October 1979, His Majesty King Juan Carlos expressly underscored your Chamber’s decisive role in Spain’s joining the Council of Europe, doing away with “custom, in both form and timing, so that its faith and hope in the transition to democracy in Spain might prevail.” Democracy reached Spain because of men and women who generously sought dialogue and understanding in order to overcome confrontations and differences caused by our country’s history that, until that point, had seemed unresolvable. Those men and women set aside their legitimate political differences because they agreed with the fundamental aim of providing their country with a regime of freedom. They were the Spaniards of reconciliation, and we must honour and perpetuate their memory and example. The Council of Europe knew how to prompt and accompany such an undertaking, and it gave us active support to overcome the difficult early steps in our return to democracy and our encounters with a free Europe.

      We Spaniards are European in our identity, culture, history and geography, and also by choice and political will. Our constitution of 1978 included rights and freedoms that materialised in western Europe following the Second World War. Respect for the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is guaranteed through our amparo appeal before the constitutional court and the system of individual applications to the European Court of Human Rights. The Court’s doctrine strengthens our State where the rule of law is concerned. I cannot refrain from stressing the importance of the European Social Charter to economic and social rights.

      Since Spain joined in 1977, 27 other States have adhered to the Council of Europe, which now has 47 members. We must attach importance to that great success for democracy, which results from a process of recognition, expansion and the universalisation of democratic values in which Europe has been a decisive protagonist and an unrivalled leader. In the globalised world of the 21st century, Europe must continue being a reference point for freedoms and integration. We are indeed proud of its values, and, as an area of civilisation, Europe will continue to be a source of inspiration for other regions of the globe. If, on the other hand, we renounce those values, we will give up what we can best contribute to the world and what defines us.

      More than ever before, global challenges require unity and strength in our democratic institutions. We are going through a historic period of convulsions and uncertainties, and the complexities and difficulties test those institutions. Some effects of globalisation produce mistrust, insecurity or withdrawal, while living together is affected in many areas by war or barbaric and cruel terrorism. In that context, uncertainty has cast doubts among many Europeans. They wonder what the best way is to respond to threats to peace and international security and breaches of humanitarian international law, to the risks that have an impact on sustainable life on earth and to the great displacement of persons fleeing war, terrorism and poverty. With that state of mind, it is necessary to confront challenges in a decisive, but reflective, manner. The response cannot be to step back or to return to a past that we have been trying to overcome for some time. We should provide global responses to global challenges in an intelligent, courageous, generous and respectful manner.

      The policies to face those challenges should be based on the values and principles of democratic systems. We should remain united and reaffirm rights, freedoms and the rule of law as substantial, non-renounceable elements of Europe. This complexity should not let us forget that democracy requires the bringing together of emotion, reason, trust, participation, a constructive attitude and a conciliatory spirit. It requires sincere dialogue and, as a consequence, the taking of decisions in a responsible manner. I bid you, as democratic representatives of Europe, our common fatherland, to follow democratic reason. A total respect of the democratic rule of law is the most effective instrument to confront contemporary challenges collectively.

      Spain’s recent history provides examples of our overcoming grave problems, and we can serve as a model globally. Terrorism has hit our country for more than four decades, with the aim of imposing its totalitarian senselessness on the ability of Spaniards to live together in peace. However, the integrity and firmness of Spanish society, and the solidity of the rule of law, have won the day and have routed terrorism. With that victory, the dignity of the victims of terrorism – we respect and honour their memory – is an example of civic courage, which we are proud of as a country and that deserves greater recognition and justice. Do not doubt that with determination and consistency we shall also overcome the terrorist threat that hits many parts of the world. Major world alliances are required to confront it efficiently and coherently. Terrorists should know that we will not fail to combat barbarism and we shall not cease until they account for their crimes. The values that inspire our democratic living together will prevail in the face of fanaticism, intolerance and violence.

      Europe also has the responsibility of dealing with the great displacement of persons – refugees and migrants – fleeing war, terrorism and extreme poverty. It is a moral duty to welcome them, as is within our capacity, so that they are able to live a dignified life. We must also do what we can to promote the conditions that allow them to return to their homes. That means putting an end to conflicts and establishing the basis for bellicose clashes to give way to political processes, leading to inclusive and democratic societies that do not act against life and freedom. We aspire to the respect of fundamental rights – a trait that is constituted in and concomitant with Europe – becoming universal. We cannot conceive of peace without the enjoyment of human rights.

      Spain wishes to continue to contribute to a prosperous and integrated Europe. We are a plural country in which our constitution guarantees the rights and freedoms of all citizens, independent of the territory in which they reside. It also protects the cultures, traditions, languages and institutions of the nationalities and regions that constitute the Spanish nation. Thus, the self-governance of our autonomous communities, combined with the principle of basic equality between Spaniards, contributes to our living together. A democratic, constitutional Spain, which is a united plural democracy in which all the State’s powers hail from its citizens, granting them legitimacy, is the best, active model we can contribute to a Europe that is always strong in the defence of its values – a Europe whose strength, development and progress are founded on respect for the rule of law, which guarantees that all European citizens can live together in freedom.

      Ladies and gentlemen, as I come to the end of my address, I reiterate Spain’s trust in and attachment to the European project. Despite uncertainties and fears, Europe continues to be a positive enterprise, and its ability to adapt to changes without renouncing its principles is the guarantee of its better future in a world that is constantly under transformation. Spain certainly looks towards a Europe that is more just and equal, and more cohesive and integrated, under the structures of the European Union and the Council of Europe. Above all, we look to Europe as a project for living together while recognising the inalienable dignity of all human beings, because Europe is more than just a geographical space defined by history. It is also a project, an idea; some might say a dream. It is an enterprise for which it is worth fighting, however arduous the path may be.

      Spain established its first liberal constitution in Cadiz in 1812, and has since 1978 had a fruitful period of democratic development, which we have undergone hand in hand with your Organisation. Like those men and women of Spain of the past who wanted to open themselves to new worlds, we wish to offer the best of ourselves, so that in this era of globalisation, Europe can be an example of people living together with respect for each other’s dignity, rights and freedoms.

      These 40 years of joint effort spur us on to build, in a determined, confident and ambitious manner, a future that guarantees more freedom, equality and prosperity to all European citizens, and all those who come to us seeking peace and security. We have to give them hope about Europe and what it represents. When the anniversary of the next 40 years takes place, I hope that our best achievements will be that Europe can look us in the eye; that despite all the challenges that we faced, we were able to keep moving forward and, between us all, build a space and time in which it was worth living; and that we were able to continue making a reality of the founders of Europe’s dreams – of uniting persons, as Jean Monnet said, and of having an awareness of ourselves, as Salvador de Madariaga said. We rely for that on the Council of Europe and your Assembly, which have been and are an essential beacon on this path. This Council and Assembly have an ally in Spain – a sure friend in the defence of democracy, human rights and freedom. Thank you.

      The PRESIDENT* – Your Majesty, I am very grateful for your words, and for the significant message that you leave with us. Your irrefutable defence of European values, and your steadfast commitment to promoting and cultivating them, deserve the recognition of this entire Chamber. I agree with Your Majesty that in these times it is crucial that we take action together, and that action should be complemented with strong leadership and the ability to bridge differences between great Europeans such as Your Majesty. Let me repeat our gratitude to you for being with us today, and I wish you every success at the helm of the Spanish State.

      (The President continued in English)

      Thank you, Your Majesty, for your most interesting address.

3. Next public business

      The PRESIDENT – The Assembly will hold its next public sitting this afternoon at 3.30 p.m. with the agenda that was approved on Monday.

      The sitting is closed.

      (The sitting was closed at 12.25 p.m.)


1. Alarming developments in Hungary: draft NGO law restricting civil society and possible closure of the European Central University

Presentation by Mr Mogens Jensen of the report of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, Document 14298

Speakers: Mr Hanžek, Mr Fischer, Mr Cilevičs, Mr Kiral, Ms Lundgren, Mr Németh, Ms de Sutter, Mr Csenger-Zalan, Mr Harangozó, Mr Billström, Mr Tilki, Mr Schennach, Ms Rojhan Gustafsson, Mr Mullen, Mr Honkonen.

Draft resolution in Document 14298, as amended, adopted.

2. Address by His Majesty the King of Spain

3. Next public business

Appendix / Annexe

Representatives or Substitutes who signed the register of attendance in accordance with Rule 12.2 of the Rules of Procedure. The names of members substituted follow (in brackets) the names of participating members.

Liste des représentants ou suppléants ayant signé le registre de présence, conformément ŕ l’article 12.2 du Rčglement. Le nom des personnes remplacées suit celui des Membres remplaçant, entre parenthčses.

ĹBERG, Boriana [Ms]

ĆVARSDÓTTIR, Thorhildur Sunna [Ms]

ANDERSON, Donald [Lord]

ARENT, Iwona [Ms]

ARIEV, Volodymyr [Mr]

ÁRNASON, Vilhjálmur [Mr]

ÁRNASON, Vilhjálmur [Mr]

ARNAUT, Damir [Mr]

BAKRADZE, David [Mr]

BALIĆ, Marijana [Ms]

BARTOS, Mónika [Ms] (CSÖBÖR, Katalin [Mme])

BAYKAL, Deniz [Mr]

BENKŐ, Erika [Ms] (KORODI, Attila [Mr])

BEREZA, Boryslav [Mr]

BERNACKI, Włodzimierz [Mr]

BĒRZINŠ, Andris [M.]

BİLGEHAN, Gülsün [Mme]

BILLSTRÖM, Tobias [Mr]

BÎZGAN-GAYRAL, Oana-Mioara [Ms] (BRĂILOIU, Tit-Liviu [Mr])

BLONDIN, Maryvonne [Mme]

BOSIĆ, Mladen [Mr]

BRASSEUR, Anne [Mme]

BRUYN, Piet De [Mr]

BÜCHEL, Roland Rino [Mr] (MÜLLER, Thomas [Mr])

BUTKEVIČIUS, Algirdas [Mr]


CEPEDA, José [Mr]



CILEVIČS, Boriss [Mr] (LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Inese [Ms])

COMTE, Raphaël [M.] (FIALA, Doris [Mme])


CORSINI, Paolo [Mr]

CROWE, Seán [Mr]

CROZON, Pascale [Mme] (LONCLE, François [M.])



DAEMS, Hendrik [Mr] (DUMERY, Daphné [Ms])

DALLOZ, Marie-Christine [Mme] (MARIANI, Thierry [M.])

DIVINA, Sergio [Mr]

DJUROVIĆ, Aleksandra [Ms]

EBERLE-STRUB, Susanne [Ms]

ESTRELA, Edite [Mme] (ROSETA, Helena [Mme])

FABRITIUS, Bernd [Mr] (HENNRICH, Michael [Mr])

FATALIYEVA, Sevinj [Ms] (HAJIYEV, Sabir [Mr])

FAZZONE, Claudio [Mr] (BERNINI, Anna Maria [Ms])

FEIST, Thomas [Mr] (OBERMEIER, Julia [Ms])

FISCHER, Axel [Mr]

FOURNIER, Bernard [M.]

FRESKO-ROLFO, Béatrice [Mme]

GAFAROVA, Sahiba [Ms]

GALATI, Giuseppe [Mr] (SANTANGELO, Vincenzo [Mr])

GALE, Roger [Sir]

GAMBARO, Adele [Ms]


GATTI, Marco [M.]

GHILETCHI, Valeriu [Mr]

GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]

GONÇALVES, Carlos Alberto [M.]


GORROTXATEGUI, Miren Edurne [Mme] (BALLESTER, Ángela [Ms])

GOSSELIN-FLEURY, Genevičve [Mme] (KARAMANLI, Marietta [Mme])

GOY-CHAVENT, Sylvie [Mme]

GYÖNGYÖSI, Márton [Mr]

HAGEBAKKEN, Tore [Mr] (WOLD, Morten [Mr])

HANŽEK, Matjaž [Mr] (ŠKOBERNE, Jan [Mr])

HARANGOZÓ, Gábor [Mr] (MESTERHÁZY, Attila [Mr])

HEER, Alfred [Mr]

HETTO-GAASCH, Françoise [Mme]

HOFFMANN, Rózsa [Mme] (VEJKEY, Imre [Mr])

HOLÍK, Pavel [Mr] (MARKOVÁ, Soňa [Ms])

HONKONEN, Petri [Mr] (ANTTILA, Sirkka-Liisa [Ms])

HOPKINS, Maura [Ms]

HUSEYNOV, Rafael [Mr]

HUSEYNOV, Vusal [Mr] (PASHAYEVA, Ganira [Ms])


JANIK, Grzegorz [Mr] (TARCZYŃSKI, Dominik [Mr])

JENIŠTA, Luděk [Mr]

JENSEN, Michael Aastrup [Mr]

JENSEN, Mogens [Mr]

JENSSEN, Frank J. [Mr]

JORDANA, Carles [M.]


KALMARI, Anne [Ms]

KARAPETYAN, Naira [Ms] (ZOHRABYAN, Naira [Mme])

KARLSSON, Niklas [Mr]

KAVVADIA, Ioanneta [Ms]


KESİCİ, İlhan [Mr]

KIRAL, Serhii [Mr] (LABAZIUK, Serhiy [Mr])

KLEINBERGA, Nellija [Ms] (LAIZĀNE, Inese [Ms])

KOVÁCS, Elvira [Ms]

KOX, Tiny [Mr]

KÜRKÇÜ, Ertuğrul [Mr]


LE DAIN, Anne-Yvonne [Mme] (ALLAIN, Brigitte [Mme])

LE DÉAUT, Jean-Yves [M.]


LEŚNIAK, Józef [M.] (POMASKA, Agnieszka [Ms])

LOGVYNSKYI, Georgii [Mr]

LOPUSHANSKYI, Andrii [Mr] (DZHEMILIEV, Mustafa [Mr])

MAHOUX, Philippe [M.]

MAMMADOV, Muslum [M.]

MARKOVIĆ, Milica [Mme]

MARTINS, Alberto [M.]

MASIULIS, Kęstutis [Mr] (ŠAKALIENĖ, Dovilė [Ms])

MASSEY, Doreen [Baroness] (CRAUSBY, David [Mr])


MEIMARAKIS, Evangelos [Mr]

MESIĆ, Jasen [Mr]

MILEWSKI, Daniel [Mr]

MULARCZYK, Arkadiusz [Mr]

MULLEN, Rónán [Mr] (COWEN, Barry [Mr])

MUNYAMA, Killion [Mr] (HALICKI, Andrzej [Mr])

NÉMETH, Zsolt [Mr]

NENUTIL, Miroslav [Mr]

NICOLETTI, Michele [Mr]

NISSINEN, Johan [Mr]

OBRADOVIĆ, Marija [Ms]


OBREMSKI, Jarosław [Mr] (BUDNER, Margareta [Ms])

OHLSSON, Carina [Ms]

O’REILLY, Joseph [Mr]

PALLARÉS, Judith [Ms]

PANTIĆ PILJA, Biljana [Ms]

PECKOVÁ, Gabriela [Ms] (KOSTŘICA, Rom [Mr])

POCIEJ, Aleksander [M.] (KLICH, Bogdan [Mr])

PODOLNJAK, Robert [Mr] (HAJDUKOVIĆ, Domagoj [Mr])

POSTOICO, Maria [Mme] (VORONIN, Vladimir [M.])

PREDA, Cezar Florin [M.]

PRUNĂ, Cristina-Mădălina [Ms]

PSYCHOGIOS, Georgios [Mr] (ANAGNOSTOPOULOU, Athanasia [Ms])

QUÉRÉ, Catherine [Mme] (BAPT, Gérard [M.])

REISS, Frédéric [M.] (ZIMMERMANN, Marie-Jo [Mme])

RIGONI, Andrea [Mr]

ROCA, Jordi [Mr] (BARREIRO, José Manuel [Mr])



ROUQUET, René [M.]

RUSTAMYAN, Armen [M.] (NAGHDALYAN, Hermine [Ms])

SANDBĆK, Ulla [Ms] (BORK, Tilde [Ms])

SANTA ANA, María Concepción de [Ms]

SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]

SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Elisabeth [Mme] (LOMBARDI, Filippo [M.])

SCHOU, Ingjerd [Ms]


SCHWABE, Frank [Mr]

ŠEPIĆ, Senad [Mr]

SEYIDOV, Samad [Mr]

SILVA, Adăo [M.]

ŠIRCELJ, Andrej [Mr]

SOBOLEV, Serhiy [Mr]

SOTNYK, Olena [Ms]

SPADONI, Maria Edera [Ms] (CATALFO, Nunzia [Ms])

SUTTER, Petra De [Ms] (BLANCHART, Philippe [M.])

THIÉRY, Damien [M.]

TILKI, Attila [Mr] (GULYÁS, Gergely [Mr])

TORNARE, Manuel [M.] (FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.])

TRUSKOLASKI, Krzysztof [Mr]

TUȘA, Adriana Diana [Ms]


VALEN, Snorre Serigstad [Mr]

VAREIKIS, Egidijus [Mr]

VEN, Mart van de [Mr]

VIROLAINEN, Anne-Mari [Ms]

VOVK, Viktor [Mr] (LIASHKO, Oleh [Mr])

WENAWESER, Christoph [Mr]

WILK, Jacek [Mr]

WOJTYŁA, Andrzej [Mr]

WURM, Gisela [Ms]

XUCLŔ, Jordi [Mr] (BILDARRATZ, Jokin [Mr])

YEMETS, Leonid [Mr]

ZAVOLI, Roger [Mr] (D’AMBROSIO, Vanessa [Ms])

ZECH, Tobias [Mr]

ZELIENKOVÁ, Kristýna [Ms]

ZINGERIS, Emanuelis [Mr]

Also signed the register / Ont également signé le registre

Representatives or Substitutes not authorised to vote / Représentants ou suppléants non autorisés ŕ voter

AST, Marek [Mr]


BONET, Sílvia Eloďsa [Ms]


CORREIA, Telmo [M.]

GERMANN, Hannes [Mr]


KANDELAKI, Giorgi [Mr]

LUNDGREN, Kerstin [Ms]


MERGEN, Martine [Mme]

MOŻDŹANOWSKA, Andżelika [Ms]

OSUCH, Jacek [Mr]


RIBERAYGUA, Patrícia [Mme]

TARCZYŃSKI, Dominik [Mr]


Observers / Observateurs

DAVIES, Don [Mr]

DOWNE, Percy [Mr]


MALTAIS, Ghislain [M.]

O’CONNELL, Jennifer [Ms]

OLIVER, John [Mr]

ROMO MEDINA, Miguel [Mr]

TILSON, David [Mr]

Partners for democracy / Partenaires pour la démocratie


AMRAOUI, Allal [M.]

ERGESHOV, Almazbek [Mr]

HAMIDINE, Abdelali [M.]

IUSUROV, Abdumazhit [Mr]

KHADER, Qais [Mr]

LEBBAR, Abdesselam [M.]

SABELLA, Bernard [Mr]

Representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community (In accordance to Resolution 1376 (2004) of

the Parliamentary Assembly)/ Représentants de la communauté chypriote turque

(Conformément ŕ la Résolution 1376 (2004) de l’Assemblée parlementaire)