AS (2017) CR 18
2017 ORDINARY SESSION
Friday 28 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.
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The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the report.
(Ms Gambaro, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 10.10 a.m.)
The PRESIDENT* – The sitting is open.
1. Technological convergence, artificial intelligence and human rights
The PRESIDENT* – The first item of business this morning is the debate on the report entitled “Technological convergence, artificial intelligence and human rights” – Document 14288 – presented by Mr Jean-Yves Le Déaut on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, with an opinion presented by Mr Boriss Cilevičs on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights – Document 14303.
I remind members that speaking time in this debate is limited to four minutes. Mr Le Déaut, you have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between your presentation of the report and your reply to the debate.
Mr LE DÉAUT (France)* – Science and technology are having an increasing impact on society. The new challenges of the digital era, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence and the possibility of modifying the human genome are bringing about such rapid change that applications are already on the market before our understanding of them is complete.
Man is augmenting his capacity, thanks to machines, robots and software. Artificial intelligence allows us to create new machines capable of learning automatically from experience – we call this deep learning – with the ability to reason and to resolve complex problems. These machines are used in military command systems, diagnostics, financial management, risk assessment, visual perception aids and the recognition of shapes and words.
The report is not exhaustive, but it does consider the social, ethical and legal consequences of the onward march of artificial intelligence and robotics and the new avenues that are opening up as a result of technological convergence. It does not consider the implications of the digitisation of society on employment or the potential use of intelligence machines in the military field – those areas are beyond its scope and can be dealt with in future reports. I am particularly grateful to Rinie van Est and Joost Gerritsen of the Rathenau Institute (Netherlands), to Raja Chatila, director of intelligent systems and robotics at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, and to all the other experts quoted in the report.
These technologies bring together nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive sciences. They are becoming increasingly powerful. They are irreversible as well as uncertain. They impinge upon our world in the form of smartphones, social networks, online gaming, reading glasses that augment reality and robots. The Oviedo Convention foresaw these developments and proposed guidelines to protect the dignity of the human being in the face of biomedical progress. However, if we wish to safeguard human dignity in the 21st century, we will have to look closely at all these technologies in the round, because they are invading our intimate sphere. They are modifying our capacities and collecting a great deal of information about us.
The first line of defence is to protect personal data. Members should bear it in mind that one click of a mouse is enough to reveal your sexual orientation, your ethnic background, your political and religious opinions and even your character traits. Our homes, which we used to consider our castles, have become places where we are constantly tracked and surveilled. Recourse to algorithmic profiling might be discriminatory, so we need genuine transparency when it comes to algorithms and profiling. We need to be informed of the value of the data that are collected.
With a view to respecting the right to private life, which is of concern to us, we have to look at modifying people’s behaviour and attitudes. Interactive computer processes are designed to change people’s attitudes, or nudge their behaviour, and to persuade them without them being aware that they are constantly tracked on the Internet. That is a problem with the so-called electronic coaches, for example, that track your sleep pattern or dietary regime. In essence, we have computer replicas of individuals recording data about them in an opaque manner. We also have to look at the influence care robots might have on human relations in a virtual world, particularly the care given to vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and people with disabilities as mechanical assistance, for example, leaves people with no autonomy over how they feed themselves.
The report has looked at the safety and security of robots and artificial intelligence products, the respective responsibilities of the designers, operators and users and the consequences for human dignity, freedom of expression and the right to property, because a lot of data are recorded with no transparency whatever. On the basis of that analysis, on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in my capacity as its rapporteur, I suggest the following measures. First, I suggest that we beef up our rules in order to give all individuals the legal wherewithal to resist pressure or constraints in, for example, the fields of sport, gaming or work. Then we need to pinpoint the responsibility of different stakeholders in the automatic processing of data, and put in place a common framework for standards on artificial intelligence products. We need greater transparency, and must create a legal statutory requirement that all machines, robots and artificial intelligence products remain under human control. We have to institute a right to anonymity, as well as a right not to be harassed or bothered – people can refuse to be profiled, coached, tracked by GPS or manipulated. We also need co-operation between the European Union and UNESCO, and need to put a legal framework and international regulatory machinery in place. We have parliamentary offices for assessing technological choices, and the EPTA and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should be forums for organising public hearings that bring experts, politicians and ordinary people – our fellow citizens – together to talk about such issues.
This is not a question of rejecting technological progress; I firmly believe that progress is worthwhile if it is shared and managed, and that it is desirable if it benefits society. It is up to the Council of Europe to strike the right balance between artificial intelligence and human rights.
The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Le Déaut, you have five minutes left to reply to the speakers later. I call Mr Cilevičs to give the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
Mr CILEVIČS (Latvia) – I congratulate Mr Le Déaut on his report, which deals with issues that, until very recently, we encountered only in science fiction. It is not easy to provide a legal point of view on the questions raised in the report as very little, if any, expertise is available. The peculiar feature of genuine artificial intelligence systems that differentiates them from other software is the ability to produce results that were not directly envisaged by the instructions set by the programmer. That is done through the independent accumulation, processing and use of new data. In a sense, therefore, AI systems possess the ability to learn and to take decisions on their own.
From a legal point of view that raises the issue of the subjectivity of AI systems, and that comprises two aspects. First, can they be considered independent rights-holders? Thus far that issue remains an exclusive concern of science fiction; however, the further aspect of accountability has become topical in real life. Who bears the responsibility for damage inflicted by AI systems, including violations of human rights? It should be made clear that accountability always lies with the human, no matter what the circumstances are. References to independent decision making by AI systems cannot exempt the creators, owners and managers of those systems from being held accountable for human rights violations committed through the use of them, even in cases where the action that caused the damage was not directly ordered by a responsible human commander or operator.
The Assembly partly explored this issue; two years ago in its resolutions on drones and targeted killings, it called on all member and observer States to refrain from using any automated or robotic procedures for targeting individuals based on communication patterns or other data collected through mass surveillance techniques. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights has tabled amendments along the same lines, with the idea of extending the approach taken to drones and targeted killings to any kind of damage or human rights violations committed through the use of AI systems. The committee tabled four amendments, and I call on the Assembly to support them and the draft resolution.
We are still at the very beginning of our work on these complicated issues. As always, we are lagging behind; technological development is far ahead of legal regulations. That will always be the case; when we adopt new regulations, technology will go even further ahead, and we will be even further behind, so this catch-up exercise is, in a sense, permanent. Our Assembly is exactly the right place to deal with this issue – to pay serious attention not only to issues that were topical yesterday and today, but to those that will become topical tomorrow.
The PRESIDENT – The general discussion is now open. We will start with the groups’ spokespersons.
Ms FATALIYEVA (Azerbaijan, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – Let me express my gratitude to the rapporteur for his excellent report, which touches on a very important question that affects all countries and all people in the world. The World Economic Forum’s annual “Global Risks Report” pinpoints artificial intelligence as one of the dangers that the world faces this year. Experts say the devolution of technology exacerbates the threats in recent years to geopolitical stability, job security and social relationships.
Let me start with the last of those: social relationships. Using modern devices to get online, and messaging anyone anywhere, has made our lives easier and more dynamic. We are always online, ready for communication, but that provides only superficial relations, without any feelings and emotions. Children’s use of modern technologies results in a lack of communication skills and an inability to interact in real life with real people.
Nothing in our lives is private any more. Willingly or unwillingly, we share all our life, habits and entire world by posting pictures or using social networks that are aware of every step that we take. I feel a bit uncomfortable when, after taking my kids to school, Facebook sends me a notification with photos of my children’s classmates’ parents, supposing that I know them. Today, your smartphone knows better than you how long you should sleep and walk, what you should eat, and so on. People lose control over their life, activities and sometimes even feelings; it is much easier to send a smile than to say that you like something.
Some experts worry that developments in artificial intelligence may lead to many people losing their jobs, which will be taken away. In the United States alone, more than 250 000 robots perform work intended for people. How many robots will they have in eastern countries, where 90% of the world’s technology is produced? The figures are growing every year. The use of artificial intelligence in war can save thousands of lives, but weapons that are intelligent and self-acting pose a threat even to their creators. Such weapons can destroy not only enemies but innocent people without blinking an eye.
There is great danger in teaching human values to robots with artificial intelligence. In the history of mankind, we find that people, despite studying right and wrong, are still capable of indescribable evil. We need only look at the many tyrants globally; if people are capable of such evil, what prevents powerful artificial intelligence from doing the same as them? I fully agree that it is the responsibility of human beings to control the positive and negative impacts of artificial intelligence.
Mr COMTE (Switzerland, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)* – Two hundred years ago in 1816, on the shores of Lake Geneva, a very successful novel was written: “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. It is still relevant, and it highlights the risks of technology escaping human control and humans being overrun by their own creations. That is a real risk today, and the issue is topical.
Technology is moving fast, and the legislative corpus needs to be modernised to keep up with developments. European Treaty Series No. 108, mentioned in the report, dates back to 1981, which is prehistory – it is the dinosaur era, in terms of technology – so of course we have to modernise that convention. I issue a note of warning: we must not fall into the normal trap of members of parliaments, who love to talk and legislate, but can sometimes overdo it. We want to regulate all the details, but sometimes the best laws are the ones that we do not pass. Technology is moving so fast that any law will quickly become obsolete, so we need the wisdom to legislate well and in a minimalist way, and on the principles, through framework legislation, rather than in too much detail.
Human beings must always be at the heart of concerns when we talk about technology. The report says that humans should be able to control the machine; “Frankenstein” must remain a novel, rather than become a reality. For every machine, there has to be a human being who takes responsibility for its actions. Every human being should be able to say how much technology they want in their life, particularly their private life. Technology can be a major risk for the private life of every individual, and everybody has the right to defend themselves against that danger, so everybody needs new rights, such as the right to be left alone, or to be anonymous, as was mentioned in the report.
Finally, everybody has the right to prefer human contact to contact with a robot. I am thinking particularly of health care, or care for older people. As the population ages and there are higher care costs, it is tempting to bring in lots of machines and limit the number of humans caring for older people. That is almost inevitable, but we need to restrict it to the absolute minimum, especially in areas like that, where human contact is so important. In summary, we need to emphasise the clear principle that the machine should serve the human being, and not the reverse.
Mr VALEN (Norway, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – The UEL congratulates the rapporteur on an excellent report on a most interesting subject that urgently needs to be discussed by parliamentarians and decision makers. The rapporteur is absolutely correct to note that, because of the subject’s complexity, at political level there is insufficient awareness of the growing impact that science and technology have on society and on the daily life of every individual. The UEL believes that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should make better use of Council of Europe instruments when it comes to raising awareness, holding discussions and taking action on technology, science and society, which should be a political priority.
The report’s investigation of technological progress shows the important role that Council of Europe conventions can play in protecting individuals from progress that may be misused, and it therefore supports the promotion of key conventions relating to technology and science. That is a good initiative. With new technology and the ability to augment ourselves, it goes without saying that there is tremendous potential for oppression. There is also the potential for liberation, but neither outcome will arrive on its own – both require political attention. The Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine is a ground-breaking legal instrument, as is the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, which is currently being updated. Mr Kox, the chairman of our group, who is the current rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s acquis and who is studying our Organisation’s convention system and progress in inter-governmental co-operation, also thinks that conventions can be successful in offering substantial guarantees to individuals and should therefore be promoted.
The UEL supports the call for an investigation of the links between science and technology and democratic processes and of how the two should interact in order to achieve progress. The rapporteur can count on the full support of the UEL in his endeavours to foster closer co-operation between the European Union, UNESCO and the Council of Europe to ensure a coherent legal framework and effective international supervisory mechanisms. If appropriate legislation to regulate scientific and technological progress lags behind developments, that can have irreversible consequences for societies, particularly new and struggling democracies and non-EU member States with weak and unstable democratic institutions and underdeveloped regulations. However, the potential for the misuse of technology also exists in more developed countries. In that regard, the PACE could establish a platform for the exchange of views between countries that have advanced in technology and ethics and have enacted – or have at least tried to enact – matching legislation, such as Norway and other Scandinavian countries. All countries that want to learn how best to mitigate technological and scientific risks need to work together.
Mr ROCA (Spain, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party)* – I thank the rapporteurs because this is one of the most pressing debates in our changing times. Few species are able to modify the environment to their own benefit. Human beings are weak and slow and our senses are undeveloped. We have no special sense of hearing, sight or smell, but we have the ability to create tools and to transform our environment. Technology has allowed us to become the strongest, fastest and most informed species on earth. The bicycle, for example, changes an underperforming animal into the highest performing animal. We are able to go further and faster than any other species, but that is not what makes us human. Technology, strength and speed do not make us human; what makes us human is what we do with technology, what we want to do with technology and, above all, what we do not want to do with technology.
The discovery of fire and the inventions of the wheel, the loom, the engine and the printing press have not given us unlimited power. We do not allow ourselves to print books containing hate speech or to drive crazily on the road, endangering our friends or neighbours. The spiral effect of advances in science and technology does not allow us to ride freely over the world with technology. We have to agree to set limits based on a close consideration of what is right and what is wrong. That is the most important challenge of the 21st century for human beings. Recalling the Oviedo Convention, we have to reach an agreement together about the Internet, big data and biomedicine. Where are we willing to go? How far are we willing to go? Above all, what are our limits? What advances are we not ready for? That is one of the most important questions for the welfare of our neighbours, citizens and countrymen.
Mr SCHENNACH (Austria, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – I thank Mr Jean-Yves Le Déaut for this report. Looking up at the public gallery, I see a few young people. The big difference between them and us is that they are digital natives. The young people up there were born in the era of smartphones and the Internet, but they will soon be technological grandfathers and grandmothers, given developments in technology. Everything that we are trying to do right now must be regulated. Technology and research are progressing with incredible speed down the road, but we are sitting on a slow tractor, trying to catch up. I am no Don Quixote, but I am worried by the fact that thousands of profiles have been generated for every one of us by new technologies. What we buy at the supermarket, what our daily habits are, what we consume – all that is registered. What will happen to all those profiles in the future?
Studies have suggested that up to 49% of jobs will simply disappear – go up in smoke – as digitalisation carries on. We have had a social agreement over the past century or so that businesses and those who work will pay taxes, but if too few people actually have a job and if robots are doing our work, we will lose out on taxes. Companies are becoming even more international through technology and will find different ways of circumventing taxes. It is important for us to keep some sort of structure, because we need money to maintain health care and social security.
What is our responsibility as human beings in all this? In Australia, there is a robot that can exist underwater for six months without any human contact, and its job is to kill starfish. Promises have been made that such technology will not be used for military purposes. Mr Le Déaut said that developments are happening quickly. At the end of all this, 24-hour care in nursing homes will include no human contact – it will be some sort of robot that will do all that. Do we want that type of thing? That is the question that we should ask.
We need regulation, and not just one convention. We need national legislative frameworks, and we need a panoply of legislation and many conventions to regulate all this. Are these robots in place to make difficult, arduous work easier, or will they be deployed to rob people of their employment? That is the question that we have to ask.
Mr CEPEDA (Spain)* – I congratulate the rapporteur on a magnificent and highly significant report. As Mr Schennach was saying, we are not in any sort of Ferrari – we are practically in a tractor. The Council of Europe has to make a big effort to analyse the reality in which we live today.
We need to discuss the issues raised by technology and robots. Just yesterday, an item on ABC News revealed that a human being had been arrested for attacking a police robot in the United States. Where are the limits and how do we draw a line between robots and human beings? I am very worried by this issue, and this report is extremely important. It is interesting to know what the limits are between technology and human beings. All robots and all technological creations have to be at the service of human beings, but on numerous occasions this technology goes far beyond what it was originally conceived for. We have to take that into consideration and we have to look at the major institutions and the work that has to be done by national parliaments and international bodies of this nature to put together a set of regulations and a legislative framework.
We also want education for young people and children. We have to look at how our education systems can bring together what we know in order to prepare people for this world of technology. Young people, some of whom have been invited here today, do not know where the risks lie with technology and IT. It is important that the report emphasises the need for regulation, but we need an element of convergence in all the legislation. If we are talking about technological convergence, we also have to talk about legal convergence. There are different types of legislation in different countries, and sometimes legislation goes in different directions in different places, so we need some way to establish convergence so that we can forge policies for protecting human beings from technology. We need to make people aware of the limits that exist and where the limits should exist with regard to robots.
We are talking about a future that is not far off, so the issue of taxation has to be taken into consideration as well. Many jobs will be replaced by robots in many different fields, so we have to be careful about the consequences and reverberations of that. I thank the rapporteur very much for the report.
Mr GRIN (Switzerland)* – New technologies and their applications will have social, ethical and even legal consequences. That is why the preservation of human dignity must be an important concern for the Council of Europe. We tend to say that technological progress should be at the service of man and not the other way round. Modern technology and robotics should facilitate rather than replace human contact.
The fact that new technologies and their applications are everywhere often blurs the distinction between man and machine – between the real world and the virtual world. That means that human relations become more distant but also move more quickly. Automatic processing operations that collect, manipulate and use personal data must be protected by strengthening transparency, and regulations must be brought in by the authorities to ensure that operators shoulder their responsibilities. Any robot, smart car or artificial intelligence machine must be controlled by humans. Respect for private life must be maintained so that we can avoid profiling that would allow geolocation and intrusion into private life without the users even knowing what is going on.
From a political point of view we must realise how science and technology are getting more and more of a grip on society. We must develop the democratic processes that will govern such matters. We need to educate our young people and include in school syllabuses enlightened debate about scientific and technological advances, as well as the ethical aspects and respect.
In a world that is moving ever faster, scientific assessment is one of the essential conditions of maintaining the role of representative democracy in the functioning of our institutions. Our parliaments must promote and set up syllabuses and regular exchanges between the humanities, social sciences and technological sciences to ensure a good interconnection between fundamental research and the way it is applied in our economy and in society.
The evolution of biomedicine and the opening up of various kinds of genetic manipulations – medically assisted procreation, IVF and the transplanting of embryos – require new ethical and legal rules, which are now being put in place, but an important debate needs to happen between the researchers and the rest of society. It will be important in the future to ensure that there is a consistent legal framework and supervisory mechanisms at international level.
This excellent report raises many different problems of technological convergence between artificial intelligence and human rights. Our individual freedom will in the future depend on the way in which those various problems are assessed and circumscribed, with the main objective being the preservation of human dignity.
Mr SCHNEIDER (France)* – In a little over 70 years, we have gone from the first computer to there being more than 10 billion connected devices throughout the world. Such devices now outnumber human beings. There are also more than 1.7 million robots in the world, and the figure is set to rise. Science has indeed transcended fiction, so we are called on to decide on the kind of world that we want our children and grandchildren to inherit.
Hans Jonas, the German philosopher, felt that man had gradually conquered nature thanks to scientific knowledge but that he would lose grip over technology. He called on scientists as well as politicians to reflect on the consequences of technical applications. That is the point of the report and I thank Mr Le Déaut for having put these valuable recommendations before us. It is important for us to look at the consequences of the use made of our personal data, the constant improvements in machine learning, the growing development of artificial intelligence and the increased use of robots in our societies. That is why our Assembly should establish a committee of experts bringing together scientists, elected representatives, trade union representatives and philosophers, to provide the technical and ethical expertise required on such an important subject. The committee would have to work hand in hand with the European Parliament and the United Nations.
Last year, Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon worked together to create a foundation that would be entrusted with promoting responsible practices in artificial intelligence. The web giants, it seems, are both judge and jury. That is why this Assembly has the duty to ensure that its voice is heard. There used to be a caricature whereby human beings would work under the command of robots, baffled and wondering where it would end. I ask the same question today: where will it all end? We need to fight for the kind of world in which we all have our place. Humanity is not entitled to commit collective suicide. Man must remain master of technology and must shape an ethics of responsibility. That is why I unreservedly support this excellent report.
Mr REISS (France)* – On 22 April, marches in favour of science took place in more than 500 cities of the world. Apart from defending scientific research in the United States, the marches aimed to raise awareness of the scientific approach so that every citizen can base their choices on well founded ideas rather than on prejudice. Mr le Déaut’s excellent report leads us to dwell on the consequences of scientific progress for our societies. It also raises the question of the responsibility of the users and decision makers with regard to the ethical questions raised by artificial intelligence.
Digital technology has put algorithms at the heart of our lives – they are involved in research, allocating university places to students and automatic medical diagnosis. Various questions arise. Who is liable in these situations? What if there is an accident involving a robot used in surgery? Is the company that made the robot or the hospital that bought it liable? If there is a mistake in allocating a student’s place at a university, is the national education system liable or the machine processing the data?
The defence of the rights of users must evolve to adapt to the increased presence of artificial intelligence. The report rightly stresses the need to reinforce personal data protection in this time of big data. That control is so important: we need to know when data are processed and to be able to have access to and control over the data collected. Remember that such data can be used to profile citizens – to look not only at their consumption habits, but at their ethnic origin, their religious or political convictions or even their sexual preferences. That is a real danger for democracy at a time when extremist parties are on the rise and more and more States are adopting laws that erode our freedoms on this continent. Megadata are often processed outside Europe, so we need to reclaim our sovereignty over data produced in Europe. That is vital to ensure respect for personal and family life – a pillar of the European Convention on Human Rights.
What about the jobs we entrust to artificial intelligence? I am concerned about the use of humanoid robots in retirement homes. What is the future of human society if the most vulnerable – older people, those with disabilities, maybe even our children – are to be entrusted to machines, however nice the robot may be? It gets worse. Some would like to use artificial intelligence in the military, saying that armies of robots would ease human suffering. Do we really think that that would promote peace? We must shoulder our responsibilities. As several scientists have said, we need to inform ourselves better so that we can make good decisions. The digital era must be compatible with democracy and that is why we need to implement the proposals in the report.
Ms LE DAIN (France)* – The report is absolutely crucial and it is high time that we addressed these issues at the Council of Europe. People say that things are changing, but the world has already changed. Big data are already here – the technologies are already in our hands. We have connected devices and our smart cars are connected to the company that manufactured them, registering all the data, knowing exactly what we are doing and when. Technology companies are always coming up with all kinds of more advanced technical solutions. This is the world we already live in.
On the whole, people in democracies are living better than ever before – we are living longer and we are better fed, better cared for and better looked after, although some of us eat too much and do not take good care of ourselves and a lot of people take drugs. The future is already here and it is high time that the Council of Europe considered the issues. Of course we should express our concerns but we should also say that we are hopeful about the future. The rest of the world will continue to advance, so let us not hold ourselves back. Our organisation might represent 850 million people, but globally the population is 7 billion or more. Twenty or so years ago, there were no mobile phones in Africa, but these days people there are connected to the rest of the world and GDP is going up. The world is becoming increasingly interconnected. Technology has always made it possible for us to improve our lives and societies, and science cannot put the brakes on. It is up to us to ensure that we manage that process.
A couple of years ago, the European Union produced a directive – a bit late in the day, in my view – on data protection in the European Union. It is a robust directive that puts in place a number of standards and rules, but essentially it says that it is up to States first and foremost to shape and pass their own laws and that, if they fail to do so, the European Union will take responsibility. In other words, legislation is coming into being in the European Union.
We need to raise awareness of the issue among young people. They need to learn to code and to learn how the world works. They also need to learn to be mistrustful of the world. However, being discerning and not trusting everything they see does not mean that they should be frightened of what lies ahead. They should look back to the State, the economy, the commercial powers and the religious powers of the clergy in a previous age. I hope that those have been consigned to history and that we are moving into a different era, but we still have to contend with the power of the State, the economy and business. Alongside those, you have non-governmental organisations, organised civil society, all the intermediate bodies and individual citizens seeking to intervene. The report makes that point.
I am delighted that Mr Le Déaut has put his finger on the problem. He said that the world has changed, these technologies exist and when they disturb us we are frightened of them. Let us shift our way of thinking. We must try to manage the situation in a humanist Europe.
The PRESIDENT* – Thank you.
That concludes the list of speakers.
Mr Le Déaut, you have six minutes remaining.
Mr LE DÉAUT (France)* – This has been a high-quality debate. I reiterate that, from a political point of view, we have not sufficiently realised the importance of this issue. I congratulate our colleagues in the Council of Europe on broaching this subject, but I regret that, as it is being debated at the end of the week, it is not considered one of the most important for our Assembly. It is the same story in all parliaments. Science and technology is taking more of a role in politics, but we are still a bit wary of dealing with these issues and we see them as subsidiary. However, we need to put them at the forefront.
Mr Cilevičs has had a lot of legal input into the report. The subjects that we are dealing with today will be the political issues of tomorrow. A colleague mentioned the science marches last Saturday throughout the world. Those marches had one main aim: to highlight the fact that for some people beliefs or opinions are just as valid as scientific fact. They question Darwinism and the evolution of the species. They put Creationism ahead of that. They even question the big bang. Others question global warming and climate change. Whatever your opinions may be, you have to take into account scientific facts, on condition that the scientific and technological world is constantly in a dialogue with the rest of society.
This has been a rich debate. Various points have been raised, including that everything is based on megadata and the calculating power of mega computers. That power will continue to increase. It will be possible to get answers to all questions even more rapidly than is the case now. Even questions that you do not want to be asked will be answered.
Ms Fataliyeva said that there is nothing private left in our lives. That is indeed what is happening today. The Council of Europe must help us to consider these matters, but it must also ensure that there is a spread of scientific and technological thinking and that there is an exchange with society on the issue. Without that, there will be less and less understanding, and opinions, beliefs and prejudices may hold sway over knowledge or scientific fact.
We must mull over the question of the revolution in the destiny of humanity. That is very important. Several of the spokespersons for the political groups said that man must control the machine and the machine must serve the human being. Mr Comte talked about legislation being rather slow and not catching up and he said that we must not over-legislate. I think he is right. At the same time, we must not abdicate responsibility but provide a framework for technological advance and the consequences it may have.
There is no privacy any more, Mr Comte said. If there is no privacy left, we must promote, as the report seeks to do, the right to anonymity and to be left alone. As was pointed out, we must ensure that we get enough human contact and that that should come before contact with robots. Mr Valen said that he would like to see a platform for this. It already exists: we have a European parliamentary network, in which Norway is involved, to assess scientific and technological choices. It is about getting our colleagues to work with these technology assessment bodies, which exist in every parliament.
I thank colleagues for the high quality of this debate, though we have not dealt with everything. As Mr Schennach said, we did not look at the connection between artificial intelligence and labour. Mr Cilevičs mentioned that we have not looked at military applications. However, this is at least the beginning of a great deal of work. It opens the door. I am sure that the Council of Europe will continue to work in this area.
The PRESIDENT* – Thank you.
I call Mr Ariev, the chair of the committee.
(Mr Rouquet, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Ms Gambaro.)
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – I thank our rapporteur, Mr Le Déaut, our former general rapporteur on science and technology impact assessment, who has produced this timely report. The agenda for our Assembly debates is always a tricky issue. It is a pity that the debate could not take place at a time when more members of the Assembly could take part. The issue of debates on Fridays is a feature in many national parliaments. It is not a surprise.
National parliaments should consider this issue much more. I hope that the work we have done will have that effect. The impact that artificial intelligence is already having on our lives is significant. Robots are not only being used in areas such as medicine, agriculture and manufacturing; they are also capable of driving cars and piloting drones. Smart devices are changing the nature of the Internet, which is assuming the features of gigantic robotic systems, as it has acquired the ability to learn by processing a lot of data.
So far most of the bioethical debate and related human rights treaties have focused on invasive biomedical technologies that work inside our bodies. The Council of Europe’s Oviedo Convention sets out a number of common guiding principles to preserve human dignity in the application of biomedical innovations. Meanwhile, a broad range of emerging ICT-based technologies that work outside the body – but still impact the bodily, mental and social performance of human beings – has developed, raising many new ethical, social and human rights issues.
Technologies are created by humans, and our responsibility is to develop those technologies in accordance with the principles of human rights and to defend human dignity, personal data and other matters that concern our Assembly and our daily lives.
The PRESIDENT* – The debate is now closed.
The Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media has presented a draft recommendation to which four amendments have been tabled.
I understand that the chairperson of the committee wishes to propose to the Assembly that all four amendments, which were unanimously approved by the committee, be declared as agreed by the Assembly. Is that so?
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine)* – Yes.
The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone object? That is not the case.
As there are no objections, I declare that the four amendments to the draft recommendation have been agreed.
We will now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft recommendation contained in Document 14288, as amended. The majority required is two thirds of the votes cast.
The vote is open.
The draft recommendation in Document 14288, as amended, is adopted, with 43 votes for, 0 against and 0 abstentions.
I congratulate the rapporteur and the committee on that excellent job of work. I very much regret the fact that not everyone was present to listen to everything that was said this morning.
2. Draft Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property
The PRESIDENT* – The next item of business is the debate on the report “Draft Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property”, Documents 14290 and 14300, presented by Mr Stefan Schennach on behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.
I call Mr Schennach to present the report. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.
Mr SCHENNACH (Austria)* – Please do not be too strict, Mr President, because I need two minutes to touch on an issue that is personal to me. What took place last night in Macedonia was shameful. A fight took place in the parliament, with people being punched and hit, including women who were attacked and dragged by the hair – all reflecting the ethnic conflict in the country. It is shameful.
Yesterday in the Monitoring Committee, we said that we have to be strict about whether to end post-monitoring in Macedonia. It is totally unacceptable to contemplate that after the fights in the parliament. Thank you for listening to me about this, because I was on the ad hoc committee for Macedonia five times, and head of it, so you will understand that this issue touches me personally.
I move on now to the Committee of Ministers’ proposal for this new convention. In the past couple of months I have had the honour of dealing with prosecutors, judges and those in charge of the protection of cultural property in the Council of Europe. We had a conference in Lucca and will have another in Strasbourg to make it clear how urgent is the matter of the trafficking, pillaging and plundering of artefacts that belong to and represent our history.
Moreover, such activities have provided financing for terrorist groups which have been generating profits from cultural property. That is why it is important to have a convention. It would augment the UNESCO convention for the protection of cultural heritage – our heritage – and the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism. This new convention is absolutely necessary to protect cultural goods in each member country and to bring everything into a criminal law framework, so that it is understood that trafficking such goods is a crime. It will follow on from the UNESCO convention for the protection of cultural property of 1970 – but it is now 2017 and, unfortunately, we must boost what is there, because it has not been as effective as necessary against the trafficking of artefacts.
I would like to express my respect for the work of the special Carabinieri brigade of 300 men and women in Italy. They have been extremely effective. Members should see the work that they have done – there is an exhibition about it in the Uffizi in Florence, displaying exhibits about the works of incredible value that they have saved from trafficking. With the draft convention, we are doing moving in the same direction by protecting cultural goods. It is extremely important that we act on both political and diplomatic fronts.
It is absolutely clear to all that Palmyra has been destroyed. The Carabinieri have already begun their work on that issue and found a number of trafficked statues and artefacts from Palmyra on their way to the United States via Switzerland, so we can see that the work they have done and are doing is extremely important.
We ought to praise four countries for their extremely good work on the drafting of the convention and their work against the trafficking of goods – Greece, Italy, Spain and the Republic of Cyprus. They are the driving force behind the convention, and things are moving quickly, as they must, because the trafficking of these goods is financing terrorism. That is why it is extremely important that members speak to their governments and parliaments. We need the signatures of ministers in order to move forward on the convention, and it is imperative that we ratify it as soon as possible and with the amendments that we suggest in the report.
I call on the Committee of Ministers to convey the message about the convention beyond the Council of Europe, by inviting third countries to participate so that we can deal with this disgusting crime of the trafficking of our heritage and tradition and bring it to an end altogether. For valuable artefacts of our history to fall into private hands is despicable, and we must move forward on preventing that through the convention. Of course, the financing of terrorism is one of the primary issues that we have to take into consideration.
I have never before had the opportunity to be so close to the drafting of a convention. The changes to the convention suggested in paragraph 10 of the report need to go to the Committee of Ministers, and we have not decided upon exact wording, but the sensitive, careful and meticulous work of drafting a convention has been a new and valuable experience for me.
In the context of the convention, we are talking not about the historical movement of cultural goods but about what is taking place today – the black-market trafficking of cultural goods and antiquities. It is imperative that members communicate with their governments to emphasise the importance of the convention, including for the fight against terrorism, which this trafficking finances.
The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Schennach, not only for your excellent report and the passion with which you made your statement, but for the information that you gave us and the concerns that you expressed about Macedonia, which we share.
You have four minutes remaining to reply to speakers in the debate.
The PRESIDENT – The general discussion is now open. We will start with the groups’ spokespersons.
Mr van de VEN (Netherlands, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – On behalf of ALDE, I happily scrutinised the draft convention prepared under the responsibility of the Committee of Ministers, which was sent to the Parliamentary Assembly by letter dated 19 April. I also studied the subsequent report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, dated 26 April, prepared by its rapporteur Mr Schennach. ALDE welcomes both the draft convention and the report, and congratulates everyone who contributed to the convention and Mr Schennach on his report.
In ALDE’s view, the two documents are intertwined. Mr Schennach’s report supplements the draft convention on a number of critical issues. The purpose of the draft convention is essentially to treat as criminal acts the intentional destruction of, damage to and trafficking in cultural property for profit. Cultural property is critical if we are to retain our cultural heritage and the riches of humanity. When it is on public display for all, it offers an opportunity to enrich everybody’s life. I strongly believe that without a history no one has a future.
The draft convention apparently supersedes the 1985 Delphi Convention, the aim of which was also to combat illicit trafficking in cultural property through criminal law and to promote co-operation between states. Regrettably, however, the Delphi Convention never entered into force. After 32 years, the new draft convention is due, as is made clear to the world by the appalling and shocking examples of the destruction of Palmyra, the earlier destruction of archaeological sites in Iraq, and other instances. Unscrupulous thieves, traffickers, traders, criminal receivers, abettors and the like, be they individuals or legal entities, should be called to justice based on our values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
ALDE thus endorses the draft convention, but we also strongly support the proposed changes to it set out in Mr Schennach’s report. The recommendations in the report that we will be voting on today are essential to strengthen the impact of the draft convention. Article 5.2 should be deleted, because it would offer States the possibility to reserve the right to provide for non-criminal sanctions instead of criminal sanctions. ALDE agrees that an illegal activity in connection with cultural property, when committed intentionally and with the purpose of obtaining an illicit profit, should by definition constitute a criminal offence.
Article 15.c, on aggravating circumstances, should be amended to specifically mention terrorist groups as possible offenders, and ALDE also supports the proposal to amend Article 22.5 so that a register of offences is maintained, including details of persons convicted of offences related to cultural property and the sentences imposed on them. We also support opening the convention up to signature by any other State, upon invitation by the Committee of Ministers.
ALDE endorses the draft convention and supports the adoption of the recommendations in the report produced by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media.
Mr KOX (Netherlands, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – If we take a broad view, Parliaments are not only political buildings where we do our work but part of the cultural property of Europe. In this sense, I fully second what our rapporteur, Stefan Schennach, said about the horrifying attack on the Macedonian Parliament.
On behalf of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, I am preparing a resolution and report on the effectiveness of Council of Europe intergovernmental co-operation. A major part of such co-operation is our conventions and my inquiry shows, I hope, that many of them have proved effective. Of course, we have our European Convention on Human Rights, but in total there are more than 200 conventions, many of which have proven effective. However, a convention is no guarantee of success, as this debate and Stefan’s report have shown. As my colleague Mart van de Ven said, we had a good convention in 1985 that was ready for signature and ratification; nevertheless, it failed. Only a few countries signed and none of us has ratified it. That shows that a convention is a possibility but not a guarantee for success.
It is therefore very important that this time we achieve more than just words and a convention that has no function. As the rapporteur said, recent crimes involving cultural property have proven that our member States, along with other States, need an instrument to protect our cultural property better. Otherwise, we will lose elements of our culture and history that we must not allow ourselves to lose.
I therefore hope that this new convention, which is based on the old convention and is an improvement in some respects, but is elsewhere somewhat watered down, as the rapporteur said, will be signed and ratified without the delay that we saw in 1985. I hope that our governments realise how bad it was that we were unable to put our money where our mouth is and sign and ratify a convention decided on by the Committee of Ministers.
The Group of the Unified European Left endorses this convention and the amendments proposed by the rapporteur because watering it down might not be the best way to get it adopted. Making it clear and strict could do more to convince our national Parliaments that it is worth having. Watering it down makes it less effective, and we should not do it.
My group therefore supports the Committee of Ministers in its attempt to get the new convention signed and ratified by member States. We urge the Committee of Ministers to take note of the rapporteur’s amendments, which this Assembly will hopefully adopt. Not listening to this Assembly is perhaps not wise in this case because we represent, more or less, the feelings in our national Parliaments.
Mr CRUCHTEN (Luxembourg, Spokesperson for the Socialist Group)* – This has been a very long session, and I will be brief.
I thank Mr Schennach for his excellent and important report. There is not really much more to add. The Socialist Group of the Council of Europe will of course support the report. Protection of cultural property has to be enshrined in all national legislation. Any sort of trafficking of cultural booty must be criminalised and penalised, and the convention should be ratified as soon as possible, hopefully this year.
Ms MAURY PASQUIER (Switzerland)* – The European Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property – the Delphi Convention, as it is known – which was opened for signature by member States of the Council of Europe in 1985, has never, I am sorry to say, entered into force, for lack of ratifications. For some years now, the issue of protecting cultural heritage and clamping down on illicit trafficking has been re-emerging on the international scene, as our rapporteur rightly pointed out. That is why fresh, rapid and targeted action by States is urgently required. The Council of Europe’s relevant committee has proposed the wholesale overhaul of the 1985 convention in order to simplify and rationalise it, to harmonise the relevant principles of criminal law, to beef up its effectiveness, and to enable its ratification by the largest possible number of member States and its subsequent entry into international force.
Any future convention will of course constitute an important instrument in inter-state co-operation. In recent years, as the rapporteur reminded us, and as the committee dealing with co-operation on criminal matters makes clear, we are convinced that these artefacts are an integral part of people’s culture. They constitute part of their culture and heritage so in the current context, it is vital that we have such a new Council of Europe instrument, which will provide for penal sanctions in this field.
When the federal law on the international transfer of cultural goods entered into force in June 2005, the authorities were able to implement the 1970 UNESCO convention concerning measures to be taken to prohibit and prevent the importing and exporting of illicit cultural goods. We therefore made such activities a criminal offence, which complemented the Swiss penal code. Stolen goods were thereby prohibited, as were goods taken from their owners against their will, and goods whose provenance was through pillaging or illegal archaeological digging. In this way, Switzerland has played an active role in drawing up the draft text of the four sessions of the Committee on Offences relating to Cultural Property. As it always does, as soon as possible it will look at its position on any new convention.
Such a convention will enable our country to reinforce the existing criminal sanctions and to reiterate its commitment to decisive action to safeguard our cultural heritage.
Mr SCHNEIDER (France)* – On 24 March, Resolution 2347, on the protection of universal heritage, was adopted unanimously at the United Nations. On the initiative of France and Italy, the text affirms strongly that the destruction of cultural artefacts is a war crime. It has become a war tactic to harm societies in the long term, as part of a strategy of cultural cleansing.
Deliberate destruction, but also the ransacking, looting and theft by the Islamic State organisation in Iraq and Syria, are attacks on human rights – on the very memory of humanity. We know that those thefts feed the trafficking of cultural artefacts and blood antiquities, which finances terrorism. But do not be fooled: this trafficking is possible only because smugglers manage to remove Iraq and Syria’s archaeological wealth. Trafficking exists only because there are purchasers out there who are prepared to pay to acquire an exceptional archaeological piece. They forget that it is not just about a statue; it is about the history of the descendants of Mesopotamia, which ISIS wants to destroy. As an Alsatian, I know how important it is to hand down culture and memory. It is the best bulwark against totalitarianism. France, with its leading role in Middle Eastern archaeology, was a pioneer in this subject, which I celebrate.
For all those reasons, the draft convention is fundamental, in times of war and peace. Many people are trying to sell, on a more or less legal market, artefacts that have been excavated without authorisation or stolen from archaeological digs, even from UNESCO-protected sites such as Palmyra. The convention therefore targets all those linked to the theft of cultural artefacts: traffickers, buyers, smugglers and importers. It should be criminalised at every stage, which would at least create some deterrent on the demand side. Another method would be to better co-ordinate communication on stolen artefacts. The International Council of Museums’ “100 missing objects” programme is a good example, because only with well-trained and well-informed experts will we be able to track down these missing artefacts.
The convention will be open to non-member States of the Council of Europe, which is very important for its success. I am thinking, in particular, of our partners of democracy, who are affected and sometimes directly threatened. I am sure that they will join us in combatting these assassins of culture. I am also thinking of Christians in the Middle East, whose courage reminds us that we have a responsibility to preserve the region’s pre-Islamic memory and the memory of the early Christians. For all those reasons, I commend the report to the Assembly and congratulate the rapporteur.
The PRESIDENT* – I cannot see Mr Farmanyan in the Chamber, so the next speaker is Ms Kyriakides.
Ms KYRIAKIDES (Cyprus) – I would like to thank our colleague Mr Schennach for this excellent report. I have listened with great care to what has been said about the convention. We tried to do this before, but it never entered into force. Given the harsh realities of today’s world, I think that the time is now right to try again. The convention comes at an important time, given the attempts we have seen to destroy people’s cultural heritage, identity and often their resilience.
The convention is not merely a legally binding text that provides a legal instrument for State parties to combat traffickers and illicit buyers of cultural artefacts; it also recognises that our cultural heritage is universal and unites us – we speak so often about what divides us, so it is time we spoke about what unites us. As the opinion states, the convention will enhance the law enforcement efforts of State parties and eliminate gaps and grey areas that traffickers exploit to avoid criminal liability. We need to target those activities where people’s cultural goods are threatened and have been looted, as has been the case in Cyprus.
The need to protect cultural heritage has been highlighted as a priority under Cyprus’s chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. As a Cypriot, I am very proud of that. I would like to thank all those who were involved in this process for their very valuable work. Given the positive opinion of this Assembly, I hope that next month, as early as the ministerial session in Nicosia, I will have the privilege of witnessing the opening for signature and ratification of this important convention. We can proceed rapidly with this convention, because it is for the protection of our cultural heritage worldwide. More than that, it is for the protection of cultural pluralism and identity. It will help us to resist further destruction and to work towards vibrant, open and more tolerant societies.
The PRESIDENT* – That concludes the list of speakers. I call the rapporteur, Mr Schennach, to reply to the debate. You have four minutes.
Mr SCHENNACH (Austria)* – I thank all members who have participated in this the last debate of our part-session. Mr Schneider and a number of other members talked about cultural goods in times of war, in areas of conflict and rebellion, and in frozen conflicts. We also heard about the lesson that we have to draw from the work done by the Italian Carabinieri. This type of pillaging is the result not only of wars, but of natural disasters. In Italy, the Carabinieri have saved works of art from baroque churches from that type of trafficking and smuggling. Azerbaijan and Armenia have both exhaustively registered cultural goods that have been affected by such activities. It is important for us to look at this list very carefully. I hope that more of you will be able to get to know the work that the Carabinieri have been doing and how they do it. Once again, I thank members for that important discussion.
A woman who experienced five years of war in Bosnia, Ms Ismeta Dervoz, has done a lot of work in this field, within the framework of the Council of Europe. She is a singer from Sarajevo and a major figure there. She is a former colleague of ours – indeed, she was one of our Vice-Presidents. I also want to thank the Secretariat for their help in drafting the report.
We hope that the museums in Baghdad, Alexandria and Cairo will one day be as magnificent as they once were. Let us not forget how horrific these thefts are. For example, among the works that have disappeared from one of those museums was the first inscriptions of algebra. More than 50% of works from one museum in Iraq have disappeared altogether. That is why I would like to invite the Foreign Affairs Ministers finally to sign and ratify the convention so that we can use it as a new weapon in the fight against this scourge.
Finally, Mr President, I thank you for giving me additional time in my introduction to mention the events in Macedonia. We need to take action with regard to Macedonia. I repeat that Macedonia must once again be put under monitoring. In the Parliamentary Assembly we are going to have to work concertedly on this matter. People were in a real punch-up – a horrific fight – in the Macedonian Parliament, and that is an indication of the situation that prevails there.
The PRESIDENT* – Thank you, Mr Schennach. It goes without saying that we share your concerns and support you in your efforts. Does the chair of the committee wish to take the floor?
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – The trafficking of stolen artefacts and antiquities not only robs people of their unique cultural heritage and identity but can facilitate the financing of organised crime and terrorist groups. Indeed, the illicit trade in cultural goods has become a highly profitable enterprise. Precious artefacts, antiquities and art are excavated, looted and stolen in order to be sold to private collectors. In many countries the legal framework does not effectively oppose that phenomenon. It is regretful that in some cases the weight of vested interests is taken into greater consideration than the collective interest and protection of our heritage.
Our rapporteur, Mr Schennach, knows from experience the difficulties that countries deprived of their heritage face. I commend his work and commitment and take this opportunity to thank him again for the role that he played in the restitution of a unique collection of handwritten notes by Johann Sebastian Bach to Germany from Ukraine a few years ago. That collection was moved out of Germany as a trophy after the Second World War.
The new convention is timely and relevant. It aims to ensure that there are no obvious gaps for criminals to exploit the anti-trafficking system and that there is a comprehensive and coherent set of rules and regulations to provide a solid basis for law enforcement. The Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media welcomes this development, but proposed a few amendments to strengthen the provisions in the draft convention in seeking to guarantee that the instrument delivers on its promise. We urge the Committee of Ministers to provide sufficient resources for the follow-up mechanism in order to make the legal instrument’s implementation efficient and dynamic. On behalf of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, I invite you to give your full support to these proposals.
The PRESIDENT* – Thank you. The debate is closed. The Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media has presented a draft opinion.
I have received an oral amendment from Mr Nicoletti, which reads as follows: “In the draft opinion, in paragraph 10.4, after the words ‘to engage relevant expertise’, to add the words ‘such as an observatory’.
I remind the Assembly of Rule 33.7.a which enables the President to accept an oral amendment or sub-amendment on the grounds of promoting clarity, accuracy or conciliation and if there is not opposition from 10 or more members to it being debated.
In my opinion the oral amendment meets the criteria of Rule 33.7.a. Is there any opposition to the amendment being debated? That is not the case.
I call Mr Nicoletti to support the oral amendment.
Mr NICOLETTI (Italy) – This is a very short oral amendment to clarify and strengthen the idea of engaging relevant expertise for the implementation of the convention. The idea is to have a stronger institution to observe the situation and to implement the convention.
The PRESIDENT* – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral amendment? That is not the case.
What is the committee’s view?
Mr ARIEV (Ukraine) – The committee has no position.
The PRESIDENT* – What is the opinion of the rapporteur?
Mr SCHENNACH (Austria) – I am in favour. Michele Nicoletti is sending me home in flames, but as a rapporteur from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe I am in favour of the oral amendment. I hope Mr Nicoletti knows that he has introduced a hot point, but I am in favour of it because it makes the measure stronger.
The PRESIDENT* – The vote is open.
The oral amendment is adopted.
We now proceed to vote on the whole of the draft opinion contained in Document 14300, as amended. A two-thirds majority is required. The vote is open.
The draft opinion in Document 14300, as amended, is adopted, with 43 votes for, 0 against and 0 abstentions.
Congratulations to the rapporteur and the committee.
3. Progress report of the Bureau and of the Standing Committee (continued)
The PRESIDENT* – We turn now to continue consideration of the Progress report of the Bureau and of the Standing Committee. The Bureau has proposed several references to committees. They are in the Progress report, Document 14289 Addendum 4. Are there any objections to these references?
There are no objections, so the references are approved.
4. Decision from the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly
The PRESIDENT* – Colleagues, I wish to communicate to you a decision by the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly, expressing its lack of confidence in President Pedro Agramunt.
The Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, meeting today in Strasbourg, expresses a lack of confidence in Pedro Agramunt in his capacity as the President of the Assembly, and decides that Mr Pedro Agramunt shall not carry out any official visit, participate in any meetings, or make any public statements on behalf of the Assembly in his role as its President. The President declined to attend the meeting of the Bureau today and has not sent a letter of resignation. The Bureau therefore felt that it was important to take the requisite steps, because under the rules the President cannot be forced to stand down; that was declared by Sir Roger Gale, the senior member of the Bureau who chaired its meeting this morning. The rules, standards and principles of the Bureau and the Parliamentary Assembly are far more important than any individual, and the integrity of the Assembly must be guaranteed.
5. Voting champions
The PRESIDENT* – I am delighted to give the awards for the most assiduous attendees of our sittings. Ms Lise Christoffersen from Norway and Ms Liliane Maury Pasquier from Switzerland are our voting champions for this part-session. I invite them to come to the top table, so that I can give them a small gift.
6. Closure of the part-session
The PRESIDENT* – We have come to the end of our business. I thank all of you for your hard work, particularly those of you who are still here, and all the committee rapporteurs, who have done a great deal of work this week. I also thank all the Vice-Presidents who have contributed to the smooth running of the part-session: Mr Corlăţean, Ms Djurović, Sir Roger Gale, Ms Gambaro, Mr Gutiérrez, Mr Jordana, Mr Küçükcan, Ms Oomen-Ruijten and Ms Schou. My thanks to all the staff and the interpreters, who do such good work.
I remind colleagues that the third part of the 2017 session will be held from 26 to 30 June. I thank the presidency for its assistance, and the Secretary General in particular.
I declare the second part of the 2017 session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe closed.
(The sitting was closed at 12 noon.)
1. Technological convergence, artificial intelligence and human rights
Presentation by Mr Le Déaut of the report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, Document 14288.
Presentation by Mr Cilevičs of the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Document 14303.
Speakers: Ms Fataliyeva, Mr Comte, Mr Valen, Mr Roca, Mr Schennach, Mr Cepeda, Mr Grin, Mr Schneider, Mr Reiss, Ms Le Dain, Mr Ariev.
Answers given by the rapporteur and the Chairperson of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media
Draft recommendation in Document 14288, as amended, adopted.
2. Draft Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property
Presentation by Mr Schennach of the reports of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, Documents 14300 and 14290.
Speakers: Mr van de Ven, Mr Kox, Cruchten, Ms Maury Pasquier, Mr Schneider, Ms Kyriakides.
Answers given by the rapporteur and the Chairperson of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media
Draft opinion in Document 14300, as amended, adopted.
3. Progress report of the Bureau and of the Standing Committee (continued)
4. Decision of the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly
5. Voting champions
6. Closure of the part-session
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 à l’article 12.2 du Règlement.Le nom des personnes remplacées suit celui des Membres remplaçant, entre parenthèses.
ANDERSON, Donald [Lord]
ARENT, Iwona [Ms]
ARIEV, Volodymyr [Mr]
AST, Marek [Mr] (TRUSKOLASKI, Krzysztof [Mr])
BAYKAL, Deniz [Mr]
BEREZA, Boryslav [Mr]
BERNACKI, Włodzimierz [Mr]
BRASSEUR, Anne [Mme]
BRUIJN-WEZEMAN, Reina de [Ms] (MILTENBURG, Anouchka van [Ms])
BRUYN, Piet De [Mr]
BUTKEVIČIUS, Algirdas [Mr]
CEPEDA, José [Mr]
CHRISTOFFERSEN, Lise [Ms]
CILEVIČS, Boriss [Mr] (LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Inese [Ms])
COMTE, Raphaël [M.] (FIALA, Doris [Mme])
CRUCHTEN, Yves [M.]
DAEMS, Hendrik [Mr] (DUMERY, Daphné [Ms])
EBERLE-STRUB, Susanne [Ms]
ESTRELA, Edite [Mme] (ROSETA, Helena [Mme])
FARMANYAN, Samvel [Mr]
FATALIYEVA, Sevinj [Ms] (HAJIYEV, Sabir [Mr])
FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.]
GAFAROVA, Sahiba [Ms]
GAMBARO, Adele [Ms]
GERMANN, Hannes [Mr] (HEER, Alfred [Mr])
GHILETCHI, Valeriu [Mr]
GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]
GONÇALVES, Carlos Alberto [M.]
GORROTXATEGUI, Miren Edurne [Mme] (BALLESTER, Ángela [Ms])
GRIN, Jean-Pierre [M.] (MÜLLER, Thomas [Mr])
GUTIÉRREZ, Antonio [Mr]
HAGEBAKKEN, Tore [Mr] (SCHOU, Ingjerd [Ms])
HOLÍK, Pavel [Mr] (MARKOVÁ, Soňa [Ms])
HUSEYNOV, Rafael [Mr]
JANIK, Grzegorz [Mr] (TARCZYŃSKI, Dominik [Mr])
JENIŠTA, Luděk [Mr]
KOX, Tiny [Mr]
KYRIAKIDES, Stella [Ms]
LE DAIN, Anne-Yvonne [Mme] (ALLAIN, Brigitte [Mme])
LE DÉAUT, Jean-Yves [M.]
LEITE RAMOS, Luís [M.]
LEŚNIAK, Józef [M.] (POMASKA, Agnieszka [Ms])
LOGVYNSKYI, Georgii [Mr]
MAMMADOV, Muslum [M.]
MARTINS, Alberto [M.]
MASIULIS, Kęstutis [Mr] (ŠAKALIENĖ, Dovilė [Ms])
MAURY PASQUIER, Liliane [Mme]
MOŻDŹANOWSKA, Andżelika [Ms] (HALICKI, Andrzej [Mr])
NENUTIL, Miroslav [Mr]
NICOLETTI, Michele [Mr]
OHLSSON, Carina [Ms]
OVERBEEK, Henk [Mr] (MAIJ, Marit [Ms])
PALLARÉS, Judith [Ms]
POCIEJ, Aleksander [M.] (KLICH, Bogdan [Mr])
POZZO DI BORGO, Yves [M.] (GROSDIDIER, François [M.])
REISS, Frédéric [M.] (ZIMMERMANN, Marie-Jo [Mme])
ROCA, Jordi [Mr] (BARREIRO, José Manuel [Mr])
ROUQUET, René [M.]
RUSTAMYAN, Armen [M.] (NAGHDALYAN, Hermine [Ms])
SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]
SCHNEIDER, André [M.] (ROCHEBLOINE, François [M.])
SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Elisabeth [Mme] (LOMBARDI, Filippo [M.])
SEYIDOV, Samad [Mr]
SIEBERT, Bernd [Mr]
SILVA, Adão [M.]
SPADONI, Maria Edera [Ms] (CATALFO, Nunzia [Ms])
THIÉRY, Damien [M.]
VÁHALOVÁ, Dana [Ms]
VALEN, Snorre Serigstad [Mr]
VAREIKIS, Egidijus [Mr]
VEN, Mart van de [Mr]
VOVK, Viktor [Mr] (LIASHKO, Oleh [Mr])
WENAWESER, Christoph [Mr]
WIECHEL, Markus [Mr] (NISSINEN, Johan [Mr])
WURM, Gisela [Ms]
XUCLÀ, Jordi [Mr] (BILDARRATZ, Jokin [Mr])
YEMETS, Leonid [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 à voter
BÜCHEL, Roland Rino [Mr]
OSUCH, Jacek [Mr]
Observers / Observateurs
DOWNE, Percy [Mr]
MALTAIS, Ghislain [M.]
O’CONNELL, Jennifer [Ms]
OLIVER, John [Mr]
TILSON, David [Mr]
Partners for democracy / Partenaires pour la démocratie
Representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community (In accordance to Resolution 1376 (2004) of
the Parliamentary Assembly)/ Représentants de la communauté chypriote turque
(Conformément à la Résolution 1376 (2004) de l’Assemblée parlementaire)