Winter Session: migration crisis in Europe; international terrorism

Strasbourg, 25-29 January 2016

Europe's migration and refugee crisis and international terrorism will take centre-stage at the Winter Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The migration crisis will be addressed with reports on "The Mediterranean Sea: a front door to irregular migration" and on "Organised crime and migrants".

With regard to international terrorism, reports on "Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq" and "Combating international terrorism while protecting Council of Europe standards and values" will be the focus of discussions. Harlem Désir, French Minister of State for European Affairs, will take part in the joint debate.

The parliamentarians will also discuss "The Protection of Women and the honest reporting of unpalatable truths".

Among the other items on the agenda are reports on "Escalation of violence in Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan" and on "Inhabitants of frontier regions of Azerbaijan are deliberately deprived of water". The situation in Kosovo* and the role of the Council of Europe and a report on strengthening the protection and role of human rights defenders in Council of Europe member States will be debated as well.

Parliamentarians will also be called upon to decide whether to grant the request for partner for democracy status with the Parliamentary Assembly submitted by the Parliament of Jordan.

Among the personalities who will be addressing the Assembly are the President of Bulgaria Rossen Plevneliev and the Captains Regent of San Marino Lorella Stefanelli and Nicola Renzi.

Daniel Mitov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, will address the Assembly in his capacity as Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland will make his annual statement.

* All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation's Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.