President Macron addresses PACE at its Autumn session

Strasbourg, 30 September-4 October 2019

Adopting its final agenda at the opening of the 2019 Autumn Session, the Assembly decided to hold an urgent debate on the theme "Saving persons in the Mediterranean Sea: the need for an urgent answer" and a current affairs debate on "Democratic rights violations and suppression of peaceful protests in the Russian Federation against the background of elections to the Moscow City Council". The Assembly held its session in Strasbourg from 30 September to 4 October 2019.

The President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, addressed PACE and answered questions from parliamentarians on Tuesday 1 October.

French Secretary of State for European Affairs Amélie de Montchalin presented the communication from the Committee of Ministers and Marija Pejcinovic Buric, newly elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe, addressed the Assembly.

The winner of the 2019 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – chosen from a shortlist of three nominees – was announced on Monday 30 September. The Prize was awarded at a special ceremony in the plenary.

During the session, the Assembly focused on the protection of whistleblowers, common standards for ombudsman institutions, and the protection of victims of terrorism, as well as the preservation of Jewish cultural heritage. The Assembly also discussed reports on climate refugees and labour migration in Eastern Europe, and on obstetrical and gynaecological violence.

Reports on the functioning of democratic institutions in the Republic of Moldova, and on post-monitoring dialogue with Northern Macedonia, as well as a report on the contribution of the Council of Europe Development Bank to a more inclusive society, with an intervention by its Governor, also featured on the agenda.