Winter session: the Magnitsky case, the internet and politics, situation in Ukraine

Strasbourg, 15.01.2014 – The Magnitsky case, the impact of the internet on politics, and the integration of migrants in Europe will be among topics debated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) during its Winter Session in Strasbourg from 27 to 31 January 2014. There has also been a request for an urgent debate on the functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and European Parliament President Martin Schulz will address the Assembly. PACE will also elect its next President for a one-year term of office, renewable once.

Other topics on the agenda include combating climate change, the first ever evaluation of the Assembly’s “partnership for democracy” with the Palestinian National Council, and the accountability of international organisations for human rights violations.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland will address the Assembly, and Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz will present the traditional Communication from the Committee of Ministers, as well as answering parliamentarians’ questions.

On 28 January, PACE’s Social Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the circumcision of young boys, following the adoption in October 2013 of the Assembly’s resolution on children’s right to physical integrity (see full programme).

***

The final agenda is decided by the Assembly on the opening day of the session.

Draft agenda

Monday 27 January

Election of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Assembly
• Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
• Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly presented by Sebastian Kurz, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers
• Free debate

Tuesday 28 January

Election of a Judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Denmark
Refusing impunity for the killers of Sergei Magnitsky
• Communication from the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, presented by Thorbjørn Jagland
• Joint debate
oA strategy to prevent racism and intolerance in Europe, and statement by Laura Boldrini, President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy
o Tackling racism in the police
Evaluation of the partnership for democracy in respect of the Palestinian National Council

Wednesday 29 January

Internet and politics: the impact of new information and communication technology on
democracy

• Address by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
Syrian refugees: how to organise and support international assistance? and statement by Nils Muiznieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
• Joint debate
o Migrants: ensuring they are a benefit for European host societies
o Integration tests: helping or hindering integration?

Thursday 30 January

• Possible urgent or current affairs debate
• Address by Werner Faymann, Federal Chancellor of Austria
Stepping up action against global inequalities: Europe’s contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) process
• Joint debate
oClimate change: a framework for a global agreement in 2015
o Energy diversification as a fundamental contribution to sustainable development

Friday 31 January

Revision of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television
Accountability of international organisations for human rights violations

***
Practical information

Live web stream: The session is streamed live on PACE’s website.

Press conferences: PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon will give a press conference on Monday 27 January at 10.30 a.m. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot. They are streamed live over the web.

For TV planning units: videos in broadcast quality summing up PACE highlights can be downloaded for free no later than two hours after the event. Further information from the Council of Europe Audiovisual Service, tel. +33 3 88 41 25 64 (prior to the session) or +33 3 88 41 35 00 (during the session).

For accreditation: Directorate of Communication, accreditation@coe.int.

Further details: see the Assembly's website.

Contact: PACE Communication Division, tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93; pace.com@coe.int.