First ever World Parliament Day: statement by PACE President

“On the eve of World Parliament Day, which we are celebrating for the first time on 30 June 2018, the Inter-Parliamentary Union takes stock of the varying state of parliaments around the world. While parliaments and democracy are generally solid, it’s clear that there is a growing polarisation of political debate, a need to improve the balance between the majority and the opposition, a stagnation of women’s participation in political life and a loss of confidence among our fellow citizens in their institutions.

Confronting enormous challenges, such as the rise of extremism, tensions over migration, and a roll-back of basic freedoms, our Europe has at its disposal a Parliamentary Assembly which has unique mechanisms for enabling exchange and which helps to bring people together by seeking consensus. This is all the more important at a time when we are witnessing the retreat of multilateralism in international relations. International parliamentary assemblies therefore play a crucial role in fostering a spirit of exchange, dialogue and mutual respect for differences, reminding us that rights are associated with obligations and enabling us to work together for the benefit of all.

Europe and the world needs parliaments which, as institutions lying at the heart of democracy, respond in clear and specific ways to the aspirations of the citizens they represent. For almost 70 years, our Assembly has taken up this worthy challenge.”