Prime Minister of Turkey

Speech made to the Assembly

Monday, 27 January 2003

Mr President, Mr Secretary General, dear colleagues and friends and ambassadors, it is an honour and pleasure for me to be back in this Assembly. I was privileged to be a member of this body. I consider the Council of Europe to be a school for democracy, the rule of law and human rights. It contributed immensely to my political philosophy. In the 1990s, following the removal of dividing lines in Europe, I was part of the fact-finding missions to the candidate countries of the Council of Europe. We lived through the enlargement of the Council. I am happy to see those countries as fully-fledged members represented here.

Now, as the Prime Minister of my country, I have the opportunity to put into service the accumulation of the experience that I acquired as a member of this Assembly. I also consider the Council of Europe to be a permanent network for promoting and disseminating ideals of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Last week, I was in Davos, where I participated in the World Economic Forum. I met many old friends from the Assembly. I was happy to share experiences in terms of the same ideals that we continue to serve.

I express my confidence in the members of the new Turkish parliamentary delegation to the Assembly, who are for the first time under the roof of the Hemicycle. I am sure that they will be strong advocates of the ideals and principles of the Council of Europe. Turkey highly values the work of the Council and its bodies. It has greatly benefited from the common norms and standards as it seeks to further its democracy.

My government, who took office following the November general elections, is committed to continue, and accelerate, the process. I can confidently say that my government is firmly committed to maintaining its reformist nature. We have already demonstrated our resolve. In the first two months of my government, we have already achieved the adoption of two reform packages. I should like to remind the Council that those were the first pieces of legislation to be adopted by the new parliament. I assure you of our determination to have the reforms fully reflected upon implementation. The comfortable majority granted to us by the Turkish people is a measure of that.

I should stress that the reformist nature of my government and the pace of reforms are particularly remarkable, given the growing tendency in some parts of the world to restrict fundamental rights and freedoms under the pretext of security concerns.

Allow me to be more specific. As a former member of the Assembly, I am well aware of the criticisms levelled against Turkey from this place. Many members have repeatedly underlined, among others, two important issues: torture and ill-treatment and execution of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. My government has announced a policy of zero tolerance of torture. In line with this approach, two weeks ago our parliament passed a legislative package proposed by my government, which brings about sweeping reforms for fighting torture. We have eliminated the often-criticised system of prior administrative permission for claims of torture and ill treatment. From now on, all charges of torture and ill treatment will promptly be brought before the Turkish courts. Moreover, the reform package also provides that sentences for the perpetrators of torture and ill treatment may no longer be deferred or converted into fines. I believe that these reforms will provide strong deterrents against torture and ill treatment.

I turn to the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. The previous Turkish Government introduced last year the right to retrial based on the judgments of the Court. However, its scope was rather limited. I take pleasure in informing you that last Thursday the Turkish Parliament adopted a draft bill proposed by my government, which will provide the right to retrial for all the judgments finalised by the Court. A finalised judgment of the Court will entitle the applicant to seek retrial at the court which heard the case in the first place. This is a major step in aligning Turkish legislation with European norms. It is yet another indication of the reformist nature of my government.

Another often-stated human rights criticism concerns restrictions on the properties belonging to religious minority foundations. I am pleased to inform you that last week my government promulgated a by-law that lifts these restrictions. This step testifies to the centuries-long traditions of the multiculturalism and religious tolerance of the Turkish people.

Turkey abolished the death penalty in August last year. Following that, my government signed Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms on 15 January. We are proceeding immediately with the ratification of Protocol No. 6. Europe thus becomes a continent free of the death penalty.

The state of emergency, which lasted close to three decades, was lifted totally by my government in the first week following the vote of confidence. With habeas corpus restored to the entire country, all Turkish citizens now enjoy the same legal guarantees.

We seek to complement domestic reforms by assuming new international commitments. We ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Ratification of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights will soon follow. Turkey will thus become party to all the six major United Nations conventions.

In the medium term, my government will introduce to parliament comprehensive legislation aimed at bringing Turkish law into line with the highest democratic standards. To that end, we will introduce a new press act, a law on demonstrations and marches, a law on associations and a new penal code. We plan to transform state security courts into specialised tribunals that are mandated to fight against organised crime. We are finalising a draft bill which will compensate Turkish citizens for losses suffered owing to terrorism.

Our fundamental objective is to transform Turkey into a fully functioning European democracy. In the light of the ongoing international debate on the so-called clash of civilisations, popularised in the aftermath of 11 September, perfecting Turkish democracy will have significance beyond the borders of my country.

We will perfect our democracy with the participation and support of the Turkish public. Our people are increasingly insistent on broader reforms. We will actively collaborate with the non-governmental organisations, both Turkish and international. My government is committed to fulfilling completely the political criteria of the European Union to start membership negotiations as soon as possible.

In the light of these reforms, I urge the Assembly to evaluate Turkish achievements in the fields of democracy, the rule of law and human rights, and ask you to conclude the monitoring procedure for Turkey. It is obvious that Turkey does not deserve to be subject to the Assembly’s monitoring. My personal experience in the Assembly assures me that such a step will further strengthen our efforts in this regard.

As we meet here, the clouds of war are gathering in the Middle East. I believe that you all share our concern about the situation in Iraq. The peoples living in the region have so far suffered immensely. The region cannot and should not endure another armed conflict. My government is sparing no effort to prevent war: we are exploring all the possibilities to find a peaceful solution. I have visited several capitals to consult Iraq’s neighbours, and to coordinate our efforts. Last week, foreign ministers of six countries held a meeting in Istanbul, and agreed on a regional road map to avert war.

The prime responsibility for a peaceful solution lies with the Iraqi leadership. Iraq must co-operate fully with the United Nations and the UN inspectors. It must convince the international community that it has disarmed itself fully of weapons of mass destruction. That is the collective message that I bring you from all Iraq’s neighbours, and I believe that it is a message you share.

We all know that the UN inspectors will submit their report to the UN Security Council in a few hours. I firmly believe that the United Nations process must be followed to the end. In that process, Turkey can and should be seen as an agent conveying the European norms to the region with a view to establishing lasting peace.

Permit me to make some short remarks about the Cyprus issue. The two Cypriot parties are now engaged in serious detailed negotiations for a settlement based on the Annan plan. My government actively supports that process, and will extend all assistance to find an early solution. Our government continues to be fully committed to a just and viable comprehensive settlement in Cyprus. We are closer than ever to ending a forty-year struggle.

Cyprus is the common home of two peoples. To reach a viable and lasting solution, both parties must show respect for each other and try to meet each other’s concerns and sensitivities. We encourage the Turkish Cypriots to make substantial contributions to achieving an early settlement. Both parties should be encouraged to render the Annan plan mutually acceptable.

The work of the Council of Europe touches the daily lives of Turkish citizens in a variety of ways. By way of illustration, let me mention that homes have been built for earthquake victims with the support of the Council of Europe Development Bank; Turkish experts help to draft European conventions; we bring our experience to the Council in the field of intercultural dialogue. Turkey also contributes to the Council’s work in its cultural activities, among them Eurimages and the European Audiovisual Observatory. The cultural committees have always seen Turkey as a member which draws on its rich cultural heritage to bring new ideas to the new challenges of intercultural dialogue.

As a founding member, Turkey will continue to participate actively in the work of the Council. We in Turkey highly value your work in strengthening European stability, based on common democratic norms.

Dear friends, as a former member of this body, once more I wish you all the best in your deliberations.


Thank you very much, Prime Minister, for your most interesting address. It was a pleasure to listen to you.

Members of the Assembly have expressed a wish to put questions to you. I remind them that questions must be limited to thirty seconds. Colleagues should be asking questions and not making speeches.

We tried to group the questions, but there was a demand for them to be placed in order. That means first all the groups, and then questions according to the time when they were submitted.

A substantial number of colleagues have expressed the wish to ask questions. To ensure that as many as possible can put their questions, I do not propose to allow supplementary questions.

The first question is from Mr Terry Davis, from the Socialist Group.

Mr DAVIS (United Kingdom)

On behalf of the Socialist Group, which has often criticised Turkey in the past, may I congratulate you and your government on the reforms that you have introduced since the election, with the support of the opposition? May I urge you to continue to work constructively with the Government of Greece to encourage the people of Cyprus to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, in the interests of all the people of Cyprus?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

Thank you for your appreciation. As I said in my speech, we are pushing hard to find a lasting solution. We are very sincere. I hope that this will end in a peaceful result. Of course, the solution must be satisfactory to both sides if it is to be lasting.


Thank you. The next speaker is Mr Van der Linden from the Group of the European People’s Party.

Mr VAN DER LINDEN (Netherlands) (interpretation)

congratulated Mr Gül on the progress of reform.

(The speaker continued in English) I congratulate the Prime Minister of Turkey, and also congratulate the Council of Europe on his nomination. It will give us great confidence for the future, and will also encourage Europe as a whole.

What does the Prime Minister think is the role of the Council of Europe in the northern part of the region, among Turkey’s neighbours, especially in the Caucasus?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

As you know, enlargement is what interests the Council of Europe as well. In that respect, Turkey has a chance of playing a positive role, as in the past we have had good relations in the area. Many people from that area live in Turkey, which can provide a bridge to establish good relations.

Mr EÖRSI (Hungary)

I join my colleagues in congratulating you, Mr Prime Minister, on your very promising speech. I understand that one of the biggest challenges facing Turkey is that of European Union membership and I am sure that you know that our Liberal colleagues in the European Parliament fully support Turkey’s starting accession talks. What can the Liberals in the Hemicycle do to help you achieve your goals?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

Thank you. My government understands that we have to do our homework to prepare Turkey for full membership. That is why, when I became Prime Minister, we produced reform packages and sent them to parliament. As I have said, two reform packages were passed in parliament and I am very pleased to say that the government and the opposition were united in pushing them through. It will be enough for you to appreciate what we have done.

Mr ATKINSON (United Kingdom)

May I say what a pleasure it is to see that a former member of the Group of the European People’s Party is the Prime Minister of his country? Do you agree that, following the Israeli elections this week, a new peace process in the Middle East is overdue? As Turkey is the only Nato country with influence on both sides, do you have any new initiatives to propose?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

As Mr Atkinson has said, we have good relations with both sides and that provides us with an opportunity. My government’s programme made it clear that we are ready to support and to contribute to the peace process. I hope that we will have an opportunity after the elections and Turkey will work hard to play its part.

Mr LAAKSO (Finland)

Allow me to say that, when we first heard about your victory, we felt that it was also a victory for the Council of Europe. That is important. We can see that there is a new page in the relationship between the Council of Europe and Turkey.

May I ask about the further reform of the Turkish Constitution, in which there are still remnants of military rule? What are you going to do to abolish those remnants?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

As I have said, we are reformists, so our aim is to upgrade Turkish democracy so that it meets the standards of the Council of Europe. We have therefore amended the constitution and changed the nature of the National Security Council. That is, of course, part of a process that I think will continue.


Thank you. The next speaker would have been Mr Kanelli from Greece but his delegation did not nominate him, so I cannot give him the opportunity to ask a question. I call Mrs Durrieu of France.

Mrs DURRIEU (France) (translation)

Mr Prime Minister, please accept my congratulations on behalf of the French delegation as a whole. Turkey is a secular state. The essence of secularity is absolute respect for freedom of conscience and worship and for all religious and philosophical ideas. Do you consider yourself able to reaffirm the secularity of the Turkish state? Do you think this reaffirmed secularity constitutes a strong position in favour of your country’s admission to the European Union?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

There is no doubt that Turkey is a secular country. We are also unique in the region in the respect that we are the only Muslim country that is a candidate for membership of the European Union. We are a good example and are trying to show the world that a country with a Muslim identity can be a transparent democracy and comfortable with the modern world. Secularism forms part of that.

Mr KONTOGIANNOPOULOS (Greece) (interpretation)

asked to what extent the reform timetable had been drawn up to meet the criteria for accession.

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

In fact, if you compare Turkey with the other candidate countries, you will see that Turkey fully meets the Copenhagen criteria. Before the end of 2004, our aim is to start negotiations. Of course, that will involve progress reports in 2003 and we want to receive good reports. That is why we are pushing the reform package through parliament. We are optimistic. We have the political will and determination to prepare Turkey for full membership. As I have said, we are doing our homework and I hope that the European Union will appreciate that.

Mr OLIYNYK (Ukraine) (interpretation)

asked whether Iraq had given the United States the slightest grounds to allow them to carry out aggression.

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

This crisis is very serious and the next two weeks will be crucial. We are part of the region and know it better than many others. That is why we are trying to exhaust all possibilities before a war takes place. We made a strong call to Iraq and the Iraqi leadership should understand it. In a closed regime, the leaders sometimes do not know what is going on. That is why I sent a minister to Iraq with a letter from me. We made everything clear and put it in the open. I hope that, this time, the Iraqi leadership will realise what is happening so that we can avoid a war.

Mr LLOYD (United Kingdom)

Mr Prime Minister, please accept the congratulations of the British delegation. Turkey knows the enormous costs of war and its consequences as a result of the Gulf war. In that context, are you of the view that deterrence and containment would be a better way to restrain Iraq than military adventurism?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

I have visited leaders in the region, and we have discussed this issue together. There is still time, although it is running out, to avoid war, and we should work hard to achieve that end. If there is a war, the consequences will be bad for the region. It is a Pandora’s box. Iraq is like a miniature Middle East: it represents all the ethnic and religious differences – Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Sunni and Shia Muslims and Christians. It will be very difficult to deal with all of them. The economic burden of a war would be very heavy. I am afraid that there will be a revival of nationalism. We worry that Iraq may turn into another Lebanon.

There is also the humanitarian consequences. During the first Gulf war, in one night 500 000 Iraqi refugees came into Turkey, and we had to receive them. Children, women and elderly people came across the border. We do not want the same situation, which is why we must try to find a non-violent solution.

Mr KIRILOV (Bulgaria)

Turkey’s role as a neighbour of Iraq is very important. Do you think that the inspectors are doing a useful job under present circumstances? Do you think that hostilities should start without a new United Nations Security Council resolution?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

In a few hours, we will know the result of the experts’ report. We hope that the report will be clear enough. International legitimacy is very important. For that reason, I think that a second United Nations resolution is needed, at least to convince the people. Turkey lays great store on international legitimacy.


Mr Gül, you just said that you were for a just, viable and lasting solution in Cyprus. I fully agree with that. Will you try to persuade the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community, Mr Denktash, to negotiate, on the basis of the Annan plan, with the representatives of the Greek-Cypriot community to achieve such a solution?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

That is why the negotiations are going on. The position of my government is that no solution is not a solution. There is a perception that the Turks prefer no solution. That is not correct. My government will push for a solution. However, if the solution is not satisfactory to both sides, it will not be a lasting one. We want people to live in a peaceful atmosphere. We all know what happened in the past, and we do not want to repeat that. We do not want to have tragedies similar to those at the beginning of the 1970s. That is the worry, but I think there is a solution. We are all trying to join the European Union. If we were in the same home together, there would be no more problems.


Thank you. Before giving the floor to the next speaker, I must announce that we made a mistake. When I said that Mr Kanelli was not duly substituted, it was correct, but it was incorrect to say that Mr Kanelli had asked to take the floor. The handwriting was a little illegible, and we could not read it. It was not Mr Kanelli, but Mrs Katseli who asked to take the floor. After the next speaker, I shall give her the floor. The next speaker is Mr Pourgourides.


As a Greek Cypriot, may I wish you from the bottom of my heart every success in your efforts to make Turkey what you want to make it? In your speech, you referred to your commitment to implementing the outstanding judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Does that commitment include the well-known case of Loizidou against Turkey, which concerns the payment of just compensation for being unable to use her property in the occupied part of Cyprus?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

We are negotiating to find a solution, and we must concentrate on that. When we reach a solution, all such problems will be resolved. I shall, however, be able to give you a written response.


Thank you. The next speaker is Mrs Katseli, and I again beg her pardon for the mistake.

Mrs KATSELI (Greece) (translation)

Your Excellency, the European Union and the Council of Europe view the recent constitutional and legislative reform in Turkey as a step in the desired direction. They have nevertheless emphasised that the reform should be implemented as speedily as possible. Other measures, administrative as well as legislative, are required.

The new provisions also concern the religious establishments, including those of the Greek minority. However, these provisions are not yet being applied.

Mr Prime Minister, does your government intend to adopt appropriate measures to remedy this state of affairs, while bearing in mind the significant interest which the question of the religious establishments holds for the Council of Europe?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

Passing laws is very important, but their implementation is essential. We are aware of that, and my government is determined to do that. Soon, you will see that there will be no problem in the implementation of these laws.

Mr McNAMARA (United Kingdom)

Thank you, Mr President. May I say, Prime Minister, that in many ways it has been a breath of fresh air to hear of the new steps that Turkey is taking? I believe that they are welcomed not only in the Assembly but throughout the world. Is it your intention to see that all the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights are fully implemented by Turkey before you set about your negotiations to join the European Union?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

I have already mentioned in my speech that we have made many changes and that we have amended the constitution. We have passed new legislation so I do not think that there is a problem. Also I said sincerely that we were going to implement the decisions of the Court and that is why retrial rights were given to the people.


Prime Minister, in view of tomorrow’s debate on freedom of expression of the media in Europe, what further concrete measures does your government plan to take to bring Turkish legislation and practice into line with European standards and, in particular, with the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights on freedom of expression?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

We believe that the expression of opinions is an essential part of fundamental rights, so if there is no violence behind it, any opinion should be free. Since we changed the laws and the constitution, there is no more discrimination.

Mr JURGENS (Netherlands)

I very much welcome the decision on retrial in relation to cases that have been tried in the European Court of Human Rights, but, more importantly, when will the legislation change? Mr Gül’s party was banned while he was a member of this Assembly. I remember a discussion about that. The DEP party was banned in Turkey and four members of parliament have been in prison for nine years and are still there. Will the provisions be changed in Turkish law so that the case of Leila Zana could not occur again?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

In fact, we have already changed the legislation and we have passed a law which gives the right to retrial, so those former deputies have the right to go to court again.

Mrs VERMOT-MANGOLD (Switzerland) (interpretation)

raised the issue of the Kurds and asked how Turkey would try to resolve issues of minority rights.

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

Mr GÜL. – Of course, the Kurds are our citizens so there is no discrimination between Turks and Kurds in Turkey. Turkish citizenship is essential for us, but I am sure that you will accept that there was terrorist activity in Turkey. We cannot ignore that. Because of that, some cases have been brought to court and some of those involved are in prison. In my speech, I also informed you that the emergency administration, which continued for almost thirty years, was lifted in the first week of my government. We now need peace, and the happiness of Turkish citizens is very important for us.

Mr GROSS (Switzerland)

Prime Minister, I have a delicate question for you and I have the courage to ask it only because you know that I am supportive and I know that you are open and that we worked together very well. Perhaps you know that I have to make a report for the Political Affairs Committee on successful examples of autonomous regions. Would you allow me to come to Turkey to see whether it would fit in with your interest in integrating your country to give autonomy to the Kurdish part, in which the Kurdish cultural people are in a majority?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

As Mr Gross said, we used to sit next to each other, and he is a good friend. Our constitution does not discriminate between our citizens. Turkish citizenship is essential for us. In Parliament, we do not look at the origin of the people, and that applies also in the administration. In the government, there are sometimes prime ministers, speakers of the parliament or presidents. We have had some problems in the past, and unfortunately we suffered because of the terrorist activity. But anyway, you are welcome to travel to my country and to see the region. I am sure that you will see the reality better when you go there.

Mr ROCHEBLOINE (France) (translation)

The new Turkish Government, whose election the commentators describe as the expression of a profound aspiration to renewal among the population, has displayed the will to pursue a bold and innovative policy that will enable Turkey to occupy its full political position in Europe’s community of nations. This ambition nonetheless entails, as was the case for other countries, a clarification of its past, especially its relations with Armenia and the world’s Armenian communities. It therefore presupposes official acknowledgement of the historical record concerning the annihilation of the Armenian population through genocide. Is Turkey finally prepared today to own up to its past?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

You could approach this issue from a different point. At that time, there was a war and there was no attempt by the Turks to massacre the people. It is now time to consolidate our relations, and that is why Turkey is helping Armenia and why there are frequent flights from Istanbul to Yerevan. That is also why Turkish business people are helping there. I also think that Armenia should have good relations with its border countries. It has to recognise the border at least. We are helping them. We will continue. There is no need to go back any more. Let us look at the future for better relations.

Mr GUBERT (Italy) (translation)

Prime Minister, Turkey’s request for membership of the European Union, as I’m sure you are aware, has prompted debate on the boundaries of the European Union in the east and in areas bordering Turkey. In your opinion, should we be speaking of boundaries or do you believe the European Union can also encompass regions where the religion, history, traditions and ethnic make-up have something in common with those of present-day Turkish society?

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

Of course, if you decide on one thing, you will have to consider whether its role will be just continental or global. Will it play a strategic role in world affairs? I think that the new Europe should play a strategic role in global affairs. Turkey will not be a burden on the European Union. It will be an asset. It will be a political decision of the European leaders.

It is a win-win situation. If we are a member of the European Union, we will win. At the same time we believe that the European Union will win too.

Mr PAVLIDIS (Greece) (interpretation)

welcomed the Prime Minister of Turkey to the Council of Europe. He recognised the efforts of the Turkish Government to initiate reform. He asked the Prime Minister of Turkey what plans he had for addressing the issue of immigrants originating from Turkey, passing through Greece, and en route to Europe.

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

Mr GÜL. – It is clear that the immigrants do not come from Turkey. They come from other parts of the world. Unfortunately, Turkey is being used. We have good cooperation to prevent and to stop the movements.

Mr JANSSEN VAN RAAIJ (Netherlands)

I was a member of the parliament of the European Union for twenty years and have always supported Turkey becoming a member. Those who find the situation difficult because a large part of your country is outside Europe can take the example of Denmark. When it became a member of the European Union, the biggest part of that kingdom, Greenland, belonged to the American continent. That is a very good argument in Turkey’s favour.

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

Thank you very much.

Mr O’HARA (United Kingdom)

Are you satisfied that sufficient attention is being given to the cultural and natural heritage in the context of the major development project for south-east Anatolia, in particular the proposal to construct a dam at Ilisu on the River Tigris? You will be aware that Balfour Beatty withdrew from the project because of confusion over management control and strategy over the resettlement of people whose land is flooded, the control of and effect on waters upstream and downstream, and the archaeological remains at Hasankeyf.

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

That is a great heritage site for us. We are thinking about that project again. We want to build the dam but at the same time we want to protect the heritage. I think there is a way to do that. There is a new project. We are trying to solve the problem.

Mr BERISHA (Albania)

I congratulate the Prime Minister on his victory and I am deeply convinced that his government will show to the world how compatible Islam is with secularism, free elections and the rule of law. That is a great contribution.

Do the Prime Minister and the Turkish Government intend to modify the electoral threshold which stands today at 10%? The current system, in my opinion, detracts from the representation of the electorate in parliament.

Mr Gül, Prime Minister of Turkey

That is a good question but the electoral law was not made by us. In a way it is designed to stop us. The response of the Turkish people was different.

You are right. We are studying political-party law and electoral law. I am sure that, together with the opposition, we will have better parliamentary representation.


That brings an end to the questions. Mr Prime Minister, I thank you most warmly on behalf of the Assembly for your address and your remarks. Thank you very much for coming here. It was nice to see a friend of the Assembly and the Prime Minister of a member of the Council of Europe.