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The functioning of democratic institutions in Albania

Report | Doc. 12113 | 11 January 2010

Committee
Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee)
Co-rapporteur :
Mr David WILSHIRE, United Kingdom, EDG
Co-rapporteur :
Mr Jaakko LAAKSO, Finland, UEL
Thesaurus

Summary

The Monitoring Committee urges the Albanian Government and opposition to put an end to the current political crisis and assume their responsibilities in order to proceed with vital reforms.

The government should set up, without further delay, a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the June 2009 elections and the opposition should return to parliament and fully participate in its work. The Albanian authorities should also improve the legislative electoral framework, in close co-operation with the Venice Commission.

In order to assist President Topi in his role of mediator and help achieve an end to the boycott based on the acceptance of the recent election result and the full restoration of parliamentary democracy, the Monitoring Committee proposes that the Presidential Committee of the Assembly, together with the Monitoring Committee’s co-rapporteurs for Albania, should visit the country as soon as possible after the Assembly winter session.

A Draft resolution

1 The Parliamentary Assembly deplores the political and institutional crisis which has paralysed Albanian politics following the parliamentary elections of June 2009, with the Socialist Party-led opposition boycotting the parliament and contesting the political legitimacy of the Democratic Party-led government. In a parliament where the governing majority does not have the three-fifths majority required to pass major constitutional reforms, this boycott makes further much needed reforms impossible. This situation harms the Albanian people and their European integration ambitions.
2 The Assembly regrets that this boycott has damaged Albania’s relations with the Assembly. Following the June 2009 elections, a new Assembly delegation has not yet been appointed and opposition members of the old delegation no longer participate in the activities of the Assembly.
3 The Assembly notes that the absence of parliamentary dialogue and recourse to boycotts, especially following election results, is a recurrent problem in Albania which seriously hampers the democratic functioning of the state’s institutions.
4 The Assembly further regrets that, in the absence of any meaningful parliamentary dialogue, inflammatory rhetoric is being increasingly used by all involved. This could further destabilise the country.
5 The Assembly recalls that Albania applied formally for European Union membership on 28 April 2009. On 16 November 2009, the Council invited the European Commission to submit its Opinion on Albania’s application for membership. However, in the current situation, the country’s progression towards European integration is blocked. It is significant that Albania, contrary to its three neighbours, has not yet qualified for visa liberalisation by the Council of the European Union.
6 The Assembly expresses its readiness to offer a forum for achieving a solution in Albania and work, in close co-operation with other international organisations, in the search for a political solution to the crisis. It supports all efforts, including those undertaken by Albanian President Topi, to bring together the Albanian political parties. In this respect, it considers that a round table, gathering all political parties of Albania, could contribute to improving the political climate and setting the basis for restoring parliamentary dialogue.
7 The Assembly urges the Albanian government and the opposition to put an end to the current political crisis in the country and assume their responsibilities in order to proceed with the vitally needed reforms and mark progress towards further European integration, a goal common for all. In particular, it urges the government to set up, without further delay, a parliamentary inquiry committee into the June 2009 elections and, at the same time, it urges the opposition to return to parliament and fully participate in its work.
8 The Assembly calls upon the Albanian authorities to implement the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee of its Bureau, which observed the June 2009 elections, with a view to improving, in close co-operation with the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), the legislative electoral framework and enhance the capabilities of the electoral administration, in particular as regards:
8.1 the civil status register and the electoral register, and in that context, the need to find a solution to the problem of the franchise for Albanian citizens resident abroad;
8.2 the regulation of media coverage and public funding of campaigns, which disadvantages political parties not represented in parliament;
8.3 the rules of transparency relating to media ownership and their effective implementation so as to strengthen voters’ confidence in the equity of the electoral system;
8.4 the manner of dismissal of members of the lower-level election commissions, which is incompatible with an impartial, professional electoral administration;
8.5 the ambiguous requirements as to the inclusion of women in the lists of candidates, which should be reviewed so as to guarantee that women candidates are in an eligible position;
8.6 the need to abolish the granting of special rights to political party chairs to stand for parliamentary elections.
9 The Assembly further invites political party officials and representatives of Albanian civil society to set up a joint group to examine all cases of pressure exerted on people during the election campaign and to establish the responsibility of any offenders under the electoral law.
10 In order to support the process of resolving the current political situation and assist President Topi in his role of mediator and his efforts to restore political dialogue and help achieve an end to the boycott based on the acceptance of the recent election result and the full restoration of parliamentary democracy, the Assembly decides to ask:
10.1 President Topi if there is any way it can assist his efforts to achieve reconciliation;
10.2 the international community and diplomatic representatives in Tirana whether they can suggest any further action to the Assembly;
10.3 its own political groups to exert their influence on the respective Albanian political parties;
10.4 the Presidential Committee together with the co-rapporteurs of its Monitoring Committee to visit Albania as soon as possible after the January 2010 part-session of the Assembly.

B Draft recommendation

1 The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution … (2010) on the functioning of democratic institutions in Albania, in which it deplores the political and institutional crisis paralysing Albanian politics following the parliamentary elections of June 2009, with the Socialist Party-led opposition boycotting the parliament and contesting the political legitimacy of the Democratic Party-led government.
2 Recalling that the Council of Europe has a statutory duty to help a member state which seeks to surmount a severe political crisis by constitutional and democratic means, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
2.1 be actively involved, in close co-operation with the competent international organisations and diplomatic representatives of Council of Europe member states on the field, in the search for a political solution to the crisis and support the efforts to bring all political parties to the discussion table;
2.2 consider monitoring developments in Albania, possibly by including this item on the agenda of its Rapporteur Group on Democracy (GR-DEM) with a view to proposing any further action to the Committee of Ministers as may be required by the situation;
2.3 engage in a dialogue with the Assembly on how the Organisation can contribute to a solution to the current crisis.

C Explanatory memorandum by Mr Laakso and Mr Wilshire, co-rapporteurs

1 Introduction

1 As co-rapporteurs for Albania of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, we conducted a fact-finding visit to the country from 3 to 5 November 2009, with a view to presenting a general report to the Assembly.
2 We had prepared a preliminary draft report on the honouring of obligations and commitments by Albania, which had been subsequently commented upon by the Albanian authorities. Both the preliminary draft report and the comments by the Albanian authorities had been examined by the Monitoring Committee.Note Therefore, our November visit was originally scheduled to enable us to finalise our report to be debated at the January part-session of the Assembly (25 to 29 January 2010), in particular after the parliamentary elections of June 2009.
3 However, most of our conversations were monopolised by the boycott of parliament by the main opposition party (Socialist Party) since September 2009 and their contesting the political legitimacy of the new government. In a parliament where the governing majority does not have the three-fifths majority required to pass major constitutional reforms, this means a serious deadlock in the reforming process. We therefore proposed to the Monitoring Committee to change the focus of the report scheduled for an Assembly debate in January 2010 in order to address the current situation and deal with “the functioning of democratic institutions in Albania”, rather than with the whole list of obligations and commitments undertaken by Albania. The main objective of our report is to invite both parties to restart the dialogue and to propose the good offices of the Council of Europe. We will present our general draft report on the honouring of obligations and commitments by Albania to the Assembly very shortly, as soon as the political situation is sorted out.
4 During our visit, we met with the president of the republic, the prime minister, the speaker of parliament, the ministers for foreign affairs, the interior and justice, the President of the Constitutional Court, as well as with representatives of the opposition, including Mr Edi Rama, Chair of the Socialist Party (SP) and Mayor of Tirana. We also met with the mayors of several towns and cities, representing both the governing coalition and opposition parties, and representatives of the Montenegrin minority. We also visited a brand new juvenile prison in Kavaja.
5 It should be recalled that Albania applied formally for European Union (EU) membership on 28 April 2009. On 16 November, the European Council invited the European Commission to submit its opinion on Albania’s application for membership. An EU-Albania agreement on visa facilitation was signed in September 2007 and entered into force on 1 January 2008.Note At the end of November 2009, Albania was not considered to have met all the benchmarks agreed under the visa liberalisation dialogue with the countries of the Western Balkans and did not qualify for visa liberalisation, contrary to its three neighbours (Montenegro, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Serbia) for which the visa waiver will apply as from 19 December 2009.
6 In the current situation, the country’s progress towards European integration is blocked and the absence of political dialogue threatens the country’s stability. Even though this is not the first time that Albania has been faced with a parliamentary boycott and a political deadlock situation, the fact that Albania is now a NATO member state and candidate for European Union membership places on all the country’s leaders specific obligations and responsibilities. We wish to stress in this respect that, despite their disagreements, all Albanian parties have one objective in common, namely, accession to the European Union and the necessary reforms which will require the restoration of a parliamentary dialogue.
7 We particularly regret that Albania’s relations with the Assembly have been damaged by the parliament’s failure to appoint a new delegation to the Assembly and members of the old delegation belonging to the opposition no longer participate in the activities of the Assembly and of its committees.

2 2009 parliamentary elections

8 Following the parliamentary elections of 28 June 2009, Albanian voters elected their new 140-member parliament in 12 regions, according to the new regional proportional electoral system.
9 We refer to the conclusions of the ad hoc committee of the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly which observed the parliamentary elections in Albania on 28 June 2009,Note in the framework of the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM).
10 Concerning the revision of the Electoral Code of December 2008,Note it is important to emphasise that both the constitutional amendments and the adoption of the new Electoral Code were the result of a broad consensus between the two main political parties, but were strongly opposed by most of the small parties.
11 Under the new electoral system, the 140 members of the Albanian Parliament were for the first time elected by a regional proportional voting system. The threshold for representation in parliament was set at 3% of the votes cast in a given constituency for political parties, and 5% for coalitions.
12 The Parliamentary Assembly’s ad hoc committee emphasised that the parliamentary elections of 28 June 2009 in Albania had marked progress thanks to the introduction of new procedures for registering and identifying voters, and to the adoption of an improved legal framework. It also noted the improvement in functioning of the Central Election Commission.
13 Yet these improvements had been overshadowed by the politicisation of certain parts of the process and by infringements found during the campaign. These shook the public’s confidence in the electoral process.
14 Polling day was calm and the ballot was well organised, without any incidents or violence.
15 While emphasising the significant efforts made by the authorities to complete the difficult process of identifying the country’s inhabitants and issuing identity cards and new passports, the ad hoc committee regretted that this question became the main issue of the election campaign, overshadowing many political questions that preoccupied Albania’s citizens and which should have been at the centre of the debate.
16 It was worrying and unacceptable that some irregularities have persisted from one election to the next: cases of administrative resources being misused and public servants, schoolteachers and medical personnel threatened with loss of employment, especially in the rural regions that supported the opposition candidates. In that respect, the ad hoc committee invited political party officials and representatives of civil society to set up a joint group to examine all cases of pressure exerted on people during the election campaign and to establish the responsibility of offenders under the electoral law.
17 Having regard to the importance of the media during the election campaign, the ad hoc committee deplored the lack of editorial independence. Another concern had to do with the lack of transparency regarding the funding of the media, and the covertness of the allegedly existing links between the owners of the media and the political party leaders.
18 The vote count was marked by a very high level of mistrust among the representatives of political parties at all levels of election administration. In many cases, the vote count was temporarily blocked. In several cases, the problem was to decide whether votes from certain voting centres should be counted or not. Consequently, the ad hoc committee recommended that, for future elections, the vote counting procedure should be considerably improved and the number of counting teams be substantially increased in each of the regional counting centres.
19 The ad hoc committee emphasised that it was unacceptable that, ten or more days after the date of the ballot, Albania’s citizens and the international community were not informed of the official results of the parliamentary elections in a country with some 3.1 million voters. The significant lapse of time between the closure of the polls and the announcement of the official election results considerably weakened the people’s confidence in the electoral process and its outcomes.
20 The ad hoc committee invited the Albanian authorities, under the procedure for monitoring their compliance with their commitments and obligations, and in close co-operation with the Venice Commission, to improve the legislative framework and enhance the capabilities of the electoral administration as regards:
  • the civil status register and the electoral register, and in that context, the need to find a solution to the problem of the franchise for Albanian citizens resident abroad;
  • regulation of media coverage and public funding of campaigns, which disadvantages political parties not represented in parliament;
  • the rules of transparency relating to media ownership and their effective implementation so as to strengthen voters’ confidence in the equity of the electoral system;
  • the manner of dismissal of members of the lower-level election commissions, which is incompatible with an impartial, professional electoral administration;
  • the ambiguous requirements as to the inclusion of women in the lists of candidates, which should be reviewed so as to guarantee that women candidates are in an eligible position;
  • the need to abolish the granting of special rights to political party chairs to stand for parliamentary elections.
21 In the opinion of the ad hoc committee, the Electoral Code should undergo revision only on the points where this was dictated by the need to ensure compliance with international standards or to solve particular problems. For the remainder, in order to guarantee the confidence of the country’s citizens, the Albanian authorities were invited to step up their efforts to implement in full the electoral legislation. The ad hoc committee also recalled that sincere implementation of the rules was just as important as their substance.

3 Post-electoral developments

22 The final results of the general elections showed that the Alliance for Change coalition, led by the right-of-centre Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sali Berisha, won 70 seats in parliament; the rival left-of-centre Union for Change, led by the Socialist Party of Tirana Mayor, Edi Rama, won 66 mandates; and the left-of-centre Socialist Movement for Integration of former Socialist Party Prime Minister Ilir Meta, which gathered a number of small parties into its own electoral grouping, obtained the remaining four seats.
23 The Alliance for Change (composed of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party), together with the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI), formed a ruling coalition (obtaining 74 seats out of a total of 140 in the Albanian Parliament).
24 The new cabinet was made up of 14 ministers. The SMI, as the main coalition partner, secured the post of deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs, as well as the ministry of the economy and the ministry of health. The Republican Party (RP) secured the post of minister for the environment and water management for its party leader, Fatmir Mediu. Mr Mediu was minister for defence in the previous government and resigned after the explosion of an ammunition dismantling plant in Gërdec in March 2008. The High Court dismissed charges against him in September 2009 following his re-election as MP in view of his parliamentary immunity. All other governmental posts were taken up by the Democratic Party (DP) and Mr Sali Berisha was re-appointed, for a second consecutive term, Prime Minister of Albania.
25 The ruling coalition did not, however, obtain the three-fifths majority required to pass major constitutional reforms.
26 The new parliament convened on 7 September and the new government was sworn in on 16 September with 74 votes in favour and 1 against. The main opposition Socialist Party (SP) boycotted the vote and has since been boycotting the parliament. It is worth noting that, according to the constitution, MPs should take their oath within six months. As long as they have not done so, they cannot receive their salaries.
27 In particular, following what it considered as frauds in some electoral zones, the SP went through all legal remedies stipulated in the Electoral Code to contest the alleged results. A request was submitted by two members of the Central Electoral Commission to reopen some of the ballot boxes but it was rejected by the majority of the commissioners. The SP appealed the case to the Electoral College – the highest judicial body that can rule on electoral complaints as stipulated in the Electoral Code. It dismissed the case. Considering the decision of the Electoral College a flagrant violation of the Electoral Code, the SP decided to boycott the parliament and draw up a list of conditions that will have to be met for it to return to parliament. It has in particular requested:
  • the adoption of a special law on an inquiry into the elections;
  • the establishment of a special inquiry committee (including the presence of the OSCE/ODIHR) which would be chaired by the opposition and in which opposition members would be in the majority;
  • guarantees that the necessary transparency concerning all claims of violation and irregularities in the election process be respected;
  • the identification of responsibilities of all officials of the ministry of justice or the prison directorate concerning home leaves for prisoners granted during the election period;
  • the reinstatement to former posts of all state employees in central and local government, or public institutions, dismissed because of their support for the SP;
  • legislative changes to ensure a government-opposition balance on the National Council for Radio and Television, as well as the prohibition of government television advertising outside the election period;
  • transparency, and acceleration of the investigation, into the killing of the SP MP Fatmir Xhindi, with the assistance of independent international investigators.
28 During our November visit to Albania, we were told by SP representatives that the reopening of the ballot boxes had captured most of the media attention, whereas for them it was just a means, among others, of investigating and collecting evidence of electoral fraud. They explained that they accepted the election result and seeking to open boxes was not intended to challenge the legality of the election. We understand very well, however, that this might, of course, undermine the political legitimacy of the governing majority.
29 The defeat of the SP prompted some criticism within the party itself concerning the management of the election campaign and the leadership style of Mr Rama. It is worth noting that, according to the Statute of the Socialist Party, the party leader must resign if he or she loses a parliamentary election. However, at an extraordinary congress of the party, on 29 August, the congress supported overwhelmingly a resolution proposed by Mr Rama, which claims that the elections “were stolen” by the government (rather than “lost” by him). Several members of the SP, who were elected to the new parliament, expressed their disagreement with the decision of the SP to boycott the parliament. However, they did follow the party line and did not enter the parliament. Mr Rama was re-elected on 26 September as party chairman, obtaining 93% of the votes of the party members.
30 On 1 October 2009, Mr Rama said that the SP would be more than happy to return to the parliament if their requests were fulfilled. However, he said that, as long as the government showed no sign of allowing full transparency about the June elections, the SP would continue the boycott and the organisation of public protests.
31 In response, Prime Minister Berisha has called on the SP to end their boycott and become part of the reform process. He has publicly guaranteed that the election reform will consider all the recommendations contained in the OSCE/ODIHR report.
32 On 9 October 2009, the prime minister said that he was willing to give the SP the majority in an inquiry committee on June’s elections, as requested by the SP, provided that the law was not breached, namely excluding the reopening of ballot boxes. However, only hours later, the SP chair said that the prime minister was provoking them by offering them the majority on the committee but not the possibility of opening the ballot boxes.
33 On 10 October 2009, the SP organised a public protest in front of the prime minister’s office gathering between approximately 3 000 and 7 000 supporters depending on the sources used to verify attendance. On the same day, the SP began a national petition to collect 20 000 signatures, as allowed by the constitution, in order to ask the parliament to approve legislation establishing an inquiry committee into the election process. Given the present circumstances, such a draft law would then be discussed in parliament in the absence of the SP.
34 The SP could just as easily introduce such a draft law as part of the regular parliamentary legislative process and thus be part of the subsequent debate and decision-making process. Socialist MPs announced their intention to table a draft law before the parliament which would foresee the possibility of conducting an inquiry into the last parliamentary elections even when there is a court decision prohibiting this, that is despite the decision of the Electoral College to reject the SP’s appeal. The SP parliamentary group announced its decision in November to draft this piece of legislation as soon as possible and table it as a legal initiative of the SP group backed by the signatures of 20 000 constituents currently being collected.
35 More recently, the SP boycotted the local government by-elections, held on 15 November 2009 in five municipalities, with a view to replacing mayors who left for higher office following the June parliamentary elections. In all of them, the ruling Democratic Party swept up the majority with a turnout of 30.43%.
36 On the same day (15 November 2009), the SP mayors and senior municipal officials protested outside Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s office. They called for the prime minister’s commitment to accept, by 5 December 2009, the following five demands in the field of local self-government:
  • the annulment of amendments to the local government taxation laws;
  • the annulment of the decision to re-classify smaller businesses;
  • the application of individual taxes, for personal income taxes and taxation of company profits;
  • the compensation of revenue due to the arbitrary halving of taxes on small businesses for 2005;
  • putting an end to the practice of approving grants for the needs of local government officials, and of their distribution, according to party affiliation.
37 From 20 to 22 November 2009, the opposition held a three-day protest rally which assembled many more people than initially expected by the organisers (between 20 000 to 50 000 people, depending on the sources), demanding the opening of the ballot boxes from the June parliamentary elections. Several opposition party leaders, including those from a few small right-wing parties, addressed the rally. SP chair Edi Rama appealed to Prime Minister Berisha to accept the opposition demands within ten days, namely by 1 December 2009, or face political and civil protests throughout the country.
38 On 24 November 2009, the president of the republic, Mr Bamir Topi, made comments for the first time on the current political situation, expressing his readiness to mediate if so asked by the parties.

4 Conclusions and proposals

39 We deplore the political and institutional deadlock currently paralysing governance in Albania. This situation does not benefit the Albanian people nor the country’s European integration process.
40 We note that the absence of parliamentary dialogue and recourse to boycotts, especially following the announcement of election results. This hampers the democratic functioning of the state’s institutions. We regret the decision of the SP not to participate in the work of the parliament. Political dialogue should take place first and foremost in the parliament and not on the streets. We also regret that the parliament elected in June 2009 has so far failed to appoint a new delegation to the Assembly and members of the old delegation belonging to the SP no longer participate in the activities of the Assembly and of its committees.
41 We further regret that, in the absence of any genuine dialogue, inflammatory political rhetoric is being increasingly used by all involved. This could further destabilise the country.
42 We support and encourage the efforts of President Topi to mediate and find a political solution to the deadlock.
43 The Parliamentary Assembly should call on its political groups to exert all their influence on the respective Albanian political parties to respect the country’s democratic institutions and their rules, to support President Topi’s efforts and to restore political dialogue. The Assembly should be actively involved, in close co-operation with other international organisations, in the search for a political solution to the crisis and support the efforts to bring all political parties together.
44 In particular, the Assembly could offer a forum for political reconciliation among the Albanian political parties. This could be organised under the auspices of the Assembly, could contribute to improving the political climate and set the basis for restoring political dialogue.
45 We refer to the conclusions of the ad hoc committee of the Bureau of the Assembly which observed the parliamentary elections of June 2009 and call upon the Albanian authorities to implement its recommendations. The ad hoc committee, amongst other things, invited political party officials and representatives of civil society to set up a joint group to examine all cases of pressure exerted on people during the election campaign and to establish the responsibility of offenders under the electoral law.
46 We hope that the forthcoming local elections in Albania, scheduled for early 2011, will be held in accordance with the new Electoral Law, that they will be free and fair and that their results will be accepted by all political parties. We recommend that the vote counting procedure be considerably improved and the number of counting teams be substantially increased in each of the regional counting centres.
47 We also expect the Assembly to call on the Albanian Government and the opposition to put an end to the political crisis in the country and assume their responsibilities in order to proceed with the vitally needed reforms with a view also to progressing towards further European integration, which is a goal common for all. In particular, the Assembly should urge the government to set up, without further delay, a parliamentary inquiry committee into the June 2009 elections and, at the same time, the opposition to return to parliament and fully participate in its work.
48 In order to support the reconciliation process among Albania’s political parties and assist President Topi in his role of mediator and his efforts to restore political dialogue, the Assembly should ask the Committee of Ministers and its own political groups to exert their influence on the Albanian political parties. For our part, as co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring Committee, we are very willing to liaise with the international community, including the diplomatic representatives of Council of Europe member states, in Tirana. If the crisis persists, we hope the Assembly will adopt one of the following options: the leaders of its political groups of related political affiliation, that is, of the European People’s Party and of the Socialist Group (Option A); the leaders of its political groups (Option B); or its Presidential Committee (Option C) to visit Albania, together with the co-rapporteurs of its Monitoring Committee.
49 We will continue to follow closely developments in Albania and propose any further action to the Monitoring Committee and, ultimately, the Assembly as may be required by the ongoing situation.

***

Reporting committee: Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee)

Reference to committee: Resolution 1115 (1997)

Draft resolution and draft recommendation adopted unanimously by the committee on 17 December 2009

Members of the committee: Mr Serhiy Holovaty (Chairperson), Mr György Frunda (1st Vice-Chairperson), Mr Konstantin Kosachev (2nd Vice-Chairperson), Mr Leonid Slutsky (3rd Vice-Chairperson), Mr Aydin Abbasov, Mr Pedro Agramunt Font de Mora, Mr Miloš Aligrudić, Mrs Meritxell Batet Lamaña, Mr Ryszard Bender, Mr József Berényi, Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Mr Sergej Chelemendik, Ms Lise Christoffersen, Mr Boriss Cilevičs, Mr Georges Colombier, Mr Telmo Correia, Mrs Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Mr Joseph Debono Grech, Mr Juris Dobelis, Mrs Josette Durrieu, Mr Mátyás Eörsi, Ms Mirjana Ferić-Vac, Mr Giuseppe Galati, Mr Jean-Charles Gardetto, Mr József Gedei, Mr Andreas Gross, Mr Michael Hagberg, Mr Holger Haibach, Ms Gultakin Hajibayli, Mr Michael Hancock, Mr Davit Harutyunyan, Mrs Olha Herasym’yuk, Mr Andres Herkel, Mrs Sinikka Hurskainen, Mr Kastriot Islami, Mr Mladen Ivanić, Mr Michael Aastrup Jensen, Mr Miloš Jevtić, Mr Hakki Keskin, Mr Haluk Koç, Mrs Katerina Konečná, Mr Jaakko Laakso, Mrs Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Mr Göran Lindblad, Mr René van der Linden, Mr Eduard Lintner, Mr Pietro Marcenaro, Mr Bernard Marquet, Mr Dick Marty, Mr Miloš Melčák, Mrs Nursuna Memecan, Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, Mr João Bosco Mota Amaral, Mr Adrian Năstase, Mrs Yuliya Novikova, Mrs Elsa Papadimitriou, Mr Alexander Pochinok, Mr Ivan Popescu, Mrs Zaruhi Postanjyan, Mrs Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin, Mr Christos Pourgourides, Mr John Prescott, Mrs Mailis Reps, Mr Andrea Rigoni, Mr Ilir Rusmali, Mr Armen Rustamyan, Mr Indrek Saar, Mr Kimmo Sasi, Mr Samad Seyidov, Mr Sergey Sobko, Mr Yanaki Stoilov, Mr Christoph Strässer, Mrs Chiora Taktakishvili, Mrs Özlem Türköne, Mr Egidijus Vareikis, Mr José Vera Jardim, Mr Piotr Wach, Mr Robert Walter, Mr David Wilshire, Mrs Renate Wohlwend, Mrs Karin S. Woldseth, Mrs Gisela Wurm, Mr Andrej Zernovski

NB: The names of the members who took part in the meeting are printed in bold

Secretariat of the committee: Mrs Chatzivassiliou, Mr Klein, Ms Trévisan, Mr Karpenko

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