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Activities of the Assembly’s Bureau and Standing Committee (24 April 2017)

Progress report | Doc. 14289 Add. 1 | 24 April 2017

Rapporteur :
Mr Jordi XUCLÀ, Spain, ALDE

1 Decisions of the Bureau of 24 April 2017 requiring ratification by the Assembly

1.1 Election of a Judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Albania

The Bureau took note of the report drawn up by the Committee on the Election of Judges which has assessed the qualifications of the three candidates to the post of judge to the Court in respect of Albania and recommended that the list be rejected (Doc. 14289 Addendum 2).

1.2 Composition of committees

1.2.1 Composition of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs

On the basis of a proposal by the EC Group, the Bureau nominated Ms Ingebjørg Godskesen (Norway).

1.3 General rapporteurs

The Bureau approved the revised terms of reference of a general rapporteur on the rights of LGBTIs people (Appendix 1) and the terms of reference of a general rapporteur on conditions of reception of refugees and migrants (Appendix 2).

The Assembly is invited to ratify the above proposals made by the Bureau.

2 Other decisions of the Bureau

2.1 Second part-session of 2017 (24 to 28 April)

2.1.1 Requests for debates under urgent procedure

The Bureau decided to propose to the Assembly not to hold a debate under urgent procedure on Political consequences of the new Israeli Settlement Regulation Law and that, should the Assembly decide to hold such a debate, the matter be referred to the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy for report.

The Bureau decided to propose to the Assembly to hold a debate under urgent procedure on the Draft Council of Europe Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property (Request for an Opinion from the Committee of Ministers (CM (2017) 32)),and to refer the matter to the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media for report.

The Bureau decided to propose to the Assembly to hold a debate under urgent procedure on Alarming developments in Hungary: new NGO law restricting civil society and closure of international university and to refer the matter to the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy for report.

The Bureau decided to propose to the Assembly not to hold a debate under urgent procedure on Introducing an impeachment procedure for Members holding elected office in the Parliamentary Assembly and that, should the Assembly decide to hold such a debate, the matter be referred to the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs for report.

2.1.2 Requests for a current affairs debate

The Bureau decided to propose to the Assembly to hold a current affairs debate on European values under threat: addressing rising xenophobia, antisemitism and islamophobia in Europe and designated Mr Talip Küçükcan (Turkey, EC) as the first speaker.

2.1.3 Draft agenda

The Bureau updated the draft agenda.

2.2 Election observation

2.2.1 Bulgaria: early parliamentary elections (26 March 2017)

The Bureau approved the report of the ad hoc committee.

2.3 Communication

The Bureau heard a statement by the President of the Assembly (including explanations provided in reply to questions on his trip to Syria in his personal capacity) and decided to continue the discussion on this item.

2.4 Issues raised by committees

2.4.1 Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy

The Bureau authorised Mr Attila Korodi (Romania, EPP/CD), rapporteur on Libya’s future between the threats of terrorism and a democratic prospect, to carry out a fact-finding visit to Tunisia in 2017, in the framework of the preparation of his report.

It also authorised Mr Alain Destexhe (Belgium, ALDE), rapporteur on The evaluation of the partnership for democracy in respect of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, to carry out fact-finding visits to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in 2017, in the framework of the preparation of his report.

2.4.2 Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

The Bureau authorised Mr Duarte Marques (Portugal, EPP/CD), rapporteur on A comprehensive humanitarian and political response to the migration crisis in Europe, to carry out a fact-finding visit to Morocco, in the framework of the preparation of his report.

2.5 General rapporteurs

The Bureau took note of the decision of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development to abolish the general rapporteurship on children.

Appendix 1 – Revised terms of reference of the General rapporteur on the rights of LGBT people

New denomination: General rapporteur on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTIs).

Term of office: one year renewable, subject to a maximum of two years.

Subject: it is the duty of the general rapporteur on LGBTI rights to intervene in the area of the protection and the promotion of the rights of LGBTI people, particularly on issues related to discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. He or she shall report periodically to the committee on the information collected and the action taken.

Responsibilities: The role of the general rapporteur is to:

  • follow activities and maintain working relations with the Office of the Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights, the Committee of Ministers and the European Court of Human Rights;
  • follow activities and maintain working relations with national parliaments, the European Parliament, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Fundamental Rights Agency the European Commission, as well as with non-governmental organisations active in the area of the protection and the promotion of the rights of LGBTI people;
  • follow up on relevant resolutions and recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly, such as Resolution 1728 and Recommendation 1915 (2010) on “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”, Recommendation 1635 (2003) on “Lesbians and gays in sport”, Recommendation 1470 (2000) on “Situation of gays and lesbians and their partners in respect of asylum and immigration in the member states of the Council of Europe”, Recommendation 1474 (2000) on the “Situation of lesbians and gays in Council of Europe member states”, Resolution 2048 (2015) on “Discrimination against transgender people in Europe”, also taking into consideration Recommendation (2010)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Appendix 2 – Terms of reference of the General Rapporteur on Conditions of Reception of Refugees and Migrants

Denomination: General Rapporteur on Conditions of Reception of Refugees and Migrants

Term of office: one year renewable, subject to a maximum of two years

Subject: the General Rapporteur on Conditions of Reception of Refugees and Migrants is mandated to examine the conditions of reception of refugees and migrants in Council of Europe member States.

Responsibilities: the General Rapporteur shall contribute to raising awareness in Council of Europe member States of concerns relating to conditions in reception facilities for refugees and migrants. S/he will promote good practice and implementation of international standards in this area. S/he shall act as an early warning mechanism in relation to new or evolving situations of concern, making representations to national authorities, as appropriate, alerting the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons to such situations, and where necessary proposing further action at Committee level.

In addition, the role of the General Rapporteur on conditions of reception of refugees and migrants is to:

  • follow activities and maintain working relations with relevant Council of Europe intergovernmental and monitoring bodies dealing with issues relating to refugees and migrants as well as with the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees;
  • follow activities and maintain working relations with external bodies and institutions active in relation to conditions of reception of refugees and migrants, notably UNHCR.