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Activities of the Assembly’s Bureau and Standing Committee (19 April-16 June 2021)

Progress report | Doc. 15318 | 16 June 2021

Committee
Bureau of the Assembly
Rapporteur :
Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC

1 Introduction

At its meeting on 26 April 2021, the Bureau appointed me as rapporteur for this report which covers the activities over the period from the last Bureau meeting of the second part-session of 2021 (Monday 26 April) to the first Bureau meeting of the third part-session of 2021 (Friday 18 June).

Chapter 2 presents a list of activities and decisions which do not require ratification. Chapter 3 presents decisions which have already been ratified by the Standing Committee on 28 May.

An addendum to this report will be issued after the Bureau meeting of 18 June, which will also include decisions to be ratified by the Assembly on 21 June.

The report of the Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights presenting the conclusions of the committee on the lists of candidates submitted by Croatia and the Russian Federation are published as an Addendum 2 to this progress report.

The Bureau will hold its next meetings in Strasbourg by videoconference on Thursday 24 June 2021 at 2 pm, then on Monday 6 September 2021 (date and venue to be confirmed). The next meeting of the Standing Committee will be held on 26 November 2021 (venue and format to be confirmed).

2 Activities of the Bureau since the last part-session and decisions not requiring ratification by the Assembly

2.1 Follow-up to the second part-session of 2021 (Strasbourg, 19-22 April)

On 26 April, the Bureau approved the follow-up proposals to the second part-session made by the Secretary General of the Assembly, as follows:

  • Current affairs debate on Covid passes or certificates: protection of fundamental rights and legal implications: the Bureau decided to refer this issue to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to be taken into account in the preparation of its report on the same subject, to be debated in the Assembly during the June part-session.
  • Current affairs debate on Armenian prisoners of war, other captives and displaced persons: the Bureau decided to refer this issue to the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons to be taken into account in the preparation of its report on Humanitarian consequences of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

2.2 Standing Committee meeting (videoconference, 28 May 2021)

On 26 April, the Bureau took note of the draft agenda. On 27 May, it took note of the updated draft agenda.

2.2.1 Requests for current affairs debates

On 27 May, the Bureau took note of the requests to hold current affairs debates tabled by:

  • the Turkish delegation on The attacks by the Israeli security forces against civilian Palestinians and other violations of human rights and took note of its withdrawal;
  • the United Kingdom delegation on The forced landing by the Belarusian authorities on 23 May of civilian airliner Flight FR4978 and the arrest of Roman Protasevich decided to recommend to the Standing Committee to hold this debate and appointed Mr John Howell (United Kingdom, EC/DA) as the first speaker in this debate;
  • the five political groups on The urgent need to relaunch the Middle East peace process and prevent a resurgence of violence decided to recommend to the Standing Committee to hold this debate and appointed Mr Piero Fassino (Italy, SOC) as the first speaker in this debate.

2.3 Third part-session of 2021 (Strasbourg, 21-24 June)

On 26 April, the Bureau drew up the preliminary draft agenda and decided to hold this part-session in a hybrid format. It also took note of the proposals by the committees on Equality and Non-Discrimination, on Culture, Science, Education and Media and on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons to invite guests to address the Assembly. On 27 May, it drew up the draft agenda and took note of the proposals by the committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development to invite guests speakers to address the Assembly within the framework of the debates by the Committee.

2.4 Communications

On 26 April, the Bureau took note of a statement by the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe. On 27 May, It took note of the communication by the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

2.5 Election observation

2.5.1 Bulgaria: parliamentary elections (4 April 2021)

On 27 May, the Bureau approved the report of the ad hoc committee.

2.5.2 Albania: parliamentary elections (25 April 2021)

On 27 May, the Bureau approved the report of the ad hoc committee.

2.5.3 Palestine: parliamentary elections (initially foreseen on 22 May 2021)

On 26 April, the Bureau decided to suspend the preparation of the observation of these elections, pending the organisation of a risk assessment mission. On 27 May, it took note of the postponement of these elections sine die.

2.5.4 Armenia: early parliamentary elections (20 June 2021)

On 26 April, the Bureau took note of the provisional list of members of the ad hoc committee and authorised the President to appoint its Chairperson. On 27 May, it approved the final list of members of the ad hoc committee to observe these elections and confirmed the appointment of Mr George Katrougalos (Greece, UEL) as its Chairperson (Appendix 1).

2.5.5 Republic of Moldova: early parliamentary elections (11 July 2021)

On 27 May, the Bureau confirmed the observation of these elections and set up an ad hoc committee composed of 20 members (SOC-7; EPP/CD-6; EC/DA-3; ALDE-3; UEL-1) as well as the two co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring committee, and decided to conduct a pre-electoral mission. It also approved the list of members of the ad hoc committee to observe these elections and appointed Mr Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC) as Chairperson of the ad hoc committee (Appendix 2).

2.5.6 Bulgaria: early parliamentary elections (11 July 2021)

On 27 May, the Bureau decided to observe these elections and to set up an ad hoc committee composed of 20 members (SOC-7; EPP/CD-6; EC/DA-3; ALDE-3; UEL-1) as well as the two co-rapporteurs of the monitoring committee. Given the very short timeframe since the last parliamentary elections, it decided to maintain the same list of members and the Chairperson of the ad hoc committee, Mr Alfred Heer (Switzerland, ALDE), as for the previous elections, while updating the list of substitutes (Appendix 3).

2.5.7 Palestine: Presidential election (31 July 2021)

On 26 April, the Bureau decided to postpone the consideration of this item to one of its forthcoming meetings.

2.5.8 Russian Federation: parliamentary elections (19 September 2021)

On 27 May, the Bureau, subject to receiving an invitation, decided to observe these elections and to set up an ad hoc committee composed of 40 members (SOC-13; EPP/CD-12; ALDE-7; EC/DA-6; UEL-2) as well as the two co-rapporteurs of the Monitoring committee, and it decided to conduct a pre-electoral mission.

2.5.9 Schedule of the elections

On 27 May, the Bureau took note of the updated schedule of elections.

2.6 References and transmissions to committees

2.6.1 Lapse of reference

On 26 April, the Bureau took note of the following lapse of reference

  • Doc. 14476, Reference 4363 of 15 March 2018, Strengthening parliamentary dialogue with Algeria

2.7 European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) – Lists of candidates in respect of Croatia, Cyprus, France, Liechtenstein, Malta, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom

On 26 April, the Bureau approved the lists of candidates in respect of Croatia, France, Liechtenstein, Malta, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to be forwarded to the Committee of Ministers and approved the recommendation of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to invite the delegation of Cyprus to submit a new list of candidates to the CPT.

2.8 Assembly General Rapporteurs: stocktaking

On 27 May, the Bureau took note of the memorandum prepared by the Secretary General of the Assembly and decided to resume its consideration at its forthcoming meeting.

2.9 Issues raised by committees

2.9.1 Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination

On 26 April, the Bureau took note of the letter by the Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination inviting the President of the Assembly to present the commitment of the Assembly in the framework of the UN Gender Equality Forum’s Action Coalition on gender-based violence and supported this proposal.

2.9.2 Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

On 27 May, the Bureau decided to postpone the consideration of the draft terms of reference of a General Rapporteur on Missing refugee and migrant children in Europe until the Bureau has considered the Memorandum on Assembly General Rapporteurs: stocktaking. It also decided to authorise the rapporteur on Pushback on land and sea: illegal measures of migration management to pay a fact-finding visit to Morocco.

2.10 European Conference of Presidents of Parliament 2021

On 26 April, the Bureau took note that the Conference would discuss the following themes:

  • Democracies facing the Covid-19 public health crisis: sharing experiences
  • “#EnvironmentRightNow”: national parliaments and the right to a healthy and sustainable environment

and that the third theme will be a current political issue to be chosen amongst proposals to be suggested by Presidents of Parliament.

2.11 2021 World Forum for Democracy (Strasbourg, 8-10 November)

On 27 May, the Bureau took note of the concept paper and decided to set up an ad hoc committee of the Bureau to participate in the Forum.

3 Decisions taken by the Bureau at its meetings on 26 April and 27 May, and subsequently ratified by the Standing Committee

3.1 Bureau meeting on 26 April

On 26 April, the Bureau approved the following references and transmissions:

  • Doc. 15245 Motion for a resolution, Public health emergency: the need for a holistic approach to multilateralism and health care: reference to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for report
  • Doc. 15246 Motion for a resolution, For a fairer future: building on the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic to promote equality in Europe: reference to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development to be taken into account in the framework of the report on “Overcoming the socio-economic crisis sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic“ and to the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination for opinion
  • Doc. 15247 Motion for a resolution, The need to address discrimination on the basis of political opinion: no further action
  • Doc. 15248 Motion for a resolution, Sexual and reproductive health and rights: reference to the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination for report
  • Doc. 15249 Motion for a resolution, Forced migration due to political repressions: reference to the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy to be taken into account in the framework of the report on “Call for an inclusive national political process in Belarus“
  • Doc. 15254 Motion for a recommendation, Covid-19 impact on global tourism and aviation industries and their safe revival: reference to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development to be taken into account in the framework of the report on “Overcoming the socio-economic crisis sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic”
  • Doc. 15262 Motion for a resolution, Establishment of a “youth partner” status with the Parliamentary Assembly: reference to the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy for report and to the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media for opinion

3.2 Bureau meeting on 27 May

On 27 May, the Bureau approved the following references and transmissions:

  • Doc. 15269 Motion for a recommendation, Preventing addictive behaviours in children: reference to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for report
  • Doc. 15271 Motion for a resolution, The deployment of mercenaries in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: transmission to Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) for information
  • Doc. 15273 Motion for a resolution, The impact of the Covid-19 restrictions for civil society space and activities: reference to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights for report
  • Doc. 15274 Motion for a resolution, Precarious status of cross-border and seasonal workers in Europe: reference to the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons for report and to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for opinion

3.3 Composition of the Monitoring Committee, the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, and the Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights

3.3.1 Monitoring Committee

On 27 May, the Bureau:

  • on the basis of a proposal by the EPP/DC group, appointed Ms Marijana Balić (Croatia) as a member;
  • on the basis of a proposal by the EC/DA group, appointed Mr Zsolt Németh (Hungary) as a member;
  • on the basis of a proposal by the SOC group, appointed Mr Irakli Chikovani (Georgia) as a member.

3.3.2 Committee on the election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights

On 27 May, the Bureau on the basis of a proposal by the EPP/DC group, appointed Ms Andrea Eder-Gischthaler (Austria) as a substitute.

4 Activities of the Standing Committee (videoconference, 28 May 2021)

The Standing Committee:

  • held an exchange of views with Mr Levente Magyar, Deputy Minister, Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Hungarian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
  • ratified the credentials of new members of the Assembly submitted by the delegations of Andorra, Denmark, Germany, San Marino and Ukraine
  • approved changes in the composition of Assembly committees
  • held current affairs debates on “The urgent need to relaunch the Middle East peace process and prevent a resurgence of violence” and on “The forced landing by the Belarusian authorities on 23 May of civilian airliner flight FR4978 and the arrest of Roman Protasevich”
  • took note of the draft agenda of the third part-session of the Parliamentary Assembly (21-24 June 2021)
  • ratified the references proposed by the Bureau (see Appendix)
  • adopted the following texts on behalf of the Assembly:

Opinion 298 (2021)

Budget and priorities of the Council of Europe for the period 2022-2025

Resolution 2377 (2021)

Expenditure of the Parliamentary Assembly for the biennium 2022-2023

Resolution 2378 (2021)

Strengthening the role of young people in the prevention and resolution of conflicts

Resolution 2379 (2021)

Role of parliaments in implementing the United Nations global compacts for migrants and refugees

Recommendation 2203 (2021)

Humanitarian action for refugees and migrants in countries in North Africa and the Middle East

Resolution 2380 (2021)

Humanitarian action for refugees and migrants in countries in North Africa and the Middle East

  • decided to hold its next meeting on 26 November 2021 (venue and format to be confirmed)

Appendix 1 – List of members of the ad hoc committee for the observation of the early parliamentary elections in Armenia (20 June 2021)

Chairperson / Président: Mr / M. George Katrougalos, Greece / Grèce

Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group / Groupe des socialistes, démocrates et verts (SOC)

  • Mr / M. Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino / Saint-Marin
  • Ms / Mme Bela BACH, Germany / Allemagne
  • Mr / M. Paulo PISCO, Portugal
  • Ms / Mme Sibel ARSLAN, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Ms / Mme Bisera KOSTADINOVSKA – STOJCHEVSKA, North Macedonia / Macédoine du Nord
  • Mr / M. Christian PETRY, Germany / Allemagne

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Antonio GUTIÉRREZ, Spain / Espagne

Group of the European People’s Party (EPP/CD) / Groupe du Parti populaire européen (PPE/DC)

  • Mr / M. Arin KARAPET, Sweden / Suède
  • Mr / M. Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland / Poland
  • Ms / Mme Catia POLIDORI, Italy / Italie
  • Mr / M. Luís LEITE RAMOS, Portugal
  • Mr / M. Francesco SCOMA, Italy / Italie

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Hungary / Hongrie
  • Mr / M. Franck HEINRICH, Germany / Allemagne
  • Mr / M. Jacek PROTASIEWICZ, Poland / Pologne
  • Mr / M. Aleksander STOKKEBØ, Norway / Norvège
  • Mr / M. Krzysztof TRUSKOLASKI, Poland / Pologne

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) / Alliance des démocrates et des libéraux pour l’Europe (ADLE)

  • Mr / M. Olivier FRANÇAIS, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Mr / M. Arminas LYDEKA, Lithuania / Lituanie
  • Ms / Mme Alexandra LOUIS, France

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Ms / Mme Diana STOICA, Romania / Roumanie
  • Mr / M. Claude KERN, France
  • Mr / M. Georges-Louis BOUCHEZ, Belgium / Belgique
  • Mr / M. LE NAY, France
  • Mr / M. Jacques Damien COTTIER, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Mr / M. Alfred HEER, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Ms / Mme Lesia ZABURANNA, Ukraine

European Conservatives Group and Democratic Alliance (EC/DA) / Groupe des conservateurs européens et Alliance démocratique (CE/AD)

  • Mr / M. Arkadiusz MULARCZYK, Poland / Pologne
  • Mr / M. Alberto RIBOLLA, Italy / Italie
  • Mr / M. Ulrich OEHME, Germany / Allemagne

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Ms / Mme Anamaria GAVRILĂ, Romania / Roumanie

Group of the Unified European Left (UEL) / Groupe pour la gauche unitaire européenne (GUE)

  • Mr / M. M George KATROUGALOS, Greece / Grèce

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Thomas PRINGLE, Ireland / Irlande
  • Mr / M. Gaik VARTANEAN, Republic of Moldova / République de Moldova
  • Ms / Mme Nina KASIMATI, Greece / Grèce

Co-rapporteurs AS/MON (ex officio)

  • Ms / Mme Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden / Suède
  • Mr / M. Kimmo KILJUNEN, Finland / Finlande

Venice Commission / Commission de Venise

  • Mr / M. Richard BARRETT, expert, Ireland / Irlande

Appendix 2 – List of members of the ad hoc committee for the observation of the early parliamentary elections in the Republic of Moldova (11 July 2021)

Chairperson / Président: Mr / M. Stefan Schennach, Austria / Autriche

Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group / Groupe des socialistes, démocrates et verts (SOC)

  • Ms / Mme Marina BERLIGHIERI, Italy / Italie
  • Mr / M. Antonio GUTIÉRREZ, Spain / Espagne
  • Mr / M. Andi-Lucian CRISTEA, Romania / Roumanie
  • Mr / M. Stephan SCHENNACH, Austria / Autriche (P)
  • Ms / Mme Róisín GARVEY, Ireland / Irlande
  • Mr / M. Andrzej SZEJNA, Poland / Pologne
  • Mr / M. Christian PETRY, Germany / Allemagne

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Titus CORLĂŢEAN, Romania / Roumanie
  • Mr / M. Predrag SEKULIC, Montenegro

Group of the European People’s Party (EPP/CD) / Groupe du Parti populaire européen (PPE/DC)

  • Mr / M. Krzysztof TRUSKOLASKI, Poland / Pologne
  • Mr / M. Christian KLINGER, France
  • Ms / Mme Laima Liucija ANDRIKIENĖ, Lithuania / Lituanie (P)
  • Mr / M. Cristian Augustin NICULESCU-ȚÂGÂRLAȘ, Romania / Roumanie
  • Ms / Mme Boriana ABERG, Sweden / Suède
  • Ms / Mme Laurence TRASTOUR-ISNART, France

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Aleksander STOKKEBØ, Norway / Norvège
  • Mr / M. Joseph O’REILLY, Ireland / Irelande

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) / Alliance des démocrates et des libéraux pour l’Europe (ADLE)

  • Mr / M. Jacques LE NAY, France (P)
  • Ms / Mme Diana STOICA, Romania / Roumanie
  • Mr / M. Jacques MAIRE, France

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Ms / Mme Marina BARDINA, Ukraine
  • Ms / Mme Jennifer DE TEMMERMAN, France
  • Mr / M. Georges-Louis BOUCHEZ, Belgium / Belgique
  • Mr / M. Fabien GOUTTEFARDE, France
  • Ms / Mme Maša KOCIPER, Slovenia / Slovénie

European Conservatives Group and Democratic Alliance (EC/DA) / Groupe des conservateurs européens et Alliance démocratique (CE/AD)

  • Mr / M. Alberto RIBOLLA, Italy / Italie (P)
  • Ms / Mme Olena KHOMENKO, Ukraine
  • Mr / M. Arkadiusz MULARCZYK, Poland / Pologne

Substitutes / Suppléant.e.s

  • Mr / M. Oleksii GONCHARENKO, Ukraine
  • Mr / M. Axel KASSEGER, Austria / Autriche
  • Mr / M. Norbert KLEINWAECHTER, Germany / Allemagne

Group of the Unified European Left (UEL) / Groupe pour la gauche unitaire européenne (GUE)

  • Mr / M. Thomas PRINGLE, Ireland / Irlande (P)

Co-rapporteurs AS/MON (ex officio)

  • Mr / M. Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland / Suisse (P)
  • Ms / Mme Ms Inese LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Latvia / Lettonie

Venice Commission / Commission de Venise

(P) Member of the pre-electoral mission

Appendix 3 – List of members of the ad hoc committee for the observation of the early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria (11 July 2021)

Chairperson / Président: Mr / M. Alfred HEER, Switzerland / Suisse

Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group / Groupe des socialistes, démocrates et verts (SOC)

  • Mr / M. Christian PETRY, Germany / Allemagne
  • Mr / M. Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Mr / M. Roberto RAMPI, Italy / Italie
  • Mr / M. Pedro CEGONHO, Portugal
  • Mr / M. Yunus EMRE, Turkey / Turquie
  • Mr / M. André VALLINI France
  • Mr / M. Andrzej SZEJNA, Poland / Pologne

Group of the European People’s Party (EPP/CD) / Groupe du Parti populaire européen (PPE/DC)

  • Mr / M. Reinhold LOPATKA, Austria / Autriche
  • Mr / M. Jacek PROTASIEWICZ, Poland / Pologne
  • Mr / M. Aleksander STOKKEBØ, Norway / Norvège
  • Ms / Mme Laurence TRASTOUR-ISNART, France
  • Mr / M. Vladimir VARDANYAN, Armenia / Arménie

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Joe O’REILLY, Ireland / Irlande
  • Mr / M. Viorel Riceard BADEA, Romania / Roumanie
  • Ms / Mme Catia POLIDORI, Italy / Italie

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) / Alliance des démocrates et des libéraux pour l’Europe (ADLE)

  • Mr / M. Fabien GOUTTEFARDE, France
  • Mr / M. Alfred HEER, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Ms / Mme Yevheniia KRAVCHUK, Ukraine

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Damien COTTIER, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Mr / M. Christoph HOFFMANN, Germany / Allemagne
  • Mr / M. Hovhannes IGITYAN, Armenia / Arménie
  • Ms / Mme Liliana TANGUY, France
  • Mr / M. Arminas LYDEKA, Lithuania / Lituanie
  • Mr / M. Bertrand BOUYX, France
  • Ms / Mme Alexandra LOUIS, France
  • Ms / Mme Nicole DURANTON, France
  • Mr / M. Jacques LE NAY, France
  • Mr / M. Frédéric PETIT, France
  • Mr / M. Jean-Pierre GRIN, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Mr / M. Georges-Luis BOUCHEZ, Belgium / Belgique

European Conservatives Group and Democratic Alliance (EC/DA) / Groupe des conservateurs européens et Alliance démocratique (CE/AD)

  • Mr / M. Alberto RIBOLLA, Italy / Italie
  • Mr / M. Ulrich OEHME, Germany / Allemagne
  • Mr / M. Mikayel MELKUMYAN, Armenia / Arménie

Group of the Unified European Left (UEL) / Groupe pour la gauche unitaire européenne (GUE)

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Andrej HUNKO, Germany / Allemagne

Co-rapporteurs AS/MON (ex officio)

  • Mr / M. Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland / Pologne
  • Mr / M. Frank SCHWABE, Germany / Allemagne

Venice Commission / Commission de Venise

;