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Activities of the Assembly’s Bureau and Standing Committee (30 September 2021-21 January 2022)

Progress report | Doc. 15439 | 20 January 2022

Committee
Bureau of the Assembly
Rapporteur :
Mr Rik DAEMS, Belgium, ALDE

1 Introduction

At its meeting on 10 December 2021, following the resignation of Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (United Kingdom, EC/DA) as rapporteur, the Bureau appointed me as rapporteur for this report, which covers its activities over the period from the last Bureau meeting of the fourth part-session of 2021 (Thursday 30 September) to the pre-session Bureau meeting of Friday, 21 January 2022.

The present report includes the decisions taken at the Bureau meetings, held in a hybrid manner, on 30 September 2021, in Strasbourg, 10 December 2021, in Paris, and 14 January 2022, in Strasbourg, as well as at the Bureau meeting held in physical presence in Rome, on 25 November 2021. Chapter 2 presents a list of decisions that were either already ratified by the Standing Committee on 25-26 November 2021, or which do not require ratification. Chapter 4 lists the decisions taken on 10 December 2021 that require ratification at the opening of the 2022 first part-session of the Assembly.

The addendum 1 of this report presents the statistics of the Gender equality in the functioning of the Assembly.

An addendum to this report will be issued after the Bureau meeting of 21 January, which will also include decisions to be ratified by the Assembly at the opening of the 2022 plenary session, on 24 January 2022. Another addendum will be issued after the Bureau meeting of 28 January. It will include only the decisions to be ratified by the Assembly on the same day, notably the references and transmissions to committees which will have been approved by the Bureau.

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 list of candidates submitted by Poland is published as an Addendum 2 to this report.

The Bureau will hold its forthcoming meetings in Strasbourg in a hybrid manner on Friday, 28 January at 8.30 am, and in Berlin, on Thursday, 10 March (to be confirmed, depending on the evolution of the health situation). The next meeting of the Standing Committee will be held on 11 March, in Berlin (to be confirmed, depending on the evolution of the health situation).

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

2.1 Follow-up to the fourth part-session of 2021 (Strasbourg, 27-30 September 2021)

On 30 September, the Bureau approved the follow-up proposal to the current affairs debate on The Western Balkans between democratic challenges and European aspirations: what role for the Council of Europe? and decided, as proposed by the Secretary General of the Assembly, to refer this issue to the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, to be taken into account in the preparation of its report on Supporting a European perspective for the Western Balkans.

2.2 Standing Committee meeting (Rome, 25-26 November 2021)

On 30 September, the Bureau took note of the draft agenda and accepted the proposal by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons to invite Mr Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or Ms Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, to address the Standing Committee in the context of the debates on 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention: the Council of Europe and the international protection of refugees and Voluntary relocation of migrants in need of humanitarian protection and voluntary resettlement of refugees.

On 25 November, the Bureau took note of the request to hold a debate on The situation of migrants on the border between Poland and Belarus, tabled by the five political groups, decided to recommend to the Standing Committee to hold this debate, and appointed Mr Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC) as first speaker in the debate. It also took note of the draft agenda of the Standing Committee.

On 10 December, the Bureau approved the follow-up proposals made by the Secretary General of the Assembly, notably to the current affairs debate on The situation of migrants on the border between Poland and Belarus. It thus decided to invite the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons to take the outcomes of the discussions into account into the preparation of its reports on Pushbacks on land and sea: illegal measures of migration management and European solidarity in the migration and asylum context. It also decided to invite the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to take the discussions into account in their respective work.

2.3 First part-session of 2022 (Strasbourg, 24-28 January 2022)

On 25 November, the Bureau decided to hold this part-session in a hybrid manner and drew up the preliminary draft agenda. On 10 December, it drew up the draft agenda and, on 14 January, it updated the draft agenda of the 2022 first part-session.

At its meeting on 14 January, the Bureau confirmed that the part-session would be organised in Strasbourg, in a hybrid manner, which allows all members of the Assembly to participate in the plenary sittings and committee meetings in physical presence or by videoconference.

On 14 January, in the light of the current sanitary situation, the Bureau agreed to the following organisational arrangements for the part-session: physical presence of current/outgoing President of the Assembly and incoming President, current/outgoing and incoming Vice-Presidents of the Assembly, current/outgoing Committee Chairpersons and incoming Chairpersons, Presidents of political groups and one female Vice-president per group, rapporteurs whose reports are included in the agenda of the part-session, as well as Chairpersons of national delegations and one Vice-chairperson or another member of the delegation not belonging to the ruling majority, who could be accompanied by one secretary of delegation.

On 14 January, at the request of the chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, the Bureau agreed to invite children to contribute to the joint debate on The right to be heard: child participation, a foundation for democratic societies and Inaction on climate change – a violation of children's rights, by videoconference. At the request of the chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, the Bureau also agreed to invite Ms Michele Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in the framework of the debate on reports on Combating rising hate against LGBTI people in Europe and Alleged violations of the rights of LGBTI people in the Southern Caucasus.

2.4 Organisational arrangements of the April 2022 Assembly’s part-session

At its meeting on 10 December, the Bureau took note of the memorandum prepared by the Secretary General of the Assembly and agreed to the proposals there in, namely, to start the part-session in the afternoon of Monday 25 April 2022, as the date coincides with Orthodox Easter Monday.

2.5 Communications

On 25 November and 10 December, the Bureau took note of the communication by the President of the Assembly, the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe. On 25 November, it held an exchange of views with the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe and on 10 December, it held an exchange of views with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

2.6 Election observation

2.6.1 Morocco: parliamentary elections (8 September 2021)

On 25 November, the Bureau approved the report by the observation mission.

2.6.2 Russian Federation: parliamentary elections (19 September 2021)

On 25 November, the Bureau took note of the memorandum by the Chairperson of the Election Assessment Mission and decided to declassify it.

2.6.3 Bulgaria: presidential and early parliamentary elections (14 November 2021)

On 30 September, the Bureau approved the updated list of members of the ad hoc committee to observe both elections (Appendix 1). On 25 November, it took note of the statement of the election observation.

2.6.4 Kyrgyzstan: parliamentary elections (28 November 2021)

On 30 September, the Bureau approved the list of members of the ad hoc committee to observe these elections and appointed Ms Marina Berlinghieri (Italy, SOC) as the Chairperson of the ad hoc committee (Appendix 2).

2.6.5 Schedule of elections

On 10 December, the Bureau took note of the schedule of the elections for 2022.

2.7 References and transmissions to committees

2.7.1 References and transmissions

At its meeting on 30 September, the Bureau considered and approved the following references and transmissions, which were subsequently ratified by the Assembly:

  • Doc. 15383, Motion for a resolution, Right of the child to protection while using the internet: reference to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for report;
  • Doc. 15384, Motion for a resolution, Political situation in Tunisia: reference to the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy for report;
  • Bureau decision, The Western Balkans between democratic challenges and European aspirations: what role for the Council of Europe?: reference to the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy to be taken into account in the preparation of its report on Supporting a European perspective for the Western Balkans.

2.7.2 Extension of references

At its meeting on 25 November, the Bureau considered and approved the following requests for extension of references, which were subsequently ratified by the Standing Committee on the same day:

  • Doc. 14652, Motion for a resolution, Misuse of the Schengen system by Council of Europe member States as a politically-motivated sanction: extension until 21 July 2022;
  • Assembly decision, The honouring of membership obligations to the Council of Europe by Hungary (Reference 4446 of 12 April 2019) validity: 12 April 2022: extension until 12 October 2022;
  • Assembly decision, The honouring of membership obligations to the Council of Europe by Romania (Reference 4448 of 12 April 2019) validity: 12 April 2022: extension until 12 October 2022.

2.8 Issues raised by committees

2.8.1 Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development

On 30 September, the Bureau decided to postpone the consideration of the request to hold a committee meeting in Moscow, on 1 December 2021, pending the evolution of the sanitary conditions in the host country.

2.8.2 Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy

On 25 November, the Bureau decided to authorise Mr Claude Kern (France, ALDE), Rapporteur on Political situation in Tunisia, to carry out a fact-finding visit to Tunisia in the framework of the preparation of his report.

2.9 Composition of the Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights

On 30 September, on the basis of a proposal by the EPP/CD group, the Bureau appointed Mr Corneliu Mugurel Cozmanciuc (Romania) as a member.

2.10 Composition of the Monitoring Committee

On 25 November, on the basis of a proposal by the SOC group, the Bureau appointed Ms Bisera Kostadinovska-Stojchevska (North Macedonia) as a member.

2.11 Institutional representation of the Parliamentary Assembly in 2021

On 30 September, the Bureau approved the appointment of Mr Claude Kern (France, ALDE) as substitute to the Council for Democratic Elections of the Venice Commission, as proposed by the Monitoring Committee.

2.12 European Conference of Presidents of Parliaments (Athens, 21-22 October 2021)

On 30 September, the Bureau took note of the information provided by the Secretary General of the Assembly on the programme and organisational arrangements for the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament.

2.13 European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) – Lists of candidates in respect of Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Netherlands and Norway

On 30 September, the Bureau approved the lists of candidates in respect of these countries to be forwarded to the Committee of Ministers.

2.14 2021 World Forum for Democracy (Strasbourg, 8-10 November 2021)

On 30 September, the Bureau approved the final composition of the ad hoc committee of the Bureau to participate in the Forum (Appendix 3).

2.15 Meetings elsewhere than Strasbourg and Paris

On 30 September, subject to the availability of funds, the Bureau authorised the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) to meet in Copenhagen, on 14-15 December 2021.

2.16 Meetings of the Standing Committee and the Bureau in 2022

On 25 November, the Bureau approved the proposals on the dates and venues of the meetings of the Bureau and Standing Committee in 2022 (Appendix 4).

2.17 Expenditure of the Parliamentary Assembly for the 2022 financial year

At its meeting on 10 December, the Bureau took note of the information provided by the Secretary General of the Assembly on the budget allocated to the Parliamentary Assembly in 2022. At the President’s proposal, it also agreed to the principle of introducing a CO2 emissions compensation line in the Assembly’s expenditures relating to official travel, in compliance with the principle of corporate environmental responsibility.

2.18 Co-operation with the European Parliament and other EU institutions

On 10 December, the Bureau took note of the memorandum prepared by the Secretary General of the Assembly.

2.19 2022 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

On 10 December, the Bureau took note of the calendar of the 2022 edition of the Prize.

2.20 Apportionment of the allocation to political groups for 2022

On 10 December, the Bureau took note of the memorandum prepared by the Secretary General of the Assembly and approved the proposal for the apportionment of the allocation.

3 Activities of the Standing Committee (Rome, 25-26 November 2021)

The Standing Committee, meeting on 25 and 26 November 2021 in Rome, with first Mr Rik Daems, President of the Assembly, and then Mr Andreas Nick, Mr John Howell and Ms Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Vice-presidents of the Assembly, in the Chair:

  • heard welcome addresses by Mr Roberto Fico, President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and Ms Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, President of the Italian Senate;
  • held an exchange of views with Mr Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe;
  • ratified the credentials of new members of the Assembly submitted by the delegations of Croatia, Denmark, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway and Ukraine;
  • approved changes in the composition of Assembly committees;
  • took note of the preliminary draft agenda of the first part-session of 2022 of the Assembly (24-28 January 2022);
  • took note of the report of the Ad hoc Committee of the Bureau on the observation of the parliamentary elections in Morocco (8 September 2021);
  • held an exchange of views in the framework of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on the role of men in stopping gender-based violence and heard contributions by Mr Michele Nicoletti, Professor at the University of Trento, Member of the Italian network on the Istanbul Convention, and Ms Simona Lanzoni, Vice-President of the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence of the Council of Europe (GREVIO);
  • held a current affairs debate on The situation of migrants on the border between Poland and Belarus;
  • heard a statement by Ms Grainne O’Hara, UNHCR’s Director for International Protection, in the framework of the debate on 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention: the Council of Europe and the international protection of refugees.

4 Decisions of the Bureau requiring ratification by the Assembly

4.1 References and transmissions to committees

On 10 December, the Bureau considered and approved the following references and transmissions, subject to ratification by the Assembly:

  • Doc. 15386, Motion for a resolution, The Istanbul Convention: progress and challenges: reference to the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination for report;
  • Doc. 15390, Motion for a resolution, Child abuse in Europe: addressing, compensation and prevention: reference to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for report and to the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights for opinion;
  • Doc. 15391, Motion for a resolution, Systematic prosecution of democratic and human rights in Turkey: reference to the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) to be taken into account in the framework of the report on the Honouring of obligations and commitments by Turkey;
  • Doc. 15392, Motion for a resolution, Political strategies to face the consequences of natural disasters: reference to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development for report.

The Assembly is invited to ratify these Bureau decisions.

Appendix 1 - List of members of the ad hoc committee for the presidential and early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria (14 November 2021)

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

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

  • Mr / M. Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Mr / M. Pedro CEGONHO, Portugal
  • Mr / M. Yunus EMRE, Turkey / Turquie
  • Mr / M. André VALLINI France
  • Ms / Mme Marina BERLINGHIERI, Italy / Italie
  • Mr / M. Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, Croatia / Croatie

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

  • Mr / M. Viorel BADEA, Romania / Roumanie
  • Mr/ M. Corneliu-Mugurel COZMANCIUC, Romania / Roumanie
  • Mr / M. Jacek PROTASIEWICZ, Poland / Pologne
  • Mr / M. Francesco SCOMA, Italy / Italie
  • Mr / M. Raivo TAMM, Estonia / Estonie
  • Mr / M. Vladimir VARDANYAN, Armenia / Arménie

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
  • Mr / M. Damien COTTIER, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Mr / M. Jean-Pierre GRIN, Switzerland / Suisse
  • Mr / M. Arminas LYDEKA, Lithuania / Lituanie

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

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

  • 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

  • Mr / M. Richard BARRETT, member / membre

Appendix 2 - List of members of the ad hoc committee for the parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan (28 November 2021)

Chairperson / Présidente: Ms / Mme Marina Berlinghieri (Italy / Italie)

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

  • Ms / Mme Marina BERLINGHIERI, Italy / Italie
  • Mr / M. Constantinos EFSTATHIOU, Cyprus / Chypre
  • Mr / M. Pere LÓPEZ, Andorra / Andorre

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Ms / Mme Bela BACH, Germany / Allemagne
  • Mr / M. Domagoj HAJDUKOVIĆ, Croatia / Croatie
  • Mr / M. Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria / Autriche
  • Mr / M. Predrag SEKULIĆ, Montenegro / Monténégro
  • Mr / M. André VALLINI, France
  • Ms / Mme Róisín GARVEY, Ireland / Irlande
  • Ms / Mme Tabea RÖSSNER, Germany / Allemagne
  • Mr / M. Givi MIKANADZE, Georgia / Géorgie

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

  • Mr / M. Luís LEITE RAMOS, Portugal
  • Mr / M. Kęstutis MASIULIS, Lithuania / Lituanie
  • Mr / M. Krzysztof TRUSKOLASKI, Poland / Pologne

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Corneliu-Mugurel COZMANCIUC, Romania / Roumanie
  • Mr / M. Frank HEINRICH, Germany / Allemagne
  • Ms / Mme Maria-Gabriela HORGA, Romania / Roumanie
  • Mr / M. Cristian-Augustin NICULESCU-ȚÂGÂRLAȘ, Romania / Roumanie
  • Mr / M. Aleksander STOKKEBØ, Norway / Norvège

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

  • Mr / M. Oleksii GONCHARENKO, Ukraine
  • Mr / M. Alberto RIBOLLA, Italy / Italie

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

  • Ms / Mme Yolaine de COURSON, France
  • Ms / Mme Diana STOICA, Romania / Roumanie

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Jacques MAIRE, France
  • Ms / Mme Isabelle RAUCH, France
  • Mr / M. Claude KERN, France
  • Mr / M. Jacques LE NAY, France
  • Mr / M. Zeki Hakan SIDALI, Turkey / Turquie

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

  • Mr / M. Paul GAVAN, Ireland / Irlande

Substitutes / Suppléant·e·s

  • Mr / M. Antón GÓMEZ-REINO, Spain / Espagne

Appendix 3 - List of members of the ad hoc committee for the 2021 World Forum for Democracy (Strasbourg, 8-10 November)

Chairperson / Président: Mr Rik Daems – President of the Parliamentary Assembly / Président de l’Assemblée parlementaire

  • Mr / M. Ziya Altunyaldiz (Turkey, NR / Turquie, NI) – AS/JUR
  • Mr / M. Ahmet Ünal Çeviköz (Turkey / Turquie, SOC) – AS/POL
  • Mr / M. Constantinos Efstathiou (Cyprus / Chypre, SOC) – AS/CULT
  • Ms / Mme Edite Estrela (Portugal, SOC) – AS/SOC
  • Mr / M. Sokratis Famellos (Greece, UEL / Grèce, GUE) – AS/MIG
  • Mr / M. Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland / Suisse, SOC) – AS/MIG
  • Mr / M. Paul Gavan (Ireland, UEL / Irlande, GUE) – AS/MIG
  • Mr / M. Jean-Pierre Grin (Switzerland, ALDE / Suisse, ADLE) – AS/SOC
  • Ms / Mme Emine Nur Günay (Turkey, NR / Turquie, NI) – AS/POL
  • Mr / Mme Danuta Jazłoweicka (Poland, EPP/CD / Pologne, PPE/DC) – AS/SOC
  • Mr / M. Bogdan Klich (Poland, EPP/CD / Pologne, PPE/DC) – AS/POL
  • Mr / M. George Katrougalos (Greece, UEL / Grèce, GUE)Note – AS/POL
  • Mr / M. Luís Leite Ramos (Portugal, EPP/CD / PPE/DC) – AS/SOC
  • Mr / M. Ian Liddell-Grainger (United Kingdom, EC/DA / Royaume-Uni, CE/AD) – AS/PRO
  • Ms / Mme Mariia Mezentseva (Ukraine, EPP/CD / PPE/DC) – AS/MIG
  • Ms / Mme Kate Osamor (United Kingdom / Royaume-Uni, SOC) – AS/MIG
  • Mr / Mme Yuliia Ovchynnykova (Ukraine, ALDE / ADLE) – AS/SOC
  • Mr / M. George Papandreou (Greece / Grèce, SOC) – AS/POL / AS/MON
  • Mr / M. Roberto Rampi (Italy / Italie, SOC) – AS/CULT
  • Mr / M. Theodoros Rousopoulos (Greece, EPP/CD / Grèce, PPE/DC) – AS/MIG
  • Ms / Mme Selin Sayek Böke (Turkey / Turquie, SOC) – AS/EGA / AS/SOC
  • Mr / M. Stefan Schennach (Austria / Autriche, SOC) – AS/CULT
  • Ms / Mme Diana Stoica (Romania, ALDE / Roumanie, ADLE) – AS/MIG
  • Ms / Mme Liliana Tanguy (France, ALDE / ADLE) – AS/EGA
  • Mr / M. Ahmet Yıldız (Turkey, NR / Turquie, NI) – AS/POL

Appendix 4 - Meetings of the Standing Committee and the Bureau in 2022

Friday 21 January, 9.30 am, Strasbourg (part-session): Bureau

Friday 28 January, 8.30 am, Strasbourg (part-session): Bureau

Thursday 10 March, 3.00 pm, Berlin: Bureau

Friday 11 March, 9.30 am, Berlin: Standing Committee

Monday 25 April, 8.00 am, Strasbourg (part-session): Bureau

Friday 29 April, 8.30 am, Strasbourg (part-session): Bureau

Monday 30 May, 3.00 pm, Dublin: Bureau

Tuesday 31 May, 9.00 am, Dublin: Standing Committee (CM Presidency)

Monday 20 June, 8.00 am, Strasbourg (part-session): Bureau

Friday 24 June, 8.30 am, Strasbourg (part-session): Bureau

Monday 12 September, 9.00 am, Paris: Bureau

Monday 10 October, 8.00 am, Strasbourg (part-session): Bureau

Friday 14 October, 8.30 am, Strasbourg (part-session): Bureau

Thursday 24 November, 3.00 pm, Reykjavik: Bureau

Friday 25 November, 9.30 am, Reykjavik: Standing Committee (CM Presidency)

Friday 9 December, 9.00 am, Paris: Bureau