Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle


Speeches since 2019

30/01/2020 | 16:46:45 President, Colleagues,  Can I immediately apologise for not being here at the start of the debate. I do apologise, I thought that the debate was starting a bit later. It is my fault entirely, and I meant no disrespect.  Can I congratulate Ms Serap YAŞAR on this report and thank you for the way she willingly engaged and entered into discussions to consider the amendments that we put before her and also thanks to the Secretariat for all the hard work that they have done. Across Europe, we have... 28/01/2020 | 17:23:57 Madam President, To live in a society where there is no questions asked and none are tolerated, is not to live in a democracy or know the blessings of freedom. The American Richard Feynman summed it up well when he said "I would rather have questions that can't be answered, than answers that cannot be questioned". Freedom of the press ensures that we can question. That our society is free, that people are informed. And we must always fight to defend a free press, recognizing its vital part in... 02/10/2019 | 16:43:57 Mr President, I once borrowed some money: £7 million to be precise. That's about €10,000 at today's rate. Not for me personally, I was Chair of the Finance Committee of my county, and the county of Gwent was the first to borrow from the European Investment Bank. We obtained a loan at the most favourable interest rates and it helped us fund some key, socially-beneficial projects. Today, after 10 years of austerity, local government in the United Kingdom is fighting to maintain basic services... 26/06/2019 | 11:00:00 Madam President, Secluding, physically restraining or over-medicating people experiencing mental health crisis is still fairly widespread. This shameful abuse of human rights is often supported by health professionals under the mistaken belief "it's for the patient's own good". Our Rapporteur sums it up rather well in a quote in her report from CS Lewis: "Of all the tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised 'for the good of the victim' may often be the most oppressive." But Madam President... 10/04/2019 | 10:45:35 Across Europe, we live in times in which feelings that so many of us had thought outdated appear to be re-emerging and spreading. Pope Francis spoke those words when he reflected on the rising tide of intolerance in our society and on our continent. He went on to speak about the feelings of suspicion, fear, contempt and even hatred towards individuals or groups who are judged to be different based on their ethnicity, nationality or religion. In the United Kingdom, we have witnessed the... 23/01/2019 | 19:11:53 I thank the two rapporteurs for all their hard work in preparing these two most welcome reports. This debate affords us an opportunity to highlight the employment of some of our fellow citizens who are often left by the wayside, particularly those on the autism spectrum. One European in every 100 is on the spectrum. Autism is a lifelong condition that affects how people communicate and interact with the world, but it should not be considered a life sentence. People on the spectrum can and do... 21/01/2019 | 18:37:30 I welcome the opportunity that this free debate gives us to raise matters that this Assembly might not otherwise consider. Once again I return to the issue of people with autism, a point touched on by my colleague, Ian Murray. Autism is a lifelong condition that affects how people communicate and interact with the world. Across Europe, 1 in every 100 of our citizens is on the autistic spectrum. Policies to support persons with autism and their families are high on the agenda for European...