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Public hearing on the handling of the Swine Flu pandemic, but no urgent debate

Strasbourg, 21.01.2010 – A public parliamentary hearing titled “The handling of the H1N1 pandemic: more transparency needed?” is to be held on the fringe of the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg from 8.15-10 a.m. on Tuesday 26 January, immediately followed by a press conference.

The hearing, organised by the Assembly’s Committee on Social, Health and Family Affairs, will bring together representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and of European vaccine manufacturers, as well as independent medical experts, to discuss this topic with parliamentarians. Some members of the Assembly – including the outgoing Chair of PACE’s Sub-committee on Health Wolfgang Wodarg (Germany, SOC)[1] – requested in a motion in December that the Assembly look into this question.
The hearing is open to the press. Both hearing and press conference will be webcast live.
The Assembly decided on the opening day of the session not to hold an urgent debate on this topic. However, a decision on the follow-up to be given to the motion by Mr Wodarg and 13 other members of the Assembly on this topic is due to made on Friday by the Assembly's Bureau.

[1]. Following the recent parliamentary elections in Germany, Mr Wodarg ceases to be a member of the Assembly, and Chair of its Sub-committee on Health, on Monday 25 January. He will attend the hearing in an expert capacity.

Practical arrangements

The hearing takes place from 8.15a.m. to 10a.m. in Room 1 of the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg, and is open to the press.


Media interested in attending are invited to request accreditation from Danielle Schreiber-Somoza of the Council of Europe’s Communication Directorate, e-mail danielle.schreiber-somoza@coe.int, tel. +33 3 88 41 25 44.


Video of both the hearing and the following press conference – in the original language and interpreted into English and French – will be webcast live via the following link: http://tv.coe.int/internet/press.html. Video recordings will also be available for download later.


If an urgent debate takes place on Thursday morning, this will also be webcast live from the following link: http://tv.coe.int/internet. Additional documentation is available on the Assembly’s website http://assembly.coe.int.


For further information, please contact Micaela Catalano, Francesc Ferrer, Angus Macdonald or Nathalie Bargellini of PACE’s Communication Division on e-mail pace.com@coe.int, tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 31 93.