07/12/2015 Political Affairs and Democracy
On the basis of a report presented by Josette Durrieu (France, SOC), the Political Affairs Committee meeting in Brussels today came out in favour of granting partner for democracy status to the Jordanian Parliament. The PACE is due to take a decision on the matter at its winter plenary session in Strasbourg (25-29 January 2016).
The committee welcomed Jordan’s commitment to give priority to in-depth constitutional, institutional, political and legal reforms. “The partner for democracy status provides an appropriate framework for the continuation of the reform process by the Jordanian Parliament”, it said.
At a time when the peoples of a number of Arab and Mediterranean countries are clearly expressing their desire to enjoy fundamental political and social rights, the committee deems it important that the Jordanians want to modernise and stabilise their political institutions “so as to continue firmly on the path of democratic transformation; and this despite the instability of the region and of their borders.”
The draft resolution sets out a list of areas where further progress is needed, in particular the constitutional and decentralisation reforms, adopting an elections act, constitutionally guaranteeing equality between men and women, abolishing the death penalty set out in the Criminal Code and implementing justice reform with a view to ensuring the independence and impartiality of judges.
The Moroccan Parliament, the Palestinian National Council and the Kyrgyzstan Parliament already have this status, introduced in 2009 in order to strengthen institutional co-operation with parliaments of non-member states in neighbouring regions wishing to benefit from the Assembly’s experience in democracy building and to participate in the political debate on common challenges which transcend European boundaries.