Strasbourg, 21.01.2019 - For the President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), speaking 70 years after the Council of Europe was set up, promoting peace and reconciliation, which has been crucial to the success of “the largest pan-European organisation”, remains central to her mission.
This is what Liliane Maury Pasquier, re-elected today for a second one-year term, said in her re-investiture speech, in which she called on all Council of Europe actors to shoulder their responsibilities in “what promises to be a challenging year”.
Recalling that “we should not forget about the origins of the difficult situation in which we find ourselves and the position taken by the Assembly in response to major political developments which went beyond what was permissible under international law" as well as the obligation on member states to honour their commitments, including financial ones, the President stressed that "what is needed now is to find a way forward, bearing in mind these two important points”.
"A situation where one member state - the Russian Federation - is not represented in the Assembly but participates in other bodies of the Organisation is ‘counterproductive’ - to use the words of one of our Resolutions - and ‘adversely affects [our] overall impact as a guardian of human rights and democracy throughout the continent’, she said.
"The future of the Organisation is at stake and it is therefore our responsibility to find a solution," the President warned.
In this context, she referred to "the preservation of peace" and "the construction of a united Europe based on the values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law" as the Council of Europe's statutory objectives, which are the joint responsibility of “all Council of Europe member states, bodies and institutions”.
With regard to the Parliamentary Assembly, she stressed that it had an "institutional responsibility" to continue to be “a pan-European parliamentary platform that fulfils its statutory responsibilities as an organ of the Council of Europe”.
Lastly, the President called for a series of measures, namely political dialogue, involving members of the Russian Parliament, "to protect the system based on the European Convention on Human Rights", in the interests of all Europeans, dialogue also between the two statutory bodies "in order to be able to speak with one voice" and further revision of the Assembly's Rules of Procedure "to ensure the proper functioning of the Assembly".