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Tiny Kox, re-elected President, urges a stronger role for PACE as the ‘most relevant European Agora’

Tiny Kox, re-elected today for a second one-year term as President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), thanked members for their ongoing support this year, which – he said – “may be as challenging as last year”.

In a speech following his re-election, he underlined that last year the Council of Europe and its Assembly had taken unprecedented steps in reaction to Russia's unilateral war of aggression against Ukraine.

“The war has been dominating and will continue to dominate our agenda and activities – just as it dominates every single day for every single Ukrainian citizen. As we speak, the Ukrainian people continue to suffer and die in this war, which should never have been started and must end as soon as possible. This war should never become ‘normal’, and we must never take our attention away from it,” Mr Kox said. The Assembly again held a moment of silence for all the victims of Russia’s aggression.

The President thanked PACE’s institutional counterparts for their “intense and fruitful” co-operation. “May I ask all of you to continue this co-operation, as we are now on the #RoadToReykjavik towards the Fourth Summit of Heads of State and Government in May. This takes place very much also at our request, to decide on the future of European multilateral co-operation and our place in Europe's political architecture,” he added.

Finally, he invited members of the Assembly to continue and intensify the Assembly’s role as “the most relevant European ‘Agora’, to find together sustainable answers to existential questions in dangerous times. Much will be asked of us,” the President concluded, “and I am confident that together we can deliver.”