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Speakers from across Europe gathered in Dublin for parliamentary summit

Dublin Convention Center

Speakers and presidents of parliament from the 46 member states of the Council of Europe and many partner, observer and neighbouring countries, as well as the heads of several interparliamentary assemblies, gathered in Dublin from 28 to 29 September 2023 for a major European parliamentary summit.

More than 60 Speakers or Deputy Speakers and around 400 delegates participated in the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament, which is held every two years under the auspices of the Strasbourg-based Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), hosted this year by the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Irish Parliament.

The conference focused on three themes, each introduced with key-note addresses by three national Speakers:

· The consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the role of national parliaments in Ukraine’s reconstruction

· The challenges to representative democracy in volatile times

· Equality and diversity in public representation – the participation of young people, women and ethnic and social groups as members of parliament

The conference opened with welcoming addresses by Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, and Senator Jerry Buttimer, Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, the Speakers of the two Houses of the Oireachtas. There were also addresses by PACE President Tiny Kox and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić.

Ahead of the summit opening, a pre-conference event on “Hate speech and threats of violence against elected representatives” took place, while women Presidents of Parliament who participated held a working breakfast (both events were not open to the press).

The first European Conference of Presidents of Parliament was held in 1975. It takes place every two years, hosted alternately in Strasbourg and in the capital of a Council of Europe member state.