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PACE calls for a convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance

09/03/2012 | Standing Committee

The Council of Europe member states which have not yet done so should be invited to sign and ratify the UN Convention and those member states which have ratified the Convention should contribute actively to the functioning of this instrument, PACE said today. The member states should also consider launching the process of elaborating a European convention on this issue, based on and enhancing the achievements of the UN Convention.

A European fund for old wrecks that pose a threat to the environment

09/03/2012 | Standing Committee

The member states of the Council of Europe should sign and ratify the Nairobi Convention, which provides a harmonised legal framework for dealing with the problem of wrecks, PACE said today. European governments should create a European database on wrecks, carry out systematic assessments of wrecks, support research in this area, and consider setting up a fund for old wrecks that pose a threat to the environment.

The need for independent and credible expert assessments

09/03/2012 | Standing Committee

In order to be credible and trustworthy, expert assessments in fields such as the environment, health, energy, finance or civil protection must be independent and impartial, PACE said today. According to the parliamentarians, it is therefore essential, among other measures, to instigate model rules, to impose the traceability of expert assessments and for them to operate in a collegial framework.

Self-evaluation by national parliaments: improving the quality of parliamentary work

09/03/2012 | Standing Committee

The performance of parliament is one of the essential indicators of the state of democracy in a country. In this context, measuring the democratic performance of parliaments in Council of Europe member states may therefore be useful, PACE said today. According to parliamentarians, self-evaluation by parliaments according to agreed benchmarks and a clearly established procedural framework could be a tool for identifying solutions to the shortcomings observed in representative democracy.

The situation of the Greek citizens of Turkish descent in Rhodes and Kos

09/03/2012 | Standing Committee

While noting that the inhabitants of Rhodes and Kos with a Turkish cultural background are generally well integrated into the multicultural societies of the two islands, PACE today noted that supporting the Turkish language, heritage and culture and promoting their better knowledge would benefit not only the inhabitants with a Turkish cultural background, but also their neighbours with Greek or other cultural backgrounds. In that sense, PACE made proposals intended to assist the Greek authorities in resolving this and other issues in a constructive manner.

The PACE Standing Committee will discuss in Paris the need for independent expert assessments

05/03/2012 | Standing Committee

A parliamentary debate on the need for independent and credible expert assessments will be among the highlights of the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to be held in Paris on Friday 9 March 2012.

PACE proposes list of fundamental responsibilities to accompany rights

29/11/2011 | Standing Committee

Rights, duties and responsibilities cannot be dissociated from each other, PACE has declared. Approving a report by Marie-Louise Bemelmans-Videc (Netherlands, EPP/CD) in Edinburgh, the Assembly’s Standing Committee said that duties were legal obligations, whereas responsibilities were moral ones. It spelled out a series of fundamental responsibilities of individuals, including the responsibility to protect human life, to respect the personal liberty of others, to respect the private life and the reputation of others, to acquire an education, to work, to perform civic obligations, and to act responsibly towards children, the elderly, the disabled and the environment.

Good governance underpins development of small national economies, according to PACE

26/11/2011 | Standing Committee

PACE Standing Committee, meeting in Edinburgh, today stressed the importance of good governance in underpinning the development of crisis-stricken small national economies. The parliamentarians said steps must be taken to ensure sound macro-economic fundamentals, diversify the national economy, optimise the use of local resources, enhance competitiveness and strengthen the institutional capacity of small states.

PACE President welcomes ‘new ideas’ to deal with European Court backlog

25/11/2011 | Standing Committee

PACE President Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has welcomed “new ideas” to deal with the backlog of thousands of cases clogging up the European Court of Human Rights. Addressing the Assembly’s Standing Committee in Edinburgh, the President said that reform of the Court, and strengthening of the European Convention on Human Rights – which are priorities of the British chairmanship – were of the “utmost importance”.

A legal status for all religious communities

25/11/2011 | Standing Committee

While promoting a culture of "living together" based on religious pluralism, the PACE Standing Committee, meeting in Edinburgh today, called on European governments “to grant all religious communities the possibility to obtain a legal status” and to abolish outdated legislation and administrative practices causing discrimination against certain religious groups.

Assembly begins assessing request by the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic for ‘Partner for democracy’ status

25/11/2011 | Standing Committee

The Parliamentary Assembly is to begin assessing the request for ‘Partner for democracy’ status submitted by the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic. PACE’s Political Affairs Committee will now assess the request – submitted by the Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament, Ahmatbek Keldibekov.

PACE suggests ways of curbing the underground economy

25/11/2011 | Standing Committee

PACE Standing Committee, meeting in Edinburgh, today suggested a series of measures for curbing shadow economic activities - in particular economic crime - which it considers constitute a threat to democracy, competitiveness and strong economic performance.