Discussions with Christian Ahlund, Chair of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), and with representatives of the Russian Parliament on modalities of co-operation between the Parliamentary Assembly and the Russian Parliament in 2017 [to be confirmed], are among the items on the agenda of the meeting of the Standing Committee* of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Madrid.
The meeting will be held at the Spanish Senate, on Friday 10 March 2017, in the context of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of Spain's accession to the Council of Europe.
Following the opening of the meeting by the PACE President, Pedro Agramunt, and the welcome address by Pío García-Escudero, Speaker of the Senate, the Assembly members will go to the Palacio de El Pardo for an audience with King Felipe VI.
Other items on the agenda include the examination of the reports on "Securing access of detainees to lawyers" (Marietta Karamanli, France, SOC) and "The political rights of persons with disabilities: a democratic issue" (Mechthild Rawert, Germany, SOC). There has been a request for a current affairs debate on "The escalation of the military conflict in the Donbass area".
The following day, 11 March, a commemorative ceremony in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack of 11 March 2004, will be organised at the Atocha station memorial, with the participation of President Agramunt and Standing Committee members, in the framework of the #NoHateNoFear initiative, on the occasion of the European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism.
(*) The Standing Committee, which acts on the Assembly's behalf between plenary sessions, is made up of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Assembly, the chairpersons of political groups, the chairpersons of national delegations and the committee chairpersons, totalling some 60 parliamentarians from the Council of Europe's 47 member States.
The meeting of the Standing Committee, which was open to the press, took place on Friday 25 November 2016 from 9.30 am to around 12.30 pm at the Filoxenia Conference Centre, 17 Thrakis Street, 1311 Nicosia.