The Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) met by videoconference on Thursday 30 April 2020.
PACE President Rik Daems made an opening speech.
The Chairpersons of the five political groups (SOC, EPP/CD, ALDE, EC/DA, UEL) tabled a request for a current affairs debate entitled: “Response of the Council of Europe member States to the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to human rights, democracy and the rule of law”.
The parliamentarians discussed the sanitary, political, legal and economic responses of member States to the pandemic and their impact. They also discussed concerns raised concerning proportionality of limitations on freedom for citizens and the risks of political instrumentalisation of the situation.
The members of the Standing Committee also examined the draft agenda of the Parliamentary Assembly's Summer session to be held from 22 to 26 June 2020.
The meeting of the Standing Committee, which may be followed by videoconference, took place on Thursday, 30 April from 3 pm to 5.30 pm.
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.