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Standing Committee (20 November 2020)

'Enlarged' Standing Committee to debate gender in foreign policy and threats to academic freedom

Highlights of PACE’s Standing Committee, which met by video-conference on 20 November in its enlarged format, included reports on the gender dimension of foreign policy and on threats to academic freedom.

German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth presented Germany’s priorities for its forthcoming Presidency of the Council of Europe and took questions from members.

The parliamentarians also held an exchange of views with the President of the European Court of Human Rights Robert Spano, marking the 70th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The committee also adopted a declaration on the parliamentary contribution to the Athens Declaration by the Committee of Ministers Chairmanship on: “Effectively responding to a public health crisis in full respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law”. A current affairs debate was requested on the Athens Declaration.

Other highlights included reports on supporting people with autism and their families, as well as a series of reports on topics related to migration: the rights and obligations of NGOs assisting refugees and migrants, the impact of labour migration on “left-behind” children, and effective guardianship for unaccompanied and separated migrant children.

The parliamentarians also debated a report proposing modifications to the Rules of Procedure to allow the Assembly to hold remote or hybrid meetings in exceptional circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the "enlarged" format, all PACE members could attend the meeting and take the floor, though only members of the Standing Committee could vote.

 

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.