The Standing Committee (*) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which brings together around 60 of the Assembly’s members, met in the Peace Palace of The Hague on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 March 2023.
The Standing Committee meeting was preceded by a special event entitled “75 years of the Congress of the Hague: multilateralism in Europe at a crossroads”, organised in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the Clingendael Institute, which took place on Thursday 2 March at 3 p.m. Keynote speakers included Franc Weerwind, Minister for Legal Protection in the Netherlands, and Marija Pejčinovic Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe. (See separate programme)
PACE President Tiny Kox opened the Standing Committee meeting at 4.30 p.m., with welcoming addresses by the President of the Senate (Eerste Kamer) Jan Anthonie Bruijn and the Vice-President of the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) Tom van der Lee. Parliamentarians debated reports on European solidarity in the context of asylum and international protection; Cultural Routes as platforms for intercultural dialogue; promoting online education and research across national borders; and innovative approaches to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
A current affairs debate on "Supporting Ukraine one year since the beginning of the Russian Federation’s large-scale war of aggression: the role of the Council of Europe" was held.
On Friday 3 March at 9 a.m., on the #RoadToReykjavik (ahead of the Council of Europe Summit of Heads of State and Government that will take place in the Icelandic capital on 16-17 May), participants held an exchange of views on the future of the Organisation with Martin Eyjólfsson, Permanent Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iceland; Leendert Verbeek, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities; Bjørn Berge, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe; and Jacobine Geel, President of the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights.
The meetings in The Hague concluded with a Roundtable on “The role of men and boys in stopping gender-based violence”, with the participation notably of Pascalle Grotenhuis, Ambassador, Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Director of Social Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and other invited experts. (See separate programme)
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(*) 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 46 member States.
Friday 03 March 2023
Doc. 15718 (Report) European solidarity in the context of asylum and international protection Doc. 15710 (Report) The Cultural Routes: a platform for intercultural dialogue Doc. 15714 (Report) Promoting online education and research across national borders Doc. 15715 (Report) Innovative approaches to sexual and reproductive health and rights