Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

Autumn Session 2023

2023 Havel Prize award tops the agenda at the PACE autumn session in Strasbourg

The award of the 2023 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize will be a highlight of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), taking place in Strasbourg from 9 to 13 October 2023. Three candidates have been shortlisted for the Prize, which honours outstanding human rights defenders worldwide.

Other topics to be debated by the Assembly, which brings together parliamentarians from the 46 Council of Europe member states, include Pegasus and similar spyware and secret state surveillance, as well as a report which examines the legitimacy and legality of the ad hominem term-limit waiver for Russia’s incumbent President. The parliamentarians will also debate a periodic review of the honouring of membership obligations to the Council of Europe by France.

There have been requests for debates under urgent procedure on "Humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh" and on "Call for the immediate release of Osman Kavala".

Parliamentarians will hold an exchange of views with Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice, Romanian Foreign Minister Luminiţa Odobescu will address the Assembly and take questions from members on Tuesday, followed by the usual question time with Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić. The following day Latvian Foreign Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, Chair of the Committee of Ministers, will report on the work of the Council of Europe’s executive body and answer members' questions.

Other topics on the agenda include the challenge of far-right ideology to democracy and human rights in Europe, as well as migration and asylum in election campaigns and the consequences for migrant rights. There will be a joint debate on the impact of the fight against Covid-19 on the mental health and well-being of children and young adults, on the one hand, and on preventing addictive behaviours in children, on the other.

Finally, the Assembly discusses how to combat violence against women with disabilities, the humanitarian crisis emerging for Afghanistan and Afghan refugees, and the role of the Council of Europe in preventing conflicts, restoring the credibility of international institutions and promoting global peace.

Due to extensive ongoing renovation work on its own debating chamber, the Assembly will hold this session in the chamber of the neighbouring European Parliament.