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PACE winter session started in Strasbourg

coe: At its winter session in Strasbourg (27-31 January 2020), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will elect its new President. Only one candidature has been received: Hendrik Daems (Belgium, ALDE).

The Presidents of Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, as well as the Georgian Foreign Minister and President of the Committee of Ministers and the newly-elected Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, will address PACE and answer questions.

Debates on the agenda include a complementary joint procedure between the Committee of Ministers and the Assembly in response to a serious violation by a Member State of its statutory obligations, the functioning of democratic institutions in Poland, and reported cases of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. There have been requests for a current affairs debate on “Recent developments in Libya and in the Middle East: what consequences for Europe?” and for two urgent debates on “Ongoing violation of the rule of law, human rights and democracy in Turkey: what to do best to help Turkey to get again in line with Council of Europe core values and standards?” as well as on “The implications of Brexit for migration.”

MPs will also discuss threats to media freedom and journalists’ security, a report on “Democracy hacked? How to respond?” and the protection of freedom of religion in the workplace.

The Assembly will hold two joint debates – one on migrant trafficking and missing refugee and migrant children, and another on organ transplant tourism and trafficking in human tissues and cells.

A report on minimum standards for electoral systems and a report on the observation of elections in Belarus are also on the agenda.