21 януари 2017

Януарската сесия на ПАСЕ 23 - 27 януари 2017г.

Зимната сесия на ПАСЕ

23 - 27 януари 2017г.


Сесията на Парламентарната Асамблея на Съвета на Европа (ПАСЕ) през 2017г. е разделена на четири части.

От 23 до 27 януари ще се проведе първата част на сесията.

Сред темите на сесията е докладът за президентските избори в България проведени на 6 и 13 ноември 2016г. 
Докладът на Ад-хок Комисията на Бюрото на ПАСЕ за изборите в България ще бъде представен в понеделник – 23 януари, веднага след приемането на дневния ред – вероятно около 13 часа българско време.

Докладчик по темата е ирландския депутат Джозеф О'Рейли.

Дебатите в ПАСЕ ще се предават на живо.

Линк към видеоканала на Асамблеята вижте тук :

Стенограмата от дебатите - на английски език, може да се намери тук :

Резултатите от гласуванията – тук :

Основната тема на сесията е : 

Медиите и журналистиката в Европа.

Темата беше инициирана като приоритет на Съвета на Европа от българското председателство на Комитета на Министрите и неговото парламентарно измерение (Приоритетът: Защита на медиите от външно влияние), продължена по време на председателството на Естония и е основна тема в началото на председателството на Кипър.

За втора година Руската Федерация не предлага своя делегация в Асамблеята, което означава, че и през 2017г.в ПАСЕ няма да има руски депутати.

От сайта на ПАСЕ :

The media and journalism in Europe, highlight of the 2017 winter part-session

Strasbourg, 23-27 January 2017

Debates on attacks against journalists and media freedom in Europe, the challenges and accountability of online media and journalism and the need to end cyberdiscrimination and online hate speech will be at the heart of the PACE winter plenary part-session to be held in Strasbourg from 23 to 27 January 2017.
There have also been a requests for an urgent debate on the functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey and for a current affairs debate on the situation in Syria and its effects upon surrounding countries.
Addressing the Assembly will be
Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus,
Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, and
Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.
Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, will present his statement to Assembly members, and
Ioannis Kasoulides, the Cypriot Foreign Minister, will be speaking in the context of the Cypriot Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers.
Other highlights of the session will be the debates on the functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine, the situation in Lebanon and challenges for regional stability and European security, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The Assembly will also be focusing on the progress of its monitoring procedure (September 2015-December 2106).

В началото на сесията - "семейна снимка" на групата на ЕНП, 23.01.2017г.

Joseph O'Reilly

(First part)
First sitting
Monday 23 January 2017 at 11.30 a.m.


11. Debate: Progress Report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee; Observation of the presidential election in Bulgaria (6 and 13 November 2016); and Observation of the early parliamentary elections in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (11 December 2016)

I now call Mr O’Reilly to present the report of the Ad hoc committee of the Bureau on the observation of the presidential election in Bulgaria. You have three minutes.
      Mr O’REILLY (Ireland) – Thank you, Mr President. I join in the good wishes to you for the forthcoming term.
      We observed the first round of the presidential elections in Bulgaria and three minor referendum issues. There were 11 members of our delegation, with two co-rapporteurs and members of the Venice Commission. We broke into six teams and covered a comprehensive area around Sofia and out into the provinces. Given the time constraints and in the interest of giving the full picture, I will address the conclusions of the report, but I invite colleagues to read the interesting detail on the whole process of the elections and of democracy in Bulgaria.
      The first significant and important conclusion is that, as a monitoring group, we were unanimously happy with the progress and entire process of the elections, including the technicalities and the way in which all protocols were observed. We were impressed that they were well administered. We were equally impressed by the engagement with democracy in the election process, although we thought that the media were somewhat disengaged and a bit limp in their approach. There was a concern about the voters list, as there is need for an improved one. We were impressed that the 500 voting machines were used effectively. There was a concern about the fact that there were changes to the electoral code, which are the subject of Venice Commission reports at the request of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. We were concerned that those changes had come in within the previous year, which was not recommended with the Venice Commission. So we were generally happy with all that.
      We had an extremely effective delegation. My colleagues were excellent and committed to the process. Our secretariat, led by Bogdan Torcatoriu and Daniele Gastl, did an extremely good job, and I acknowledge the great work of all our delegation. The fundamental point that I want to convey to colleagues and to you, President, is that we felt that the election was successful and that there is a real developing commitment to the democratic process in Bulgaria. We would like to see improvements at the media level – that would be the fundamental change – but I suppose that is an incremental change and will arise from the successes that we witnessed.
      The PRESIDENT – Thank you Mr O’Reilly.
Link to the Report :

Election observation report | Doc. 14237 | 23 January 2017
Observation of the presidential election in Bulgaria (6 and 13 November 2016)
Author(s): Ad hoc Committee of the Bureau
Rapporteur : Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD

 The PRESIDENT – Thank you Mr Schennach. We will now move to the speakers list, starting with the speakers of behalf of political groups. This afternoon, the other speakers in the list will speak.

      Mr NÉMETH (Hungary, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – Today is a national day of mourning in Hungary. At the weekend, we lost 16 victims of a coach accident during a ski excursion in Italy. Thank you, Mr President, for your condolences. We have confronted tragedies in the international arena and in the Assembly, and this is a particular tragedy that we have had to witness. Empathy can give power to nations and individuals who carry the terrible burden of a tragedy.
      The Bulgarian and Macedonian elections proved that those countries have working democracies, which is good news, especially in an unstable environment. The Balkans is getting unstable and, unfortunately, the ambition of the European Union is not strong enough. On the contrary, negligence on the part of Europe towards the Balkans is, unfortunately, growing. The Council of Europe must replace even the European Union in this situation, and maintain our attention towards the Balkans.
      The President invited the new US President to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Democracy is in transformation not just in Europe, but at a global level. The US election was the success of democracy against media, financial and bureaucratic obstacles. We expect less ideology and, hopefully, more values and responsibility on behalf of the United States. The security dialogue between the important players of the world, including the US, is vital to help to make peace in the immediate vicinity of Europe.
      Finally, we should not intervene in the democratic process of Turkey, but we should give our attention and solidarity. The Council of Europe is going the right way to help the Turkish democracy.

(First part)
Second sitting
Monday 23 January 2017 at 3.00 p.m.

2. Debate (continued): Progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee; Observation of the presidential election in Bulgaria (6 and 13 November 2016); and Observation of the early parliamentary elections in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (11 December 2016)

      The PRESIDENT – We will now continue with the debate on the progress report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee, Document 14231 and Addenda 1 and 11, and the observations on the presidential election in Bulgaria, Document 14237, and early parliamentary elections in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Document 14238.

      In our general debate now, it is my pleasure to call Ms Duranton. 

      Ms DURANTON (France)* – Our Assembly was invited to observe the recent presidential elections in Bulgaria through which Mr Rumen Radev was elected. The report of our colleague, Mr Joseph O’Reilly, who participated in the observation of the elections, indicates that they were held in accordance with democratic standards. The high turnout shows that the people of Bulgaria were interested in the election, and that gives strong legitimacy to the elected president. Nevertheless, the report regrets the lack of reliability or certainty in electoral lists, which can result in some mistrust in the electoral process. That should be looked at closely when it comes to subsequent elections. Furthermore, changes were made to the electoral code less than one year before the vote, which does not correspond with our Organisation’s code of good practice. The Venice Commission will have an opportunity to express its views on the changes, which do not seem to have introduced any disorder in the electoral process.
      Democracy is well entrenched in Bulgaria today but, as in all democracies, reforms are necessary given rising populism. First and foremost, the issue of migration must not become an electoral game that serves as a springboard for populist parties. Bulgaria must ensure that the fundamental rights of asylum seekers are respected. Similarly, each State must contribute to the resolution of the migration crisis, possibly in different forms depending on each country. Likewise, Bulgaria must promote the integration of the Roma. Means must be made available for that mission, and hate speech must be prosecuted. Furthermore, Bulgaria must strengthen the confidence of its citizens in its institutions. Combating corruption is particularly important to that. Reform of the judiciary will allow for greater independence of the prosecution service, which is necessary.
      Reports published within the framework of the European Union’s co-operation and verification mechanism to monitor Bulgaria’s progress in combating corruption and reforming the judiciary indicate that progress is not sufficient. Bulgaria would like the co-operation and verification mechanism to be brought to an end before the beginning of its presidency of the European Union in July 2018. It is therefore necessary that significant progress is made right away. The Council of Europe must assist Bulgaria in that regard. I am sure that President Radev will want to promote the implementation of the reforms. Bulgaria must remain faithful to its commitments to human rights and the rule of law.
      Ms GOSSELIN-FLEURY (France)* – I was able to take part in the mission to observe the Bulgarian presidential elections in November. The elections were pretty well organised and fundamental freedoms were quite clearly respected. I saw for myself in the polling stations that a referendum on the reform of the electoral law was being organised at the same time, following an appeal by television presenter, Slavi Trifonov. That created some problems because there were two ballot boxes in the polling stations and, even though voting in the referendum was not mandatory, some officers were strongly encouraging voters to take part in the referendum vote.
      Above and beyond logistics, I will flag up a few important points. First, there was a relatively high turnout, notwithstanding a rather one-note electoral campaign. There was no television debate, for example, between the candidates. One major innovation was the reform of the electoral law adopted by the parliament just a few months before the election that made – or should have made – voting compulsory. However, the spokesperson of the electoral commission declared on Nova TV, one of the TV stations, that there would be no sanctions for failing to turn out to vote. Compulsory voting, therefore, did not really have much effect on turnout. Some 60% of votes went to the socialist candidate, so Bulgarians made their choice crystal clear. A lot of people translate that as an appeal for change, a hope for an improvement in living standards and, above all, an end to a corruption that permeates the country.
      The commotion that the result caused in western Europe and in certain countries of eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine, by Mr Radev’s statement that he would throw Bulgaria into the arms of Russia seems a little bit over the top, because the president only has formal functions in Bulgaria. Mr Radev has confirmed that the country will continue to belong to the European Union and to NATO. Upcoming parliamentary elections will be important for Bulgaria’s future, and we will keep a very close eye on the situation.

 Ms GROZDANOVA (Bulgaria) – I rise to speak to first express my gratitude to the ad hoc committee of the Bureau for observing the presidential elections in Bulgaria, and in particular to its chairman, Mr Joseph O’Reilly.
      As Mr O’Reilly was fair in pointing out, our elections were technically well administrated and fundamental freedoms were respected. Although personally I was not satisfied with the outcome of these elections because our candidate lost, we at GERB recognise the victory of our opponent, Mr Rumen Radev, and hope he will maintain continuity with regard to the European and Euro-Atlantic future of Bulgaria. We appreciate highly the Ad hoc committee’s opinion of the election administration, working in a professional and transparent manner. It is a real compliment to the Bulgarian achievement in this respect.
      We ask the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the newly adopted amendments to the electoral code. It has our full co-operation. I would like to emphasise that Bulgaria has co-operated with the Venice Commission since it was established and we are truly grateful for its assistance in our democratic development. We accept its remarks on the accuracy of the voting lists, which has been a problem since the first democratic elections were held back in 1990. With the introduction of the obligatory voting system in Bulgaria, we believe the problem will, for the most part, be eliminated.
      On the recent negative phenomenon – the bank vaults – the newly introduced sanctions are, in my view, working well. For example, the supreme prosecutor tabled a motion to parliament to waive the immunity of a particular MP due to such allegations. An investigation is in progress, which is a sign that there is no so-called “political umbrella” and no tolerance for such crimes.
      Finally, I would like to thank the Assembly for its co-operation, which is helping us to improve our electoral system. I believe that such co-operation will be pursued further.


Денят в който в Страсбург се почита паметта на жертвите на Холокоста - 27 януари.

Този път възпоменанието на жертвите на Холокоста се отбелязва от ПАСЕ на 24 януари, защото на точната дата - 27 януари (събота) тази година Асамблеята няма да е в сесия.

Българската делегация в ПАСЕ и Посланика на България при Съвета на Европа Катя Тодорова
положиха цветя пред бюста на Димитър Пешев в Двореца на Европа, за да почетат паметта на българите имали кураж да се противопоставят на депортацията на българските евреи и на този ден да припомнят тяхното дело.

Бюстът на Димитър Пешев беше поставен в Съвета на Европа на 25 януари 2000г. с Решение на Комитета на Министрите на Съвета на Европа, Становище на Комисията по подаръците на КМ и Комисията по култура на ПАСЕ, по инициатива на българската парламентарна делегация в Асамблеята и подкрепата на Народното събрание.

Ръководителят на бъллгарската делегация в ПАСЕ Джема Грозданова

Депутатите Джема Грозданова и Янаки Стоилов, Посланик Катя Тодорова и Лъчезар Тошев пред бюста на Димитър Пешев, 24.01.2017г.


Corruption allegations at PACE: Bureau decides on three-step response

  • 27/01/2017
  • Bureau

The Bureau of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) today agreed with the declaration by the Rules Committee, on allegations of corruption and fostering of interests made against some members or former members of PACE, and unanimously supported a three-fold approach to dealing with the matter.
Firstly, that a revision of the Assembly’s code of conduct, in the context of the report being prepared by Ian Liddell-Grainger (United Kingdom, EC), is required, as soon as possible.
Secondly, that GRECO (the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption) should be invited to play a key role in providing advice to the Rules Committee.
Thirdly, that an independent external investigation needs to be set up to shed light on hidden practices that favour corruption.
The Bureau charged the PACE Secretary General with the preparation of a Memorandum on the possible draft terms of reference of the independent external investigation body to be submitted to the next Bureau meeting (Madrid, 9 March).
“These three steps are essential to give an unequivocal response to the different allegations made and to restore confidence in the Parliamentary Assembly. They are also vital, to protect the reputation of our members and our Assembly,” PACE President Pedro Agramunt underlined.