Press release - 196(2006)

PACE Spring session focuses on relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union

Strasbourg, 04.04.2006 – Relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union will be a major theme of the Spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which takes place in Strasbourg from 10 to 13 April 2006. The Assembly will be addressed on Tuesday by:

• Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who will present his report on this subject

• Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, representing the chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers

• The Federal Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schüssel, President of the Council of the European Union

• European Commission President José Manuel Barroso

Later in the week, on Thursday, parliamentarians will debate a memorandum of understanding between the two European organisations as well as the specific issue of the EU’s new Fundamental Rights Agency. Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis and the Chairperson of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Elmar Brok will take part in the debate.

A possible urgent debate on stopping trafficking in women before the FIFA World Cup, as well as debates on the human rights of members of the armed forces and combating the resurrection of nazi ideology, are among other highlights. Representatives of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Israeli Knesset have been invited to a debate on the situation in the Middle East.

Other invited guests include Vlado Buchkovski, Prime Minister of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, and Thomas Hammarberg, the new Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, who will address the Assembly for the first time. Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu will present the communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly and will answer parliamentarians’ questions.

Debates are also due on the place of mother tongue in school education, refugees and displaced persons in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the social reintegration of prisoners and poverty and the fight against corruption in Council of Europe member states.

Below is the draft order of business, updated to incorporate proposed changes. The Assembly will decide on its final order of business at the opening of the session.

Monday 10 April (3 p.m.)

• Opening statement by René van der Linden, President of the Assembly

• Examination of new credentials

• Election of the Vice-President of the Assembly with respect to Georgia

• Progress report of the Bureau of the Assembly and the Standing Committee

• Statement by Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

The place of mother tongue in school education

Poverty and the fight against corruption in Council of Europe member states

Tuesday 11 April

• Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights with respect to Liechtenstein

• Address by Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, on his report on the relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union

- Address by Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, Prime Minister of Romania

- Address by Wolfgang Schüssel, Federal Chancellor of Austria

- Address by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission

• Situation in the Middle East

Social reintegration of prisoners

Human rights of members of the armed forces

Wednesday 12 April

• Possible urgent debate: stop trafficking in women before the FIFA World Cup

• Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Parliamentary Assembly

presented by Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania and Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers

• Address by Vlado Buchkovski, Prime Minister of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

Combating the resurrection of nazi ideology

Thursday 13 April

• Joint debate on follow-up to the Third Summit: relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union

- Memorandum of understanding between the Council of Europe and the European Union

- The Council of Europe and the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union

- Statement by Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

- Statement by Elmar Brok, Chairperson of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee

Refugees and displaced persons in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia

(3.30 p.m. Closure of the second part of the 2006 Ordinary Session)

Practical information

PACE President René van der Linden will give a press conference on Monday 10 April at 11 a.m. in Room 1. Other press conferences will be announced on the spot.

See the Assembly's website, http://assembly.coe.int, for further details. Additional information may also be found on the Council of Europe web portal, http://www.coe.int/PAsession

Contact:

PACE Communication Unit:

Tel. +33 3 88 41 31 93; Fax +33 3 90 21 41 34; e-mail: pace.com@coe.int

For accreditation:

Directorate of Communication, Danielle Schreiber-Somoza, e-mail: danielle.schreiber-somoza@coe.int,

Tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 25 44.



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