Russia

Parliamentary Assembly session, 24-28 January: the conflict in Chechnya and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights on the agenda

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STRASBOURG, 17.01.00: An urgent procedure debate on the conflict in Chechnya is scheduled for Thursday 27 January 2000 as part of the winter session of the COUNCIL OF EUROPE's Parliamentary Assembly (24-28 January). This debate will consider the results of the visit to Russia and North Caucasus from 16 to 20 January by an Assembly delegation led by its President Lord RUSSELL-JOHNSTON.
Romano PRODI, President of the European Commission, will make a speech and answer the parliamentarians' questions on Tuesday 25 at 12h00. The same day, a debate will be held on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Among the other highlights of this part-session are the debates on draft Protocol No 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights relating to non-discrimination, the honouring of obligations and commitments by Bulgaria, the situation in Belarus and the threat posed to European democracy by extremist parties and movements.

Other debates will focus on:

- restrictions on asylum in the member states of the Council of Europe and the European Union

- clandestine migration from the South of the Mediterranean into Europe

- the draft convention on the promotion of a transnational long-term voluntary service for young people

- respecting children's rights in international adoption

- health security for Europe's populations

- the ban on antibiotics in food production

- the economic and social consequences of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Greece

A number of prominent figures will address the Assembly: David ANDREWS, Chairman-in-Office of the Committee of Ministers and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs (Tuesday 25), Wolgang SCHÜSSEL, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE (Thursday 27), Füsun KOROGLU, Deputy Under-Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office of Turkey in charge of its Crisis Unit and Christos PACHTAS, Deputy Minister of the Greek Ministry of National Economy (Friday 28, as part of the debates on the earthquakes which recently affected these two countries). Rosario GREEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico, will also address the Assembly following the granting to Mexico of observer status with the Council of Europe (Monday 24).

The session in brief

Monday 24 January

Observation of the parliamentary elections in Georgia (31.10.99), in Russia (19.12.99) and in Croatia (03.01.2000)

Observation of the presidential elections in Ukraine (31.10.99) and in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (31.10.99)

Democracy and economic development (Mikko ELO, Finland, SOC)

Non-formal education and Opinion on the draft convention on the promotion of a transnational long-term voluntary service for young people (Cristian DUMITRESCU, Romania, SOC)

Address by Rosario GREEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mexico

Tuesday 25 January

Threat posed to democracy by extremist parties and movements in Europe (Henning GJELLEROD, Denmark, SOC)

Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union (Göran MAGNUSSON, Sweden, SOC)

Restrictions on asylum in the Member States of the Council of Europe and the European Union (Boriss CILEVICS, Latvia, EPP/CD)

Address by Romano PRODI, President of the European Commission and Communication from the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly presented by David ANDREWS, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chairman-in-office of the Committee of Ministers

Wednesday 26 January

Situation in Belarus (Wolfgang BEHRENDT, Germany, SOC)

Honouring of obligations and commitments by Bulgaria (David ATKINSON, United Kingdom, EDG and Henning GJELLEROD, Denmark, SOC)

International adoption : respecting children's rights (Nicolas ABOUT, France, LDR)

Opinion on the draft Protocol No 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights (on non-discrimination) (Erik JÜRGENS, the Netherlands, SOC)

Address by Walter SCHWIMMER, Council of Europe Secretary General, on the state of the Council of Europe

Thursday 27 January

Conflict in Chechnya (Lord JUDD, United Kingdom, SOC)

Health security for Europe's populations (Jean-François MATTÉI, France, LDR)

Ban on antibiotics in food production (Maggi MIKAELSSON, Sweden, UEL)

Address by Wolfgang SCHÜSSEL, Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chairman-in-office of the OSCE

Friday 28 January

Economic consequences of the recent earthquakes in Turkey and in Greece (Oya AKGÖNENÇ, Turkey, EDG et Elefterios VERIVAKIS, Greece, SOC)

Social consequences of the earthquakes in Turkey (László SURJAN, Hungary, EPPE/CD)

Clandestine migration from the South of the Mediterranean into Europe (Ana GUIRADO, Spain, SOC)

Adresses by Füsun KOROGLU, Deputy Under-Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office of Turkey in charge of its Crisis Unit and Christos PACHTAS, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of the National Economy of Greece

Note to Editors

All the reports are available on the Parliamentary Assembly web site http://stars.coe.fr

The Parliamentary Assembly regroups 582 members from the 41 national parliaments of Member States. President: Lord RUSSELL-JOHNSTON (United Kingdom, LDR); Political groups: SOC (Socialist); EPP/CD (European People's Party / Christian Democrats); EDG (European Democratic Group); LDR (Liberal, Democratic and Reformers); UEL (United European Left)

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