From 25 to 28 April 2022, a delegation of states at large took part in the Spring Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg. In addition to two discussions on the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, the Assembly adopted several reports and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, and the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, addressed the meeting.
At the opening of the session, members observed a minute of silence for the victims of the war in Ukraine, “a war that should not have started and must end immediately,” said PACE President and Senator Tine Cox.
The General Assembly on April 27 once again condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine and reiterated its unwavering support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. The discussion on April 28 focused on holding perpetrators – including leaders of the Russian Federation – accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.
Members called on all Council of Europe member states and observers to support the ongoing investigations, in particular those initiated by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Ukrainian authorities and other national jurisdictions exercising universal jurisdiction. He also called for the establishment of a special international court.
De Bruijn-Wezeman Report on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
On April 26, the Council adopted the report of Member of Parliament Rina de Bruyne-Wezemann (VVD) on the deinstitutionalization of persons with disabilities. “People with disabilities have the same human rights as you and I,” said De Bruyne. “They have the right to live independently. Society must embrace human diversity and empower people with disabilities to be an active part of it.” – Weizmann.
The report proposes phasing out laws that allow institutionalization of people with disabilities, as well as mental health legislation that allows unauthorized treatment and incarceration on the basis of disability.
In the discussion about the report, Member of Parliament Marguerite de Boer (GroenLinks) drew attention to the Netherlands, where many children with serious psychological or psychological problems are placed in closed institutions. “The way we deal with these children is a human rights violation,” de Boer said. “I hope this report will help us put pressure on them to find solutions for them.”
Association Council for Europe and the European Union
On April 26, the Assembly spoke about the importance of strengthening the strategic partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Union, based on shared values and a commitment to promoting peace and stability on the European continent and supporting pluralism in the world.
Member of Parliament Rhea Omen Royten (CDA) noted that in these turbulent times when a Member State comes under violent attack on civilians, it is more important than ever that the European Union and the Council of Europe work together. “Intensive cooperation is not only in the interest of both institutions, but also in the interest of European citizens,” said Omen Roegten.
Discrimination on the basis of social origin
Across Europe, people’s social origin and conditions at birth play a major role in determining their future, access to education, lifelong learning and career prospects. The report, which was adopted on April 26, calls on member states to ban this type of discrimination in law and provide individual remedies to victims.
Member of Parliament Petra Steinen (D66) stated that when we are born, we all seem to be equal. “In fact, some children win the birth lottery and some will never win this lottery because the winners of this lottery are born in a privileged environment with access to education, quality housing and a safe environment free from any form of violence,” Al-Hajar said.
A newly founded informal group Woman @ PACE made up of women members of the association met for the second time in Strasbourg. The group condemned the numerous reports of rape and sexual violence against women and girls in Ukraine, as well as the massive and generally disproportionate impact of the Russian Federation’s aggression on women and children in the country.
The solidarity action of this group to donate protective vests to female colleagues in the Verkhovna Rada has raised more than 36,000 euros. Dutch members also donated. In addition to Petra Steinen, who has since been appointed to the Women@PACE office, Rhea Omen-Roijten, Margaret de Boer and Member of Parliament Janet van der Laan (D66) also participated in the April 25 meeting.
Excessive force law enforcement officers
The rally on April 27 denounced the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement officials in violation of the principles of necessity, proportionality, precaution, and nondiscrimination. This is particularly true of police actions during peaceful demonstrations, addressing illegal migration flows and restoring law and order in post-conflict situations.
In the discussion, Marguerite de Boer stressed the need for transparency and independent research. “In the Netherlands, we have several cases where the police used violence against protesters. In some cases this violence was excessive. I strongly suggest that such investigations take place,” de Boer said.
Dutch gallery of victims of domestic violence
On April 26, Taine Cox, Speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly and Member of Parliament for SP. Various pictures of victims of domestic violence and child abuse will be displayed in the front yard of the. Until June Palais de l’Europe† The exhibition has been moved to Strasbourg by the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the Council of Europe.
Fulfillment of Georgia’s commitments
Members discussed Georgia’s progress in fulfilling its commitments to become a member of the Council of Europe. Concerns remain, which MP Bob Van Barren (Nanninga Group) also confirmed in his contribution to the discussion. He also stated that any change requires the full commitment and political will, including the willingness to cooperate, on the part of both the ruling and opposition authorities. “We encourage all political parties to put the common interests of the nation above narrow party political strategies,” Van Barren said.
At the initiative of Petra Steinen, a hearing was held on April 27 with three prominent speakers on the role of men and boys in ending gender-based violence. Marguerite de Boer applied for a resolution on securing future rights for future generations. Several members of the delegation spoke to the rapporteurs who will investigate the functioning of democratic institutions in the Netherlands.
From 25-28 April 2022, seven Members of Parliament participated in the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg. It concerns Senators Petra Steinen (D66, head of delegation), Rina de Bruyne-Weisman (VVD), Tiny Kox (SP, head of PACE), Ria Oomen-Ruijten (CDA), Margreet de Boer (GroenLinks), Bob van Pareren (Nanninga group) and Member of Parliament Janet van der Laan (D66).
Below is an overview of the Partnership for Action’s reports on computing equipment approved during this session.