PACE starts winter session


Today, the new session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) starts in Strasbourg.

According to the assembly's press service, the main issues of the current session will be the election of PACE's president and vice-president and the election of ECHR judges. The parliamentarians will also discuss reports on the monitoring results of presidential elections in Bulgaria and parliamentary elections in Macedonia.

Also discussed will be attacks on journalists in Europe, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine, and other issuesd other issues.

PACE without Russia

Russia will not take part in the plenary sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) or the activities of its committees in 2017.

Russia suspended its participation in PACE activities at the end of 2015 in response to being stripped of its basic rights over the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

An unpredictable year

2017 is the first year in the Trump and Brexit eras. There is a high chance that Brussels might return Moscow’s membership privileges if Washington gives the signal. PACE President Pedro Agramunt has already stated the need for Russian-EU reconciliation and cooperation in 2017. He stated that Europe, and particularly PACE, cannot conduct a successful anti-terrorism fight without Russia.