This week, the members of the Estonian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) are taking part in the fourth session of the Assembly this year in Strasbourg, France. The focus will be on changing the PACE decision making process, and Turkish elections.
Vice-President of the PACE, Head of the Estonian delegation, and co-rapporteur on Turkey Marianne Mikko said that Turkey was important for Europe as well as the world. Mikko, who had observed the elections in Turkey this June, highlighted the end of the state of emergency after more than two years. She also pointed out the increased number of female candidates in the election lists. “However, there is still long way to go because only 5.4 per cent of the female candidates were at the top of their election lists,” Mikko said. She added that some problems had also emerged during the elections. “In all the polling stations I visited, we were faced with police forces. None of my earlier international observation missions can compare to what I experienced in South-East Turkey.”
“I am sure that the key topic at the PACE session is the possible reinstatement of the Russian delegation among the decision makers. This is something we have repeatedly discussed in the Committee on Rules of Procedure,” Mikko stated.
Member of the delegation Andres Herkel also referred to changing the decision making process of the Assembly in connection with mandates and voting. “In other words, this constitutes an attempt to give the Russian delegation certain relief by manipulating the Rules of Procedure, after the delegation has been stripped of its right to vote. I hope that the majority who treasures the values of the Assembly will not accept this, and the Estonian delegation will definitely vote against this,” Herkel said.
In addition to these key topics, other topics will be discussed at the session, including the treatment of Palestinian minors in the Israeli court system, regulation of funding for Islam in Europe to reduce radicalisation and islamophobia, radicalisation of migrants in Europe, uniting refugees and migrants with their family members in the member states of the Council of Europe, extending the role of women in integration, and security in Europe.
The Head of Delegation Marianne Mikko is also taking part in a round table on Tunisia, where word is given to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia Khemaies Jhinaoui.
The Estonian delegation for this PACE session includes Marianne Mikko, Andres Herkel, and Jaak Madison.
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