Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

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Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe flag Palace of Europe, Strasbourg
logo Palace of Europe, Strasbourg
Basic data
Seat: Palace of Europe , Strasbourg
First session: 1949
MPs: 318
Current legislative period
Chair: Rik Daems
34 152 91 149 81 94 
Distribution of seats:
  • SOZ 152
  • EVP CD 149
  • ALDE 91
  • EK-DA 81
  • UEL 34
  • non-attached 94
  • The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (to 1974 Consultative Assembly of the Council ) - English Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) , French Assemblée parlementaire du Conseil de l'Europe - based in Strasbourg is one of two in the Statute of the Council of Europe anchored organs . Representatives of 47 national parliaments of the European continent of different structures work together in the framework of the assembly. The Parliamentary Assembly was the first parliamentary body at European level after the Second World War .


    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has statutory rights, including in particular the election of the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the election of the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights and the election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights . In addition, new member states can only be accepted by the Committee of Ministers after a positive vote by the Parliamentary Assembly.

    The most important political task, however, is to create a political dialogue between the parliamentarians of the member states and with the observer delegations. The texts it has adopted serve as a guide for the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and for national governments and parliaments. In addition, the initiatives of the Parliamentary Assembly have led to a number of international treaties (European conventions) and other legal instruments. The best known is the European Convention on Human Rights , which was passed in 1950. Before they are adopted by the Committee of Ministers, draft conventions are submitted to the Assembly for comments.

    When a state joins the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly observes how the commitments made upon accession are met. The responsible monitoring committee also monitors how Member States are complying with the commitments they enter into after accession. Once a year the Monitoring Committee presents the Assembly with a report on the results of its work.


    National delegations

    The assembly has 318 members and 318 deputies. Each member state of the Council of Europe has a fixed number of representatives, which depends on the respective population. However, according to the principle of degressive proportionality , smaller states have more representatives per inhabitant than large ones . Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom make up the largest national delegations with 18 MEPs each (and correspondingly many deputies); the smallest are those of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino, each with two members. The parliaments of Canada, Israel and Mexico that are not part of the Council of Europe have observer status at the Parliamentary Assembly.

    The members of the assembly are not elected directly, but are appointed by the national parliaments from their own ranks. The balance of the political parties in each national delegation must be fairly similar to that in the national parliament.

    The 18-member delegation of the German Bundestag, for example, consists of six members from the CDU / CSU, four from the SPD and two each from the AfD, FDP, the Greens and the Left. The head of the delegation is Andreas Nick (CDU / CSU).

    The following table lists the Member States and the number of their respective representatives.

    country Representative
    AlbaniaAlbania Albania 4th
    AndorraAndorra Andorra 2
    ArmeniaArmenia Armenia 4th
    AzerbaijanAzerbaijan Azerbaijan 6th
    BelgiumBelgium Belgium 7th
    Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 5
    BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria 6th
    DenmarkDenmark Denmark 5
    GermanyGermany Germany 18th
    EstoniaEstonia Estonia 3
    FinlandFinland Finland 5
    FranceFrance France 18th
    GeorgiaGeorgia Georgia 5
    GreeceGreece Greece 7th
    IrelandIreland Ireland 4th
    IcelandIceland Iceland 3
    ItalyItaly Italy 18th
    CroatiaCroatia Croatia 5
    LatviaLatvia Latvia 3
    LiechtensteinLiechtenstein Liechtenstein 2
    LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania 4th
    LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg 3
    MaltaMalta Malta 3
    North MacedoniaNorth Macedonia North Macedonia 3
    Moldova RepublicRepublic of Moldova Moldova 5
    MonacoMonaco Monaco 2
    MontenegroMontenegro Montenegro 3
    NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 7th
    NorwayNorway Norway 5
    AustriaAustria Austria 6th
    PolandPoland Poland 12
    PortugalPortugal Portugal 7th
    RomaniaRomania Romania 10
    RussiaRussia Russia * 18th
    San MarinoSan Marino San Marino 2
    SwedenSweden Sweden 6th
    SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 12
    SerbiaSerbia Serbia 7th
    SlovakiaSlovakia Slovakia 5
    SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia 3
    SpainSpain Spain 12
    Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic 7th
    TurkeyTurkey Turkey 18th
    UkraineUkraine Ukraine 12
    HungaryHungary Hungary 7th
    United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 18th
    Cyprus RepublicRepublic of Cyprus Cyprus 3


    After the Russian parliament supported the conquest of Crimea and Russia's military intervention in Ukraine , the Parliamentary Assembly (PA) decided in April 2014 to suspend the voting rights of the Russian delegation. The Russian delegation remained a member of the assembly. The sanction was extended by one year in January 2015.

    The Russian parliamentary delegation then suspended its cooperation with the PA in June 2014. In January 2016, the Russian parliament decided (despite the end of the sanctions) not to submit the mandates of its delegation for ratification; their seats remained empty. The same thing happened in January 2017, January 2018 and January 2019.

    On June 25, 2019, after a long debate, the Primary voted to change its rules. A few hours later the Russian parliament presented the mandates to a new delegation; these were approved. The Ukrainian delegation protested and left the Primary. She returned to Primary in January 2020.

    Observer delegations

    Before states become members of the Council of Europe, they are invited to send a guest delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly. Belarus (Belarus) had this status until its revocation by the Parliamentary Assembly following the curtailment of parliamentary rights of the National Assembly of Belarus and the insistence on the death penalty on the initiative of President Lukashenko in 1997.

    There is also the status of an observer delegation. This status was granted to the Knesset by Israel in 1957 as the first non-European parliament. The parliaments of Canada and Mexico now have observer status. The other observer states Japan and the USA send parliamentary delegations to the OECD debates of the "enlarged assembly".

    The Palestinian Legislative Council may also send observers.

    Since 2011, the Parliament of Morocco has had the status of “partner for democracy” and can therefore participate in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly.

    Parliamentary delegations from Kazakhstan, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria are invited to individual sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly.


    The work in the Parliamentary Assembly takes place not only within the framework of the national delegations, but also in parliamentary groups in which MEPs with a similar ideology come together across states. At least twenty members from at least six different Member States are required to form a political group. There are currently six political groups that roughly correspond to the political parties at European level and the political groups in the European Parliament . However, the degree of organization of the political groups in the Parliamentary Assembly is much lower than in the European Parliament, for example : national parties and individual members of parliament change parliamentary groups more frequently, and votes are more often taken along national lines rather than ideological lines. This is not least due to the fact that the party systems of the Council of Europe members are more different from one another than the party systems of the EU member states . On the other hand, cooperation in the parliamentary groups is also less constant because the composition of the Parliamentary Assembly changes with every national election.

    The following list details the political groups in the Parliamentary Assembly (as of December 31, 2019).

    fraction Chairman Members Parties
    GermanyGermany AustriaAustria SwitzerlandSwitzerland LuxembourgLuxembourg LiechtensteinLiechtenstein Others (selection)
    Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group
    Frank Schwabe 152 SPD , Greens SPÖ , Greens PLC , GPS LSAP , Gréng SpainSpain PSOE , Labor , PD , CHPUnited KingdomUnited Kingdom ItalyItaly TurkeyTurkey
    European People's Party
    Aleksander Pociej 149 CDU , CSU ÖVP CVP , EPP CSV SpainSpain PP , FI , LR , PO , FideszItalyItaly FranceFrance PolandPoland HungaryHungary
    Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
    Hendrik Daems 91 FDP NEOS FDP , SVP DP FBP , VU FranceFrance LREM , VVD , FF , ANONetherlandsNetherlands IrelandIreland Czech RepublicCzech Republic
    Group of the European Conservatives and Democratic Alliance
    Ian Liddell-Grainger 81 AfD FPÖ United KingdomUnited Kingdom Cons , PiS , Lega , YAPPolandPoland ItalyItaly AzerbaijanAzerbaijan
    Group of the European United Left
    Tiny Kox 34 left GreeceGreece SYRIZA , SP , KPRF , HDPNetherlandsNetherlands RussiaRussia TurkeyTurkey
    non-attached - 94 TurkeyTurkey AKP , ER , M5SRussiaRussia ItalyItaly


    The main work of the Parliamentary Assembly is carried out within the framework of the following specialist committees:

    • Mixed committee
    • Standing Committee
    • Political Committee
    • Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
    • Economic and Development Committee
    • Committee on Social Order, Health and Family
    • Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population
    • Committee on Culture, Science and Education
    • Committee on Environment and Agriculture, Local and Regional Affairs
    • Committee on Equality between Women and Men
    • Committee on Rules of Procedure and Immunities
    • Committee for compliance with the commitments entered into by the member states of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee)


    period Surname Life dates country Political party
    1949 Édouard Herriot (interim) 1872-1957 FranceFrance France Parti républicain, radical et radical-socialiste
    1949-1951 Paul-Henri Spaak 1899-1972 BelgiumBelgium Belgium Belgian Labor Party
    1952-1954 François de Menthon 1900-1984 FranceFrance France Mouvement republicain popular
    1954-1956 Guy Mollet 1905-1975 FranceFrance France Section française de l'Internationale ouvrière
    1956-1959 Fernand Dehousse 1906-1976 BelgiumBelgium Belgium Belgian Socialist Party
    1959 John Edwards 1904-1959 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Labor Party
    1960-1963 By spring game 1905-1994 DenmarkDenmark Denmark Venstre
    1963-1966 Pierre Pflimlin 1907-2000 FranceFrance France Mouvement republicain popular
    1966-1969 Geoffrey Stanley de Freitas 1913-1982 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Labor Party
    1969-1972 Olivier Reverdin 1913-2000 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland Liberal Party of Switzerland
    1972-1975 Giuseppe Vedovato 1912-2012 ItalyItaly Italy Democrazia Cristiana
    1975-1988 Karl Czernetz 1910-1978 AustriaAustria Austria Social Democratic Party of Austria
    1978-1981 Hans de Koster 1914-1992 NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie
    1981-1982 José María de Areilza 1909-1998 SpainSpain Spain Unión de Centro Democrático
    1983-1986 Karl Ahrens 1924-2015 Germany Federal RepublicFederal Republic of Germany BR Germany Social Democratic Party of Germany
    1986-1989 Louis Jung 1917-2015 FranceFrance France Center des democrates sociaux
    1989-1992 Björck is different * 1944 SwedenSweden Sweden Moderata samlingspartiet
    1992 Geoffrey Finsberg 1926-1996 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Conservative party
    1992-1995 Miguel Ángel Martínez Martínez * 1940 SpainSpain Spain Partido Socialista Obrero Español
    1996-1999 Leni Fischer * 1935 GermanyGermany Germany Christian Democratic Union of Germany
    1999-2002 David Russell Johnston 1932-2008 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Liberal Democrats
    2002-2004 Peter Schieder 1941-2013 AustriaAustria Austria Social Democratic Party of Austria
    2005-2008 René van der Linden * 1943 NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Christians Democratic Appèl
    2008-2010 Lluís Maria de Puig 1945–2012 SpainSpain Spain Partido Socialista Obrero Español
    2010–2012 Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu * 1968 TurkeyTurkey Turkey Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi
    2012-2014 Jean-Claude Mignon * 1950 FranceFrance France Union for a Popular Movement
    2014-2016 Anne Brasseur * 1950 LuxembourgLuxembourg Luxembourg Democratic Party
    2016-2017 Pedro Agramunt * 1951 SpainSpain Spain Partido Popular
    2017 Roger Gale (interim) * 1943 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom Conservative party
    2017 Stella Kyriakides (interim) * 1956 Cyprus RepublicRepublic of Cyprus Cyprus Dimokratikos Synagermos
    2018 Michele Nicoletti (interim) * 1956 ItalyItaly Italy Partito Democratico
    2018-2020 Liliane Maury Pasquier * 1956 SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland Social Democratic Party of Switzerland
    2020– Rik Daems * 1959 BelgiumBelgium Belgium Open VLD


    Corruption allegations

    In early 2012, the news magazine Der Spiegel described the strategies of the Azerbaijani government with which it wanted to influence the voting behavior of individual members of the parliamentary assembly.

    Axel Fischer's predecessor, Luca Volontè , had received donations of 2.39 million euros from Azerbaijan during his time as group leader of the European People's Party until 2014 , which were transferred to his wife's company account. Money laundering proceedings have been initiated against Volontè in Italy. Fischer is accused of not supporting the investigation into the case. Observers and political opponents fear that large sums of money and gifts have flowed from Azerbaijan to members of the Parliamentary Assembly and that negative reports on the human rights situation in the country have been successfully suppressed.

    In 2013, the New York Times also reported on some MPs, especially from the Central Asian states and Russia, who are said to have tried to influence other MPs by giving them larger gifts and invitations to air travel in the interests of their countries of origin. According to this newspaper article, the same member states hired lobbyists to fend off criticism of their human rights situation.

    In January 2017, after many members of the Parliamentary Assembly and non-governmental organizations expressed their concern about these events, the Parliamentary Assembly Office issued a statement on the allegations. Among other things, it suggests a revision of the code of conduct for members of parliament as well as an independent, external investigation of the processes.

    Cultural divergences

    Although the Council of Europe sees itself as a supervisory body and guardian of human rights and against discrimination, it is increasingly divided on ideological issues. In 2007 about a report by the Liberal MPs was Anne Brasseur , of all efforts convicted, the place of the theory of evolution to creationism in schools to teach, with only 48 votes in favor adopted; 25 members voted against it. The reason for this split is the increasingly socially conservative , authoritarian and reactionary tendencies in some member states, including Turkey, Russia and a number of Eastern European countries.

    On January 22, 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution entitled “The Sharia - The Cairo Declaration and the European Convention on Human Rights”. In its resolution, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe expresses itself “deeply concerned” that “the Sharia, including provisions that clearly contradict the European Declaration of Human Rights (ECHR), are being applied officially or unofficially in several member countries of the Council of Europe, either across the country or in parts of the country ”. The European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ) wrote in a press release that although the resolution was not of a mandatory nature, it was "of the utmost political importance". While 69 MPs voted for the resolution, the 14 Turkish and Azerbaijani MPs voted unanimously against it.

    Web links

    Individual evidence

    1. ^ Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe .
    3. Assembly structure ( English ) Council of Europe. Archived from the original on October 17, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
    4. ^ Political groups ( English ) Council of Europe. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
    11. Deutschlandfunk : Parliamentary Assembly makes important personnel decision , April 28, 2017, accessed on April 28, 2017. Council of Europe Assembly removes power from President , Luxemburger Wort , April 28, 2017.
    12. Pedro Agramunt resigned on October 6, 2017 to anticipate an upcoming vote on his impeachment on October 9, 2017: Pedro Agramunt resigns as PACE President. Retrieved November 29, 2018 . , on the website of the Council of Europe, October 6, 2017. With his resignation, the previous Vice-President Roger James Gale automatically became Executive President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
    13. Rik Daems is the new President of the Council of Europe Assembly. In: January 27, 2020, accessed January 28, 2020 .
    14. ^ Lobbyism: Dictator's Dream. Spiegel Online, January 2, 2012, accessed April 30, 2017 .
    15. Claudia von Salzen: "The trace of money" from March 22, 2017
    16. Gerald Knaus and Christoph Heinemann: "The Council of Europe has sold its soul to an autocratic regime" Deutschlandfunk, June 30, 2017
    17. ^ Corruption Undermining Democracy in Europe ("Corruption undermines democracy in Eurooa"). New York Times, February 4, 2013, accessed April 28, 2017 .
    18. Where a Glitzy Pop Contest Takes Priority Over Rights ("Where a glittery pop contest is more important than rights"). New York Times International Edition (International Herald Tribune), April 27, 2012, accessed April 28, 2017 .
    19. Corruption allegations at PACE: Bureau decides on three-step response , from, accessed October 18, 2018
    20. European Lawmakers Condemn Efforts to teach Creationism ("European lawmakers condemn efforts to teach creationism"). New York Times International Edition, October 4, 2007, accessed April 28, 2018 .
    21. ^ Sharia, the Cairo Declaration and the European Convention on Human Rights , Resolution 2253 (2019) Provisional version
    22. Literally: ... is "greatly concerned about the fact that Sharia law - including provisions which are in clear contradiction with the Convention - is applied, either officially or unofficially, in several Council of Europe member States, or parts thereof" , cf. . Note below: Publication of the ECLJ website.
    23. On the ECLJ cf. the WP entry on American Center for Law and Justice
    24. Literally: "This resolution - although non-binding - is of major political importance, as it reflects an awareness that Islamic law constitutes a competing legal-religious order to the law of Western modernity, both in Europe and at the universal level"; see. SHARIA: IMPORTANT RESOLUTION ADOPTED , website of the ECLJ.
    25. ^ Council of Europe: “Sharia contradicts human rights” ,