PACE Standing Committee to meet in Helsinki
The Standing Committee (*) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will meet at the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki on Friday 23 November 2018, as Finland begins its six-month chairmanship of the Council of Europe's ministerial body (21 November 2018-17 May 2019).
PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier will open the meeting, followed by a welcome address by the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Paula Risikko, and an exchange of views with Anna Rurka, President of the Council of Europe Conference of INGOs.
On this occasion, on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November), the PACE President and Speaker will launch a Europe-wide initiative to combat violence against women in parliaments, #NotInMyParliament.
In the afternoon the parliamentarians will hold an exchange of views with Finnish Foreign Affairs Minister Timo Soini, who will chair the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers for the next six months. Discussions will focus on Finland's priorities during its chairmanship and other issues in the framework of the Assembly's ongoing political dialogue with the ministerial body.
The parliamentarians will also debate a report on the protection and promotion of sign languages in Europe, after which Finnish rap artist Signmark will perform in sign language.
Other topics to be debated include the provision of palliative care in Europe, the movement of international students across Europe, and the procedure for the election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights, as well as the recent observation of the general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The President will also hold a number of bilateral meetings with leading Finnish officials during her visit, including the Speaker of Parliament, the Justice Minister and the Secretary of State at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. She will also hold an exchange of views with the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Finnish Parliament.
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(*) The Standing Committee, which acts on the Assembly's behalf between plenary sessions, is made up of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Assembly, the chairpersons of political groups, the chairpersons of national delegations and the committee chairpersons.
The meeting of the Standing Committee, which is OPEN TO THE PRESS, will take place on Friday 23 November from 9 am to 4.30 pm in the Auditorium of the Annex Building at the Parliament of Finland (Arkadiankatu 3, 00102 Helsinki). A link to the live webstream of the proceedings, in original languages only, will be available on the PACE website. Journalists wishing to attend who are not already accredited with the Finnish Parliament are asked to register with the parliament's information officer by 22 November via the contact below and to make use of this guide.
Angus Macdonald, PACE Communication Division, firstname.lastname@example.org,
mobile +33 (0)6 30 49 68 20
Tiina Virtanen, Information Officer at the Finnish Parliament, email@example.com, +358 40 541 3749