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ALDE members attend Bureau and Standing Committee meeting in Vaduz

On 27-28 Novembre, ALDE members actively participated in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Bureau and Standing Committee meetings in Vaduz.  These meetings, held within the context of Liechtenstein's Presidency of the Committee of Ministers, saw productive discussions and engagement from ALDE representatives.

Delegation leader and ALDE group bureau member Franciska Hoop received appreciation for her role in the organisation of the meetings, and the ALDE group expressed their best wishes to Liechtenstein for a successful presidency of the Committee of Ministers.

The Standing Committee meeting featured two compelling current affairs debates. The first revolved around the 'Budget and priorities of the Council of Europe and follow-up to the Reykjavík Summit,' while the second focused on the 'Spiral of violence and humanitarian crisis in the Middle East: finding a peaceful way out.'

In the first debate, Rik Daems, representing the ALDE group, proposed reinforcing mechanisms to evaluate the Council of Europe's performance in implementing the Reykjavik decisions. Notably, he suggested utilizing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as a quantitative metric to gauge the Council of Europe's progress toward the objectives set by the summit.

Damien Cottier, speaking on behalf of the group in the second debate, addressed the complex situation in the Middle East. He emphasized, "We should not try to compare suffering. Sadly, suffering should be added up." Damien Cottier reiterated the ALDE group's stance declared in October, which included the condemnation of terrorist attacks, recognizing Israel's right to defend itself, and underscoring the obligations under the Geneva Convention. Mr Cottier emphasized that these obligations apply to all parties to the Convention, highlighting the collective responsibility to uphold its principles.

Additionally, ALDE members presented two crucial reports during their time in Reykjavik. Mireille Clapot shared the conclusions of the election observation mission to Poland. The report concluded that “Poland's parliamentary elections in 2023 were characterised by fierce competition, offering voters a wide range of political options. However, the ruling party's disproportionate control over State resources and public media gave it an undue advantage. The historic voter turnout demonstrated the deep-rooted concern of the Polish public about the democratic future of their country.” The rapporteur also highlighted significant delays and a lack of transparency in the accreditation of international observers conducted by the National Electoral Commission. Mrs Clapot expresses deep concern that 6 members of the IEOM and 120 observers from international non-governmental organisations were not accredited until a day before the elections.

Jean-Pierre Grin presented his report on 'Institutional racism of law enforcement authorities against Roma and Travellers.' “Violent raids, ethnic profiling, and systemic discrimination stain the daily lives of too many Roma and Travellers, creating a shared experience of injustice at the hands of law enforcement authorities in our continent” underscored the rapporteur. The resolution underscores the need to combat institutional racism within law enforcement authorities. While acknowledging not every individual within these institutions is racist, it stresses the discriminatory effects of systemic practices. The resolution also encourages member states to recognize antigypsyism and anti-nomadism as forms of racism and calls to combat stereotypes and prejudice. Additionally, it advocates for education about Roma and Traveller history and culture as integral elements in the fight against discrimination.

The ALDE delegation's active participation and substantive contributions reflect their commitment to addressing key issues related to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

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