ArmInfo.The Armenian parliamentary delegation, headed by the Chairman of the National Assembly Commission on Foreign Relations Ruben Rubinyan, went to Strasbourg to attend the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) from January 20-26.
According to the press service of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, MPs Vladimir Vardanyan, Naira Zohrabyan, Michael Melkoumian, Edmon Marukyan, Hovhannes Igityan, Tatevik Hayrapetyan and Sos Aviyatn also went to Strasbourg as part of the Armenian delegation.
During the session, which begins its work on January 21 and will last until January 25, the results of the work of the organization's observers at the presidential elections in Georgia (October 28 and November 28) and parliamentary elections in Armenia (December 9) will be presented. The parliamentarians also plan to discuss a wide range of issues - from the problems of objectivity and media freedom to the protection of human rights in the context of law, security and the Internet.
On the first day, the session participants will approve the composition of the delegations and elect the PACE chairman. According to the press service of the organization, while the only candidate is being considered - the current chairman Lilian Mori Pasquier. In the following days, discussions will take place on topics such as amending the Venice Commission's code of referendums, the effectiveness of sanctions for violating human rights, and discussing the application of Sharia law in the CE countries. The issue of protecting human rights will also be in the spotlight during the anti-terrorism debate. The practice of deprivation of citizenship involved or suspected of involvement in such crimes will be considered.
Also, the topic of fundamental rights will be touched upon in the course of discussions on free and open Internet, the initiators of which point to unacceptable actions of some online platforms for large-scale surveillance of users, collection and processing of personal data. The factor of social networks and the Internet is also on the agenda of the debate on objectivity and freedom of the media. On this topic, parliamentarians will submit two draft resolutions for consideration: on the importance of independently informing citizens during elections or other democratic processes, as well as on countering propaganda and disinformation.
During the winter session, the President of Finland Sauli Niinisto is expected to speak, as well as that country's Foreign Minister Timo Soini, who will read out the statement of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Until January 25, delegations are to elect new judges to the European Court of Human Rights. Three candidates each came from Italy and Sweden.