The standing delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) took part in the 2021 winter session, 25 – 28 January, organized in a hybrid format.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe began the session on 25 January by ratifying the mandates of the new delegation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and electing a new leadership and composition of PACE committees. In the next year the Assembly will be presided by Belgian Senator Rik Daems.
The Assembly elected a new Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe – Bjorn Berge of Norway, as well as a new Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly – Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis of Greece. The Assembly also elected judges to the European Court of Human Rights from Greece and Switzerland.
In the course of the session, the Assembly discussed the progress of the parliamentary monitoring procedure, elections in Georgia, implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, position of judges in Poland and Moldova, restrictions on NGO activities in Council of Europe member states, ethical and legal aspects of the COVID-19 vaccine, ethnic profiling in Europe as a worrying phenomenon, as well as changes to the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly.
The Assembly also had two current affairs debates on the arrest and detention of Alexei Navalny and freedom of expression under threat by ‘Big Tech’ companies.
In the course of the session the attending were addressed by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejcinovic Buric, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders and the Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The delegation headed by Ivica Dacic, comprised members Dr Aleksandra Tomic, Biljana Pantic Pilja, Zoran Tomic, Dubravka Filipovski, Elvira Kovacs and Enis Imamovic, as well as deputy members Prof. Dr Zarko Obradovic, Stanislava Janosevic and Stefan Srbljanovic.