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68th plenary session of the Commission (Venice)

13/10/2006 - 14/10/2006

Two texts of general scope are on the agenda of the October 2006 session:

- its new Guidelines on referendums drafted following a request by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe - these Guidelines summarise common European standards to be applied in the field of referendums. Based on the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters the Guidelines take account of the specific features of referendums, in particular the content of texts to be submitted to the people’s vote. Following their adoption by the Venice Commission the Guidelines will be submitted for approval to the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress and finally the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. In the future they will be the basis for the assessment of referendum laws and be used by Council of Europe bodies when observing referendums;

- a study on non-citizens and minority righs: the study examines the position of non-citizens and their entitlement to certain minority rights, in the light of the absence of a legally binding definition of the term "minority" in international law. This is an important issue since practice in the different European countries varies considerably as to whether and to which extent non-citizens should enjoy minority rights.


As regards individual countries, the Commission will inter alia discuss its involvement in:

- the preparation of the new Constitution of Montenegro, in the presence of the Speaker of the Montenegrin parliament, Mr KRIVOKAPIC, and
- the reform of the Constitution of Kyrgyzstan in the presence of the Speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament, Mr SULTANOV.

The Commission will adopt several opinions on Ukraine in the presence of the Minister of Justice, Mr ZVARYCH, and the Prosecutor General, Mr MEDVEDKO:
- on constitutional amendments on the role of the public prosecutor’s office;
- on the law on the Cabinet of Ministers;
- on the law on freedom of assembly;
- on the law on freedom of conscience and religious organisations.

The law on freedom of assembly of Azerbaijan will also be the subject of an opinion as will be the Electoral Code of Belarus.
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