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Activities by year: 2017

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Ukraine – Inauguration of the Supreme Court

15/12/2017
Kyiv – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio represents the Council of Europe at the event entitled “The Role of the Supreme Court in the development of democracy in the country” on the occasion of the commencement of the work of the new Supreme Court of Ukraine.

Request for opinion – PACE - Ukraine

15/12/2017
Paris - the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) of the Parliamentary Assembly on 13 December 2017 decided to request the Venice Commission’s opinion on two Ukrainian draft laws:
- “On Introducing Changes to the Tax Code of Ukraine to Ensure Public Transparency of the Financing of Public Associations and the Use of International Technical Assistance” (Law no.6674) and
- “On Introducing Changes to Some Legislative Acts to Ensure Public Transparency of Information on Finance Activity of Public Asso... read more

25 anniversary of SIGMA - Venice Commission President's address to the Ministerial Conference

13/12/2017 - 14/12/2017
Paris - The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buqucchio addressed the SIGMA Ministerial conference which took place from 13 to 14 December 2017 in Paris on the importance of the rule of law for citizens and businesses. Mr Thomas Markert, Secretary of the Venice Commission, represented as well the Commission at the Paris meeting.

SIGMA is a project implemented by OECD and co-financed by the European Union and the OECD. The project has worked on public administration reform (PAR) in more than 30 partner countries to help them to establish professional public administrat... read more

OAS - Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation

13/12/2017 - 14/12/2017
Washington – Upon the invitation of the Organisation of American States, a delegation of the Venice Commission participated in the 12th Implementation Meeting of the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.

Study visit to the Council of Europe from the Kyrgyz Republic

12/12/2017 - 15/12/2017
Strasbourg – A study visit for representatives of Presidential Administration, Parliament, Central Election Commission, State Registration Service, MFA, Committee on Information and Technologies and representatives from NGOs from the Kyrgyz Republic to the Council of Europe will take place on 12-15 December 2017. The participants will be able to follow closely the work of the Venice Commission, the Parliamentary Assembly, judges and lawyers of the EctHR and other bodies and services of the Council of Europe.

During the seminar organised on 14 December the participants will learn ab... read more

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe – Elections

10/12/2017
Venice - Following the proposals made by the Committee of Wise Persons, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe on 10 December 2017 elected for a term of two years:

• Mr G. Buquicchio (Italy) as President (re-elected);
• Ms H. Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir (Iceland) as First Vice-President;
• Ms V. Bílková (Czech Republic) and Mr M. Frendo (Malta) as Vice-Presidents;
• Ms C. Bazy-Malaurie (France), Mr J. M. Castella Andreu (Spain), Mr I-W. Kang (Republic of Korea) and Ms T. Khabrieva (Russian Federation), as members of the Bureau;

113th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

08/12/2017 - 09/12/2017
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

List of Constitutional and Legal Principles on Ombudsman Institutions - Meeting of the Working Group

06/12/2017
Venice - This is the second meeting of the Working Group following the decision taken at 111th Plenary session of the Venice Commission to draft the List of Constitutional and Legal Principles on Ombudsman Institutions.

Ukraine - Electoral training dedicated to election dispute resolution

28/11/2017 - 29/11/2017
Seminar for national administrative judges on “Election Dispute Resolution: international standards, the ECHR case law and national court practice in Ukraine” will take place in Kyiv, Ukraine on 28 November 2017.

The main aim of the seminar is to discuss problems which national judges face during consideration of election disputes, in particular, considering the latest experience during electoral process related to 29 October local elections in newly amalgamated communities; to conduct a brainstorming on the issues which should be covered by the future permanent training course for... read more

Serbia - Assistance to the Ministry of Justice for the constitutional reform in the field of the judiciary

28/11/2017 - 30/11/2017
Belgrade - An expert of the Venice Commission is in Belgrade on 27 November to provide recommendations to the Ministry of Justice with respect to drafting constitutional amendments in the field of the judiciary. The expert will meet with the Minister of Justice, the Director of the Judicial Academy, and other relevant national authorities as well as representatives of the Civil Society Organisations.

This activity is financed by the "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey", a Joint Programme funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by ... read more

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - Long-term legal assistance to the State Election Commission - 28/08 - 24/11/2017

27/11/2017
Skopje – The Venice Commission provided a long-term legal assistance to the State Election Commission with a view to the good administration of the 2017 October local elections.

This activity falls in the framework of the "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey", a joint programme funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CJCA)

25/11/2017 - 27/11/2017
Algiers - Scientific Seminar of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa, co-organised with the Constitutional Council of Algeria, on "Access of individuals to constitutional justice".

  CCJA

Parliamentarians and Mediators, actors of good governance – international conference

23/11/2017 - 24/11/2017
Tunis – The Venice Commission co-organised and contributed to the first joint Conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie and the Association of Ombudsmen and Mediators of the Francophonie, on the subject : “Parliamentarians and Mediators, actors of good governance“. More than fifty participants exchanged their views on the relationship between Parliaments and Ombudsmen and the reinforcement of their co-operation.

This activity is financed by the Programme Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterranean funded by the European Union and impl... read more

Armenia – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

17/11/2017
Yerevan – A joint delegation of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR visits Yerevan in the framework of the preparation of the joint opinion on the draft law on referendums. The delegation will exchange views on the draft law with Members of the National Assembly and of the Central Electoral Commission, with the President of the Constitutional Court, the Minister of Justice and representatives of the Armenian civil society.

Association of Constitutional Courts Using the French Language (ACCPUF)

16/11/2017 - 17/11/2017
Paris - The President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio participates in the opening of the seminar - conference on "the drafting of decisions", celebrating the 20th anniversary of ACCPUF (Association of Constitutional Courts sharing the use of French).

Japan – visit of a judge of the Supreme Court

10/11/2017
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio and Justice Hiroyuki Kanno of the Supreme Court of Japan discussed cooperation between their respective institutions.

Misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes: a major challenge for democratic elections - Regional Conference

09/11/2017 - 10/11/2017
London - The Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and the Venice Commission, in co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, organise a regional conference entitled “Misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes: a major challenge for democratic elections”. Members of Parliaments and representatives of the Central electoral administrations of the countries beneficiaries of the Partnership of Good Governance will participate in this conference as well as a panel of international experts, specialists in the topic of the conference.
read more

"Conscious voters in the digital age" - 26th Annual ACEEEO Conference

09/11/2017 - 10/11/2017
Sofia – The Venice Commission will take part in the 26th Annual Conference of the Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO). This conference is hosted by the Central Election Commission of Bulgaria and the ACEEEO Secretariat. The title of the conference is “Conscious voters in the digital age”.

Turkey - CHP leader to meet with the President of the Venice Commission

08/11/2017
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - During his visit to Strasbourg in the framework of the World Democracy Forum, Mr Kılıçdaroğlu, the CHP leader, is to hold a meeting with the Venice Commission’s President Mr Gianni Buquicchio.

Women and the labour market – 6th UniDem Med Seminar

07/11/2017 - 08/11/2017
Algiers, Algeria - In cooperation with the Algerian Constitutional Council and the Directorate General of the Civil Service and the Administrative Reform of Algeria (DGFPRA), the Venice Commission is organising, from 7 to 8 November, the 6th UniDem Med Regional Seminar. The seminar entitled "Women and the labor market" will take place in Algiers (Algeria) and will bring together senior officials and experts from Europe and the Southern the Mediterranean - Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. The seminar will discuss issues related to the principles of equality, the consti... read more

Request for opinion – Congress of the Council of Europe - local recall referendum

07/11/2017
The Secretary General of the Congress of the Council of Europe submitted a request for the Venice Commission’s opinion on the compatibility of local recall referendum aimed at cutting short the term of office of a local elected representative with the international standards and best practice.

Assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic in the electoral field

06/11/2017 - 12/11/2017
In the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” a number of activities will be held for representatives of Kyrgyzstan from 6 to 12 November 2017.

Bishkek – A follow-up seminar on media monitoring of the October 2017 Presidential elections will be held jointly with a local NGO “Media Development Centre” on 6-8 November 2017 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The seminar is focused on enhancing the potential of journalists and media experts in a post-electoral analysis of the data collected during the monitoring process. As ... read more

Request for opinion - Republic of Moldova

03/11/2017
Mr Mihail Cotorobai, the People`s Advocate of the Republic of Moldova, requested Venice Commission’s opinion on the amendment of article 37 of the Law on the People’s Advocate –”Financial provisions”.
The opinion is on the agenda of the December 2017 plenary session of the Commission.

Albania - Roundtable on the 2017 parliamentary elections

02/11/2017
Tirana, the Central Election Commission's headquarters – The Venice Commission takes part in a post-electoral conference organised by the Council of Europe, in cooperation with the Central Election Commission, on “The 2017 elections in Albania - Lessons learned and steps ahead: Legislation, Administration, Education".

This post-electoral conference focuses on the main findings and recommendations of the final reports of the OSCE/ODIHR and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the assistance offered by the Council of Europe in supporting the recent elections in Al... read more

OSCE/ODIHR - Core Group of Experts on Political Parties - 2017 Annual Meeting

02/11/2017 - 03/11/2017
Warsaw – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) organised the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Core Group of Experts on Political Parties. It was devoted to the revision of the Joint Guidelines on Political Party Regulation.

A delegation of the Venice Commission participated in this meeting, as these Guidelines were drafted and are revised jointly with the OSCE/ODIHR.

Ukraine – forthcoming opinion – country visit

31/10/2017 - 01/11/2017
Kiev – a delegation of the Venice Commission will meet the Ukrainian authorities and other stakeholders in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the provisions of the new Law on Education governing the teaching in/of languages spoken in Ukraine, requested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The delegation includes Venice Commission members and experts of the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities and of the European Charter on Regional and Minority languages of the Council of Europe.

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the December 2... read more

Asia - Constitutional Justice

30/10/2017 - 02/11/2017
Seoul - The President of the Venice Commission participated in the International Symposium on "Constitutionalism in Asia: Past, Present and Future" organised by the Secretariat for Research and Development of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts (AACC).

Request for study – Organisation of American States

30/10/2017
On 24 october 2017 the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States Mr Luis Almagro requested that the Venice Commission drafts a study on the right to reelection.

Promoting transparency and accountability measures for members of parliament – Conference by the PACE

26/10/2017 - 27/10/2017
Rome - A conference entitled “Promoting transparency and accountability measures for members of parliament” is organised by the parliamentary assembly of the council of Europe and hosted by the Italian parliament. The event is meant for the members of the parliament of Albania and the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is held in Rome, Italy on 26-27 October 2017.

Ms Aurela ANASTAS, the Member from Albania will represent the Venice Commission at the conference and will give an overview of the development of the Albanian constitutional legislation in respect of parliamentary i... read more

2nd International Joint Conference on Electronic Voting - E-VOTE-ID conference

26/10/2017 - 27/10/2017
Bregenz, Austria – The Venice Commission is invited to participate in the Second International Joint Conference on Electronic Voting. This conference is one of the leading international events for e-voting experts from all over the world.

One of its major objectives is to provide a forum for interdisciplinary and open discussion of all issues relating to electronic voting. In 2016 the two previously bi-annually held conferences, EVOTE and VoteID, were merged into the annual E-VOTE-ID conference.

Request for opinion - Armenia

25/10/2017
The Minister of Justice of Armenia requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on referendums.

The draft opinion should be discussed by the December 2017 plenary session

Strengthening the capacities of women organisations – Workshop in Jordan

25/10/2017
Amman - A representative of the Venice Commission participated in the workshop on “Strengthening the capacities of women organisations”, organised by the Council of Europe North South Centre and gathering the Minister of Social Development, MPs and several high officials of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, MPs and numerous representatives of NGOs of Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria and several other countries.

The Venice Commission representative highlighted that equality in and before the law and the principle of non-discrimination were essential elements of the rule of law, and encoura... read more

Poland - forthcoming opinion - visit to the country

25/10/2017 - 26/10/2017
Warsaw – On 25-26 October, a delegation of the Venice Commission met the Polish authorities and other stakeholders in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the amended Act on the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The request for opinion came from the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly on 4 May 2017.
The draft opinion is on the agenda of the December 2017 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Albania - high level meetings

20/10/2017
Tirana - On the sidelines of the Conference at the occassion of the 25th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Albania, President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio held meetings with the President of the country Mr Ilir META, Speaker of the Parliament ‎Mr Gramoz RUCI and Prime Minister Mr Edi RAMA.

Albania - Constitutional Justice

20/10/2017
Tirana – The President of the Venice Commission participated in the international conference on “Europeanisation of the Constitutional Law and Constitutionalization of the European Law – challenges of the future” at the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Albania.

Republic of Moldova - Seminar on electoral dispute resolution

19/10/2017 - 20/10/2017
Chisinau – Venice Commission organised a seminar on electoral dispute resolution in cooperation with the Central Electoral Commission Moldova (CEC), Centre for Continuous Electoral Training, and with the National Institute of Justice of Moldova. The 1st day of the seminar was for judges and CEC members (19 October), the 2nd - for CEC staff and lawyers of political parties (20 October).

This activity falls in the framework of the Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Coun... read more

Armenia - Role of the Constitutional Courts in Overcoming Constitutional Conflicts - International Conference

19/10/2017 - 21/10/2017
Yerevan - The Constitutional Court of Armenia and the Conference of Constitutional Control Organs of the Countries of New Democracy (CCCOCND) has organised a conference on "The Role of the Constitutional Courts in Overcoming Constitutional Conflicts". Vice-President Ms Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir will represent the Venice Commission on this occasion.

This activity falls in the framework of the Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by ... read more

Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen - Training session

18/10/2017 - 19/10/2017
Casablanca – The Mediator of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen (AMO) organise a training session for collaborators of the Ombudsmen members of the AMO. “The deontology of security forces and the rights of migrants during their migratory journey: the role of the ombudsmen institutions” is the theme of the training.

More than 20 collaborators from different Mediators Institutions will discuss on international standards and best practices with regard to the role of their Institution when dealing on the rights of migrants during their migratory journ... read more

Republic of Moldova – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

17/10/2017 - 18/10/2017
Chisinau – A delegation of the Venice Commission met with the Moldovan authorities and other stakeholders in the framework of the preparation of the Opinion on party and campaign financing which was carried out on 17-18 October, jointly with OSCE/ODIHR and with the participation of a GRECO expert.

The request for the opinion came from the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly on 14 September 2017. The draft opinion is on the agenda of the December 2017 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

The preparation of this opinion falls in the framework of the Par... read more

Republic of Moldova - Statement by the President of the Venice Commission

13/10/2017
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - I have learned that the President of the Republic of Moldova has made very critical statements casting doubt on the judgments of the Constitutional Court and the impartiality of its judges. I would like to recall that in a democratic state, governed by the rule of law, criticisms of constitutional court decisions are permissible as long as they are respectful.

While freedom of expression is a fundamental value in a democratic state, the holders of public office must show restraint in their criticism. Disrespectful criticism, and in particular threat... read more

Request for an opinion - PACE - Poland

12/10/2017
On 11 October 2017 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in Resolution 2188 (2017), requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the compatibility with the Council of Europe's standards on the rule of law of the Polish law of 12 July 2017 on the Ordinary Courts Organisation, as well as of the two draft laws recently submitted to the Sejm by the President of the Republic, on amending the law on the National Council of the Judiciary and on the Supreme Court.

The opinion will be submitted for adoption by the Plenary Session of the Commission in December 2017.

Rule of Law Checklist - endorsed by the Parliamentary Assembly

11/10/2017
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The Assembly adopted two reports entitled " “The Rule of Law Checklist" of the Venice Commission" and "New threats against the rule of law in the member states of the Council of Europe - selected examples ". In this context the President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, presented the Rule of Law checklist to the Assembly.

The Parliamentary Assembly, after a debate with the participation of President Gianni Buquicchio, endorsed the Rule of Law checklist and decided to use it systematically in its work, particularly in the preparation of... read more

112th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

06/10/2017 - 07/10/2017
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista. The Venice Commission

- Was informed by Ms Arpine Hovhanissyan, Vice-President of the National Assembly of Armenia, on progress in the implementation of the revised Constitution of Armenia;

- Held an exchange of views with Mr Arthur Hovhannisyan, First Deputy Minister of Justice of Armenia, and adopted the opinion on the draft judicial code of Armenia, previously examined by the Sub-Commission on the Judiciary on 5 October 2017;

- Held an exchange of views with Mr Evgeni Stoyanov, Deputy Minister of Justice of... read more

Foreign funding of non-governmental organisations - Round-table

04/10/2017
Venice, Italy - The Venice Commission, in cooperation with the OSCE/ODIHR and with the funding from the Japanese Government, is organising a Round-table on « Foreign funding of non-governmental organisations » on 4 October 2017 in Venice, Italy.

The round-table will gather members of the Venice Commission, national and International experts as well as state and civil society representatives. The purpose of the round-table is to develop the international standards concerning foreign funding of associations in order to deepen the legal discussion in this field. Good practices in pro... read more

Request for opinion – Ukraine

29/09/2017
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr Pavlo Klimkin has requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the Law of Ukraine “On education” of 25 September 2017.

Preventing corruption in the civil service – 5th UniDem Med Seminar

25/09/2017 - 28/09/2017
Rabat, Morocco - The Venice Commission, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Reform of the Administration and the Civil service of Morocco, is organising the 5th UniDem Med regional seminar from 25-28 September 2017 in Rabat, Morocco. The seminar entitled “Prevention of Corruption and Promotion of Integrity in the Civil Service: shared experiences” will gather senior servants from Europe and the southern Mediterranean - Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestinian National Authority and Tunisia.

Participants will discuss critical issues such as integrity, transp... read more

Georgia - draft Constitution - postponement of proportional election system regrettable, bonus system of unallocated votes distribution should be abandoned

22/09/2017
Strasbourg – the Venice Commission has just published its new draft opinion on the draft Constitution of Georgia as adopted in the second reading in June 2017, as well as on the letter submitted by the Georgian authorities to the Venice Commission on 20 September 2017, in which they committed themselves to consider new amendments.

The Venice Commission in its draft opinion reiterated its previous positive assessment of the draft Constitution, but once again underlined that any major constitutional reform must reach the widest possible consensus.

A major obstacle to reac... read more

Georgia - Training Seminar on Election Dispute Resolution

22/09/2017 - 24/09/2017
Batumi – the Venice Commission, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and the Central Election Commission of Georgia in cooperation with the Supreme Court of Georgia, held an Election Dispute Resolution Seminar for about 90 judges of the courts of appeal of Georgia.

This activity falls in the framework of the Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

4th Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice

11/09/2017 - 14/09/2017
Vilnius - During the 4th Congress meetings of the 10 regional and linguistic groups of constitutional courts and equivalent bodies took place, as well as a meeting of the Bureau of the World Conference, its 2nd General Assembly and a special stocktaking exercise on the independence of the 111 Courts members of the World Conference.

Republic of Moldova - "Security Mandates" - Follow-up Conference

14/09/2017 - 14/09/2017
Chisinau - The Venice Commission is represented at a Conference organised by the Security Committee of the Moldovan Parliament to discuss with all parties concerned, the conclusions and recommendations formulated by the Commission in its two opinions - adopted in December 2016 and March 2017 - on draft laws on the "Security Mandates" as a special investigative measure, and on protection against cyber crime.

Request for opinion – PACE - Republic of Moldova

14/09/2017
The Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) of the Parliamentary Assembly decided to request an opinion of the Venice Commission on the legal framework governing the funding of political parties and campaigns, as well as the recent amendments to the electoral legislation of the Republic of Moldova.

The preparation of this opinion falls in the framework of the Partnership for Good Governance for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, financed by the European Union ... read more

Support to the follow-up of electoral recommendations in the Western Balkans

08/09/2017
Warsaw – The Venice Commission took part in the launch event of the project “Support to the Follow-up of Electoral Recommendations in the Western Balkans”. This event, organised in the form of a roundtable, was held by the OSCE.

The event highlighted the importance of follow-up of electoral recommendations and informed the participants of the next steps of the project. It began with an outline of the project and followed by three working sessions on election management, voter registration and conduct of the media during election campaigns. Participants of the event included intern... read more

Bulgaria – forthcoming opinion – country visit

06/09/2017
Sofia – A delegation of the Venice Commission is going to Sofia 11-12 September 2017 to meet with the Bulgarian authorities, members of Parliament, judges and other stakeholders in the framework of the preparation of the Opinion on Judicial System Act of Bulgaria. The draft opinion is on the agenda of the October 2017 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Ukraine – forthcoming opinion – country visit

06/09/2017 - 07/09/2017
Kyiv – A delegation of the Venice Commission met with the Ukrainian authorities and other stakeholders in the framework of the preparation of the Opinion on compliance with the Council of Europe standards of the draft laws on anti-corruption courts and on the specialisation of judges for corruption-related offences.

The delegation’s composition was as follows:

• Ms Aurela Anastas, Member, Albania,
• Mr George Papuashvili, former member, Georgia,
• Mr James Hamilton, former member, Ireland,
• Mr Thomas Markert, Director, Secretary of the Venice Commission,... read more

GEORGIA - Revision of the Constitution - Statement by the Venice Commission President Gianni BUQUICCHIO

01/09/2017
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – The revision of the Constitution of Georgia is a major reform meant to transform the current political system into a genuine parliamentary democracy.

In June this year, the Venice Commission issued a positive assessment of the draft revised Constitution, including the declared move towards the fully proportional system of the election of all the members of Parliament. Moreover, we specifically welcomed active co-operation and the commitment of the Georgian parliament not to adopt any amendments negat... read more

Hungary - Higher education law - Requirements for already operating universities “highly problematic”

11/08/2017
Strasbourg, - In a preliminary opinion issued today, the Venice Commission notes that in general the regulations of Hungary’s higher education law are in line with usual European practice but criticises that many requirements of the law are overly stringent or even unjustified if applied to already existing universities.

The Venice Commission does acknowledge the right of a state to regulate foreign universities on its territory, especially in the absence of unified European norms or models in the field, and that it is up to Hungarian authorities to assess when and whether this fr... read more

Asia - Constitutional Justice

09/08/2017 - 10/08/2017
Solo, Indonesia – The President of the Venice Commission participated in the International Symposium of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions on “The Constitutional Court as the Guardian of Ideology and Democracy in a Pluralistic Society” (Solo, Indonesia, 9-10 August 2017).

  AACC

The World Conference on Constitutional Justice / WCCJ - a new member

07/08/2017
The Supreme Court of Kenya has joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which now has 110 members.

Kyrgyz Republic - Assistance in the electoral field

04/08/2017 - 05/08/2017
Issyk-kul – Working Group under the Office of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, tasked with improving the Electoral System in the Kyrgyz Republic, and in particular, with developing a new comprehensive Electoral Reform Strategy, held their first meeting in Issyk-kul, Kyrgyzstan on 4-5 August 2017.

The meeting was organized with the support of the Venice Commission within the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” funded by the European Union. A number of issues were discussed at the meeting, among them a pa... read more

Kyrgyz Republic - Assistance in the electoral field - media and electoral disputes

30/07/2017 - 05/08/2017
Bishkek – In the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” the Venice Commission will organise 2 training sessions at the Issyk-Kul lake from 30 July to 5 August.

The first training session is held jointly with a local NGO “Media Development Centre”. It is aimed at journalists who will do media monitoring before the Presidential elections of 15 October. They will get to know media monitoring methodology, exchange views with experienced trainers and learn about technical aspects of media monitoring and the specific... read more

Venezuela – Constitutional crisis - Preliminary opinion released

21/07/2017
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission has released its preliminary opinion on the legal aspects of the constitutional crisis in Venezuela.

Ukraine – Request for opinion

20/07/2017
Mr Andrii Parubiy, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, has requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on compliance with the Council of Europe standards of the draft law on anti-corruption courts and the draft law on the specialisation of judges for corruption-related offences.

Poland - Statement by the Venice Commission's President Gianni Buquicchio

18/07/2017
Strasbourg - I have been informed that the Polish parliament is adopting a number of laws on the judicial system affecting inter alia the National Council of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court. The Venice Commission has not examined these texts but I would like to recall that the independence of the judiciary is a basic element of the rule of law, guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The fact that judges may not be dismissed before the end of their term of office, except on the basis of proper disciplinary proceedings, ... read more

Armenia – forthcoming opinion – a country visit

11/07/2017 - 12/07/2017
Yerevan – on 10 and 11 July 2017 a delegation of the Venice Commission visited Armenia, at the invitation of the Minister of Justice, and discussed the draft judicial code developed by the Ministry, with a view of preparation of an opinion on the draft code.
The draft opinion is scheduled for adoption by October 2017 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

European Parliament - Exchange of views on constitutional reform in Georgia

05/07/2017
Strasbourg - Thomas Markert, Secretary General of the Venice Commission, took part in an exchange of views on constitutional reform in Georgia with the Delegation for relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia of the European Parliament, in the presence of the President of Parliament of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze.

International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) – "Courts, Power, Public Law" – 2017 Annual Conference

05/07/2017 - 07/07/2017
Copenhagen - The Venice Commission is attending the ICON·S conference on "Courts, Power, Public Law".
A representative of the Commission intervenes in panel 84 on "New Trends in Electoral Matters: The Role of Courts and the Venice Commission".

Morocco - 13th Forum on the Modernisation of Public Administration and State Institutions

05/07/2017 - 06/07/2017
Rabat - The Vice-president of the Venice Commission, Mrs Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir, is attending the 13th Forum on the Modernisation of Public Administration and State Institutions on "Fight against corruption in public services in Africa as an operational element of a responsible governance”.
She will present the "Rule of Law Check List" of the Venice Commission.

Hungary – forthcoming opinion – country visit

30/06/2017 - 01/07/2017
Budapest - a delegation of the Venice Commission travels to Hungary to exchange views with the Hungarian authorities and other relevant stakeholders, in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the recent amendments to the Higher Education Act adopted by the Hungarian Parliament.

Georgia – working meetings on constitutional reform

28/06/2017 - 29/08/2017
Batumi – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Buquicchio met with the President of Georgia, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, representatives of the opposition and the civil society.

The meetings were held on the sidelines of the XVIIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts.

Conference of European Constitutional Courts - XVIIth Congress

28/06/2017 - 01/07/2017
Batumi - The Conference of European Constitutional Courts will hold its XVIIth Congress on the topic "Role of Constitutional Courts in upholding and applying Constitutional Principles".

Assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic in the electoral field

27/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
Bishkek – In the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” experts of the Venice Commission will participate in several activities from 27 to 30 June 2017. The first activity for political parties will deal with campaigning and electoral dispute resolution co-organised with IFES in light of the Presidential elections on 15 October 2017.

Together with OSCE Programme office a needs assessment visit on data protection will be held to meet with a wide range of stakeholders in this area and to discuss possible co-oper... read more

Organisation of American States - Request for opinion

27/06/2017
Mr Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organisation of American States, has requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on legal issues related to the Decree of the President of Venezuela on calling elections of the National Constituent Assembly.

Ukraine – visit of the President of the Venice Commission

26/06/2017
Kyiv – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Buquicchio exchanged views with the Speaker of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Parubiy on the recent cooperation between the Commission and Ukraine.

Albania - parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to the PACE observation mission

24/06/2017 - 26/06/2017
Tirana - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanies the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation to advise on the legal framework of the parliamentary elections of 25 June 2017 in Albania. The PACE delegation is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the early parliamentary elections.

Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe - Presentation of the 2016 annual report of activities of the Commission

21/06/2017
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, presented the annual report of activities of the Commission in 2016. The presentation was followed by an exchange of views with the Ambassadors of the Member States of the Council of Europe.

OSCE/ODIHR - Electoral issues

19/06/2017 - 20/06/2017
Warsaw – The Venice Commission participates in discussions on the drafts of two new election-related publications: Handbook on Observing and Promoting the Electoral Participation of Persons with Disabilities and Guidelines on the Role of Public Security Providers in Elections. The event is facilitated by the OSCE/ODIHR. The participants include international experts as well as representatives from civil society and international organisations.

111th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

16/06/2017 - 17/06/2017
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Spain, Catalonia

06/06/2017
Exchange of letters between Mr Carles Puigdemont, President of the Government of Catalonia, Spain, and Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.

Hungary - Organisations receiving support from abroad – preliminary opinion published

02/06/2017
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - The Venice Commission has issued its Preliminary Opinion on the draft law of Hungary on the transparency of organisations receiving support from abroad.

It will be submitted to the Venice Commission for endorsement at the next Plenary Session (Venice, 16-17 June 2017).

Electoral disputes resolution - Workshop in Skopje

30/05/2017 - 01/06/2017
Skopje – An expert of the Venice Commission participates in several meetings in the electoral field in Skopje from 30 May to 1 June. The meetings are taking place in the framework of a workshop organised by the State Election Commission in cooperation with the Venice Commission, the OSCE and the IFES. The workshop is partially financed by the "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey", a Joint Programme funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

This workshop on electoral dispute resolution is aimed at fostering... read more

Argentina – International seminar on best practices in the electoral field

29/05/2017 - 30/05/2017
Buenos Aires – On 29 and 31 May 2017 representatives of the Venice Commission will participate in an international seminar on best practices in the electoral field organised by the National Electoral Chamber and Council for International Relations of Argentina in co-operation with UNDP. The exchanges between international experts and national stakeholders are organised in the context of the on-going reform of the electoral legislation and practice in Argentina. The participants will focus on such issues as participation of women in political process, use of IT technologies in electoral proces... read more

Bulgaria – upcoming opinion – visit to the country

25/05/2017
Sofia – A delegation of the Venice Commission is in Sofia to discuss amendments to the Election Code of Bulgaria.
The relevant draft opinion is on the agenda of the June 2017 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Ukraine – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

22/05/2017 - 23/05/2017
Kiev – On 22 and 23 May 2017 a delegation of the Venice Commission will visit Ukraine in view of the preparation of an opinion on draft amendments to the Rules of procedure of the Verkhovna Rada.
These amendments aim at bringing the Rules in conformity with the Constitution of Ukraine.
The delegation will have meetings with the representatives of the Committees on Legal Policy and Justice and on Rules of Parliamentary Procedure and Support to Work of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, as well as with a number of national experts.

Republic of Moldova – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

18/05/2017 - 19/05/2017
Chisinau – On 18 and 19 May 2017 a delegation of the Venice Commission, at the invitation of President Dodon, will visit the Republic of Moldova in view of the preparation of an opinion on the President's proposal to expand the President’s powers to dissolve Parliament. The delegation will have meetings in Parliament, with government officials and other stakeholders.

This activity falls in the framework of the Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and i... read more

Constitutional Justice - Joint Council

18/05/2017 - 19/05/2017
Karlsruhe - The President of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, Mr Andreas Voßkuhle, and the President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, opened the 16th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice of the Venice Commission.

Assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic in the electoral field

16/05/2017 - 19/05/2017
Bishkek – Experts of the Venice Commission will participate in several meetings in the electoral field in Bishkek from 16 to 19 May 2017. The meetings will take place in the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” with funding provided by the European Union.

The experts of the Venice Commission will share with the project beneficiaries their experience on a number of issues such as complaints mechanism, international standards in the electoral field, participation of political parties in elections as well as the ... read more

PACE/Venice Commission - Interaction with the Monitoring Committee

16/05/2017
Helsinki - Member of the Venice Commission Mr Sergio Bartole participates in the seminar organised by the PACE Monitoring Committee on the 20th anniversary of its establishment.

The topic of the event is "The international legal order in a changing world: challenges for the monitoring procedure of the Parliamentary Assembly".

Mr Bartole presents the role of the Venice Commission in the process of monitoring Council of Europe member states' commitment to respect the core values of the organisation.

Freedom of peaceful assembly

15/05/2017 - 16/05/2017
Warsaw - Representatives of the Venice Commission participate in the meeting of the OSCE-ODIHR Panel on freedom of peaceful assembly. Participants will discuss inter alia assembly "monitoring" (including the issue of the safety of journalists covering assemblies) and the role of municipalities in facilitating assemblies.

International conference on democratic elections in Saint-Petersburg - 14th European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies

15/05/2017 - 16/05/2017
Tavricheskiy Palace, St Petersburg – Ways of improving the functioning of electoral administrations will be the focus of an international conference taking place in the Tavrichesky Palais, St Petersburg, Russian Federation, on 15-16 May 2017.

More than 120 participants representing about 40 countries and several international institutions, including chairs and members of central electoral commissions and administrations from Europe and beyond, will define measures needed to improve functioning of electoral administrations and exchange good practices advancing efficiency, visibilit... read more

Armenia – upcoming opinion – visit to the country

15/05/2017 - 16/05/2017
Yerevan – A delegation of the Venice Commission will be travelling to Yerevan on 15-16 May 2017 to discuss the new draft law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia.
The relevant draft opinion is on the agenda of the June 2017 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

The World Conference on Constitutional Justice / WCCJ - 2 new members

12/05/2017
The Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic and the Council of Constitutional Inquiry of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia have joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice.
The WCCJ counts now 109 members.

Armenia - Request for opinion

12/05/2017
Ms Arpine Hovhannisyan, the Minister of Justice of Armenia, has requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on certain questions related to the Draft Judicial Code of Armenia, which relate, inter alia, to the internal organisation of the judiciary and powers of Armenian courts.

Hungary – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

11/05/2017 - 12/05/2017
Budapest – A delegation of the Venice Commission visits Hungary to discuss with the authorities and other stakeholders the draft law on transparency of organisations receiving foreign funding. The visit takes place in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on this draft law.

It is the Parliamentary Assembly that requested the Venice Commission to assess the compatibility of the draft law with the Council of Europe standards (see PACE Resolution 2162(2017) of 27 April 2017).

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the June 2017 plenary session.

Republic of Moldova – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

10/05/2017 - 11/05/2017
Chisinau - A delegation of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR visits the Republic of Moldova in view of the preparation of a joint opinion on the revision of the electoral legislation concerning the electoral system for the election of Parliament. The delegation will meet the President of the Republic, the President of Parliament, representatives of political parties and the civil society, as well as the Central Electoral Commission.

This activity falls in the framework of the Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and... read more

World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) – 107 members!

04/05/2017
The Federal Court of Malaysia joined the World Conference for Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) and became its 107th member.

Poland – request for opinion by PACE

04/05/2017
The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the recently amended law on the Prosecution Service of Poland.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) – 106th member!

02/05/2017
The Supreme Court of Swaziland joined the World Conference for Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) which now has 106 members.

Hungary – Request for opinion

28/04/2017
Minister of Justice of Hungary requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on several questions related to the protection of privacy.

Hungary – Request for opinion by PACE

28/04/2017
In its Resolution 2162(2017) adopted on 27 April 2017, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the compatibility of the Hungarian draft law on the transparency of organisations receiving foreign funding as well as of the Act of 4 April 2017 amending the High Education Act, with the Council of Europe standards.

The draft opinion regarding foreign funding of NGOs is on the agenda of the June 2017 plenary session.

Request for opinion – Republic of Moldova

27/04/2017
Mr Andrian Candu, President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on a second draft revision of the electoral legislation replacing the proportional system for the election of Parliament, in this case by a mixed system (see the news of 15 March 2017).

This activity of the Venice Commission is covered by the Partnership for Good Governance for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

Belarus - Conference with the Constitutional Court

27/04/2017 - 28/04/2017
Minsk - Conference in cooperation with the Constitutional Court on "The Role of Constitutional review bodies in ensuring the rule of law in rule-making and law-enforcement". This Conference is financed by the Council of Europe / European Union programme : “Programmatic Cooperation Framework in the Eastern Partnership Countries” .
The Vice-President of the Venice Commission as well as the experts invited by the Venice Commission, strongly insisted on the Constitutional Court’s role in upholding human rights, and notably the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. The Vice-President... read more

Africa - Constitutional Justice

23/04/2017 - 26/04/2017
Cape Town - The Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa will hold its IVth Congress on the topic of "Strengthening of the Independence of the Judiciary and the Respect for the Rule of Law".

Interaction between majority and opposition – International conference

06/04/2017 - 07/04/2017
Bucharest - the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr Th. Jagland in his 2016 report on the “State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law: a security imperative for Europe”, recommended that Council of Europe guidelines concerning the role and the responsibility of the political majority and its interaction with the opposition be developed.

In this context, the Venice Commission was invited to update its study of 2010 on the role of the opposition in a democratic parliament (CDL-AD(2010)025). The angle of the new study will be the interaction between the majority a... read more

Romania - visit to the Constitutional Court

06/04/2017
Bucharest – the President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio and the Secretary of the Commission Mr Thomas Markert met with the President of the Constitutional Court of Romania Mr Valer Dorneanu. Issues on the agenda of the Court, the international conference on the interaction between the majority and the opposition as well as the cooperation between the Commission and the Court were discussed.

Interaction between Constitutional Courts and similar jurisdictions and ordinary courts - 5th Intercultural workshop on democracy

03/04/2017 - 04/04/2017
Nicosia - The Venice Commission is organising, in the framework of the Presidency of Cyprus of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, the 5th Intercultural Workshop on Democracy on the theme “Interaction between Constitutional Courts and similar jurisdictions and ordinary courts”.

The workshop will take place in Nicosia (Cyprus), from Monday 3 April to Tuesday 4 April 2017. It will be attended by judges of Constitutional Courts and Councils as well as ordinary courts from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Leban... read more

Serbia - Presidential election - Legal assistance to the observation mission of the PACE

31/03/2017 - 03/04/2017
Belgrade - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanies the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation to advise on the legal framework of the presidential elections scheduled on 2 April 2017 in Serbia. The PACE delegation is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the presidential elections.

Armenia - parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to the PACE observation mission

31/03/2017 - 03/04/2017
Yerevan - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanies the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation to advise on the legal framework of the parliamentary elections of 2 April 2017 in Armenia. The PACE delegation is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the early parliamentary elections.

Georgia - constitutional reform – visit to the country

30/03/2017
Tbilisi – a delegation of the Venice Commission will be in Georgia with a working visit to continue its assistance to the authorities in their comprehensive constitutional reform effort. The delegation will meet with the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia Mr Irakli KOBAKHIDZE, his deputy Ms Tamar CHUGOSHVILI, as well as with the working groups of the Constitutional Commission involved in the reform.

The composition of the delegation of the Venice Commission is as follows:

• Mr Nikos C. ALIVIZATOS, Member (Greece);
• Mr Josep Maria CASTELLA ANDREU, Member (Spain);<... read more

32nd session of the Congress - preventing misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes at local and regional level

29/03/2017
Strasbourg, Palais de l’Europe – A member of the Venice Commission intervenes before the 32nd session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. He is to present the opinion of the Venice Commission on the Congress' Checklist for compliance with international standards and best practices preventing misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes at local and regional level. This opinion was adopted at the March 2017 session of the Commission.

Request for opinion - Republic of Moldova

28/03/2017
Mr Igor Dodon, President of the Republic of Moldova, has requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on his proposal to amend the Constitution, which had been submitted to Parliament on 1 March 2017 and which expand the President’s powers to dissolve Parliament.

The opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 111th Plenary meeting of the Commission in June 2017.

Tunisia - election financing issues

28/03/2017 - 29/03/2017
Tunis - The Venice Commission is co-organising with the Supreme Independent Authority of Tunisia for Elections and the UNDP an international conference on "The financing of political life during the election period". The conference will be followed by a workshop entitled "International perspectives on techniques of control of the financing of election campaigns", which will take place on 29 March 2017 also in Tunis.

Performance, merit and equality in the civil service - regional UniDem Med Seminar

27/03/2017 - 30/03/2017
Tunis - the Venice Commission in cooperation with the Presidency of the Government of Tunisia organises a regional Seminar UniDem Med (Universities for Democracy for the Southern Mediterranean) from 27 to 30 March 2017 on the theme of “Performance, merit and equality in the civil service”.

50 senior public servants from the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region - Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestinian National Authority and Tunisia - will attend the seminar as well as experts from the two shores of the Mediterranean. The working languages of the seminar are... read more

Ukraine - "The Use of New Information Technologies in Electoral Process: Challenges, Risks and Prospects" – International conference

27/03/2017 - 28/03/2017
Kyiv – the Venice Commission in co-operation with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), various competent services of the Council of Europe, and Ukraine’s Central Election Commission organised a conference on the use informational technologies (IT) in the electoral processes.

The conference provided a platform for discussing the advantages and disadvantages of various electoral IT systems, as well as the security implications of different results management systems in Ukraine and around the glob... read more

Bulgaria - parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to the PACE observation mission

23/03/2017 - 27/03/2017
Sofia - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanies the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation to advise on the legal framework of the parliamentary elections of 26 March 2017 in Bulgaria. The PACE delegation is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the early parliamentary elections.

USA – working meetings with the OAS and US administration

22/03/2017 - 23/03/2017
Washington – The President of the Venice Commission G. Buquicchio is invited to address the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS). In addition, Mr Buquicchio and Mr T. Markert, the Secretary of the Commission, will hold bilateral meetings at the US Department of State.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - Bureau

11/03/2017
Venice, Italy - The Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice held its 11th meeting in Venice, Italy, where it discussed the preparation of its 4th Congress on "the Rule of Law and Constitutional Justice in the Modern World" which will be held in in Vilnius, on 11-14 September 2017.

The World Conference unites 105 Constitutional Courts and Councils and Supreme Courts in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia/Oceania and Europe. According to its Statute, the World Conference does not have a "President". It has three bodies, the General Assembly, the Bureau and the Sec... read more

Ukraine – “International standards and electoral dispute resolution in Ukraine” - Roundtable

16/03/2017
Kyiv – Venice Commission co-organised with IFES Ukraine an expert round table on “International standards and electoral dispute resolution in Ukraine”. This roundtable aimed to present and discuss international standards for establishing effective election dispute programs and Ukrainian key practices in this sphere, based on the contributions from domestic and international experts.

This activity is part of the assistance in the electoral field provided in a framework of the Council of Europe’s Action Plan for Ukraine.

Political parties financing in Ukraine: Current legislation, recent developments and perspectives - Conference

15/03/2017
Kyiv – The Venice Commission co-organised with the National Agency on Corruption prevention and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine a conference entitled “Political parties financing in Ukraine: Current legislation, recent developments and perspectives”.

This activity is part of the assistance in the electoral field provided in a framework of the Council of Europe’s Action Plan for Ukraine.

Request for opinion - Republic of Moldova

15/03/2017
Mr Andrian Candu, Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, has requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on a draft revision of the electoral legislation replacing the proportional system for the election of Parliament by a plurality system in one-member constituencies.

This activity of the Venice Commission will be covered by the Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, which is funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

Long-term assistance to the State Election Commission in Skopje

15/03/2017 - 15/06/2017
Skopje - An expert from the Venice Commission assists the State Election Commission in Skopje by means of providing legal and technical advice. This long term assistance mission was put in place with a view to the municipal elections scheduled for May 2017.
This activity is part of the "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey", a Joint Programme funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

Ukraine – request for opinion

13/03/2017
The Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Mr A. Parubiy requested the Commission’s opinion on the draft law of Ukraine "On amendment to the Rules of Parliamentary Procedure of Ukraine" (Reg. No. 5522 of 10 February 2017).

110th PLENARY - Turkey - Proposed constitutional amendments “dangerous step backwards” for democracy

10/03/2017
Venice – The 110th plenary of the Venice Commission has just adopted its Opinion on the constitutional amendments submitted to a national referendum on 16 April 2017. This opinion had been requested by the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.

First of all, the Commission warns against a “personal regime” in Turkey in its definitive, as discussed and adopted in plenary, text of the opinion.

The Commission notes that by removing necessary checks and balances, the amendments would not follow the model of a democratic presidential system... read more

Georgia - 2016 parliamentary elections: lessons learned and steps ahead

13/03/2017
Tbilisi – The Venice Commission participated in the conference on the “2016 parliamentary elections: lessons learned and steps ahead”.

This activity falls in the framework of the Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - Bureau

11/03/2017
Venice - 11th Meeting of the Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice.

110th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

10/03/2017 - 11/03/2017
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista - The Commission

- Held an exchange of views with Mr Talgat Donakov, Deputy Head, Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and adopted:
• the opinion on the draft amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and
• the opinion on the draft law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on administrative procedures;

- Adopted the joint opinion by the Venice Commission, the Directorate of Information Society and Action against Crime and the Directorate of Human Rights (DGI) on draft law No... read more

Armenia - Training sessions on election dispute resolution

04/03/2017 - 10/03/2017
Yerevan – Venice Commission organises in co-operation with the Central Election Commission and the Justice Academy of Armenia a series of training sessions on election dispute resolution.

The 4 sessions are for members of election commissions, administrative judges and representatives of political parties and civil society. They will take place from 4 to 10 March 2017.

This activity falls under the Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and i... read more

Republic of Moldova - Conference with the Constitutional Court

02/03/2017 - 03/03/2017
Chisinau - Conference in co-operation with the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova on “Evolution of constitutional control in Europe: lessons learned and challenges”. This conference will be co-financed in the Council of Europe/European Union Programmatic Cooperation Framework (PCF).

World Conference for Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) – 105 members!

28/02/2017
The Constitutional Court of Luxembourg joined the World Conference for Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) on 16 February 2017 which now has 105 members!

Armenia - Long-term electoral assistance to the Central Electoral Commission

27/02/2017 - 03/04/2017
Yerevan - On 27 and 28 February 2017, the long term legal assistance to the Central Electoral Commission of Armenia started. Several meetings were held with representatives of civil society, international community, the OSCE/ODIHR and of the Central Electoral Commission. An expert of the Venice Commission will assist the CEC with the preparation of the parliamentary elections foreseen on 2 April 2017.

This activity falls under the Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Counc... read more

Georgia - 7th Annual Meeting of Election Management Bodies

27/02/2017 - 28/02/2017
Borjomi - The Commission participates in the 7th Annual Meeting of Election Management Bodies. The topic of the meeting this is year is on the “Innovative services and effective electoral operations”. The event is co-organised by the Central Election Commission of Georgia and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in co-operation and with financial support of the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS).

This activity falls in the framework of the Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine... read more

Turkey – forthcoming opinion – country visit

20/02/2017 - 21/02/2017
Ankara – a delegation of the Venice Commission will exchange views with Turkish authorities, on the recent constitutional amendments. This visit takes place in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the amendments, requested by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.. The draft opinion will be discussed by the Venice Commission in plenary in March 2017.

Request for opinion – Armenia

08/02/2017
Minister of Justice of Armenia requested Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft constitutional law on the Constitutional Court.

Tunisia - independence of electoral administrations – Arab EMBs workshop and 2nd General Assembly

07/02/2017 - 09/02/2017
Tunis - The Venice Commission in co-operation with the United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Electoral Support Project and the Independent High Electoral Commission of Tunisia assist the Organisation of electoral management bodies of Arab countries in organising its Second General Assembly and a workshop on the independence of electoral administrations (EMBs). The workshop will give an opportunity to the EMBs from the Arab States to share knowledge and raise awareness about the principle of EMB independence, bring together international experience and comparative models from around ... read more

Russia - Sixth All-Russian Moot Court Contest “Crystal Themis” on Constitutional Justice

04/02/2017
Moscow - The oral finals of the Sixth All-Russian Moot Court Contest “Crystal Themis” on Constitutional Justice for law student teams are held in Moscow
The Contest is organised by the Institute for Law and Public Policy in partnership with the Venice Commission.
The case touches current issues on the protection of economic and environmental constitutional rights, respect for the balance of interests and the state support of small and medium-sized businesses.
Based on the evaluation of written documents prepared by the participants, 8 teams were chosen to meet in the quarter-f... read more

Slovakia - forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

31/01/2017
Bratislava - In the framework of the preparation of an opinion of the Venice Commission on the situation of appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court of Slovakia, a delegation of the Commission held a series of meetings with the relevant authorities and other stakeholders.

The draft opinion will be discussed by the Commission in plenary in March 2017.

PACE Session – Rule of Law Checklist - exchange of views with the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

26/01/2017
PACE session, Strasbourg – The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe invited the Venice Commission to participate in an exchange of views on the Commission’s Rule of Law Checklist.
Two rapporteurs on the issue, Mr Tuori and Ms Cleveland, represent the Commission at this occasion.

PACE - Minimal standards for electoral systems as a basis for free and fair elections – forthcoming report by the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy

26/01/2017
PACE session, Strasbourg - President Buquicchio presented the relevant reference texts of the Venice Commission in the field of electoral systems at the hearing by the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly on the issues to be addressed in the Committee’s forthcoming report on “Setting minimal standards for electoral systems in order to offer the basis for free and fair elections”.

Request for opinion – Congress – electoral questions

25/01/2017
The Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the Congress’s “Checklist for compliance with international standards and best practices preventing misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes at local and regional level”. This text aims to complement the “Guidelines for preventing misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes” prepared jointly by the OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission in 2016.

UniDem for the Southern Mediterranean: 2nd National Coordinators Meeting

25/01/2017
Paris - The second meeting of the focal points of the seven partners participating in the UniDem Seminars for the Southern Mediterranean (Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestinian National Authority and Tunisia) will be held 25 January 2017 in the Council of Europe Office in Paris.
Participants will discuss their respective national priorities and will determine the topics, dates and venues of upcoming UniDem Med seminars in 2017.
Established for the Southern Mediterranean in September 2015, UniDem Med seminars aim to the exchange of best democratic practices among ... read more

Romania - President's visit to the Council of Europe

24/01/2017
Strasbourg - The President Gianni Buquicchio of the Venice Commission meets the President of Romania, who visits the Council of Europe, to exchange views on the cooperation between Romania and the Venice Commission.

"The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" - Technical assistance to the State Election Commission

23/01/2017 - 26/01/2017
Skopje - At the request of the State Election Commission of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", a delegation of the Venice Commission will undertake a fact-finding mission with a view to defining the modalities of a long term technical assistance. The delegation will meet with national and international stakeholders and will join the State Election Commission in its retreat.

Georgia – visit by the President and the Secretary of the Venice Commission

20/01/2017
Tbilisi - In the framework of the preparation of the constitutional reform of Georgia, President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio and Secretary of the Commission Thomas Markert visit Georgia to exchange views with the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia.

Poland - statement by the President of the Venice Commission

16/01/2017
I am worried about the worsening situation within the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland. Following the attempts to influence the work of the Tribunal by means of legislative amendments, which were criticised by the Venice Commission, practical steps are now taken with the apparent aim to ensure that the Tribunal act in accordance with the will of the current political majority:

• The new President of the Tribunal was elected on the basis of a questionable procedure;

• The new President delegated her powers to another judge who was elected on a legal basis that had been f... read more

WCCJ - World Conference on Constitutional Justice – 104th member

15/01/2017
The Constitutional Council of Djibouti joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which now has 104 members.

Slovakia – request for opinion

04/01/2017
The President of the Slovak Republic requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on questions related to the appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court.

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