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Activities by year: 2018

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117th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

14/12/2018 - 15/12/2018
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

116th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

19/10/2018 - 20/10/2018
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Constitutional Justice - Korea

02/09/2018 - 05/09/2018
Seoul - International Conference on "Constitutional Justice and Democracy" at the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea.

Azerbaijan - constitutional justice

05/07/2018
Baku – Conference on “The state governed by the rule of law and constitutional justice: values and priorities” at the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan.

Joint Council on Constitutional Justice

26/06/2018 - 27/06/2018
Lausanne - 17th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice of the Venice Commission.

Turkey - Early presidential and parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to the PACE observation mission

23/06/2018 - 24/06/2018
Ankara - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanies the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) election observation delegation to advise on the legal framework of the early presidential election and parliamentary elections of 24 June 2018. The 35-member PACE delegation is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the presidential elections.

115th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

22/06/2018 - 23/06/2018
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista - The Council of Europe’s Venice Commission has just adopted an opinion on the compatibility with international human rights standards of the Hungarian government’s new “Stop Soros” draft legislative package as far as it affects NGOs. The opinion, jointly prepared with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, assessed amendments to certain laws relating to measures to combat illegal immigration. The legal experts held an exchange of views with Mr Balázs Orbán, State Secretary of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s office... read more

Hungary - "Stop Soros" draft legislative package

18/06/2018
Strasbourg – President Gianni Buquicchio met with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto to discuss the implementation of the Venice Commission’s opinion on the amendments to the Ukrainian Law on Secondary Education as well as the upcoming opinion on the new “stop Soros” legislative provisions.

In relation to the latter, President Buquicchio called on the Hungarian Parliament not to proceed with the adoption of the law prior to the publication of the Commission’s opinion this coming Friday 22 June 2018, or at least to take into account the Commission’s recommendations as they ... read more

Ukraine - draft Election Code – 1st regional public discussions

15/06/2018 - 16/06/2018
Vinnytsia and Chernihiv - The first regional public discussions on the draft Election Code of Ukraine took place on 15 and 16 June 2018.

These regional events aimed at discussing with the interested parties in the regions the main issues concerning the draft Election Code, as well as developing and providing recommendations in preparation of the draft Code for the second reading in Verkhovna Rada.

The deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, deputies and representatives of local self-government bodies, members of territorial, district and polling station election commi... read more

The VOTA database - Unique collection of legal texts on elections

14/06/2018
Strasbourg/ Mexico City – The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and the Mexican Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary announce the complete update of their VOTA database of electoral legislation and the Venice Commission reports and opinions on elections and political parties – a unique collection of its kind.

The database was conceived by the Venice Commission in 2003 and put on line in 2004. Since 2012, the Venice Commission manages VOTA in cooperation with the Mexican Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary, an indispensible partner in this unique endeavor.read more

Request for opinion – PACE / Turkey – Electoral legislation

13/06/2018
By letter dated 4 May 2018 the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by member States of the Council of Europe requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the amendments to the electoral legislation and related “harmonisation laws” adopted in March and April 2017 in Turkey.

The Venice Commission will prepare an opinion after the parliamentary elections in Turkey planned on 24 June 2018.

Conference of European Constitutional Courts

13/06/2018 - 14/06/2018
Prague – The Venice Commission participated in the Preparatory meeting of the Circle of Presidents for the XVIIIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts.

  CECC

Romania – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

11/06/2018 - 12/06/2018
Bucharest - A delegation of the Venice Commission visited Romania to have a series of exchange of views concerning three draft laws revising the Romanian laws on judicial organisation, on the Superior Council of Magistracy and on the Statute of judges and prosecutors. The delegation had meetings with the President of Romania, the Ministry of Justice, the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the Constitutional Court, the General Prosecutor’s Office and the National Anticorruption Directorate, the Superior Council of Magistracy, parliament representatives including the Special Parliamentary Com... read more

Adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of the Law on the High Anti-corruption Court - Statement by the President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio

07/06/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - "It is with great satisfaction - I would even say with great joy - that I learnt of today’s decision by the Verkhovna Rada to adopt the law on the High Anti-Corruption Court. According to the reports the law as adopted is in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission.

I would like to congratulate the members of the Verkhovna Rada on today’s vote and thank all those who contributed to the adoption of the law. This is an important step forward for Ukraine and for Europe, most of all for the citizens of Ukraine who have suffered for too long... read more

Request for opinion - “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” – two laws on the judiciary

06/06/2018
On 22 May 2018 the Ministry of Justice of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” requested an opinion on two laws on the judiciary: the law on the amendments to the Law on Courts and the law on the amendments to the Law on the Judicial Council. The draft opinion will be on the agenda of the October 2018 plenary session of the Commission.

The preparation of this opinion will be carried out in the framework of "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.

Albania – workshop on the new voting technologies

06/06/2018
Tirana – An expert of the Venice Commission participated in a workshop of the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform on new voting technologies which was organised with the support of the OSCE Presence in Albania. This workshop brought together the Co-chairs and members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform, the Chair and members of the Central Election Commission, representatives of the CSOs and international organisations present in Tirana as well as national and international experts on new voting technologies. Participants discussed, on the basis of the report prepared b... read more

Bosnia and Herzegovina - electoral issues - Chamber of Peoples of the Federation

04/06/2018 - 05/06/2018
Sarajevo - The Venice Commission participated in a second series of meetings with the actors of the electoral process, in order to provide expert assistance in the consultations on the necessary changes to the electoral legislation concerning the election of the Chamber of Peoples of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This visit was organised as 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.

Request for opinion – Montenegro - Composition of the Judicial Council

04/06/2018
By a letter of 4 June 2018, the authorities of Montenegro have requested the Commission’s opinion on draft amendments to the Law on the Court and the Judicial Council relating to the appointment of the Council’s lay members.

The opinion is scheduled to be adopted by the Venice Commission at its next Plenary Session in June 2018.

Ukraine - Judicial reforms

01/06/2018
Kyiv – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio participated in the conference entitled “Judicial reforms in Ukraine: achievements and further steps”.

This conference was organised in the framework of the action plan entitled “Supporting Ukraine in execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights”.

Request for Opinion – PACE - Hungary

31/05/2018
By a letter dated 31 May 2018, the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly confirmed the mandate of the Venice Commission to prepare an Opinion on the draft legislative package “Stop Soros” (Bill No. T/333 amending certain laws relating to measures to combat illegal immigration) to the extent that it affects the activities of NGOs in Europe. The draft opinion will be prepared jointly with the OSCE/ODIHR and will be on the agenda of the June 2018 plenary session of the Commission.

Democratic institutions - Ombudsman

30/05/2018 - 31/05/2018
Skopje - The Venice Commission participated in the 10th anniversary of the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen and to the 20th anniversary of the Ombudsman of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".

On this occasion a conference on “Ombudsman as a protector of the social, cultural and environmental rights” was organised by the Ombudsman of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".

The participation of several Ombudsmen was covered by the programme “Ensuring Sustainable Democratic and Human Rights in the Southern Mediterranean” funded by the European Union and ... read more

Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe - Presentation of the 2017 annual report of activities of the Commission

30/05/2018
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, presented the annual report of activities of the Commission in 2017. The presentation was followed by an exchange of views with the Ambassadors of the member States of the Council of Europe.

1st Research Conference of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC)

29/05/2018 - 01/06/2018
Seoul – A representative of the Venice Commission’s Secretariat participated in the 1st Research Conference of the AACC SRD on “Jurisdictions and Organisation of AACC members.” The event was organised by the Secretariat for Research and Development (SRD).

Kyrgyz Republic - electoral issues

26/05/2018 - 26/05/2018
Bishkek – A republic-wide conference of journalists of the Kyrgyz Republic was organised in Bishkek on 26 May 2018 in partnership with the Media Development Centre. The conference targeted all the regions of the Kyrgyz Republic and focused on such topics as freedom of expression, media monitoring practices during elections, media regulation, etc.

The conference was organised within the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” implemented by the Venice Commission and funded by the European Union.

Hungary – country visit

24/05/2018 - 25/05/2018
Budapest - A delegation of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR visited Hungary to exchange views with the Hungarian authorities and civil society organisations concerning "Stop Soros" draft legislative package (Bill T/1976 on the Licencing of Organisations Supporting Migration, Bill T/19775 on the Immigration Financing Duty and Bill T/19774 on the Immigration Restraint Order).

Constitutional Justice - Latvia

24/05/2018 - 25/05/2018
Riga - The President of the Venice Commisision participated in the international conference on "The Role of the Constitutional Courts in the Globalized World of the 21st Century" organised by the Constitutional Court of Latvia.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - electoral matters

22/05/2018 - 24/05/2018
Sarajevo - As agreed by the political parties of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the context of the EU/US facilitation efforts on electoral reform, and following a formal request made by the EU, the Venice Commission attended a series of meetings with the relevant electoral stakeholders in order to provide expert assistance in the process of on-going discussions on necessary changes to electoral legislation, in particular concerning the election of the House of Peoples of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This visit is taking place in the framework of "Horizont... read more

3rd Congress of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the countries of the Baltic and Black Sea regions (BBCJ)

16/05/2018 - 17/05/2018
Tbilisi - the Venice Commission and the Constitutional Court of Georgia organised the 3d Congress of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions. The 1st Vice President Ms Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir represented the Commission.

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.

Ibero-American Conference of Constitutional Justice (CIJC)

16/05/2018 - 18/05/2018
Panama - The President of the Venice Commission participated in the XIIth Ibero-American Conference of Constitutional Justice.

  CIJC

Albania – electoral assistance – visit of the experts

15/05/2018
Tirana – A delegation of the Venice Commission visited Albania with a view to discussing the upcoming electoral reform with the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on electoral reform, the Central Election Commission and the international organisations present in Tirana.

This visit took place in the framework of "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.

Constitutional justice – International conference

15/05/2018
St- Petersburg - the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation organised the International Conference “Constitution in the global change epoch and the goals of constitutional review”, which commenced the work of the VIIIth St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. Secretary of the Venice Commission Mr Thomas Markert, ECtHR Vice-President Ms A. Nussberger, Director General of the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law Mr Christos Giakoumopoulos represented the Council of Europe at the event.

Separation of powers in Europe – international conference

14/05/2018 - 15/05/2018
Oslo - A large delegation of current and former members of the Venice Commission participated in the Conference on "Rewriting the Separation of powers in the European States" which was organised by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights of the Oslo University. The conference was held on the occasion of the retirement of Jan Helgesen, professor and member of the Venice Commission in respect of Norway.

Kosovo – forthcoming opinion – visit of the rapporteurs

14/05/2018 - 15/05/2018
Pristina - A delegation of the Venice Commission visited Kosovo to exchange views with the Kosovo authorities, representatives of the political parties, the civil society and the international organisations present in Kosovo. The topic of the discussions was the draft law on amending and supplementing the Law on Financing of Political Entities which is the subject of the Commission’s forthcoming draft opinion, to be adopted by the June 2018 plenary session.

This visit took place in the framework of "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey", a Joint Programme funded b... read more

Jordan - South Programme III - Bilateral Steering Committee Meeting

04/05/2018
Amman – The Venice Commission participated in the First Bilateral Steering Committee Meeting with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan “Ensuring Sustainable Democratic Governance and Human rights in the Southern Mediterranean”, South Programme III (2018-2020).

2nd Scientific Electoral Experts Debates - Equal suffrage - International Conference on free elections, Parliaments and nation building

03/05/2018 - 06/05/2018
Sinaia, Romania - the Second Scientific Electoral Experts Debates co-organised by the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania (PEA) and the Venice Commission, took place on 3-4 May 2018 in Sinaia. The theme of this event was “Equal Suffrage”.

This event was followed by the International Conference on free elections, Parliaments and nation building, organised by the PEA on 5-6 May 2018.

On this occasion, the “Electoral Expert Review”, published by the Permanent Electoral Authority (PEA), invited stakeholders and those interested to contribute in publishing scientific ar... read more

Democratic institutions - Ombudsman

03/05/2018 - 04/05/2018
Bucharest - The Venice commission participated in a seminar organised by the Association of ombudsmen and mediators of the French speaking world (AOMF) entitled “The judge and the institutional mediator”.

The seminar was organised by the Advocate of the People of Romania. The Commission presented the draft “Principles on the protection and promotion of the Ombudsman institution” (“The Venice Principles”).

Montenegro - Judicial Council

03/05/2018 - 04/05/2018
Podgorica - A delegation of the Venice Commission held meetings and exchanges of views with representatives of the parliamentary majority and opposition, the Judicial Council and the Constitutional Court of Montenegro on the issue of the appointment of lay members on the new Judicial Council after the expiry of the mandate of the current one on 2 July 2018.

EU - Event on Democratic Participation and Electoral Matters

26/04/2018 - 26/04/2018
Brussels - The Venice Commission took part in the "Event on Democratic Participation and Electoral Matters", which involved the electoral management bodies of the member countries of the European Union. A representative of the Commission intervened in the 5th thematic session dedicated to "Practices in the identification, mitigation and management of risks of cyber-attacks and disinformation in the electoral processes".

Request for opinion - Romania/PACE - judiciary

26/04/2018
By letter dated 3 May 2018, the President of Romania Mr Klaus Werner Iohannis requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the draft laws revising the Law on the Status of judges and prosecutors, the Law on the Superior Council of Magistracy and the Law on judicial organisation of Romania.

The Monitoring Committee of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe also decided, on 26 April 2017, to ask for an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft amendments to the judiciary laws of Romania.

Turkey – Constitutional Justice

25/04/2018 - 26/04/2018
Ankara – The President of the Venice Commission participated in the International Conference on “The role of Constitutional Courts in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms” at the occasion of the 56th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey.

Improving the relations between the administration and the citizens – 7th UniDem Med Seminar

23/04/2018 - 26/04/2018
Rabat, Morocco - the Venice Commission organised in cooperation with the Ministry of the Reform of the Administration and the Civil Service of the Kingdom of Morocco, the 7th UniDem Med Regional Seminar, which took place in Rabat, Morocco, from 23 to 26 of April 2018. The seminar was entitled "Improving the relations between the administration and the citizens : a democratic imperative" and brought together senior public officials and experts from Europe and the Southern Mediterranean - Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia.

Debates highlighted exi... read more

Constitutional justice - Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils

23/04/2018
Cairo - The President of the Venice Commission participated in the Symposium of the Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils on “Latest developments in Arab world: experiences of the Arab constitutional judiciary in the field of the right to Equality, religious and cultural freedom”.

Ukraine - International roundtable on constitutional reform

20/04/2018
Kyiv - The Secretary of the Venice Commission Mr Thomas Markert participated in the International Roundtable entitled “Constitutional reform: recommendations for Ukraine”.

The event was organised by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), the Centre of Policy and Legal Reform (CPRL) with the support of the European Union (EU) in conjunction with USAID RADA Program: Responsible Accountable Democratic Assembly. The Venice Commission also contributed to the organisation of the Roundtable.

Electoral issues - 15th Conference of the Electoral Management Bodies

19/04/2018 - 20/04/2018
Oslo - The Venice Commission co-organises the 15th Conference of Electoral Management Bodies in co-operation with the Section for Elections of the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation of Norway. The Conference is dedicated to “Security in Elections”. All details are available on the Conference's dedicated webpage (link below).

25th anniversary of the Kyrgyz Constitution

19/04/2018 - 20/04/2018
Bishkek - The Venice Commission will participate in the International Conference on « Supremacy of the Constitution and its direct force: issues of ensuring the legal protection of the Constitution », organised by the Constitutional Chamber of Kyrgyzstan in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Kyrgyz Constitution.

The Venice Principles on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution

19/04/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - The process of consultation and exchanges on the so-called "Venice Principles" with Ombudsman Institutions from all over the world as well as with international stakeholders has started today.

In June 2017, the Commission decided to codify, on the basis of its previous work, a set of constitutional and legal principles ("Venice Principles") specifically devoted to the Ombudsman institution.
A working group composed of four members of the Commission and one expert has met several times in order to draft a text offering guidelines which should ... read more

Norway - Meeting with the Election Act Commission

17/04/2018
Oslo – A delegation of the Venice Commission met with representatives of the Election Act Commission. Established by Royal decree, this Commission has as a task to make proposals to the Storting (Norwegian parliament) to enact a new electoral legislation.

Request for opinion – Kosovo

17/04/2018
By letter dated 16 April 2018 the Prime Minister of Kosovo Mr Ramush Haradinaj requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the draft law on amending and supplementing the Law on Financing of Political Entities. The draft opinion is on the agenda of the June 2018 plenary session of the Commission.

European Parliament – Exchange of views

16/04/2018
Strasbourg – The President, the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General of the Venice Commission held an exchange of views on topics of common interest with AFCO, the European Parliament Committee on Constitutional Affairs.

Montenegro - presidential elections - Legal assistance to the PACE observation mission

14/04/2018 - 16/04/2018
Podgorica - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanies the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) election observation delegation to advise on the legal framework of the presidential elections of 15 April 2018 in Montenegro. The PACE delegation together with observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the presidential elections.

Request for opinion – Republic of Serbia

13/04/2018
Minister of Justice of Serbia Ms Nela Kuburović requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the draft constitutional amendments in the field of the judiciary.

Slovakia - Constitutional Justice

11/04/2018
Košice - The Constitutional Court of Slovakia will organise an international conference on "Constitutional Justice - Challenges and Perspectives" at the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Azerbaijan - presidential elections - Legal assistance to the PACE observation mission

10/04/2018 - 12/04/2018
Baku - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanies the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) election observation delegation to advise on the legal framework of the anticipated presidential elections of 11 April 2018 in Azerbaijan. The PACE delegation together with observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the presidential elections.

Preventing and fighting against the misuse of administrative resources during élections - Regional Conference

10/04/2018 - 11/04/2018
Tirana – The Venice Commission and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, in co-operation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe organise a regional Conference on “The misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes: a major challenge for democratic elections”.

Request for opinion - Malta

09/04/2018
On 8 March 2018 Ms Helena Dalli, the Minister for European Affairs and Equality of Malta requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the draft equality act and on the draft act on Human Rights and Equality Commission. A visit of the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission to Malta is planned for 2-4 May 2018.

Request for Opinion - PACE - Hungary

09/04/2018
The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 22 March 2018 requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the compatibility of the “Stop Soros” draft legislative package with international human rights standards. The draft legislative package includes Bill T/1976 on the licencing of organisations supporting migration, Bill T/19775 on the immigration financing duty and Bill T/19774 on the immigration restraint order.

The Opinion which will be prepared in cooperation with the OSCE/ODIHR will be submitted to the Commissio... read more

Launch of the UN Global Judicial Integrity Network

09/04/2018 - 10/04/2018
Vienna – The Austrian Member of the Venice Commission Mr Christopher Grabenwarter and the Deputy Secretary of the Commission, Ms Simona Granata-Menghini participated in the Launch of the UN Global Judicial Integrity Network.

The Venice Commission, together with the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) and the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE) co-organised the Council of Europe panel entitled “Transparency and how to demystify the work of courts”.

Assistance to the to the Kyrgyz Republic in the electoral field - Study visit on data protection

05/04/2018 - 06/04/2018
Valletta, Malta - Representatives of the State Registration Service (SRS), State Security Council as well as of the civil society of the Kyrgyz Republic participated in a study visit organised in Malta by the Venice Commission and the Maltese authorities.

The participants of the study visit got an insight into the Maltese experience in developing the data protection system; they visited the Electoral office of Malta. They were also informed about the setting up and functioning of the Digital Malta Strategy. They also had an opportunity to visit the Data Centre and to receive detai... read more

Ukraine - Round table on the reform of the electoral legislation

04/04/2018 - 05/04/2018
Kiev – In the framework of the “Electoral systems week” and in co-operation with IFES, USAID and other international partners the Venice Commission co-organised a round table on the electoral reforms process in Ukraine. This event brought together representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, MPs, NGOs, national and international experts who discussed the current initiatives aimed at reforming the electoral legislation in Ukraine.

Assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic in the electoral field - Seminar on cybersecurity

03/04/2018
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - In the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” a working seminar on cybersecurity was held for representatives from the Kyrgyz Republic on 3 April 2018.

Representatives of the State Registration Service (SRS), State Security Council as well as the Civil Society of the Kyrgyz Republic learnt the founding principles of the Budapest Convention, as well as implications of cybersecurity during the electoral processes.

The project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through E... read more

34th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

28/03/2018
Strasbourg – Deputy Secretary of the Venice Commission Ms Simona Granata-Menghini participated in the debate on “Regional referendum, a tool for democracy: challenges and risks” at the Chamber of Regions of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. She presented the Venice Commission’s Code of Good practice in referendums.

Italy makes voluntary contribution

20/03/2018
The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs has informed the Venice Commission of the Italian government’s decision to make a voluntary contribution of 30,000 euros to the Commission’s budget, in addition to its statutory one.

Statutory contribution of the Regione Veneto to the Venice Commission’s budget

17/03/2018
The Italian Regione Veneto, pursuant to its statutory commitment, has renewed in 2018 its financial support to the Venice Commission.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice

17/03/2018
Venice - At its 13th meeting, the Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice examined, inter alia, the financial report prepared by the Secretariat and discussed the topic for the 5th Congress of the World Conference (hosted by the Constitutional Council of Algeria in 2020), the organisation of a training session on CODICES and the Venice Forum for liaison officers in February 2019, the support for Member Courts that come under undue pressure and the activities of the regional and linguistic groups represented in the Bureau.

114th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

16/03/2018 - 17/03/2018
At its 114th plenary session which took place on 16-17 March 2018 in Venice (Italy), the Commission:

• Paid tribute to late Mr Boguslaw Banaszak, member in respect of Poland;

• Was informed of the difficult financial situation following the reduction of the Commission’s budget, thanked Italy for its recent voluntary contribution in addition to its statutory one, and encouraged all member states to also consider making additional contributions to the Commission’s budget;

• Adopted the Opinions on:
- the draft law of Armenia on making amendments to the Law ... read more

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

13/03/2018
Venice - This is the 3rd meeting of the Working Group following the decision taken at 111th Plenary session of the Venice Commission to draft a List of Constitutional and Legal Principles on Ombudsman Institutions.

Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States - Cooperation Agreement with the Venice Commission

06/03/2018
St-Petersburg/Strasbourg - the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, have signed a cooperation agreement. The common concern for the respect of pluralistic democracy, rule of law and human rights and in order to promote dialogue are the basis for the agreement.

Freedom of peaceful assembly - revision of the Joint Guidelines

22/02/2018 - 23/02/2018
Warsaw - The Venice Commission is participating in a workshop organised by the OSCE / ODIHR Panel as part of the revision of the Joint Guidelines on the freedom of peaceful assembly.

Armenia – forthcoming opinion – country visit

06/02/2018 - 07/02/2018
Yerevan - A delegation of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR visits Armenia to exchange views with the Armenian authorities and representatives of the civil society in the framework of the preparation of the joint OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft law on freedom of religion.

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the March 2018 plenary session.

Romania – forthcoming opinion – country visit

05/02/2018 - 06/02/2018
Bucharest - A delegation of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR visits Romania to exchange views with the Romanian authorities and the representatives of the civil society in the framework of the preparation of the joint OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft law on NGOs (amending the Government Ordinance 26/2000 on associations and foundations).

The draft opinion, requested by the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Fundamental Rights, is on the agenda of the March 2018 plenary session.

Republic of Moldova – forthcoming opinion – country visit

05/02/2018 - 06/02/2018
Chisinau – A delegation of the Venice Commission visited the Republic of Moldova and met with the Ministry of Justice, the Superior Council of Magistracy, Parliament (majority and opposition), the Judge’s Association and the Supreme Court of Justice, as well as with representatives of the international organisations and civil society. This visit was made in preparation of the opinion on the Law on amending and supplementing the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova requested by the Ministry of Justice.

The adoption of the draft opinion is on the agenda of the March plenary sessi... read more

UniDem Campus for the Southern Mediterranean: 3rd National Coordinators Meeting

05/02/2018
Paris - The third meeting of the focal points of the seven partners participating in the UniDem Seminars for the Southern Mediterranean (Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine* and Tunisia) will be held 5th February 2018 in the Council of Europe Office in Paris.
The participants will discuss the challenges and the perspectives as regards the modernisation of the public administration, take stock of achievements of 2017 UniDem Med seminars and determine the topics, dates and venues of upcoming 2018 UniDem Med seminars. UniDem seminars were established for the Southern Me... read more

Ukraine – forthcoming opinion – country visit

30/01/2018 - 31/01/2018
Kyiv – a delegation of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR exchanged views with the Ukrainian authorities and representatives of the civil society in the framework of the preparation of the joint OSCE/ODIHR opinion on financial reporting requirements for NGOs.

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the March 2018 plenary session.

"The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

29/01/2018 - 30/01/2018
Skopje – a delegation of the Venice Commission visits Skopje in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the draft law on prevention and protection against discrimination. The delegation will exchange views with representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Justice, the civil society, the international organisations, the Office of Ombudsman as well as Members of the National Assembly and of the Commission for protection against discrimination.

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the March 2018 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Republic of Moldova – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

29/01/2018
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 revised electoral legislation concerning the system for the election of Parliament. The delegation will meet representatives of political parties and the civil society, as well as the Central Electoral Commission and the Commission for the boundary delimitation.

PACE session – standards on Ombudsman institutions in Europe

25/01/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Mr Jan Helgesen, President of the Scientific Council of the Venice Commission, exchanged views with the PACE’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on “ Ombudsman Institutions in Europe – the need for a set of common standards” and informed the MPs on the work of the Venice Commission in this respect.

PACE session - President BUQUICCHIO meets head of the Moldovan PACE delegation Mr LUPU

25/01/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni BUQUICCHIO met the head of the Moldovan PACE delegation Mr Marian LUPU to exchange views on current situation in Moldova and on the cooperation between the Venice Commission and the Republic of Moldova.

Ukraine – meeting with the Constitutional Court

25/01/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Mr Thomas Markert, the Director and Secretary of the Venice Commission, met a delegation of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in order to discuss co-operation between the Constitutional Court and the Venice Commission.

PACE session - fair referendums in member States

24/01/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio addresses the PACE’s Committee on Political affairs and Democracy on the following topic “A commitment to introduce rules to ensure fair referendums in Council of Europe member States.”

PACE session - President BUQUICCHIO meets Armenian President Serzh SARGSYAN

24/01/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio meets with the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who is visiting the Council of Europe at the occasion of his address to the PACE during the January session.

Study visit of ELSA at the Council of Europe

24/01/2018
Strasbourg - The Venice Commission hosts at the Council of Europe a study visit of a group from the European Law Students' Association (ELSA) at the occasion of the Winter Session of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly. Members of the Secretariat of the Venice Commission will introduce the work of the Commission in its role of constitutional assistance to member states.

Albania - Electoral matters - Voting abroad

23/01/2018
Tirana – A representative of the Venice Commission will take part in a conference on “Voting of Albanian citizens abroad”, organised under the auspices of the Assembly of Albania, by the Minister of State for Diaspora with the support of the OSCE Presence in Albania.

Request for opinion – PACE – Romania

15/01/2018
Paris – the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 12 December 2017 decided to request the Venice Commission’s opinion on compatibility of the Romanian draft legislation on NGOs (draft law 140/2017 amending Decree 26/2000 on Associations and Foundations) with international standards on human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Second Scientific Electoral Experts Debates: „Equal Suffrage” - Call for papers - Electoral Expert Review - Deadline for submitting proposals 25th of March 2018.

12/01/2018
Sinaia, Romania - The Electoral Expert Review, published by the Permanent Electoral Authority (PEA), invites stakeholders and those interested to contribute in publishing scientific articles that have not been or are not published in other journals, reviews or scientific symposium volumes, related to the theme of the Second Scientific Electoral Experts Debates: “Equal Suffrage”, co-organised by the PEA and the Venice Commission, which will take place on 3-4 May 2018 in Sinaia.

Deadline for submitting the proposal for articles in English, French or Romanian is 25 March 2018.

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

10/01/2018 - 11/01/2018
Belgrade - A delegation of the Venice Commission is meeting on 10 and 11 January with the Minister of Justice, the Republic Public Prosecutor, representatives of the Ministry of European Integration and the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society as well as the academic community with a view to discussing the upcoming constitutional changes. This is the second visit to the Republic of Serbia to provide recommendations to the Ministry of Justice with respect to drafting the relevant constitutional amendments in the field of the judiciary.

This activity is taking place in the fram... read more

Requests for opinions - Republic of Moldova

10/01/2018
Mr Nicolae Eșanu, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, has requested two opinions of the Venice Commission: one on a draft law amending Article 42 of the Constitution, concerning the freedom of association, and another on the Draft Law on the modification and completion of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova concerning the organisation of the judiciary. The two opinions will be submitted for adoption at the 114th Plenary meeting of the Commission in March 2018.

Obituary – Mr Bogusław Banaszak, member of the Venice Commission in respect of Poland

09/01/2018
Warsaw - The Venice Commission is saddened by the sudden death of its Polish member, Professor Bogusław Banaszak.
He was a widely recognised expert in constitutional law and a valuable member of the Venice Commission.
At its next plenary session, the Venice Commission will hold a minute of silence in his memory.

Request for opinion – “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

08/01/2018
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft law on prevention and protection against discrimination.
The draft opinion will be on the agenda of March 2018 session of the Commission.

Role of administrative courts in electoral disputes – international conference

08/01/2018 - 09/01/2018
Cairo – The Venice Commission participates in an international conference on the “Role of administrative courts in electoral disputes”, organised by the Arab Union of Administrative Justice.

Experts from Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mauritania, Sudan, Bahrain and France address the issue of electoral disputes before the administrative judges from the courts members of the Union.

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