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Recent and Current Events

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.

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.

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 draft amendments to the Constitution which expand the President’s powers to dissolve Parliament. The delegation will have meetings in Parliament, with government officials and other stakeholders.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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) – 107 members!

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 a draft law amending the Constitution, which had been submitted to Parliament on 1 March 2017 and which expands 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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