Recent and Current Events
Protecting electoral integrity in the digital age – virtual presentation
The National Electoral Institute of Mexico, in cooperation with the Kofi Annan Foundation, organised a presentation of the Report "Protecting electoral integrity in the digital age", prepared by the Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age of that Foundation. The event will be attended by representatives of electoral management bodies of several Latin American countries. A representative of the Venice Commission will participate in the discussions.
RUSSIA - Request for opinion by the PACE
At its meeting by videoconference on 27 May 2020, the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) decided to request the opinion of the Venice Commission on the constitutional amendments and the procedure for their adoption in the Russian Federation.
PACE - the role of national parliaments and the holding of elections during emergency situations
The Venice Commission participated in an exchange of views on the role of national parliaments and the holding of elections during emergency situations with the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the PACE.
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Today five Venice Commission members have published a new report on the respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law during states of emergency.
The Commission has previously produced general reports and country-specific opinions on both constitutional provisions and emergency legislation in its member States; a recent compilation of the Commission’s work in this area provided guidance into its specific findings. The Commission has also launched an Observatory of the implementation of declarations of states of emergency and of emergency le... read more
As a follow-up to the Opinion of the Venice Commission of December 2018, the Maltese Government prepared Proposals for legislative changes and on 20 April 2020 requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on those Proposals.
As part of preparation of the opinion, the Commission organised a series of virtual meetings with the Maltese authorities.
Following a video-conference with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance of Malta on 5 May 2020, the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission had a series of video-conferences on 20, 21 and 25 May 2020 with the President... read more
25/05/2020 - 27/05/2020
In the framework of the preparation of an opinion on three legal questions in the context of the draft constitutional amendments concerning the mandate of the judges of the Constitutional Court of Armenia, a delegation of the Venice Commission held a series of videoconference meetings with the representatives of the Constitutional Court, of three parliamentary fractions including the opposition, with the Chairperson of the State and Legal Committee of the Parliament, the Minister of Justice and the diplomatic community in Erevan as well as representatives of civil society organisations. ... read more
Prague - XVIIIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (CECC)
Representatives of the Venice Commission participated in a meeting organised by the Organisation of the Electoral Management Bodies of Arab countries (Arab EMBs) on the impact of COVID-19 on electoral process. During the meeting among other issues the participants discussed the results of the questionnaire prepared by the organisation on the impact of Covid-19 on EMBs and on additional measures that have to be taken by the electoral administration in order to ensure the electoral process. Members of the Arab EMBs and representatives of the international organisations participating in the even... read more
The Venice Commission is preparing, jointly with OSCE/ODIHR, at the request of the Parliament of Montenegro dated 28 April 2020, an opinion on a proposal for a new Law on the Election of MPs and Councillors.
On 13 May 2020 the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft Law of Ukraine “On All-Ukrainian Referendum”.
123rd Plenary Session of the Venice Commission
The Bureau of the Commission decided to hold the 123rd Session of the Commission on 18-19 June 2020 by means of a written procedure.
The Minister of Justice of Armenia asked for the opinion of the Venice Commission on how to best implement the new model of the Constitutional Court as contained in the amendments to the Constitution adopted in 2015, on the scope of the review of constitutional amendments by the Constitutional Court and on the power of parliament to cancel a referendum already called.
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, President Gianni Buquicchio made the following statement:
"On 10 May 1990, eighteen ambassadors of Council of Europe member states took the decision to establish the European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission. What looked at the time like the creation of just another technical advisory body proved to be an event of major significance for the development of the rule of law and democracy in Europe an... read more
On 7 May 2020 the President of the Commission participated in the virtual seminar on "Evaluation of the first mandatory presidential debate and its implementation" in Argentina, organised by the Cámara Nacional Electoral of Argentina.
The Venice Commission held a videoconference on 4 May 2020 on the theme "Legislative and regulatory framework of Tunisian independent bodies: state of play and challenges".
This meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on the legislative and regulatory provisions governing independent bodies and brought together the presidents of the bodies, Tunisian and European experts as well as representatives of the Council of Europe and the European Union.
The event is part of the project to support independent bodies in Tunisia (PAII-T) which is a joint project between the Coun... read more
Kyrgyz Republic - Expert discussion on amendments to the Law on non-commercial organisations
Bishkek - Representatives of the Venice Commission participate in a videoconference on proposed amendments to legislation on non-commercial organisations (NCOs) organised by the Delegation in Kyrgyz Republic and the Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Central Asia.
Representatives of the authorities, NCOs, national and international experts will exchange views on proposals to change national legislation and introduce new reporting rules for NCOs.
Mr José Luis VARGAS VALDEZ, Venice Commission substitute member in respect of Mexico, Mr Josep Maria CASTELLA ANDREU, Venice Commission member in respect of Spain, Mr Rafael RUBIO NUÑEZ, substitute member in respect of Spain and the Deputy Secretary of the Commission participated on 30 April 2020 in the (virtual) Fifth Scientific Committee Meeting of the Global Network on Electoral Justice.
On 27 April 2020 a videoconference was held between representatives of OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission on the one side, and a delegation of the National Assembly of Armenia on the other side, on the implementation of the Joint opinion of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR on draft amendments to the legislation concerning political parties.
The Armenian authorities are planning to adopt revised legislation which should follow the recommendations of the opinion.
On Monday 27 April 2020, Mr Nicos Alivizatos, member of the Venice Commission in respect of Greece, took part in an exchange of views with Mr Boris Cilevics, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Mr Vladimir Vardanyan, Chairperson of the Sub-committee on Human Rights and Ms Dunja Mijatovic, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on 'the impact of Covid-19 on human rights and the rule of law'.
This webinar was organised by PACE Secretariat.
On 24 April 2020 the President of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio, will participate in a video conference on “Presidential government. Constitutional practice and political practices” organised by the Foundation of the 1st President of Kazakhstan, the Constitutional Council and the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan.
On 21 April 2020 two Venice Commission members participated in a webinar on “Council of Europe, the conscience of Europe in a time of crisis” organised by the University of Leeds and the University of Liverpool.
On 20 April 2020 the Maltese Government asked for the opinion of the Venice Commission on the concept prepared by the Government for legislative changes and reforms in order to implement the recommendations of the Opinion of the Venice Commission of December 2018.
The Scientific Council of the Venice Commission has prepared a compilation of the Commission’s general reports and country-specific opinions on constitutional provisions and legislation on emergency situations. This document facilitates access to the Commission’s analysis of the compatibility of emergency powers with the fundamental principles of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
20/03/2020 - 21/03/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Following the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Enlarged Bureau of the Venice Commission decided not to hold the scheduled 20-21 March 2020 plenary session in Venice.
Instead, today, three opinions were adopted by a written procedure, as follows:
• Armenia: the Joint Opinion with the OSCE/ODIHR on draft amendments to the legislation concerning political parties;
• Kyrgyzstan: the Joint Opinion with the OSCE/ODIHR on the amendments to some legislative acts related to sanctions for violation of electoral legislation;
• Republic of M... read more