written the 26/10/2021
At its meeting on 25 October 2021, the ILDG exchanged views with Jacques Maire, President of the ALDE group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Welcoming Mr Maire, ILDG President Marc Cools noted that the Congress and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe often had to deal with similar issues. Illiberal tendencies in several Council of Europe members states preoccupied both local and national politicians. However, members of the two organisations knew little about each other’s work. Despite their differences, the Congress and PACE could step up cooperation. Election observation was one of the areas where cooperation could be improved.
In his address, Mr Maire touched upon the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and presented the efforts of the ALDE group and the liberal president of PACE Mr Rik Daems in the fields of environmental rights and artificial intelligence. He particularly noted the role that the political groups had to play in the Council of Europe’s assemblies being the engines of action, innovation, negotiation, and cooperation. The groups had the capacity to address transversal issues.
Mr Maire also identified several challenges where particular attention was necessary: the non-respect of ECHR judgements and the attempts to supplant CoE legal instruments, such as the Istanbul Convention. Whereas dialogue was chosen as the privileged approach in the Council of Europe, the ALDE group in PACE strongly believed that such dialogue could only come with the requirement of responsibility and full respect of Council of Europe’s human rights and democracy norms and values.