2013 in brief

You can access the calendar of the Council of Europe events scheduled in 2013 by clicking on monthly overviews.


4-5 March, New York
Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni addresses the UN Commission on the Status of Women, to promote the Istanbul Convention as an efficient and practical tool for governments to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence. High-level bilateral meetings also on the agenda. Side event on the Convention's added value organised by the Council of Europe and the French Permanent Mission to the UN, with the participation of Gilbert Saboya Sunyé, Andorran Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Minister for Women's Rights of France, Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, and Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the PACE. More information.

4-7 March, Moldova
Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks visits the country.

5 March, Strasbourg
Seminar of experts on support in prisons and on the reinsertion of prisoners in society, under the Andorran Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

5 March, Strasbourg
European Court of Human Rights: 17 judgments concerning Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey.
More information

5-7 March, Strasbourg
Committee of Ministers: representatives of the 47 member states examine implementation of the judgments and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. More information

6 March, Strasbourg
Grand Chamber hearing in the case O'Keeffe v. Ireland, at, 9.15 am (European Court of Human Rights). The case concerns the sexual abuse of a schoolgirl, aged 8 to 9, in a Catholic-run national school in Ireland in 1973. More information

7 March, Strasbourg
European Court of Human Rights: 2 judgments concerning France and Germany. More information

7-8 March, Paris
Meetings of the PACE Bureau and Standing Committee. The Bureau will update the agenda for the next session of PACE (22-26 April 2013) and is to approve the report prepared by its ad hoc committee for the observation of the recent parliamentary elections in Monaco. Also on the agenda: presidential election in Armenia, relations with Belarus, and dialogue with the representatives of the political forces elected to the Assembly of Kosovo.

8 March, Paris
Dirk Van der Maelen, PACE rapporteur on "The activities of the OECD in 2012-2013": fact-finding visit to the OECD's headquarters.

8-9 March, Venice
The Council of Europe's body of constitutional experts (Venice Commission) discusses the law on the prohibition of the use of communist symbols in the Republic of Moldova, the constitutional bill for a new Constitution in Iceland, provisions relating to political prisoners in the amnesty law of Georgia, as well as amendments to the Russian law on assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, marches and picketing and the code of administrative offences.

11-13 March, Belgrade
PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon: official visit to Serbia, during which he holds high level meetings. On 12 March, he will address a special session of the Serbian National Assembly.

11 March, Strasbourg
Round table "The fight against discrimination of LGBT people in Europe and worldwide", organised by the Maison de l'Europe Strasbourg-Alsace (Ecole Régionale des Avocats du Grand Est, 8 pm) with Jean-Paul Costa, former President of the European Court of Human Rights, Sylvie Guillaume, member of the European Parliament, Lauri Sivonen, bureau of the Commissioner for Human Rights, and Annachiara Cerri, Council of Europe Human Rights Directorate.



11-12 March, Paris

Meeting of PACE Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media on the right to Internet access and user protection.

More information


12 March, Strasbourg

European Court of Human Rights: 10 judgments concerning Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Turkey. More information


12 March, Kyiv (Radisson Blu Hotel)

Lauching by the Council of Europe of a project to support Ukraine's agenda for reform in the field of criminal justice. It will focus on the implementation of the new Code of Criminal Procedure and the development of the new institutional role and operational capacity of public prosecution.

Press briefing scheduled at 3 pm. Meeting with professionals, politicians, civil society activists and citizens at 7 pm in the Bookstore "Ye" (Lysenka Street 3).

Contact: Estelle Steiner, tel. + 33 3 88 41 33 35


13 March, Tunis

Participation of representatives of the Venice Commission in a symposium "Together for a reform of the justice that takes into account applicable international standards" organised in the framework of the "Days of dialogue and reflection on the independence of the judiciary in Tunisia to the edge of the adoption of the Constitution".


13 March, Milan

Official opening at the Palazzo Reale of the 30th Council of Europe Art Exhibition « The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe since 1945" initiated by the Museum of German History in Berlin. The exhibition lasts until 2 June and will then travel to Tallinn and Cracow.

More information


13-14 March, Rabat (Morocco)

Hearing of the PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy on the progress of reforms in Morocco and co-operation with the Council of Europe. Second hearing scheduled on the parliamentary contribution to solving the Western Sahara conflict.


14 March, Rabat (Morocco)

Launching conference of the School of Political Studies in Rabat (Conference room of the National Library, at 3pm)


14 March, Strasbourg

European Court of Human Rights: 13 judgments concerning Azerbaijan, France, Germany, Greece, Norway, Russia and Ukraine.

More information


14-15 March, Berlin (Bundestag)

On 14 March, meeting of the Network of Contact Parliamentarians to stop sexual violence against children ("National strategies to fight sexual violence against children"). On 15 March, the  PACE Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development is due to adopt 2 reports on fighting ‘child sex tourism' and on the mid-term review of the ONE in FIVE Campaign.


15 March, Brussels

Participation of Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights, and Luis Jimena Quesada, President of the European Committee of Social Rights, in a conference "Immigration – a source of wealth and duties for Europe" organised by the Council of Europe, the  European Economic and Social Committee and the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council.


15-16 March, Almaty (Kazakhstan)

Presentation by a delegation of the Venice Commission of the ‘European experience" of the Criminal Code reform at a roundtable on the "Reform of the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan based on the principles of rule of law", organised by the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan and the Office of the Prosecutor.


18 March, Strasbourg

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland: meeting with Tengiz Shergelashvili, First Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia.


18 March, Strasbourg

Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks: exchange of views with European Committee of Social Rights.


18 March, Paris

Hearing on "Europe's public administrations in flux: public service under threat?", organised by the PACE  Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs.

18 March, Strasbourg

European Court of Human Rights: a panel of five judges examine 20 Grand Chamber referral requests. The decisions of the panel is made public on Tuesday 19  March. More information


18-19 March, Warsaw

Conference "Freedom of expression for LGBT people", organised by the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination and the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish Parliament. The committee is due to make public a memorandum on "Tackling discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity", and will adopt 2 reports, on discrimination against Roma children, and on parental leave, as a way to foster gender equality.


19-21 March, Strasbourg

24th Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Launching of the European Alliance of Cities and Regions for Roma Inclusion. The aim of the Alliance is to provide local and regional authorities with support in implementing inclusive policies for Roma.

During the session, Congress members will participate in debates on active citizenship, social exclusion, and on how ethical conduct can be promoted and corruption combated at local and regional level. Round table on "Regionalisation and devolution in Europe in a context of economic crisis" held on 20 March. Congress members will also examine the state of local and regional democracy in Spain, Hungary, Italy and Georgia, 2 debates will focus on the results of missions to observe local elections in Armenia and in Bosnia- Herzegovina. More information


20 March, Strasbourg

 Grand Chamber hearing in the case Del Rio Prada v. Spain, at 9.15 am (European Court of Human Rights). The case concerns the postponement of the date of a convicted terrorist's release, in retroactive application of new case-law. More information


20 March, Paris

PACE Monitoring Committee due to adopt a report on post-monitoring dialogue with Turkey. The PACE co-rapporteurs for an opinion on the opening of a monitoring procedure with regard to Hungary report on the latest state of play following their recent visit to Budapest. The committee also discusses the recent presidential election in Armenia and recent political developments in Azerbaijan.


20-21 March, Bucharest

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland: working visit and high-level bilateral meetings


20-21 March, Rabat

Roundtable on drug policy with a special focus on the development of a national drug prevention strategy in Morocco, organised by the Pompidou Group and the EMCDDA, the EU drug agency. Drug policy experts share their experience with representatives from Morocco's Ministry of Health and professionals in prevention.


21-22 March, Stockholm

Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks: participation in the Human rights meeting of Nordic-Baltic states.


21-25 March, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities observes local elections on 24 March.


22 March, Strasbourg

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland is the first to launch the Youth project on combating Hate Speech Online (opening ceremony at the Palais de l'Europe). The initiative aims at raising awareness about hate speech online and its risks for democracy and for individual young people, promoting media and Internet literacy.


24-28 March, Estonia

Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks visits the country.


24-28 March, Estonia

Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks visits the country.


25 March, Strasbourg

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland: meeting with Irakli Garibashvili, Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia.


25 March, Prague

PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon: participation in the launch of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, recognising outstanding civil society action in the defence of human rights in Europe or beyond. The prize will be awarded by the Parliamentary Assembly, in partnership with the Václav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation.


25 March, Brussels

PACE rapporteur James Clappison: fact-finding visit in preparation of the report on "Revision of the European Convention on transfrontier television".


25-27 March, London

PACE rapporteur Andreas Gross: fact-finding visit in preparation of the report on "Refusing impunity for the killers of Sergei Magnitsky".


26 March, Strasbourg

Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland: meetings with Mykola Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine and Volodymyr Rybak, Chairman of the Parliament (Verkhovna Rada).


26 March, Strasbourg

European Court of Human Rights: 10 judgments concerning Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Turkey.

More information


26-27 March, Strasbourg

The 7th Council of Europe Conference on the European Landscape Convention examines the work accomplished for the implementation of the Convention in order to promote populations' quality of life. Event organised in the framework of the Chairmanship of Andorra of the Committee of Ministers. Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Francesc Camp, Minister of Tourism and Environment of Andorra, will open the conference.


26-28 March, Kyiv

PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon: official visit to Ukraine. Meetings with the President of the country, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, as well as the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament and leaders of major political factions. He is also due to meet the daughter of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the wife of former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, as well their legal representatives.


28 March, Strasbourg

Press conference on the forthcoming 34th edition of Strasbourg-Road Races (11-12 May) with Claude Schneider, President of the Strasbourg-Europe Road-Races (Palais de l'Europe, Room 1, 10 am).


28 March, Strasbourg

European Court of Human Rights: 3 judgments concerning Austria, Estonia and Russia. More information

Year in brief 2013