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PACE Summer Session opens in Strasbourg

Gender equality issues and women’s rights will become one of the main issues at the summer session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which opens in Strasbourg on Monday.

As in previous sessions since the beginning of the year, discussions will again be held in a hybrid format, with a limited presence of parliamentarians directly in the conference room.

On the first day, the deputies will approve the agenda and take a decision on requests for debates in the current format (without resolutions) on the following topics:”The situation in Belarus: a threat to the whole of Europe”, and “The need for an effective solidarity mechanism between European countries to relieve migratory pressure on front line countries”

The preliminary debate on Belarus, if approved, could take place on Wednesday, while the second topic could be brought up for discussion on Thursday. Russia practically does not appear on the agenda and the related debates will unfold mainly only during the discussion of the resolution on the observance of the rights of the Crimean Tatars on Wednesday.

Other topics announced this week include discussions on the legal implications of the introduction of various documents related to vaccination against COVID-19 or PCR tests, as well as the consequences of the socio-economic crisis caused by the pandemic and the impact of the current situation on the observance of children’s rights.

Russian lawmakers will take part in the session via a video link. Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, told TASS that the reason for such a decision was the deterioration of the epidemiological situation, as well as the fact that the session coincides with the meeting marking the completion of the seventh convocation of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

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