At the Palace of Europe in Strasbourg on 24-25 October 2019 the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament was held, which is organised every two years. The Conference was attended by the presidents of parliaments of the member states of the Council of Europe, partner and observer countries, as well as the presidents of international parliamentary assemblies. At this event, PABSEC was represented by Mr. Asaf Hajiyev, PABSEC Secretary General.
The Opening Ceremony on 24 October was addressed by Ms. Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and Ms. Marija Pejcinovic Buric, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
The Conference discussed 3 topical issues: “Our Common European Home: the Next 70 Years”; “Implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals: the Contribution by Parliaments”; “Women in Politics and in Public Discourse - What Role Can National Parliaments Play in Combating the Increasing Level of Harassment and Hate Speech Towards Female Politicians and Parliamentarians.”
On the side-lines of the Conference, the PABSEC Secretary General met with Mr. Ogtay Asadov, Chairman of the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ms. Zinaida Greceanii, the President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, and Ms. Maja Gojkovic, Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. The issues of strengthening cooperation within the PABSEC and the preparatory work for the PABSEC General Assembly in Sofia on 19-21 November 2019 were discussed.
The PABSEC Secretary General met with Mr. George Tsereteli, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and discussed further cooperation between the two Assemblies. The Secretary General also met with the delegation of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference and discussed the future joint projects.
On the morning on 25 October a meeting of the Secretaries General took place, where the issues of long-standing cooperation and the strengthening of the information exchange mechanism were discussed. In his speech, the PABSEC Secretary General informed his colleagues about the PABSEC activities and emphasized the importance of interregional interparliamentary cooperation. He noted that the PABSEC regularly holds meetings of the Secretaries General of the PABSEC countries and observer organizations. The PABSEC Secretary General also spoke about the joint activities with the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference and expressed the view that it would be useful to expand this practice with other inter-parliamentary assemblies.
The PABSEC Secretary General met with Mr. Wojciech Sawicki, PACE Secretary General and discussed further cooperation between the PABSEC and the PACE. At the meeting with Mr. Sergio Piazzi, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, the PABSEC Secretary General discussed the organizational issues of the joint event scheduled for February 2020.