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Recent and Current Events

Modalities of elections during a pandemic - Hearing in the Georgian Parliament

The Estonian member of the Commission Mr Oliver Kask and the Irish member Mr Richard Barrett participated in the exchange of views between the PACE President Mr Rick Daems and the Georgian Parliament. The purpose of the event is to look at the concrete modalities of elections in the context of health emergencies such as the COVID19 pandemic.

It was organised by the PACE and the Legal Committee of the Parliament of Georgia.

Council of Europe Monitoring and Advisory Bodies - Videoconference of the Chairs

The President of the Venice Commission participated in the video meeting of the Chairs of the Council of Europe Monitoring and Advisory Bodies.

The meeting was followed by a thematic discussion focusing on the
(1) contribution of the monitoring bodies to the implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) in view of its 70th Anniversary, including an exchange of experiences, and
(2) lessons to be learnt from the COVID-19 crisis for the work of monitoring bodies.

PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights – exchange of views

The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the PACE held an exchange of views with Mr Nicos Alivizatos, member of the Venice Commission in respect of Greece, on the Commission’s Opinion on draft amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation related to the execution in the Russian Federation of decisions by the European Court of Human Rights (CDL-AD(2020)009).

POLAND - Presidential election – legal assistance to the PACE election observation delegation

26/06/2020 - 29/06/2020
Warsaw - A delegation of the Venice Commission will accompany the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) election observation delegation to advise on the legal framework of the presidential election held on 28 June 2020 in Poland.

The delegation will observe the opening, voting ((including postal and e-voting) and counting processes of the elections.

TUNISIA - Meeting with representatives of the independent public bodies

Tunis - In the framework of the Support Project for Independent Bodies in Tunisia (PAII-T), a joint European Union - Council of Europe project (2019-2021), representatives of the Venice Commission participated in a meeting with representatives of the Ligue of the Tunisian independent public bodies (LIPI). Discussions focused on the overall mission of the Coordinator of the LIPI as well as on cooperation between the Commission and the independent bodies in 2020.

UKRAINE - 24th anniversary of the Constitution – international online conference

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine in cooperation with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and with the support of OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, organised an international online conference on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Constitution of Ukraine and the 30th anniversary of Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.

The conference title is „Mutual Achievements of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) and Bodies of Constitutional Justice; the problems of interpretation in constitutional adjudication“. The Commissio... read more

A Call to Defend Democracy – President Buquicchio signs the open letter

More than 500 political, civil leaders, Nobel Laureates and pro-democracy institutions, including the President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, have signed an open letter to defend democracy.

This open letter was initiated by the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the Washington-DC-based National Endowment for Democracy.

UKRAINE – forthcoming opinion – video meetings

In May 2020, the Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Dmytro Razumkov requested an opinion of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe on the draft Law on democracy through all-Ukrainian referendum.

In the framework of preparation of the draft opinion, experts from the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR participate in consultations with the Ukrainian stakeholders from 19 to 25 June 2020. On June 24, 2020 experts will meet with deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, chairmen of profile Committees of the Verkhovna Rada and members of the working group on drafting ... read more

Organisation of American States (OAS) – cooperation agreement

The Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) Mr Luis Almagro and the President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio signed a cooperation agreement in Washington DC, on 6 June 2020, and in Strasbourg on 9 June 2020, respectively.

UKRAINE - Zero Corruption Talk – online discussion

Mr Thomas Markert, Director, Secretary of the Venice Commission, was invited to participate in the online discussion devoted to the judicial reform in Ukraine: “Zero Corruption Talk: The High Time for the Real Judiciary Reform in Ukraine”.

The event was organised by the Ukrainian NGO Anti-corruption Action Centre.

Along with Vice-President Jourova of the European Union, representatives of the IMF as well as of the national authorities, Mr Markert acted as a panellist in the discussions on possible ways of accelerating the reforms in the country.

MONTENEGRO – forthcoming opinion – online meetings

23/06/2020 - 24/06/2020
In the framework of the preparation of the joint Venice Commission - OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft Law on elections of members of the Parliament and councillors of Montenegro, a number of video meetings were held with the authors of the draft law and other representatives of national authorities and stakeholders.

The draft opinion is prepared at the request of the Parliament of Montenegro.

MALTA – Request for opinion

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance requested a Venice Commission opinion on Bills implementing concepts for reforms.

PACE Monitoring Committee – elections and COVID-19

The Venice Commission participated in a remote Hearing on “Membership obligations and the conduct of democratic elections in the context of the pandemic of COVID-19”. This meeting was organised by the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

123rd Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

18/06/2020 - 19/06/2020
The Venice Commission adopted a number of opinions through a written procedure on 18-19 June, in replacement of the actual meeting of 123rd plenary session in Venice that did not take place due to the continued COVID-19 concerns.

The following opinions were adopted by a written procedure:
18 June:
• Albania – Opinion on the Law no 97/2013 on Audio-visual Media Service;
• Latvia – Opinion on the recent amendments to the legislation on education in minority languages;
• Russian Federation – Opinion on the draft Amendments to the Constitution Federation relatin... read more

Watch our anniversary video:

Covid-19 pandemic -
Emergency powers -
 What standards?


During the current Covid-19 pandemic, national governments are taking exceptional measures to slow down the spread of the virus. On numerous occasions, the Venice Commission examined the limits of such emergency powers. The Commission has consistently underlined that State security and public safety can only be effectively guaranteed in a democracy which fully respects the rule of law. Even in genuine cases of emergency situations, the rule of law must prevail.



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