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Venice Commission international conference in Bucharest: “Interaction between political majority and opposition in a democracy”

What are the main responsibilities and rights of the majority and of the opposition?  What are the main obstacles to a positive and meaningful interaction majority - opposition?

The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), in co-operation with the Presidential Administration of Romania and with the support of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, will provide a forum to address these questions at the international conference: “The interaction between the political majority and the opposition in a democracy” (6?7 April, Bucharest, Sala Unirii,Cotroceni Presidential Palace), a press release informs.

Recent years have witnessed a tendency, by democratically elected political majorities in several European countries, of misuse of power according to the principle of "winnertakes-all", to the detriment of pluralism, social equilibrium and the democratic functioning of a Rule of Law based society.

The event, organised under the patronage of the President of Romania and of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, will gather parliamentarians, experts, civil society and media representatives, as well as members of the Venice Commission, to discuss the most challenging aspects of the interaction majority /opposition for the benefit of European democracies.

The President of Romania Klaus Werner Iohannis, the Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly Pedro Agramunt and the President of the Venice CommissionGianni Buquicchio will open the conference.

The Minister of Justice of Romania Tudorel Toader, member of the Venice Commission, will also address the participants.

Background

The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission as it meets in Venice, is the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters.

The role of the Venice Commission is to provide legal advice to its member states and, in particular, to help states wishing to bring their legal and institutional structures into line with European standards and international experience in the fields of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

It also helps to ensure the dissemination and consolidation of a common constitutional heritage, playing a unique role in conflict management, and provides “emergency constitutional aid” to states in transition.

The Commission has 61 member states: the 47 Council of Europe member states, plus 14 other countries (Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Israel, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Tunisia and the USA).

Its individual members are university professors of public and international law, supreme and constitutional court judges, members of national parliaments and a number of civil servants. They are designated for four years by the member states, but act in their individual capacity.

The Commission works in three areas:

 democratic institutions and fundamental rights,
• 
constitutional justice and ordinary justice
• 
elections, referendums and political parties.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017