What is the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe?

The UK Parliament is represented on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The UK Parliament is made up of MPs from several political parties, including ones that aren’t in the Government. PACE makes sure these parties still have a voice at the Council of Europe. Members of the UK Parliament elect the UK delegation to PACE, and must make sure this reflects the balance of political parties in the Parliament at the time.

PACE’s mission is to uphold the shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It:

  • holds governments to account over their human rights records,
  • presses states to achieve and maintain democratic standards,
  • uncovers human rights violations,
  • ensures states keep their human rights promises,
  • demands answers from states around possible human rights violations, and
  • recommends sanctions where necessary.

PACE also makes proposals for improving Europe’s laws and practices, and provides a cross-party forum for debate to which the governments of the Council of Europe must collectively reply.

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