Little Kox (Netherlands, UEL) was elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Succeeding Rik Daems (Belgium, ALDE), he is the 34th President of PACE since 1949 and the third Dutch national to hold this position. He obtained an absolute majority in the first round of voting with 164 votes against 80 for the other candidate, Mariia Mezentseva (Ukraine, EPP/CD).
In accordance with the Rules of the Assembly, the President exercises a mandate of one year, renewable once. In his opening speech, the newly elected President urged the Assembly to deliver on the agenda it set itself last year in its resolution on the strategic priorities of the Council of Europe. “This organization must remain the pillar of democratic security, the guarantor of human rights and the rule of law, as well as a platform for effective multilateralism in Europe, and for preserving and reaffirming our own identity. as an independent forum for global and inclusive political dialogue. and cooperation,” he said.
“Human rights, with the implementation of the Convention in all Member States, must remain our top priority. To achieve this, an in-depth dialogue in and with all Member States and Member Parliaments is absolutely necessary. Because only then can we uphold the authority of the European Court of Human Rights. The accession of the European Union to the Convention has also been declared by our Assembly as a strategic priority, together with an increased emphasis on the protection of social and economic rights, and the signature and ratification of the European Social Charter” . Regarding other priorities, he stressed the importance of the ratification and effective implementation of the Istanbul Convention, support for the inclusion of the right to a safe, healthy and sustainable environment in the of fundamental rights, the need for democratic governance of artificial intelligence and the fight against corruption, money laundering, terrorism and violent extremism, “which destabilize our societies”.