Top European politicians to Oslo democracy conference

Norway will co-host meeting of the 47 Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) states

Photo: Michael Sandelson / The Foreigner The Norwegian Parliament in Oslo.

Photo: Michael Sandelson / The Foreigner
The Norwegian Parliament in Oslo.

Martyna Kwaśniewska
The Foreigner

Together with neighbouring and observer countries, 59 speakers will be taking part in the Oslo Summit on 11th-12th September.

International participants will be discussing an issue of “fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms – participation, trust and public debate as conditions for democracy.”

Other topics planned are “Democracy, Sovereignty and Security in Europe” and “Majority and opposition – striking a balance in democracy” amongst critical challenges in the region.

President of the Norwegian Parliament Olemic Thommessen will open the conference. He has recently spoken about the importance of the confidence and closeness that exists between politicians and the population.

“Different political traditions which can inhibit democratic development and the economic challenges currently facing Europe are examples of situations that can put this confidence to the test. As presidents of parliament, we have a special responsibility for democratic development in Europe,” he said in statement.

Thommessen also emphasized the significance of building young people’s faith in politicians that is being weakened by unemployment, and, in some countries, by corruption.

Anne Brasseur, the President of PACE and the second speaker of the opening part of the conference, has mentioned recent events in Ukraine calling them “some of the most serious challenges facing Europe since the Cold War.”

Ms. Braseur’s official visit to Norway starts on the 10th of September. It also includes an audience with HRH King Harald V.

Presentations on the themes of the conference will be made by President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini, the Danish Parliament’s Mogens Lykketoft, the Parliament of Georgia’s David Usupashvili, Ankie Broekers-Knol of the Dutch Senate, and the First Vice-President of the Venice Commission, Norway’s Jan Helgesen.

The first biannual conference of this kind was held in 1975 and takes place in Strasbourg or in the capital of a Council of Europe member state.

This year’s summit is going to be hosted in Oslo since Norway is celebrating the bicentennial of its Constitution.

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit theforeigner.no.

It also appeared in the Sept. 12, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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