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P

PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE (PACE)

PACE is the parliamentary body of the Council of Europe. It held its first meeting on August 10, 1949, and can be regarded as the oldest parliamentary assembly in the pluralistic world. Composed of 318 representatives from national parliaments and their alternates, it is divided into 5 policy groups and meets 4 times a year in a plenary session in Strasbourg at the Palace of Europe. There, the members discuss current European and international issues. Its major concerns are the protection of human rights, democracy, minorities and the promotion of the rule of law. This Assembly should not be confused with the European Parliament, one of the five institutions of the European Union.

PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES

To prepare the work of the European Parliament plenary session, MEPs are divided into standing committees, each specializing in a particular area. There are 20 committees, composed of 28 to 86 members and each has a chairperson, a bureau and a secretary. The committees meet once or twice a month in Brussels, where they examine the proposals of the Commission and Council and write reports for the plenary sessions.

POLITICAL GROUPS OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

MEPs sit in political groups in Parliament. They are not grouped by nationality buy by their political affinities. To form a political group, the group must have at least 25 members elected in at least 1/4 of the member states of the EU. It is forbidden to join several political groups. Some members do not belong to any political group, they are called “unregistered”. There are currently 7 political groups in the European Parliament.

PALACE OF EUROPE

The Palace of Europe is the seat of theCouncil of Europe in Strasbourg. Designed by French architect Henry Bernard, it was inaugurated in 1977.

PALACE OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Inaugurated in 1995, the Palace of Human Rights is the work of British architect Richard Rogers. This building houses theEuropean Court of Human Rights.

PFLIMLIN PIERRE (1907-2000)

Pierre Pflimlin was a French politician and former mayor of Strasbourg from 1959-1983. With Robert Schuman, he was a great promoter of the Franco-German reconciliation. Vice President of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1984, he finally won the office of President of the European Parliament, a position he held from 1984 to 1987. During his two and a half year term, he contributed significantly to increasing the powers of the assembly in European decision-making.

PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

The Presidency of the EU is provided in turn by each of the 28 EU countries, according to a rotation system for a predetermined period of 6 months. The presidency changes take place on January 1 and July 1 each year. The Head of State or Government of the country holding the presidency also chairs the European Council. The Presidency of the Council plays a key role; it helps with the decision making process and legislative policy and is responsible for brokering compromises that will resolve issues. Italy has held the presidency since July 1, 2014. This presidency will be followed by Latvia in the first semester of 2015 then by Luxembourg after July 1, 2015. These three countries have named the following main objectives: overcome the economic crisis and to revive growth, development and employment in Europe.

PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

The President of the European Parliament is elected by the Members of the European Parliament for 2 ½ years, and re-election is possible. The President represents the Parliament in its relations with other institutions and in the public eye. The President is also responsible for implementing and regulating the conduct of the institutions, including all of the activities of the European Parliament. Since January 2012, Martin Schulz of Germany has been the President of the European Parliament.

PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
The appointment of the President of the European Commission lies with the European Council. Taking into account the elections at the Parliament, the European Council, acting on a qualified majority, proposes a candidate to Parliament. The president is then elected by the European Parliament, by a majority of its members. The President must strive to revive the European Union and give guidance to other members, and the EU as a whole. He or she represents the Commission and is appointed for a term of 5 years. The current President of the Commission is the former Portuguese Prime minister, Juan Manuel Barroso. He was appointed in 2004 and in 2009, he began his second term.
PRINCESS EUROPE

The name “Europe” has its origin in a character from Greek mythology. Daughter of Agenor, the Phoenician king, the princess lived in Europe Tire on the Asian side of the Mediterranean (now Lebanon). Zeus fell in love with her and decided to take her away from her house to new land and Europe fell in love with Zeus as well. Their three children named the new land in which they lived Europe out of love and thanks to the princess. The myth of the princess Europe is now shown on the €2 Greek coin.