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Conference on the Guidelines on Political Parties and Meeting of Group of Experts on Political Parties 5-6 September 2011, Istanbul

09/09/2011

Conference on the Guidelines on Political Parties and Meeting of Group of Experts on Political Parties 5-6 September, Istanbul

The Conference and Experts' Meeting took place on 5 and 6 September respectively in Istanbul, Turkey. The main goal of the Conference was to promote the Guidelines as a legislative and assessment tool, as well as to discuss recent developments in the field of political party regulation in Turkey and other OSCE participating States.  The Conference was attended by a total of 40 experts, scholars and academics, including the experts who assisted the OSCE/ODIHR in the drafting of the Guidelines, three representatives of the Venice Commission, as well as several leading Turkish experts and politicians, such as Prof. Ozbudun, member for Turkey at the Venice Commission, and Dr. Erdemir, member of the Turkish Parliament and of the Turkey-EU Parliamentary Co-operation Committee, among others.

The meeting on 6 September with experts who had contributed to the drafting of the Guidelines aimed at establishing this group of experts as a formal advisory and consultative body of the OSCE/ODIHR. The experts discussed and agreed upon a draft Charter and Work Plan for the group and re-visited the Terms of Reference of the group already approved by the ODIHR Director in May this year.  The meeting also provided the opportunity to brainstorm and discuss the future working modalities of the Group, and a geographic and thematic division of tasks among themselves.  The experts voiced their continued interest in being member of the group and also provisionally selected a Chairperson and Secretary of the Group, all of which is to be presented and subject to formal appointment by the Director of OSCE/ODIHR and subsequent introduction to OSCE delegations.

Three Venice Commission Representatives present at the meeting saluted the initiative to establish the OSCE/ODIHR Group of Experts on Political Parties and announced that the Venice Commission wishes to appoint a Permanent Observer to this body, subject to approval of its Secretariat and invited the OSCE/ODIHR to join the Venice Commission in reviewing political party and other related legislation not only within the OSCE and Council of Europe areas, but also in other areas of the world where the Venice Commission operates, notably North Africa and Latin America.  The meeting also tabled the idea of approaching GRECO of the Council of Europe to also appoint a Permanent Observer to this body.

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