Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein will leave for Strasbourg, France on Thursday to take part in the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament, which will be held in the framework of the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Some 50 presidents of parliament are expected to attend the conference, and Knesset Speaker Edelstein is among those who will address it.
PACE, the most significant European body dealing with parliamentary affairs, is one of the two statutory organs of the 47-nation Council of Europe, an international organization dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and which oversees the European Court of Human Rights.
(Knesset Speaker Edelstein, archive photo)
The Assembly is made up of 324 parliamentarians from the national parliaments of the Council of Europe`s member states, and generally meets four times a year for week-long plenary sessions in Strasbourg.
The conference will provide a great opportunity for parliament heads to discuss core issues such as democracy, extremism in society, the treatment of refugees, and more. It will be attended by parliament heads from all the European Union member states, as well as additional countries such as Canada, Mexico and Israel.
In his speech, scheduled for Thursday afternoon, Knesset Speaker Edelstein will focus on the challenges facing Israel and other immigrant-absorbing countries, with an emphasis on the importance of integrating immigrants into society as a means of limiting the propagation of extremist doctrines within immigrant populations.
During the conference, Edelstein is expected to hold one-on-one meetings with a number of prominent European parliament heads. The Knesset Speaker will meet with PACE President Pedro Agramunt, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, Swedish Parliament Speaker Urban Ahlin and Bundestag President Norbert Lammert, among others.
Speaker Edelstein will be accompanied by Knesset Secretary Yardena Meller-Horowitz and Senior Diplomatic Advisor to the Knesset Oded Ben-Hur. He is expected to return to Israel on Sunday.