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June 08, 2017


Activities organised by the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy (further referred to as PFD) during the period between September 2016 and May 2017:

  • The Annual General Assembly and the Governing Council meeting in Kiev. After the meeting, the PFD delegation met with the First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Iryna Herashchenko; Vice Prime Minister, Vyacheslav Kyrylenko; Leader of the Crimean Tatar National Movement and Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Mustafa Dzhemilev; and other representatives of the political groups of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Discussions were focused on institutional reforms, economic development challenges, war with Russia (kidnapping and torture of Ukrainian soldiers and Crimean Tatars by pro-Russian militants), other relevant issues, and further cooperation
  • A seven-member cross-party delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, led by PFD Chairman Emanuelis Zingeris, carried out a pre-electoral mission to Georgia on 13-14 September 2016 to assess the election campaign and political climate prior to the parliamentary elections of 8 October. During the mission, the delegation met with the Speaker of Parliament, Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Affairs, and Chair of the Central Election Commission, as well as Head of the National Communications Commission.
  • In December, in cooperation with Gunnar HÖKMARK, Member of the European Parliament, PFD organized a round-table discussion to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belovezh Accords at the European Parliament in Brussels. The discussion was co-chaired by Vytautas LANDSBERGIS, former President of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania and Signatory to the Act of Independence of Lithuania, and Sandra KALNIETE, Member of the European Parliament, with interventions by Elmar BROK, Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs; Stanislaw SHUSHKEVICH, first Head of Independent Belarus; Gennady BURBULIS, former State Secretary of Russia, and Leonid KRAVCHUK, former President of Ukraine, who joined the event online.
  • On 12 March, the Seimas Committee of Foreign Affairs assembled diplomats, politicians and analysts to discuss the challenges and threats to the transatlantic area as well as to search for new ways to preserve solidarity in the region. This was done in the format of an international parliamentary conference, entitled Europe and the United States: Reaffirming Transatlantic Solidarity".
  • In April, PFD delegation went to Washington DC to meet with current and future Members of Parliament (John Shimkus, Mario Diaz Balart, Andy Barr, David Price). They also met with the Russian dissident and Chairman of the Open Russia pro-democracy group, Vladimir Kara-Murza, and partners form think tanks including Abramowitz, President of the Freedom House; Dr Herman, Freedom House’s Vice President for International Programs; Christopher Walker, Freedom House’s Vice President for Studies and Analysis; representatives from the National Endowment for Democracy; David J. Kramer, Senior Director for Human Rights and Democracy at the McCain Institute; Steve Nix, Regional Director of the International Republican Institute, Charles Davidson, Executive Director, Kleptocracy Initiative, Hudson Institute; Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation; and officers at the USAID to discuss future cooperation and the Community of Democracies parliamentary forum meeting in the US Congress. 
  • In cooperation with the Seimas Committee of Foreign Affairs, PFD organized an international conference in Vilnius, entitled Crimean Tatars After Three Years of the Occupation of Crimea: The Current Situation and International Community’s Further Response Strategy.




When marking the 20th anniversary of Lithuania’s Independence in 2010, the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy (hereinafter referred to as the PFD) was established by adopting the Vilnius Declaration. The Vilnius Declaration was signed by 43 parliamentarians from 18 countries who committed themselves to work together to strengthen democracy where it is weak and invigorate it even where it is longstanding, to promote peace, development, human rights and freedoms, gender equality, and equal opportunities in their respective countries and around the world. (Vilnius Declaration, 12 March 2010)

When Mongolia took over the presidency of the Community of Democracies in 2011, Lithuania committed itself to fully support its parliamentary dimension in front of the international community. Consequently, the PFD was officially registered in Vilnius on 2 August 2011.

The PFD currently complements the cooperation between the governments of the Community of Democracies and non-governmental organizations. PFD members meet each year to prepare proposals for the development of democracy in the world as well as to share their experience of parliamentary work with countries heading towards democracy and groups seeking democracy in authoritarian regimes. They also aim to reinforce democracy in their countries. One of the main objectives of the Forum is to strengthen the role of the parliament as one of the most important public institutions ensuring democratic governance.

The Lithuanian Parliament assists the PFD by providing an office and covering all expenses related to the maintenance of the office. On special occasions, it will be possible to use other parliamentary facilities and services in order to organize international meetings, seminars, conferences, teleconferences or similar events.

The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides support to different international projects aimed at strengthening development of democracy.





More information:

info@ parliamentary-forum.org

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