Anne Brasseur

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Anne Brasseur (2015)

Anne Brasseur (born May 19, 1950, in Luxembourg) is a Luxembourgish politician[1] and former sports and training minister. On 28 January 2014 Brasseur was elected as the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for a one-year renewable term, the second woman to hold this post.

Political career[edit]

Brasseur began her political career when she was elected to the city council of Luxembourg in 1976. She is president of the Association des femmes libérales.

Minister for National Education, Vocational Training and Sports, 1999-2004[edit]

From 1999 to 2004 Brasseur was a cabinet minister of Luxembourg, Minister for National Education, Vocational Training and Sports (Ministre de l'Éducation nationale, de la Formation professionnelle et des Sports), in the government of Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.[1]

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, 2009–present[edit]

Since 2009, Brasseur has been president of The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.[2] In January 2014, she was elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; she received an absolute majority of votes in the first round. On 26 January 2015, she was re-elected for a new mandate of one year.[3] Since 2016, she has been serving as a member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights; the Sub-Committee on Crime Problems and the Fight against Terrorism; and the Sub-Committee on the Middle East and the Arab World.

Political positions[edit]

On Russia[edit]

Early in Brasseur’s tenure as president of PACE, the assembly in April 2014 suspended the Russian delegation's voting rights after the Russian annexation of Crimea in March 2014. Throughout her time in office, she maintained a constant dialogue with Russian Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin and Russia's PACE delegates.[4][5]

On Azerbaijan[edit]

On a 2014 visit to Azerbaijan, a member country of the Council of Europe, Brasseur criticized that "[i]n certain areas, such as freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly, the situation appears to have deteriorated and this has to be addressed urgently."[6][7] In particular, she expressed her hoped that Azeri human rights activist Ilgar Mammadov would soon be released, after the European Court of Human Rights had earlier described his imprisonment as an "unjustified restriction of freedom".[6]

On education[edit]

In June 2007, the Council of Europe's Committee on Culture, Science and Education released a report entitled "The Dangers of Creationism in Education." According to Brasseur, who served as co-author of the report, its goal was to firmly anchor the theory of evolution in school curricula.[8] However, she was later pressured to shorten references in the resolution to "evolution by natural selection" to "evolution" because some members had misunderstood the reference to natural selection to be an attack on their religious beliefs.[9] The council ultimately approved the report's recommendations, with 48 votes in favor and 25 against.[8][10]