CM(2000)52...(707/2.3)...Relations between the Council of Europe and the OSCE.- Common Catalogue of Co-operation Modalities

 

Ministers' Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2000)52 25 April 2000
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707 Meeting, 26 April 2000
2 Political questions

2.3 Relations between the Council of Europe and the OSCE
Common Catalogue of Co-operation Modalities footnote 1

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RELATIONS BETWEEN THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE AND THE OSCE

Common Catalogue of Co-operation Modalities

 

Introduction

The Common Catalogue of Co-operation Modalities has been elaborated following a series of inter-institutional discussions guided by the recommendations of the Council of Europe's Committee of Wise Persons and the elaboration of the OSCE Platform for Co-operative Security adopted at the OSCE Istanbul Summit on 18-19 November 1999, as well as following suggestions expressed during the OSCE/Council of Europe meeting on procedures for monitoring of commitments and on present and future co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE, which took place in Vienna on 4 October 1999. Consequently, the high-level 2+2 meeting held in Berlin on 20 October 1999 decided to task the respective Secretariats to compile a common catalogue of co-operation modalities.

The Catalogue aims at guaranteeing the institutional memory and ensuring that existing good practice is not forgotten or lost. It also shows perspectives for the future.

The relationship between the Council of Europe and the OSCE is based on the common values of democracy, Human Rights and the rule of law, and the Organisations' commitment to mutual reinforcement of action, taking into consideration the difference in membership and working methods.

1. Consultations

1.1. "2+2" meetings

1.1.1. High-Level "2+2" Meetings

The high-level meetings take place once or twice per year. They are organised in turn by the Council of Europe and the OSCE respectively.

These meetings provide for discussing topical political issues of mutual interest, reviewing the relations, assessing the ongoing co-operation and devising orientations for future co-operation.

Participants:

For the Council of Europe: the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, the Secretary General, Chairmen of the Ministers' Deputies and of relevant Rapporteur Groups, in particular those on Relations between the Council of Europe and the OSCE (GR-OSCE) and on Democratic Stability (GR-EDS) and the Director General of Political Affairs.

For the OSCE: the Chairperson-in-Office, Secretary General, the High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM), the Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the Representative on Freedom of the Media, Head of External Co-operation Section, and occasionally Director of the CPC and Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities.

A joint statement is distributed to delegations in Strasbourg and Vienna and to the press at the end of the meeting.

1.1.2. "2+2" Meetings at the level of Senior Officials

The meetings at senior level take place as a rule at the end of the first half of the year. They are organised in turn by the Council of Europe and the OSCE respectively.

The main aim of such meetings is to discuss concrete topics of co-operation.

Participation in the meetings at the level of senior officials differs in terms of the level and the composition from the high-level meetings. They include also representatives of the secretariats of the two Parliamentary Assemblies.

For the Council of Europe: the Chairmen of the Ministers' Deputies, GR-OSCE and GREDS, the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Director General of Political Affairs, and where appropriate, other Council of Europe representatives.

For the OSCE: the Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office and other Troika members, the Secretary General or his representative, the Director of the CPC, the HCNM, the Director of ODIHR, the Representative on Freedom of the Media, and the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly (or their representatives).

 

1.2 Parliamentary Meetings

Delegations of the Bureaux of the two Parliamentary Assemblies meet periodically to exchange views on questions of common interest and to review co-operation between the two Assemblies.

1.3. Joint Meetings

A first meeting was organised by the Council of Europe at the initiative of Norway in March 1997 with the aim of exchanging views and experiences on the methodology of implementation of commitments and the various monitoring mechanisms of the two organisations.

Participants included Permanent Representatives to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and to the OSCE in Vienna, with the participation of experts from capitals, as well as representatives of the Secretariats.

A second was held in June 1998 in The Hague upon an initiative of the Netherlands. It took a broader look at the relationship between the Council of Europe and the OSCE and involved also parliamentarians from both organisations.

A third meeting took place upon invitation of the Norwegian OSCE Chairmanship on 4 October 1999 in Vienna. It was a direct follow-up to the March 1997 meeting and it dealt with procedures for the monitoring of commitments and present and future co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE.

Participants underlined the usefulness of the joint meetings and recommended to hold such meetings every two years on themes of mutual interest.

1.4. Ad-hoc Contacts and Consultations

The following modalities have been developed with a view to exploring possibilities for co-operation or defining a coherent message, especially during crisis situations or when preparing new initiatives:

Ad hoc consultations between the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

Ad hoc consultations between the Council of Europe Secretariat and the representatives of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

Ad hoc consultations between the two Secretaries General.

Ad hoc consultations between the Council of Europe Commissioner on Human Rights and representatives of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.

Joint visit (Council of Europe Chairman of the Committee of Ministers and Secretary General and OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Secretary General), Tirana, September 1998.

Joint declaration of Council of Europe, OSCE, EU and WEU on Albania, September 1998.

Tri-parliamentary visits of members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE and the European Parliament to Tirana in 1997 and 1998, and Belarus in 2000.

Participation of Council of Europe senior officials in visits of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, 1998 and 1999.

Participation of Council of Europe officials in trips of the Personal Representatives of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office to Albania and Belarus in 1997.

Participation of OSCE officials in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly delegation to Chechnya in 2000.

1.5. Enlarged consultations

1.5.1. High-Level "Tripartite" Council of Europe / OSCE / UN Meetings

The high-level "Tripartite" meetings are organised once per year in turn by the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the United Nations Office at Geneva.

At these meetings, participants discuss topical issues of mutual interest and fields of co-operation.

Participants:

For the Council of Europe: the Secretary General and comprises also the Chairmen of the Ministers' Deputies, GR-OSCE and GR-EDS and the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

For the OSCE: the Secretary General, a Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office, the HCNM, the Director of ODIHR and the Representative on Freedom of the Media.

 

 

 

 

For the UN: the Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, senior representatives of the Department of Political Affairs, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Economic Commission for Europe and the United Nations Development Programme

In function of the agenda, representatives of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also participate. The European Commission has participated for the first time in the High-level Meeting held in February 2000.

Participants issue a joint statement at the end of "Tripartite" meetings.

1.5.2. Target-Oriented Meetings

Target-oriented meetings are organised within the framework of the "Tripartite" consultation process on an ad hoc basis. They are held at the level of senior officials and experts (including from the field presence of the participating organisations) and involve, in function of the agenda, also other international organisations and institutions.

The purpose of these meetings is to inform on ongoing and planned activities and identify possibilities for enhanced co-operation.

So far, target oriented meetings dealt with the Caucasus (several meetings), Albania, Kosovo, judicial system reform and, in February 2000, law enforcement, in particular the police.

1.5.3. Meetings on Electronic Information Exchange

These meetings are organised prior to the high-level Tripartite meeting with the aim of discussing the use of new information technologies for the purpose of improving the exchange of information between the three organisations. A common information database with names of contact persons has been created on the server of the UN office in Geneva.

2. Representation and Liaison

2.1 Participation in the meetings

2.1.1. Summits

The Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE represented his Organisation at the Council of Europe Summit in October 1997 in Strasbourg and addressed the meeting. The OSCE Secretary General was invited but could not attend. The Chairman of the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe represented the Organisation at, and addressed, the OSCE Summit in Istanbul.

2.1.2. Ministerial Meetings/Sessions

The Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE participated in the London meeting and addressed the Budapest meeting organised in May 1999 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Council of Europe.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe represents the Organisation at OSCE Ministerial Councils and delivers statements at the meetings.

The Foreign Minister of the country that has the OSCE Chairmanship addresses the Sessions of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers in his/her capacity as representative of the member State of the Council of Europe and as Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE.

2.1.3. Parliamentary Assemblies

The Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE addresses regularly the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The Presidents of the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe and the OSCE speak at the sessions of the other Assembly.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as well as the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, invite regularly representatives of the other Assembly to participate in committee meetings, seminars, conferences, etc.

In 1998, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted Recommendation 1381(1998) on "General Policy: Council of Europe and the OSCE".

2.1.4. Council of Europe’s Ministers’ Deputies, OSCE Permanent Council and their Subsidiary Structures

OSCE representatives – the Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office, the Secretary General, Heads of OSCE Missions, the Director of ODIHR, the Representative on Freedom of the Media – are regularly invited to exchanges of views with the Council of Europe Ministers’ Deputies or their Rapporteur Groups.

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe regularly addresses the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, followed by questions and answers.

The Director General of Political Affairs and members of his service have participated in several reinforced meetings of the OSCE Permanent Council and in informal meetings of the Security Model Committee with international organisations on the Platform for Co-operative Security.

Since October 1998, the OSCE is invited to participate in the meetings of the Council of Europe Ministers’ Deputies Rapporteur Group on relations with the OSCE (GR-OSCE). Representatives of the OSCE Chairmanship and members of the OSCE Secretariat, in particular the Section for External Co-operation, actively participate in the deliberations.

The Permanent Representative of the country holding the OSCE Chairmanship speaks occasionally in meetings of the Council of Europe Ministers' Deputies or GR-EDS on behalf of the OSCE Chairmanship.

It has been agreed with the OSCE Chairmanship that the representative of the Committee of Ministers’ Chairmanship delegation could take the floor at meetings of the OSCE Permanent Council to inform on relevant activities of the Council of Europe.

2.2. Liaison

The Council of Europe representation at the OSCE headquarters in Vienna is based on informal arrangements.

The Council of Europe-OSCE Liaison Officer joins the delegation of the country that Chairs the Committee of Ministers in the plenary and informal meetings of the OSCE Permanent Council and the Security Model Committee however, without the right to take the floor. Upon invitation of the Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, the Council of Europe-OSCE Liaison Officer informs subsidiary groups of the OSCE Permanent Council on relevant Council of Europe's activities.

In the OSCE Co-ordination Units in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the country holding the OSCE Chairmanship, an official is responsible for liasing with other international organisations, including the Council of Europe.

In the OSCE Secretariat, the External Co-operation Section (CPC) is, inter alia, in charge of liaison with other organisations, including the Council of Europe.

3. Co-operation

3.1 Field co-operation

The following modalities have been developed:

The Council of Europe Offices on the ground (Tirana, Sarajevo, Pristina and Mostar), maintain close contacts with the OSCE Missions. They provide also liaison with the authorities and international organisations present in the field and support in the implementation of Council of Europe projects;

Sharing of information and assessments by officials of the Council of Europe Secretariat and Heads of OSCE Missions and their staff through regular informal contacts and visits;

Participants of the Council of Europe Secretariat in planning meetings organised by the CPC to prepare co-operation in the field;

Participation of the Council of Europe Secretariat in the annual meetings of Heads of OSCE Missions in Vienna;

Co-ordination of action in conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation, Council of Europe contribution to monitoring and advice. Provision of Council of Europe legal expertise;

Joint organisation and contribution to seminars;

Joint assessment teams;

Participation of Council of Europe experts and staff members in short and medium term missions; Long-term secondment of Council of Europe experts to the OSCE Mission in Kosovo;

Joint training courses;

Provision of logistical support by OSCE Missions to delegations of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, CLRAE and Secretariat;

Since its creation in September 1998, the Council of Europe participates in the "Friends of Albania", whose meetings are co-Chaired by the OSCE and EU Presidencies;

Joint initiative of the Council of Europe, OSCE, European Commission and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on human rights training of members of Field Missions: elaboration of pedagogical tools, including a manual giving practical advise on how to handle Human Rights violations. Continuation of this initiative, applying it to specific regions and operations, in co-ordination with Heads of OSCE Missions and taking into consideration the initiatives of EU and OHCHR and eventually the OSCE REACT programme.

3.2. Thematic co-operation

3.2.1. Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law

The following modalities have been developed:

Sharing of information and assessments by officials of the Council of Europe Secretariat and the Director and staff of the ODIHR through regular informal contacts and visits;

Regular meetings between the Secretariat of the Council of Europe and ODIHR to co-ordinate programmes and their implementation;

Participation of ODIHR representatives in the Council of Europe's annual consultation and planning meetings in the fields of human rights and legal co-operation (ADACS);

Council of Europe contribution to and participation in ODIHR seminars and co-operation in the organisation of seminars.

Council of Europe participation in the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation meetings, provision of documentation and participation of members of the Secretariat;

ODIHR representation at the meetings of the Venice Commission;

Co-operation between the Council of Europe Co-ordinator on Roma / Gypsies and the ODIHR Contact Point on Roma and Sinti Issues;

Council of Europe contribution to the ODIHR Expert Panel on the Prevention of Torture;

Contacts between the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe and ODIHR.

Contacts between the Monitoring Unit of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and ODIHR.

Contacts between the Council of Europe Secretariat and the ODIHR advisors on trafficking and gender issues;

Participation of Council of Europe officials in ODIHR needs assessment missions for example in Eastern Slavonia and Caucasus;

Contacts and co-operation on matters relating to democracy, Human Rights and the rule of law between the Council of Europe and the OSCE Field Missions.

3.2.2. Minorities

Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the HCNM concerns concrete situations in specific countries relevant to the prevention of conflicts and the implementation of European standards for the protection of national minorities.

The following modalities have been developed:

Sharing of information and assessments by officials of the Council of Europe and the HCNM and his staff through regular informal contacts and working visits;

Reference of the HCNM to Council of Europe standard setting instruments in his recommendations to OSCE participating States, notably the European Convention on Human Rights, Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, European Charter on Regional or Minority Languages;

Close co-operation between the Council of Europe officials and experts and the HCNM on country specific issues by co-ordinated approaches and joint endeavours, sometimes also including the European Commission;

Participation of Council of Europe officials and experts in experts’ meetings organised by the HCNM;

HCNM contacts with the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on Issues relating to the Protection of National Minorities (DH-MIN) and the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly;

Participation of Council of Europe staff in seminars organised or co-organised by the HCNM.

3.2.3. Roma/Sinti

Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE involve on the Council of Europe side the Co-ordinator of Activities on Roma/Gypsies and on the OSCE side the ODIHR Contact Point on Roma/Sinti and some Field Missions, in particular in South-East Europe.

The following modalities have been developed:

Participation in each others meetings;

Joint meetings;

Joint field visits;

Joint reports as a follow-up to the joint visits;

Collaboration in the preparation of a draft programme on Roma as part of Working Table I of the Stability Pact.

3.2.4. Media

The Council of Europe Secretariat was associated with the elaboration of the mandate of the Representative on Freedom of the Media.

The interpretative statement of 32 participating states of the OSCE stipulates that the Representative on Freedom of the Media should also be guided by the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights in the fulfilment of his/her mandate." (Statement made after the adoption of the mandate in 1997). Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media focuses on concrete issues or country situations, which are of common interest to both organizations.

The following modalities have been developed:

Sharing of information and assessments by officials of the Council of Europe Secretariat and the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and his staff through regular informal contacts and working visits;

Reference by the Representative to Council of Europe standard setting instruments, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights, and legislative expertise carried out by the Council of Europe in his recommendations to OSCE participating States;

Provision of Council of Europe legislative expertise at the request of the Representative;

Joint seminars and recommendations;

Participation in seminars organised or co-organised by the other;

Contacts of the Office of the Representative with the Council of Europe Steering Committee on the Mass Media (CDMM).

3.2.5. Economic and Environmental Activities

The following modalities have been developed:

Working visit of the Co-ordinator of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities to the Council of Europe;

Participation of Council of Europe staff and experts in seminars organised or co-organised by the Co-ordinator.

Participation of the Council of Europe officials and members of the Parliamentary Assembly in the annual meetings of the OSCE Economic Forum.

3.3. Monitoring

3.3.1. Compliance with Commitments

Monitoring was the theme of two high-level joint meetings in 1997 and 1999.

The following modalities have been developed:

Sharing of public or restricted reports of the Parliamentary Assembly, CLRAE and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and OSCE Field Missions;

Participation of Council of Europe officials in OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings and Review Conferences;

Provision of manuals and training of monitors deployed by OSCE Field Missions;

Concerted efforts concerning specific countries.

3.3.2. Election observation

3.3.2.1 Parliamentary and presidential elections

The Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, the ODIHR and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly are in contact in the monitoring of elections. This includes, as the case may be, joint press conferences and joint statements.

3.3.2.2 Local elections

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe is in contact with ODIHR and OSCE Missions in the monitoring and evaluation of local elections, organised by the national authorities, to which they send observer delegations.

3.4. Special programmes

Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe

The Council of Europe is a participating organisation in the Stability Pact, which was launched by the European Union and placed under the auspices of the OSCE.

The two Organisations co-operate in particular in Working Table I on Democratisation and Human Rights and in transversal issues in fields such as minorities, Roma, ombudsman institutions, good governance, gender, media, corruption and organised crime, legislative clearing house.

The following modalities have been developed:

Participation in conferences and meetings organised by the other organisation;

Participation in the activities led by the other organisation, for example participation of a member of the Office of the HCNM in the special delegation of advisors on minorities preparing the conference on national minorities and inter-ethnic relations;

Council of Europe advice on OSCE projects, for example the legislative clearing house;

OSCE advice on Council of Europe projects;

Joint project proposals, for example on the development of legislative frameworks for the media and on training on media standards or an initiative on "hate speech".

3.5. Secretarial co-operation

The following modalities have been developed:

Close contacts of the Council of Europe Secretariat with the Section for External Co-operation, Conflict Prevention Centre of the OSCE Secretariat, to ensure smooth co-operation, in particular in the preparation of "2+2", "Tripartite" meetings, and other consultations;

Council of Europe Secretariat contacts with the Conflict Prevention Centre of the OSCE Secretariat on contributions to OSCE Missions;

Council of Europe contribution to and participation in seminars organised by the OSCE Secretariat;

Secretarial contacts concerning planning of ADACS;

Operational contacts concerning REACT;

Regular contacts between the Secretariats of the Parliamentary Assemblies.

3.6. Information exchange

The following modalities have been developed:

The Council of Europe Secretariat receives all OSCE documents as they are distributed to the OSCE Delegations;

The OSCE participating States, institutions and the Secretariat receive regularly official Council of Europe documents, and have been given access to the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers restricted site of the Internet.

Outlook

This Common Catalogue of Co-operation Modalities reflects the co-operation achievements in early 2000. It will have to be kept under regular review to include new developments reflecting the flexible and pragmatic character of co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE.

 

 

Vienna, 12 April 2000

 

 

The Secretary General

of the Council of Europe

The Secretary General

of the OSCE

 

Walter Schwimmer

 

Jàn Kubiš

     
1. A printed version of this document, signed by the two Secretaries General in Vienna on 12 April 2000, in under preparation


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