CM(2002)3 Addendum 1 18 January 2002
784 Meeting, 21 February 2002
4 Human Rights
4.1 European Commission against racism and intolerance (ECRI)
Document on the strengthening of ECRI containing a draft Resolution of the Committee of Ministers relating to the statute of ECRI
At their 736th meeting (10-11 January 2001), the Ministers’ Deputies decided, in the framework of the follow-up to the recommendations made in the Resolutions adopted by the European Ministerial Conference on Human Rights (Rome, 3-4 November 2000) to “invite the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) to submit its views on ways to reinforce its action”.
It is recalled in this context that the Political Declaration and the General Conclusions of the European Conference against racism (Strasbourg, 11-13 October 2000) both called upon states “to consider how best to reinforce the action of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance” and that proposals should also be prepared in this respect in the framework of the follow-up to the European Conference against racism.
ECRI therefore examined how it might best deal with this issue and prepared proposals concerning its strengthening, in order to reply to the invitation of the Ministers’ Deputies.
ECRI stresses that such a strengthening could be envisaged from different perspectives, covering: the intensification of its activities accompanied by an increase in the resources placed at its disposal (issues that ECRI has already brought to the attention of the Council of Europe decision-making bodies), but also the substantive reinforcement of ECRI as such, for example by means of its consolidation as a monitoring body, along with a strengthening of the principle of the independence of its members.
ECRI believes that such a consolidation would strengthen its action in the long-term and might possibly be achieved in a relatively flexible manner, for example by the adoption of a Resolution of the Committee of Ministers.
ECRI has therefore prepared the text of a draft Resolution, which is contained in this document that it submits to the Committee of Ministers.
on the statute of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance
(adopted by the Committee of Ministers [on… May 2002 at its 110th session] [on… November 2002 at its 111th session]
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Articles 15 and 16 of the Statute of the Council of Europe;
Having regard to the Declaration and the Plan of Action adopted on 9 October 1993 in Vienna by the first Summit of Heads of State and government of the member states of the Council of Europe, creating the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (hereinafter referred to as “ECRI”);
Having regard to the Declaration and Action Plan adopted in 11 October 1997 in Strasbourg by the second Summit of Heads of State and Government of the member states of the Council of Europe, deciding to intensify the activities of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance;
Taking also into account the General Conclusions of the European Conference against racism which call upon participating states to consider how best to reinforce the action of ECRI;
Having consulted ECRI on ways to reinforce its action;
Having regard to Resolution II adopted by the European Ministerial Conference on Human Rights, in Rome on 4 November 2000;
Taking into account Recommendation 1438 (2000) of the Parliamentary Assembly, asking the Committee of Ministers to fully support the work of ECRI and ensure that member states give a concrete follow-up to its recommendations;
Deeply convinced of the need to take firm and sustained action at European level to combat the phenomena of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, and welcoming ECRI’s contribution to this fight;
Noting that, since its creation by the first Summit, ECRI has developed its activities in a step-by-step fashion, giving priority to achieving concrete results;
Considering that the strengthening of ECRI should take as its starting point the work already done, and should consolidate and develop this work;
Decides to adopt the statute of ECRI as appended hereto:
Appendix to Resolution (2002)…
Statute of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
ECRI shall be a body of the Council of Europe entrusted with the task of combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance at the level of greater Europe and from the perspective of the protection of human rights in the framework of the European Convention on Human Rights, its additional protocols and related case-law. It shall pursue the following objectives:
- to review member states’ legislation, policies and other measures to combat racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, and their effectiveness;
- to propose further action at local, national and European level;
- to formulate general policy recommendations to member states;
- to study international legal instruments applicable in the matter with a view to their reinforcement where appropriate.
1. One member of ECRI shall be appointed for each member state of the Council of Europe;
2. The members of ECRI shall have high moral authority and recognised expertise in dealing with racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance;
3. The members of ECRI shall serve in their individual capacity, shall be independent and impartial in fulfilling their mandate. They shall not hold positions in their countries which place them directly under a governmental authority and that would compromise their independence and impartiality.
1. The members of ECRI shall be appointed by their governments in accordance with the provisions contained in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 2 above.
2. Each government shall notify the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of the appointment of the member of ECRI in respect of its country.
3. In case of non-conformity of the appointment of a member of ECRI with the provisions contained in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 2 above, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall, save in exceptional circumstances and in agreement with ECRI, ask the member state concerned to proceed to another appointment.
4. In case of subsequent incompatibility of an ECRI member’s situation with the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 2 above, as a result of changes in his or her position after appointment, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall ask the member state concerned to proceed to another appointment.
5. The members of ECRI shall be appointed for a mandate of five years which may be renewed. Their mandate may not be revoked by their government.
1. If the government so wishes, a deputy to the ECRI member may be appointed. The provisions of articles 2 and 3 above shall also apply to the appointment of deputy members except that their mandate shall in all cases expire at the same time as that of the ECRI member.
2. The conditions concerning the participation of deputy ECRI members shall be set down in ECRI’s internal rules of procedure.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe, the Holy See and the Management Board of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia shall be invited to be represented in ECRI without the right to vote.
1. ECRI may seek the assistance of rapporteurs or of consultants.
2. ECRI may organise hearings with interested parties.
3. ECRI may set up working parties on specific topics.
4. ECRI may be seized directly by non-governmental organisations on any questions covered by its terms of reference.
5. ECRI may seek the opinions and contributions of Council of Europe bodies concerned with its work.
6. ECRI shall periodically inform the Committee of Ministers on the results of its work.
ECRI shall submit to the Committee of Ministers a yearly activity report which shall be made public by ECRI after its submission to the Committee of Ministers.
1. Meetings shall be held in camera unless ECRI decides otherwise. The quorum of ECRI shall be the majority of its appointed members.
2. ECRI shall draw up its own rules of procedure.
The Secretariat of ECRI shall consist of an Executive Secretary and other staff members of the Directorate General of Human Rights.
1. ECRI shall adopt its programme, which shall include, inter alia, three aspects:
- country-by-country approach
- work on general themes
- relations with civil society
2. ECRI may, as necessary and within the limits of its terms of reference, introduce modifications or additions to its programme.
In the framework of its country-by-country approach, ECRI shall monitor phenomena of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, by closely examining the situation in each of the member states of the Council of Europe. ECRI shall draw up, following this analysis, suggestions and proposals as to how each country might deal with the problems identified.
ECRI’s work on general themes shall generally consist of the adoption of general policy recommendations addressed to governments of member states and of the collection and dissemination of examples of “good practices” in combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance.
ECRI shall develop relations with civil society, shall have activities aimed at promoting dialogue and mutual respect among the general public, shall organise awareness-raising and information activities and shall encourage the creation and development of appropriate networks to achieve these ends.
1. The Committee of Ministers may adopt amendments to this Statute by the majority foreseen at Article 20.d of the Statute of the Council of Europe, after consulting ECRI.
2. ECRI may propose amendments to this Statute to the Committee of Ministers, which shall decide by the above-mentioned majority.