Ministers' Deputies
    CM Documents

    CM(2004)73 7 May 2004
    ——————————————

    114th Session
    (Strasbourg, 12-13 May 2004)

    Message from the co-Chairs, Messrs Bernard Bot and Jan Petersen, Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and Norway, to their colleagues

    ——————————————

    The 114th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will take place at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Wednesday 12 May and Thursday 13 May 2004. It will be the first to be held in line with the new system for ministerial sessions adopted in 2003, which provides in principle for a single annual Committee of Ministers session, while maintaining the six-monthly rotation of chairmanships by alphabetical order. This new system entails, as a consequence, the practice of co-chairmanship of the single annual session.

    The format of the Session has been designed accordingly. It is divided in two parts, on 12 May in the afternoon (under the chairmanship of the outgoing Netherlands Chair) and 13 May in the morning (under the chairmanship of the incoming Norwegian Chair), separated by an informal meeting and a dinner on 12 May at the invitation of the Secretary General. A working breakfast on 13 May will also provide an opportunity for an exchange of views between the Committee of Ministers Bureau and the Parliamentary Assembly Presidential Committee.

    The agenda and programme of the Session are appended. Its content is summarised in the draft annoted agenda prepared by the Secretariat (document CM(2004)OJ1 final).

    The first part of our Session will start on 12 May at 3 p.m., immediately after the inauguration of the exhibition of the Norwegian artist Kjell Pahr Iversen, that we are all invited to attend. Our discussions will be organised as follows:

    - Presentation of the results of the Netherlands Chair, by the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers;

    - Presentation of the priorities of the future Norwegian Chair, by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee of Ministers;

    - Possible brief reactions, questions or comments by Ministers;

    - Report by the Secretary General on current political issues concerning the Council of Europe and possible action in this respect;

    - Discussion on agenda items 3 and 6 (i.e. the reform of the European Court of Human Rights and topical political issues), following the established list of speakers;

    - Adoption of the texts concerning the reform of the European Court of Human Rights, with a view to the opening for signature of Protocol 14 before the second part of the Session in the morning of 13 May.

    After the first part of our Session, at 6.15 p.m., the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers will lay the foundation stone for the new General Office Building, during a short ceremony to which Ministers can attend if they so wish.

    At 7 p.m., we are invited at the residence of our Secretary General, Mr Walter Schwimmer, to hold an informal meeting, which will be followed by a dinner. This meeting will allow us to continue to exchange views on topical political issues concerning the Council of Europe. The speaker invited by the Secretary General to introduce our discussions is M. Harri Holkeri, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Kosovo.

    On the morning of 13 May, our activities will begin as from 8.15 a.m., with the working breakfast between those of us whose countries are represented in the Committee of Ministers Bureau (i.e. Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Romania) and the members of the Presidential Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly (i.e. the President of the Assembly, the Chairpersons of the five political groups and the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly), with the participation of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. After that, at 9.40 a.m., those of us who are in a position to do so will sign Protocol n°14 amending the European Convention of Human Rights.

    The second part of the Session will start at 10 a.m. Our discussions will be organised as follows:

    - Discussion of agenda items 4 and 5 (i.e. the Third Council of Europe Summit and the Council of Europe contribution to international action against terrorism), following the established list of speakers

    - Consideration (i.e. take note or adopt) of the other agenda items including:

    i. taking note of progress reports on the work made by the Council of Europe in different fields of ministerial interest (item 7a, b, c, d)
    ii. adoption of the declaration on the code of good practice in electoral matters (item 8)
    iii. adoption of the Session Communiqué (item 10).

    We would draw your attention to the fact that the planning of this session has drawn on the proposals made at the end of last year by the Netherlands and Norway, with a view to giving greater substance to our discussions and also making them more interactive. We are relying on your understanding and commitment to ensure that this attempt is a success, in particular by abiding strictly to the speaking times indicated and by making as much use as possible of the opportunity given to all delegations to submit written contributions.

    The provisional list of speakers will be sent to you on Monday 10 May. It is understood that any delegation may make changes bilaterally, informing the Chair and Secretariat, so that a final list of speakers is available for the start of the Session.

    After the Session, we shall be giving a press conference with the Secretary General, in Room 1, and we shall have the pleasure of inviting you to lunch in the Restaurant of the Council of Europe.

    Appendix 1

    Committee of Ministers
    114th Session
    (Strasbourg, 12-13 May 2004)

    Draft agenda

    1. Adoption of the Agenda

    2. The Council of Europe in May 2004:

    a. Overview of the Netherlands' chairmanship
    b. Priorities of the Norwegian chairmanship
    c. Report of the Secretary General

    3. Reform of the European Court of Human Rights

    4. Third Summit of the Council of Europe

    5. Contribution of the Council of Europe to international action against terrorism

    6. Topical political question(s)

    7. Progress of work relating to:

    a. the contribution of the Council of Europe to the fight against trafficking in human beings
    b. the contribution of the Council of Europe to the international action against organised crime
    c. prospect of a reform of the Committee of Ministers' monitoring procedure
    d. prospect of a creation of a European Forum for Roma and Travellers

    8. Draft Declaration on the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters

    9. Other question(s)

    10. Adoption of the Session Communiqué

    11. Date and venue of the next session

    Appendix 2

    Committee of Ministers
    114th Session
    (Strasbourg, 12-13 May 2004)

    Programme

    12 May 2004

    2.30 pm: Inauguration of the exhibition of the Norwegian artist Kjell Pahr Iversen 
    (Palais de l'Europe, Entrance hall)

    3 pm: First part of the formal session, chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
    (Palais de l'Europe, Committee of Ministers' meeting room)

    6 pm: End of the first part of the Session

    6.15 pm: Foundation stone-laying ceremony for the new General Office Building
    (Site of the New Building, rue Boecklin)

    7 pm: Group photo
    (Residence of the Secretary General, rue Joseph Massol)

    7.10 pm: Informal ministerial meeting followed by a dinner hosted by the Secretary General
    (Residence of the Secretary General, rue Joseph Massol)

    8 pm: Dinner hosted by the outgoing and incoming Chairs of the Ministers' Deputies and the Deputy Secretary General for Permanent Representatives, Directors of Political Affairs and Observers
    (Palais de l'Europe, Restaurant)

    13 May 2004

    8.15 am: Working breakfast, at the invitation of the outgoing and incoming Chairs, between the Presidential Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Bureau of the Committee of Ministers
    (Palais de l'Europe, Restaurant)

    9.40 am: Opening for signature of Protocol n°14 to the European Convention on Human Rights
    (Palais de l'Europe, Room 40)

    10 am: Second part of the formal session, under the chairmanship of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Norway
    (Palais de l'Europe, Committee of Ministers' meeting room)

    1 pm: End of the second part of the Session

    1.10 pm: Press conference by the two Chairs and the Secretary General
    (Palais de l'Europe, Room 1)

    1.30pm: Lunch hosted by the outgoing and incoming Chairs
    (Palais de l'Europe, Restaurant)



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