Ministers' Deputies
    CM Documents

    CM(2004)74 final 5 May 2004

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

    Agenda and possible results of the Third Summit: priorities for the Council of Europe future action
    Report to the 114th Session of the Committee of Ministers


    1. At their 113th Session (Chisinau, 7 November 2003), the Ministers adopted the following conclusions on the issue of the Third Council of Europe Summit:

    “The Ministers emphasised that ten years after the Vienna Summit, significant progress in fulfilling the political mandate assigned to the Organisation to bring together all European democratic states on an equal footing within permanent structures has been achieved. It would be for the 3rd Summit to lay down the guidelines for the future action of the Council of Europe in the context of profound changes in the continent, and its interaction with other international organisations. The Ministers agreed that the common responsibility for the future of Europe, commitment to the strategic goal of building one Europe without dividing lines and the desire to meet the aspirations of all Europeans should guide the preparations for the Summit. They emphasised that the objectives of consolidating democracy and the rule of law, promoting human rights - including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities - and strengthening social cohesion should retain paramount importance in the Council of Europe's future agenda. At the same time, the Council of Europe could make a meaningful contribution to working out common European policies and standards to meet the new challenges faced by European societies.

    The Ministers took note of preparatory work undertaken since their last Session in May 2003, while welcoming the important contributions made by the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe. Taking into account the conclusions of their previous session, they welcomed Poland's offer to host the Summit in Warsaw in 2005, during its future Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. Consultations on a date will take place in the meantime with a view to a decision by the 114th Session of the Committee of Ministers in May, provided that a substantive agenda and possible concrete results thereof have been identified by their Deputies. The Ministers therefore instructed their Deputies to intensify their work on possible results of the Summit and to report to them at their next meeting in May 2004.”

    2. Following these decisions, and on the basis of the work made by their working party GT-SOM3 between December and April 2004, the Ministers Deputies prepared the following elements concerning the agenda and the possible results of the Third Summit, with a view to the discussion to be held on this matter by the Ministers at their 114th Session.

    Agenda and possible results of the Third Summit: priorities for the Council of Europe future action

    The goal of the Third Summit is to ensure the Council's relevance for Europe's 800 million citizens and guarantee that its objectives and functioning address the challenges they face in the new century. By confirming at the highest political level the strategic objective of a Europe without dividing lines, based on the attachment to the common values of democracy, the rule of law and respect of human rights, and by identifying the resulting priorities for the Council of Europe's future action (taking into account the fact that its mandate includes social cohesion and the cultural dimension), the Summit would reinforce the Organisation's position as a key partner within the new European architecture. By clarifying future Council of Europe goals and activities, it would also lay the foundation for setting realistic budgetary priorities for the future.

    A A Europe of shared values and common standards

    The Summit shall decide to:

    1. adopt a new Council of Europe mission statement reflecting the statutory objective to achieve greater unity among member states in the light of the declarations of the 1993 and 1997 Summits and the documents adopted in Budapest in 1999. This statement would:

    · confirm the Council of Europe's core commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law as well as to social cohesion, education and culture as enabling factors for their development;

    · underline the role of the Council of Europe, based on of Europe's shared intellectual and moral heritage, as a major forum for discussion on ethical issues – in particular in responding to the challenges faced by European societies in the 21st century - and for the development of democratic security;

    · highlight the respective contributions of the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the European Court of Human Rights and the Commissioner for Human Rights in achieving the statutory objectives of the Council of Europe;

    2. promote an area of legal and judicial co-operation, by strengthening the Council of Europe's convention system, ensuring effective implementation of Council of Europe standards by member states and elaborating as appropriate new standards, as well as adopting as far as possible concrete measures in this respect;

    3. develop a pan-European political dialogue at intergovernmental, inter-parliamentary and regional/local level, in accordance with the obligations resulting from Council of Europe membership and its relevant conventions;

    4. reinforce good governance at all levels, also through increased participation of civil society including young people;

    B A Europe for citizens

    The Summit shall decide, in the light of the Council of Europe's renewed mission statement, to:

    1. implement the reform of the European Court of Human Rights, on the basis of the decisions of the 114th Session of the Committee of Ministers;

    2. review existing instruments and procedures with a view to developing a more efficient monitoring of compliance with their common obligations by all member states, based on the Council of Europe's capacity to implement co-operation programmes in priority areas;

    3. set up priorities on the programme and budget and review as appropriate the structure of its intergovernmental co-operation;

    4. enhance visibility and knowledge about the Council of Europe and what it stands for in the inter-regional and global environment, and further integrate all member states into the Organisation's core activities;

    5. promote openness and transparency in the implementation of Council of Europe activities and in its relations with civil society;

    C A Europe of complementarity

    The Summit shall commit the Council of Europe to:

    1. strengthen its relations with the European Union with a view to ensuring that the Council's acquis and its pan-European normative perspectives are appropriately reflected in the agenda of the European Union;

    2. deepen co-operation with the EU in human rights protection and, in that connection, to take the necessary measures to allow the accession of the European Union to the European Convention of Human Rights (subject to EU decision);

    3. seek closer working relations with the European Union in areas of common concern, through further development of joint assistance programmes and optimal use of the various institutions of the Council of Europe, such as Venice Commission, CPT, GRECO, ECRI etc.;

    4. develop the Council of Europe -OSCE complementarity, while avoiding duplication with other existing ad-hoc negociation structures, and strengthen concerted action - within their specific mandates - on conflict prevention, [the creation of proper conditions for conflict resolution] and post-conflict reconciliation, as well as peace building and fostering democratic stability;

    5. strengthen co-operation between the Council of Europe and the United Nations, with a view to promoting the universal dimension of the values shared by the Council of Europe member states (in particular the abolition of the death penalty) and realising in Europe the UN Millennium Goals;

    6. adopt a strategy to develop regional co-operation and co-ordination with the organisations and mechanisms working in this area with a view to promoting European integration.


D A Europe in action

    On that basis, the Summit will adopt an action plan taking the form of a series of concrete measures to be undertaken by the Council of Europe with a view to implementing its new mission statement, in close cooperation with other relevant international and regional organisations.

    In this respect, these measures could possibly deal, for example, with the following issues: trafficking in human beings, terrorism, protection of national minorities, money laundering, corruption, organised crime, sexual exploitation of children, the use of internet, free movement of Europeans throughout the continent, migration flows and displacement questions.

    In this context, the Summit could also examine ways and means to:

    - promote freedom of the media as well as equality between women and men and civic participation, especially by young people, through human rights and democratic citizenship education;

    - continue efforts aimed at reinforcing social cohesion and improving the education, health and social security systems of member states, in line with Council of Europe standards, as well as at promoting sustainable development of the continent;

    - step up the Council of Europe's efforts to reinforce intercultural and inter-religious dialogue within European society and between Europe and its neighbouring regions.



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