CM(2006)70 final 12 May 20061
116th Session of the Committee of Ministers
(Strasbourg, 18-19 May 2006)
Follow-up to the Third Summit (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005)
- Implementation of the Action Plan, Chapter V – Progress report
Chapter V – Implementing the Action Plan: a transparent and efficient Council of Europe
“We instruct the Committee of Ministers to take steps to ensure that this Action Plan is rapidly implemented by the various Council of Europe bodies, in conjunction where applicable with other European or international organisations.
As an urgent priority, we task the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General, assisted by independent expertise, to give fresh impetus to the reform process of the Council of Europe’s organisational structures and working methods. Building on efforts already in hand, the process shall aim at an efficient functioning of the Organisation according to its objectives and keeping fully in mind the need for budgetary restraints. Special attention should be paid to initiatives that will further secure transparency, cost-efficiency as well as internal co-operation and knowledge sharing.
This reform process will be subject to regular progress reports to the Committee of Ministers. It will be discussed at the Ministerial Session in May 2006.”
The implementation of Chapter V of the Action Plan requires an overall strategy of far-reaching change to adapt the Council of Europe to its priority tasks. This will therefore ultimately have effects on the structure of the Organisation, on the working methods of the Secretariat and intergovernmental bodies and on human resources policy. Some specific aspects of the reforms will necessitate the use of outside expertise. The whole reform process will have to enjoy the necessary resources in order to be successfully completed.
Certain measures were already decided by the end of 2005 and came into force on 1 January 2006:
- an improvement in the working methods of the Ministers' Deputies and their subordinate groups, so that fewer, better prepared, and therefore more efficient, meetings are held;
- rationalisation of the framework and working methods of intergovernmental committees of experts, which is the first step towards simplification of the overall structure of these committees;
- reform of contractual policy and of Secretariat staff appointment procedures, so as to increase the transparency, flexibility and clarity of human resources management.
Through their responsible subordinate bodies, the Deputies will now apply themselves to more wide-ranging reforms in the following fields, as detailed in the appendix:
- the budget, so as to make it a true planning tool;
- the programme of activities, so that it faithfully reflects the priorities laid down at the Warsaw Summit;
- the Council of Europe's internal organisation, with a view to bringing structures more closely into line with tasks;
- human resources in all its aspects, so as to increase staff mobility and motivation, as well as synergies between departments;
- the transparency of the Organisation both internally and externally.
These reforms, some of which will take longer to implement than others, will be spread over the period 2006 - 2008.
Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. It was declassified at the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers (19 May 2006).