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CM(2007)5 11 January 20071
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988 Meeting, 21 February 2007
6 Social cohesion


6.2 European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS)

Draft terms of reference of the European Committee for Social Cohesion

Item to be prepared by the Rapporteur Group for Social and Health Questions (GR-SOC) at its meeting on 1 February 2007

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Committee Name

European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS)

Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47

Yes

Programme of Activities: project(s)

· 2004/DG3/37 Promoting the European Code of Social Security
· 2004/DG3/149 Implementation of the Social Cohesion Strategy
· 2007/DG3/1135 Strengthening social cohesion by avoiding exclusion and growing disparities
· 2007/DG3/1139 Rethinking family patterns in the best interests of the child

Project relevance

    1. Chapter III of the Third Summit Action Plan : Building a more human and inclusive Europe.
    2. Contribution to core values, namely the development of social rights as part of human rights and facilitating access to these rights, particularly by vulnerable groups of population.
    3. Political justification/framework : the CDCS plays a key role in the definition, elaboration and setting up of a European social cohesion strategy and will provide a follow-up to the conclusions and recommendations of the High-Level Task Force.

Project added value

    · The Council of Europe is the only European organisation setting standards in areas related to social security (European Code of Social Security and other legal instruments in this field).
    · The CDCS has been a pioneer in defining social cohesion and developing tools in this field (e.g. Methodological Guide on the concerted development of social cohesion indicators). The current and future challenges are analysed by the CDCS and recommendations and guidelines are drawn up to assist member states in adjust their social policies accordingly.
    · The CDCS has developed and maintains a pan-European approach to co-operation in social matters.

Financial information

Annual budget 2007– € 73.400 (= one plenary meeting (and, if possible, a second plenary meeting of one day in November in order to examine the report of the Task Force) and two Bureau meetings)

1. Name of committee: EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL COHESION (CDCS)

2. Type of committee: Steering Committee

3. Source of terms of reference: Committee of Ministers

4. Terms of reference:

Having regard to:

- The Declaration and the Action Plan adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe at their Third Summit (Warsaw, 16-17 May 2005), in particular Chapter III (Building a more humane and inclusive Europe);

- The Council of Europe Conventions, Resolutions and Recommendations relevant to social cohesion, in particular, the European Social Charter and Council of Europe instruments on social security;

- The Strategy for Social cohesion;

- The Recommendations of the 28th session of the Conference of the European Ministers responsible for family affairs, (Lisbon, 16-17 May 2006);

- The Decisions of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in the field of social cohesion;

- The Recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in the field of social cohesion.

Within the framework of the Programme of Activities, under the Programmes

    - IV.1.2. “European Code of Social Security”,
    - IV.1.3. “Promoting Social Cohesion in Europe”,

- IV.2.1. “Building a Europe for and with children”,
the Committee is instructed to :

i. implement and develop the Strategy for Social Cohesion as approved by the Committee of Ministers; provide follow-up to the conclusions and recommendations of the High-Level Task Force on Social Cohesion established pursuant to the Warsaw Action Plan;

ii. co-ordinate, guide and stimulate co-operation between the member states with a view to promoting the social standards embodied in the European Social Charter, the Revised European Social Charter and other Council of Europe instruments, in particular those mentioned in sub-paragraphs 4.iv. and v. below;

iii. develop and promote integrated multidisciplinary responses to challenges posed by ageing of European population and other social and economic developments;

iv. execute the terms of reference derived from the following treaties:

- the European Code of Social Security and its Protocol;
- the European Code of Social Security (revised);
- the European Convention on Social Security and its Supplementary Agreement;

v. examine the functioning and implementation of the following treaties, with a view to adapting them and improving their practical application:

    - the European Interim Agreement on Social Security Schemes relating to Old Age, Invalidity and Survivors, and Protocol thereto;
    - the European Interim Agreement on Social Security other than Schemes for Old Age, Invalidity and Survivors, and Protocol thereto;
    - the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance, and Protocol thereto;
    - the European Agreement on "au pair" Placement;
    - the European Convention on the Social Protection of Farmers;

vi. maintain regular exchange of views, information and good practice on issues relating to social cohesion
with Council of Europe member States, as well as with relevant international organisations. 

5. Composition of the Committee

5.A. Members

The governments of member States are entitled to appoint representatives with the following qualifications: senior national civil servants having responsibility for the planning, development and implementation of policies relevant to the work of the Committee and appointed by their governments to co-ordinate at national level all elements of government policy relevant to the work of the Committee.

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses for one representative per member State (two in the case of the State whose representative has been elected Chairperson).

5.B. Participants

i. The following committees may each send a representative to meetings of the Committee without the right to vote and at the charge of their administrative budgets:

- European Committee for Social Rights (ECSR)
- Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter (T-SG)
- European Committee on Migration (CDMG)
- European Health Committee (CDSP)
- Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)
- Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG)
- European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ)
- Committee on the Rehabilitation and Integration of People with Disabilities of the Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field (CD-P-RR).

ii. The Parliamentary Assembly may send representatives to the meetings of the Committee without the right to vote and at the charge of its own administrative budget.

iii. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe may send representatives to the meetings of the Committee without the right to vote and at the charge of its own administrative budget.

iv. The Partial Agreement Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (Group Pompidou) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) may send representatives to the meetings of the Committee without the right to vote and at the charge of their own administrative budgets.

v. The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe may send representatives to the meetings of the Committee without the right to vote and at the charge of its own administrative body.

5.C Other participants

i. The European Commission may send a representative to the meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.  

ii. States having observer status with the Council of Europe (Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico, United States of America) may send a representative to the meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:  

iii. The following international organisations may send a representative to the meetings of the Committee without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- International Labour Office (ILO)
- European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
- European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
- Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederations of Europe (UNICE)

6. Working Methods and Structures

The working structures of the Committee will be:

- a Bureau composed of 11 members from the Council of Europe member States
including the Chairperson and Vice-chairperson,

- subordinate committees for the execution of the terms of reference ,

      - the Committee shall hold regular exchanges of views with the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) and the Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter (T-SG). It shall also work in cooperation with other relevant Council of Europe bodies and may proceed, within the limits of its budget, to the hearing of experts and of personalities if necessary.

7. Duration

These terms of reference will come to and end on 31 December 2009.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.


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