Ministers’ Deputies

CM Documents

CM(2010)OJ1 final 5 May 20101



120th Session of the Committee of Ministers
(Strasbourg, 11 May 2010)

Draft annotated agenda



Programme of the 120th Session of the Committee of Ministers

9.30: Formal Session

Draft agenda

1. Adoption of the agenda

2. Follow-up to the High-level Conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights (Interlaken, 18-19 February 2010)

3. Action taken by the Council of Europe following the conflict in Georgia

4. Reform process of the Council of Europe

5. Relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union

6. Strategic role and responsibility of the Council of Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina

7. Other business

8. Transfer of the Chairmanship between Switzerland and "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

- Report of the outgoing Chairmanship
- Priorities of the incoming Chairmanship

9. Date and venue of the next Session

1. pm : Informal working lunch (The strategic role and responsibility of the Council of Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina)

End of the session

3. pm: Press conference given by the outgoing and incoming Chairs of the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General

4 pm: Debriefing for delegations

***

General comments

In the interest of efficiency, it is suggested that decisions under items 2, 4, 5 and 7 be adopted without debate.

Ministers will be able to speak on items on the agenda during the formal and the informal sessions. It is recalled that national position papers containing detailed statements may be distributed, either to provide a more detailed statement on an issue than the time allocated for an oral statement would allow, or for delegations not represented at ministerial level to be able to give their views on the topics under discussion.

It is recalled that documents should be submitted in one of the official languages, ie. English or French.

In order that the time-table is respected, the speaking time will be limited to three minutes during the formal Session. There will be light and sound signals in the room to indicate when the speaking time has come to an end.

Delegations are requested to inform the Chair of the intention of their Minister to speak in the formal Session so that the debate can be well organised and structured.

During the informal working lunch, simultaneous interpretation will be provided in English and French only.

Item 1 of the agenda Adoption of the agenda

Item 2 of the agenda Follow-up to the High-level Conference
on the future of the European Court of Human Rights
(Interlaken, 18-19 February 2010)

1. The member states of the Council of Europe, represented by their Ministers responsible for matters relating to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), met on 18 and 19 February 2010 in Interlaken, in the framework of the High-level Conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights organised by the Swiss Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers.

2. The Conference unanimously adopted the Interlaken Declaration, by which the member states reaffirmed their commitment to guarantee the rights defined in the Convention and to make its supervisory mechanism as effective as possible; showing their support for the efforts made by the Court to improve its efficiency in the short term on the basis of existing texts; and entering into a longer-term structural reform process. An action plan aiming at embodying these aims is attached to the Declaration.

3. The Ministers’ Deputies agreed to steer the follow-up process to the Interlaken Declaration as a whole and set up an open-ended ad hoc working party under their authority (GT-SUIVI.Interlaken) with a mandate of two years. The Parliamentary Assembly, the Court, the Commissioner for Human Rights and other Council of Europe bodies may be invited to participate in meetings of the working party, as appropriate. The Ministers’ Deputies invited the working party to take into account in its work the Secretary General’s document on the modalities of implementation of the Interlaken Declaration as a whole (document CM(2010)31). They further invited the working party to plan its work in such a way as to ensure that the deadlines set out in the Interlaken Declaration could be met and with due regard to the deadlines set in the initial ad hoc terms of reference given to the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH).

4. As a matter of priority, the working party has been invited to complete the examination of the existing proposals of the CDDH for measures that do not require amendment to the Convention as well as those appearing in the Interlaken Declaration with a view to submitting in due course possible draft decisions for the present Session of the Committee of Ministers (11 May 2010). To this end the group has met on three occasions (13 and 23 April and on 4 May 2010). On the basis of the group’s work, the Deputies approved the draft decisions as they appear below which the Ministers are invited to adopt.

The Ministers are invited to adopt the following decisions without debate:

“The Committee of Ministers:

1. endorsed the Declaration and Action Plan unanimously adopted at the High-level Conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights held in Interlaken on 18-19 February 2010, paid tribute to the Swiss authorities for this initiative and expressed its determination to implement the Interlaken outcome in a timely manner;

2. recalled the shared responsibility between the States Parties, the Court and the Committee of Ministers for the full and effective implementation of the Interlaken Declaration and Action Plan, as well as the subsidiary nature of the system of the European Convention on Human Rights;

3. welcomed the first steps made by the Court to follow up the Interlaken Declaration and invited the Court to take further steps to this end;

4. encouraged States Parties to implement the measures in the Action Plan addressed to them, in particular by providing effective remedies in case of violation of the Convention rights and freedoms and taking measures to enhance knowledge of the Convention system and the Court’s case-law;

5. encouraged member states to respond favourably to the call for secondments of national lawyers, particularly judges, to the Registry of the Court;

6. recalling the fundamental importance of the right to individual petition, encouraged the Court to pursue its efforts to provide better information about the Convention system and invited the Secretary General to investigate possible means of providing comprehensive and objective information to potential applicants to the Court on the Convention and the Court’s case-law, in particular on the application procedures and admissibility, including through independent national human rights institutions or Ombudspersons. The Committee invited the Secretary General to make proposals to this end by December 2010;

7. also invited the Secretary General to make proposals by the end of 2010 on how to grant the Court, in the interest of its efficient functioning, the necessary level of administrative autonomy within the Council of Europe;

8. reaffirmed that prompt and effective execution of the judgments and decisions delivered by the Court is essential for the credibility and effectiveness of the Convention system and a determining factor in reducing the pressure on the Court. This requires the joint efforts of member States and the Committee of Ministers. The Committee instructed its Deputies to step up their efforts to make execution supervision more effective and transparent and to bring this work to a conclusion by December 2010;

9. instructed its Deputies to pursue the follow-up to the Interlaken Declaration and Action Plan in a swift and effective manner, through an open and constructive dialogue and engagement with all relevant stakeholders, to ensure that the agreed deadlines are met;

10. welcomed the intention of the future Turkish chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers to organise in April 2011 a further High-level Conference on the future of the European Court of Human Rights to review the progress made in the follow-up to the Interlaken Declaration and, as appropriate, provide further guidance for its successful completion;

11. welcomed the forthcoming entry into force of Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights on 1 June 2010 and the preparations made by the European Court of Human Rights for its implementation.”

5. In addition, in view of the important role of education for the promotion of knowledge on the European Convention on Human Rights and the fundamental rights enshrined therein, the Ministers are invited to adopt Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)7 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and to take note of the Explanatory Memorandum thereto (document CM(2010)32 (extract) and CM(2010)32 add).

The Ministers are invited to adopt the following decision without debate:

“The Committee of Ministers adopted Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)7 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education, as it appears in Appendix … to the present volume of Decisions and took note of the Explanatory Memorandum thereto (CM(2010)32 add).”

Item 3 of the agenda Action taken by the Council of Europe
following the conflict in Georgia

6. The Committee of Ministers examines on a regular basis the situation in Georgia. The issue appears on the agenda of each meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies. On 18 November 2009, at the handover meeting of the chairmanship between Slovenia and Switzerland, the Ministers’ Deputies took stock of the Organisation’s action since the 119th Ministerial Session on the basis of the report by the Slovenian Chair of the Committee of Ministers and held a discussion on the direction to be taken in continuing this action.

Item 4 of the agenda Reform process of the Council of Europe

7. The Secretary General has launched in January 2010 a wide reform process of the Organisation (document DD(2010)22 rev), which aims at enhancing its political role and consolidating its action in achieving democratic security and greater unity in Europe. The Ministers are invited to take note of the state of progress on this issue, in the light of the report of the Secretary General on the implementation of the reform process as well as on his proposals on the priorities for 2011 (see documents DD(2010)213 and CM(2010)42 rev).

The Ministers are invited to adopt the following decision without debate:

“The Committee of Ministers took note of the report by the Secretary General on the implementation of the reform process.”

8. Furthermore, the 16th Session of the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government held in Utrecht (Netherlands), in November 2009, adopted a Declaration on the steps and measures to strengthen co-operation further to the report by Ms Mari Kiviniemi, the Minister of Public Administration and Local Government of Finland on “how to enhance the work of the Council of Europe in the field of local and regional democracy?”. This declaration gave rise in particular to a proposal regarding the establishment of a partnership between the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government. The Ministers are invited to consider this proposal at the present ministerial Session.

The Ministers are invited to adopt the following decision without debate:

“The Committee of Ministers,

Having regard to the declaration made by the 16th session of the Conference of Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government (Utrecht, 16-17 November 2009) and the wish expressed therein to develop proposals for a partnership between the Conference and the Committee of Ministers, instructed the Deputies, with the input of the European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR), to initiate a dialogue with the Conference in order to formulate proposals and to report back at the 121st Ministerial session.

This decision has no wider implications on the relationship between the Committee of Ministers and the specialised Ministerial Conferences and the issue of this relationship should be touched on again in the framework of the future discussions on the reform of the Council of Europe.”

Item 5 of the agenda Relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union

9. At the Warsaw Summit, the Heads of State and Government of Council of Europe member states adopted guidelines for strengthening co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union. They agreed that a Memorandum of Understanding should be drawn up between the two organisations and invited Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, to prepare, in his personal capacity, a report on the relationship between the Council of Europe and the European Union.

10. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Council of Europe and the European Union was elaborated by the Ministers’ Deputies and was signed at the 117th Ministerial Session in May 2007. Mr Jean-Claude Juncker transmitted to Heads of State and Government, on 10 April 2006, the report that he had been requested to prepare by the Warsaw Summit, entitled "Council of Europe – European Union: A sole ambition for the European continent".

11. At the 118th Ministerial Session, in May 2008, the Ministers took stock of the implementation of these documents. In May 2009, at the 119th Session of the Committee of Ministers, the Ministers considered an overall report on the co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union, including measures taken regarding the Juncker report. On that occasion, the Ministers welcomed the progress in the co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union. They encouraged the further development of this co-operation along the lines of the priorities for future action adopted in November 2008 (document CM(2008)169) and asked their Deputies to continue to follow this matter in order to prepare a comprehensive report, in close co-operation with the European Union, in time for its 120th Session of the Committee of Ministers.

12. The Ministers are invited to take note of the state of progress of co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union in the light of a comprehensive report prepared by their Deputies (document CM(2010)52 final and CM(2010)52 add final) and taking account of the new impetus given by the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.

The Ministers are invited to adopt the following decisions without debate:

“The Committee of Ministers

1. welcomed the substantial progress in the co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union based on the Memorandum of Understanding, as reflected in the report prepared in accordance with the decisions adopted at their 119th Session (documents CM(2010)52 final, CM(2010)52 add final), and emphasised the importance of ongoing and forward looking co-operation. The Committee of Ministers will continue to give priority to the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding;

2. noted that the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights on 1 December 2009 has created new opportunities to enhance further the values-based partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Union, with a view to achieving a strong and coherent system of human rights protection in Europe; it welcomed the commitment of the European Union to accede to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), confirmed its own commitment to this process, facilitated by the entry into force on 1 June 2010 of Protocol 14 to the ECHR, and called for the early completion of negotiations and a rapid accession;

3. recalled that co-operation should also ensure coherence in the drafting of Council of Europe standards and European Union legislation, through consultations at an early stage; it called for stronger synergies between Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms and the European Union, in particular in the context of the implementation of its Stockholm programme;

4. noted with satisfaction the co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union in the countries participating in the European Neighbourhood Policy, in particular those in its Eastern Partnership, or the Enlargement Process;

5. decided to explore, where appropriate and in close co-operation with the European Union, how the accession of the European Union to relevant Council of Europe Conventions may be facilitated, and welcomed the further promotion of Council of Europe standards by the European Union in its relations with third countries;

6. welcomed the increase in the volume of Joint Programmes between the Council of Europe and the European Union, which are an efficient co-operation tool to support the reform agenda of the partner countries and thus to promote and protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe; noted that the current reform of the Council of Europe’s external presence should have a positive impact on the design and implementation of Joint Programmes;

7. encouraged the further development of dialogue and co-operation between all relevant bodies of the two organisations, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, in particular, between the Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Union, in order to foster their strategic and complementary partnership;

8. encouraged the continuation of co-operation in the field of intercultural dialogue and social cohesion on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding.”

Item 6 of the agenda Strategic role and responsibility of the Council of Europe:
Bosnia and Herzegovina

13. The Chair and Vice-chair of the Committee of Ministers will make a Declaration on Bosnia and Herzegovina. The text of the Declaration will be issued on 11 May 2010 under the reference CM(2010)59 and will subsequently be appended to the Minutes of the Session. The Ministers may wish to take note of this fact.

14. An informal working lunch to discuss “The strategic role and responsibility of the Council of Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina” will be held at 1 pm.

15. At 4 pm, there will be a debriefing for delegations during which the outgoing and incoming Chairs will present their summing-up on the informal discussions.

Item 7 of the agenda Other business

a. Draft Council of Europe Convention on the Counterfeiting of Medical Products and Similar Crimes involving Threats to Public Health

16. The Ministers are invited to take note of the progress made in the elaboration of the Council of Europe Convention on the Counterfeiting of Medical Products and Similar Crimes involving Threats to Public Health.

The Ministers are invited to adopt the following decisions without debate:

“The Committee of Ministers welcomed the progress made under the Swiss Chairmanship in the preparation of the Council of Europe Convention on the Counterfeiting of Medical Products and Similar Crimes involving Threats to Public Health and encouraged its relevant bodies to finalise their work with a view to opening the Convention for signature before the end of this year.”

b. Other questions

17. Under this item Ministers may briefly raise general or specific topics to be notified beforehand to the Chair.

Item 8 of the agenda Transfer of the Chairmanship between Switzerland and
"the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

a. Report of the outgoing Chairmanship

18. A report on the outgoing Chairmanship’s achievements (see document CM/Inf(2010)18) will be presented to participants.

* * *

19. Under this item, Switzerland will officially hand over the chairmanship to “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” as the incoming Chair. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the incoming Chair will take the presidential seat.

b. Priorities of the incoming Chairmanship

20. A written report on the priorities of the incoming Chair for the six months ahead, will be made available to participants (see document CM/Inf(2010)19).

Item 9 of the agenda Date and venue of the next Session

21. Under this item, the Ministers are invited to agree that:

- the 121st Session of the Committee of Ministers will be held in May 2011, on a date to be confirmed;

- the handover of the chairmanship from “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” to Turkey will take place at a meeting to be held in Strasbourg in November 2010.


1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified at the 120th Session of the Committee of Ministers (11 May 2010).



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