Follow-up Committee on the Third Summit
CM-SUIVI3(2006)2 18 January 20061
Notes on the agenda
Meeting on 19 January, at 3 pm
1. Follow-up to the 3rd Summit: state of affairs and prospects
(CM(2005)166, CM(2005)160 final)
It will be recalled that the Third Summit was the main focus of attention at the 115th session of the Committee of Ministers (Strasbourg, 16-17 November 2005). The ministers’ discussions were based on the report prepared for them by the CM-SUIVI3 (CM(2005)166 final), and the conclusions that they adopted in this regard are reflected in the Session Communiqué (CM(2005)160 final).
On 23 November, at the close of their discussion on the follow-up to be given to the 115th session, the Deputies, inter alia:
– instructed the CM-SUIVI3 to continue its work on follow-up to the Third Summit with a view to the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers (Strasbourg, 18 and 19 May 2006), in liaison with the competent subsidiary groups and committees of experts and with the Committee of Ministers’ partner institutions within and outside the Council of Europe;
– agreed to review regularly the ratification by all member states of Protocol No. 14 to the European Convention on Human Rights within the agreed timeframe and, on the basis of the progress report which the CDDH has been instructed to provide through their Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H), the implementation of the Resolution and the Recommendations adopted at the 114th Session in order to guarantee the effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights, with a view to submitting a full report for the 116th Session;
– agreed to bear the conclusions of the 115th Session and the statements made by the Ministers on that occasion in mind when adopting the Council of Europe’s Programme of Activities and Budget for 2006, and to develop Council of Europe action in the months to come on this basis.
a. Political priorities for Summit follow-up until May 2006
(CM-SUIVI3(2006)3 and 4)
In his letter dated 21 December 2005, the Chairman of the Deputies informed his colleagues of his intentions concerning future work on follow-up to the Third Summit (see appendix). In the light of the information contained in that letter, the CM-SUIVI3 is invited to:
- approve the guidelines proposed by the Chairman of the Deputies, in particular as regards the division of tasks between the CM-SUIVI3 and the competent rapporteur and working groups of the Committee of Ministers;
- identify the main political issues on which the CM-SUIVI3 will focus between now and the 116th Session of the Committee of Ministers (Strasbourg, 18-19 May 2006);
- sketch out, as far as possible, a timetable for this work.
Subject to the above, the Chairman suggests that the following three key issues could be selected here and now:
i. Consolidating the system of human rights protection, which would cover three areas:
· The entry into force of Protocol No. 14, which is one of the priorities of the Romanian Chair and concerning which the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers has written to his colleagues. The state of ratification of Protocol No. 14 will be reviewed at each meeting of the CM-SUIVI3.
· The work of the Group of Wise Persons (an interim report will be submitted for the ministerial session in May; the final report is due by the end of 2006).
· Implementation of all the measures adopted at the 114th session, which will form the subject of a CDDH report for the ministerial session.
ii. Memorandum of understanding with the European Union2
On this point, the objective of the Romanian Chair is, as before, to conclude the MOU at the ministerial session in May, bearing in mind – as recommended – the conclusions of the Juncker report and the political vision that will be provided by the Prime Minister of Luxembourg.
In order to achieve the desired result, the working method could be modelled on the Third Summit negotiations, ie discussions in plenary at each CM-SUIVI3 meeting from February, with intensive informal consultations between meetings. It is important to note the Parliamentary Assembly’s interest in this issue, which was the subject of a recent exchange of letters between the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers and the President of the Parliamentary Assembly.
iii. Democracy and good governance, which would cover:
The Forum for the Future of Democracy was recently the subject of a contribution from the Swedish delegation (“non-paper” of 13 January 2006 set out in CM-SUIVI3(2006)3). This meeting could provide the opportunity for an initial substantive discussion on the Swedish proposals.
b. Updated Roadmap for implementation of the Action Plan
Based on the conclusions of the 115th Session and the information contained in the letter dated 21 December 2005 from the Chairman of the Deputies, the Secretariat has updated the roadmap appended to the message adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 28 September 2005 for all the committees involved in intergovernmental co-operation. This updated roadmap appears in document CM-SUIVI3(2006)1.
The group is invited to take note of it and, if necessary, to complete it. It will be updated at regular intervals by the Secretariat between now and the ministerial session.
2. Recommendation 1712 (2005) of the Parliamentary Assembly on Follow-up to the Third Summit: draft reply
The group is invited to comment on the draft reply prepared by the Secretariat so that it can be forwarded to the Deputies for adoption.
3. Any other business
None for the moment.
4. Date of the next meeting
Proposal from the Chair: Tuesday 21 February 2006 at 3 pm.
Letter from the Chairman of the Deputies dated 21 December 2005
Subject: Follow up to the third Summit: future work
Following the 115th Session of the Committee of Ministers, when Romania succeeded Portugal to the Chair of the Committee, I undertook a number of preliminary consultations and reflections on how to continue the follow-up to the third Summit.
My first conclusion is that the procedures and working methods introduced in June by the Committee of Ministers, under the impetus of the Portuguese Chair, are still fully relevant. In particular:
- the Third Summit Monitoring Committee (CM–SUIVI3) should retain primary responsibility for co-ordinating follow-up action on the decisions taken in Warsaw and continue to be the normal forum for the necessary dialogue on this subject between the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities;
- the "road map" approved by the Committee of Ministers in September and addressed to all the Council of Europe committees active in the field of intergovernmental co-operation is still largely valid, although it should be updated, particularly regarding its timetable;
- the approach to select a limited number of priority issues on which rapid and substantial progress could be made, while entrusting the more specialised aspects of the follow-up to the Summit to the relevant subsidiary bodies and committees, in the general framework of the Council of Europe intergovernmental co-operation, has demonstrated its value. This approach should therefore be continued in preparation for the Committee of Ministers' 116th Session in May 2006.
With these points in mind, I now wish to outline my proposals for the follow-up to the Summit in the coming weeks and months:
- I intend first to hold a meeting of the CM–SUIVI3 in early 20063, which will enable us to take stock of the follow-up to the Summit in the light of the conclusions of the 115th session, the decisions we took on 23 November on the follow-up to that meeting and recent developments, in particular the establishment of a task force on social cohesion, which took place on 14 December. This will enable us to agree on the Committee of Ministers' reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1712 (2005) on the follow-up to the Third Summit and to identify the key issues on which we would focus our efforts in the run-up to the Committee of Ministers' 116th Session, without losing sight of our overall responsibility to implement the Plan of Action in its entirety.
- as has been the practice up to now, in principle the CM–SUIVI3 will retain primary responsibility for following up progress on these key issues, at meetings to be held at regular intervals, for example once a month. This applies to such major political priorities as the long-term effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights, strengthening the Council's role in the field of democracy (particularly through the continued activities of the Forum on the Future of Democracy, launched in Warsaw in November, and work on the role of local and regional authorities in the democratic process), combating terrorism, organised crime and trafficking in human beings, the Council of Europe's action plan for children, implementation of the Council of Europe strategy for developing intercultural dialogue (adopted in Faro in October and endorsed at the 115th Session) and negotiations on the future memorandum of understanding between the Council of Europe and the European Union.
- nevertheless, we should also continue the process of "decentralisation", which has been an integral part of our philosophy for monitoring the action plan from the outset. For example, from January 2006 certain topics that have been dealt with so far by the CM–SUIVI3 could usefully be transferred to the relevant sub-groups of the Committee of Ministers. These would include – besides the decision we have already taken to entrust the GR-H, in conjunction with the CDDH, to prepare the report on the implementation of the May 2004 decisions - : preparation of the pan-European campaign to combat violence against women, which could be assigned to the TC–EG, in conjunction with the CDEG; preparation of the youth campaign "all different, all equal", which could be assigned to the GR-C, in conjunction with the CMJ; and implementation of Part V of the Action Plan, which could be assigned to the GT–REF.INST, in conjunction with the GR–AB and the TC-PROG.
I think that these proposals are consistent with both the need to retain a highly political input to the Summit follow-up and the concern for effectiveness that underlies the new working methods we have just adopted, which come into force on 1 January. I am confident they will receive your approval and I know I can count on your co-operation.
I have therefore instructed the Committee of Ministers secretariat to update the "roadmap" for the follow-up to the third Summit, convene a meeting of the CM–SUIVI3 on 19 January and prepare a draft reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1712. You will receive these documents early in January 2006.
Chairman of the Ministers' Deputies
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.
Note 2 See the letter from the Chairman of the Deputies dated 5 January 2006, forwarding to all Council of Europe member states the text received at the end of 2005 from the outgoing UK Chair of the Council of the European Union. This text is set out in CM-SUIVI3(2006)4.
Note 3 The meeting is scheduled to take place on 19 January 2005.