1073rd meeting – 9 and 14 December 2009

Appendix 12
(Item 6.1b)

Terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on Social Security (CS-SS)

Fact sheet

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts on Social Security (CS-SS)

Compliance with Resolution Res(2005)47:

YES

Programme of Activities: project(s)

Project IV.1.2.1 – 2008/DG3/1380, Promoting the European Code of Social Security

Project relevance:

Third Summit Action Plan Chapters

Chapter I.4 – “Ensuring compliance of the commitments made by member states and promoting political dialogue”

Note Chapter III.1 – “Ensuring social cohesion”

Contribution to core values

As the primary forum for the protection and promotion of human rights in Europe, the Council of Europe’s approach to social security and social protection at large is primarily a “human rights approach”, based on promoting social rights as an integral component of human rights through such major instruments as the European Social Charter and the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Code of Social Security lays down effective guarantees of the minimum level of protection, thereby safeguarding the dignity of the human person.

The Committee of Experts on Social Security (CS-SS) is the key element in the system of supervision and promotion of the Code and the Protocol established by the Council of Europe.

Committee of Ministers’ decisions

As regards the proposals for improving the procedure for monitoring the implementation of the European Code of Social Security, the CS-SS holds an annual exchange of views on:

- the measures taken by the Contracting Parties to give effect to the resolutions addressed to them by the Committee of Ministers;

- the state of ratification of the European Code of Social Security, notably on the basis of reports from member states that have either not ratified it, or not ratified it fully, or that have not ratified the Protocol and the revised Code.

Consolidation, promotion, implementation of Council of Europe standards

The CS-SS is a monitoring committee responsible for supervising the application of the Code, which includes examining conclusions of the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations concerning annual reports of the Contracting Parties submitted under Article 74 of the Code, as well as the conclusions of the Group of Consultants responsible for examining national reports on the non-accepted Parts of the Code submitted under Article 76 of the Code by the Contracting Parties.

Thereafter, the CS-SS proposes draft resolutions to the Committee of Ministers on the application of the Code and the Protocol.

Relevance to Council of Europe country strategies and country-specific needs

The Committee has also increased its efforts to promote the ratification of the Code and its Protocol, particularly in the framework of the programme of assistance to countries seeking to bring their legislation into conformity with the instruments in question.

Project added value:

Council of Europe as leading agency, most important facilitator

The minimum standards of the Code and the higher standards of the Protocol remain the reference instrument in Europe to build a whole social security system. This has particular relevance due to the fact that the European Union does not set minimum norms on social security. Most of the legislative provisions within the EU relates to the co-ordination of social security.

Possibility of partnerships with other international organisations

The control of the implementation of the social security standards is based on institutional co-operation between the Council of Europe and the ILO. The overall aim of this co-operation is to combine efforts in promoting their standards and to avoid divergences in the interpretation of international standards.

Reasons for entrusting this Committee with these specific tasks

The Code and its Protocol lay down effective minimum technical standards and substantiate the right to social security enshrined in Article 12 of the European Social Charter and of the revised Charter.
The system of supervision and promotion of the Code established by the Council of Europe fulfils the crucial function of maintaining social protection in Europe at the highest level in the world and serves as an effective instrument for progressive development of the social security systems of the European States.

Financial information:

Committee’s annual budget: €50 000
Number of meetings: 1 annual 3 day meeting
Number of participants: 58
Number of participants whose travel and subsistence expenses are borne by the budget of the Committee: 49: 47 members, 1 chairperson and 1 representative of ILO.

Terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on Social Security (CS-SS)

1.

Name of Committee:

Committee of Experts on Social Security (CS-SS)

2.

Type of Committee:

Committee of Experts

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Committee of Ministers upon the proposal of the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS)

4.

Terms of reference:

 

Having regard to:

Resolution Res(2005)47 on committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods ;

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 Chapters I.4 “Ensuring compliance of the commitments made by member states and promoting political dialogue” and III.1 “Ensuring social cohesion”;

the Final Declaration of the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Social Cohesion (Moscow, 26-27 February 2009);

the Council of Europe conventions, resolutions and recommendations relevant to social security, in particular, the European Social Charter and the Revised European Social Charter;

the Council of Europe specific conventions on social security, namely the:

 

- European Code of Social Security and its Protocol;
- European Code of Social Security (revised);
- European Interim Agreement on Social Security Schemes relating to Old Age, Invalidity and Survivors and Protocol thereto;
- European Interim Agreement on Social Security other than Schemes for Old Age, Invalidity and Survivors, and Protocol thereto;
- European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance, and Protocol thereto;
- European Convention on Social Security via its Supplementary Agreement;

 

Under the authority of the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS) and in relation with the implementation of Project 2008/DG3/1380 – “Promoting the European Code of Social Security” of the Programme of Activities, the Committee is instructed to:

i.

examine the functioning and implementation of the above-mentioned instruments on social security, with a view to adapting them and improving their practical application;

ii.

supervise the application of the European Code of Social Security (Article 74) and examine the conclusions of the Group of Consultants on the non-ratified provisions of the Code (Article 76);

iii.

analyse the conclusions of the control mechanism(s) of the European Code of Social Security so as to identify needs and priorities at national level, with a view to suggesting concrete solutions;

iv.

promote the ratification of the social security instruments mentioned above particularly assisting member states wishing to ratify these instruments in the examination of the legal, financial and administrative implications of ratification;

v.

promote co-ordination of social security schemes;

vi.

take stock of problems that states have in meeting specific provisions of these legal instruments by providing, notably, the necessary technical assistance with a view to suggesting possible measures for overcoming the above-mentioned problems;

vii.

develop the knowledge of social security instruments through promotional activities, inter alia, organisation of colloquia, study visits, training courses, etc;

viii.

study the evolution of national social security legislation, observe pan-European trends and developments in the social security field and prepare, for the attention of the CDCS, information on current issues and best practices;

ix.

deal with any other question relating to international social security at the request of the CDCS.

5.

Composition of the Committee:

5.A.

Members

Governments of member states are entitled to appoint representatives in the field of social security and with the following qualifications: senior national officials in the fields covered by the present terms of reference.

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of one representative from each member state (two in the case of the state whose representative has been elected Chair).

5.B.

Other participants

i.

The European Union may send representatives to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii.

The states with observer status with the Council of Europe (Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico and United States of America) may send representatives to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

iii.

The following intergovernmental organisations may send representatives to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:1

- International Labour Office (ILO);*
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD);
- International Social Security Association (ISSA).

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of one representative of ILO organisation who will participate in the meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote.

iv.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) may send representatives to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

5.C.

Observers

 

The following non-member states may send representatives to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- Australia;
- New Zealand.

6.

Working methods and structures:

 

The CS-SS adopts its conclusions on the application of the European Code of Social Security and its Protocol and transmits them directly to the Committee of Ministers, and to the CDCS for information.

The Committee may, within the limits of budgetary appropriations, have recourse where appropriate to specialists or experts, particularly from other Council of Europe bodies or international organisations and from the academic world, on identified subjects connected with the areas of competence of the Committee.

7.

Duration:

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2012.

Note 1 Subject to special arrangements applicable to states or organisations marked by *.


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