Notes on the Agenda
CM/Notes/1050/1.7 10 March 20091
1050 Meeting, 11 March 2009
1 General questions
1.7 Election of the Secretary General – Examination of candidatures
CM(2008)167, CM(2008)186, CM(2009)39, CM(2009)41, CM(2009)26rev, CM/Del/Dec(2008)1040/1.7
Regulations relating to the appointment of the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General
and Secretary General of the Assembly having the rank of Deputy Secretary General
To examine the candidatures for the post of Secretary General and to agree upon the formalities for the interviews of candidates.
1. At their 1040th meeting (5 November 2008, item 1.7), the Deputies approved the timetable concerning the procedure for the election of the Secretary General.
2. In accordance with the said timetable, the closing date for the nomination of candidates was set at 6 March 2009. By this date, the following candidatures (by order of presentation) had been received:
- Mr Thorbjørn JAGLAND submitted by the Government of Norway by letter dated 9 October 2008;
- Mr Luc Van den BRANDE, submitted by the Government of Belgium by letter
dated 9 December 2008;
- Mr Mátyás EŎRSI submitted by the Government of Hungary by letter dated 4 March 2009;
- Mr Włodzimierz CIMOSZEWICZ submitted by the Government of Poland by letter dated 5 March 2009.
3. The letters and their accompanying curricula vitae are reproduced in documents CM(2008)167, CM(2008)186, CM(2009)39 and CM(2009)41, respectively.
4. In accordance with the timetable concerning the procedure for the election of the Secretary General2, the Deputies are invited, at the present meeting, to examine the candidatures and, if necessary, to decide to call the candidates for a personal interview by the Committee or a sub-committee appointed for this purpose (Rule 3 of the Rules concerning the appointment to the posts of Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly having the rank of Deputy Secretary General).
5. In accordance with the approved timetable, this interview could take place during the 1054th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies (15 April 2009). As regards the formalities for this interview, the Deputies might wish to take a stand on the following issues:
- the candidates to be informed by the Secretariat of the date for the interview;
- the Secretariat to transmit to the candidates the “Outline for the short listing of candidates (document CM(2009)26 revised);
- invitation to the candidates to outline their views for about fifteen minutes, after which the Deputies may ask them questions;
- length of the interviews, including questions and answers, about one hour per candidate.
6. The Deputies must also decide upon the order in which the candidates are be interviewed.
7. Once these formalities have been agreed, and possibly produced in the form of a summary by the Chairman, the Secretariat shall notify candidates of them.
8. It is also recalled that the Deputies have already agreed to consult the Assembly at a meeting of the Joint Committee, scheduled at the April Session of the Parliamentary Assembly (27-30 April 2009). The Ministers will be called upon, at their 119th Session (12 May 2009), to adopt a Resolution containing the names of candidates to be forwarded to the Assembly with a view to the election by the Assembly at its June Session (22–26 June 2009), in conformity with Article 5 of the procedure of appointment.
9. At the request of the Bureau, the Secretariat drew up a “state of play” after the 1049bis meeting, which is appended to these notes.
1050th meeting – 11 March 2009
Election of the Secretary General – Examination of candidatures
(CM(2008)167, CM(2008)186, CM(2009)39, CM(2009)41, CM(2009)26rev and CM/Del/Dec(2008)1040/1.7
Regulations relating to the appointment of the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General
and Secretary General of the Assembly having the rank of Deputy Secretary General)
1. agreed to invite the candidates for the post of Secretary General to an interview during their 1054th meeting (15 April 2009);
2. instructed the Secretariat to inform the candidates of the formalities for the said interviews.
Election of the Secretary General –
“State of play” after the 1049bis meeting of the Deputies
The Bureau asked the Secretariat to prepare a short document, outlining the “state of play” after the 1049bis Deputies’ meeting.
Proposal by [a majority of] the Bureau and amendments
The [majority of] the Bureau had submitted to the Deputies document CM/Bur/Del(2009)9, containing a draft procedure for drawing up the list of candidates to be submitted to the Assembly. Five countries tabled amendments to the draft.
While one of the amendments was carried, the draft as amended failed to gather the required majority of Article 20.d. As a consequence, no decision was taken.
Since the Deputies did not adopt any specific procedure, they are now called to operate on the basis of the existing texts applicable to them, i.e.
- Article 36.b of the Statute:
“The Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General shall be appointed by the Consultative Assembly on the recommendation of the Committee of Ministers”
- The Regulations relating to the appointment of the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly having the rank of Deputy Secretary General, in particular Articles 3, 4 and 5:
“3. Preliminary examination of candidatures by the Committee of Ministers
The Committee of Ministers shall examine the list of candidates. The latter may be summoned to an interview by the Committee itself or by a Sub-Committee appointed for the purpose.
4. Consultation of the Assembly by the Committee of Ministers
Before transmitting to the Consultative (Parliamentary) Assembly a recommendation for the appointment of any one of the three senior officials of the Secretariat General, the Committee of Ministers shall consult the Assembly on the subject through the medium of the Joint Committee.
This consultation shall take place, unless otherwise agreed to by the Joint Committee, not less than thirty days before the date of the opening of the Session during which the Assembly will be called upon to make the appointment.
5. Nomination of candidates
a. Unless it has been otherwise agreed after discussion in the Joint Committee, the Committee of Ministers shall draw up a list containing at least two names, which shall be submitted to the Assembly.
b. In the case of candidates for the posts of Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General, the Committee of Ministers shall be free to list the names in order of preference, should it so desire. “
Decisions taken at the 117th Ministerial Session (CM(2007)PV Addendum):
“The Committee of Ministers …
ii) agrees, concerning the procedure for election of the Secretary General, that it will henceforth present to the Parliamentary Assembly candidates who enjoy a high level of recognition, are well-known among their peers and the people of Europe, and have previously served as Heads of State or Government, or held senior ministerial office or similar status relevant to the post, and asks the governments of member states to present candidates who match this profile;
iii) asks the High-Level Follow-Up Group to present regular reports on the Juncker recommendations at the future Ministerial Sessions.”
Decision taken at the 1037th Deputies’ meeting (CM/Del/Dec(2008)1037/1.7):
1. fixed 6 March 2009 as the closing date for submission of candidates for the post of Secretary General, it being understood that the candidates should comply with the criteria set by the Ministers at their 117th Session;”
Decision taken at the 1047th Deputies’ meeting (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1047/1.6):
“The Deputies adopted the “Outline for the short-listing of candidates” for the post of Secretary General, based on the criteria of the Statute, of the Regulations and of the decisions taken at the 117th Ministerial Session, as it appears in document CM(2009)26 rev.”
Decisions to be taken at the 1050th meeting and at successive meetings
At the 1050th meeting, the Deputies are invited to decide whether to hold interviews with the candidates at their 1054th meeting on 15 April, and to agree on certain practical aspects of the interviews.
Either at the 1054th meeting, or at the following meeting (1055th on 22 April), the Deputies will have to draw up the draft list of candidates to be submitted to the Assembly.
The outcome of these discussions, and any decisions taken, will be brought to the attention of the Joint Committee in the week 27-30 April in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the Regulations.
Having heard the Joint Committee, at the 1056th meeting (6 May), the Deputies will be invited to prepare the draft Resolution for submission to the Ministers.
The Resolution drawing up the list and transmitting it to the Assembly will be adopted by the Ministers in Madrid on 12 May, by the majority of Article 20.d of the Statute.
Majorities required for decisions
Since the Deputies did not approve any specific set of rules, they shall apply the ordinary rules.
In this context, it is recalled that Article 20 of the Statute dictates the majorities required for the different kinds of decisions that the Committee of Ministers might be called to take.
In particular, paragraph a. enumerates six cases for which unanimity is required.
Under paragraph b., “questions arising under the rules of procedure … may be decided by a simple majority of representatives entitled to sit on the Committee”.
Decisions for which no specific majority is foreseen are governed by paragraph d. which prescribes for “all other resolutions … a two-thirds majority of the representative casting a vote and of a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee”.
Article 20.d also indicates that the same majority applies “in case of doubt as to which paragraph of this Article applies”. This is particularly relevant, should there be a doubt in the Committee as to whether a proposed decision is a procedural one (requiring simple majority) or a substantive one (requiring 2/3 of votes cast plus simple majority).
Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 2 • (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1040/1.7) : 1050th meeting ( (11 March 2009): examination of the candidatures and, if necessary, decision to call the candidates for interview by the Committee;
Note • 1054th meeting (15 April 2009): possible interview of candidates by the Committee;
Note • Second Part of the 2009 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly (27-30 April 2009) (exact date to be agreed with the Assembly in due time): consultation of the Assembly at a meeting of the Joint Committee;
Note • 119th Session (5 May 2009): adoption of the resolution which would then be forwarded to the Parliamentary Assembly with a view to the appointment of the Secretary General.