Ministers’ Deputies
Notes on the Agenda

CM/Notes/1081/1.6 22 February 20101

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1081 Meeting, 31 March 2010
1 General questions

1.6 Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly -
Procedure for election

Reference documents
DD(2010)78

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Action

To adopt the timetable for the procedure of the election of the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly.

1. The appointment of the Secretary General of the Assembly is governed by 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, which appear in appendix to these Notes.

2. Under Article 8.a of the Regulations, the Secretary General of the Assembly is appointed for a period of five years.

3. The term of office of the present Secretary General of the Assembly, Mr Mateo SORINAS, will expire on 31 January 2011.

4. Consequently, it is necessary to start the procedure for the appointment to the post of Secretary General of the Assembly.

5. The proposed timetable takes account of the wish of the Parliamentary Assembly to elect the Secretary General of the Assembly during its October 2010 part-Session (4-8 October 2010). It has been drawn up in conformity with Regulations mentioned above.

Financing assured: YES

DRAFT DECISION

1081st meeting – 31 March 2010

Item 1.6

Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly
Procedure for election
(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, DD(2010)78)

Decision

The Deputies approved the following timetable concerning the procedure for the election of the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly:

21 May 2010: closing date for the submission of candidates;

9 June 2010 (1087th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies): preliminary examination of candidatures by the Deputies;

24 June 2010: consultation with the Parliamentary Assembly in the Joint Committee2;

7 July 2010 (1090th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies) adoption of a resolution containing the list of the names of the candidates or name of one candidate3;

4-8 October 2010 (4th part session of the Parliamentary Assembly): election.

Appendix

REGULATIONS4
relating to the appointment of the Secretary General,
Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly
having the rank of Deputy Secretary General5

1. Submission of candidatures

a. When a vacancy occurs in any of the three senior posts of the Secretariat General, appointments to which are made by the Consultative (Parliamentary) Assembly on the recommendation of the Committee of Ministers, or in the case provided for in clause 8.b below, candidates may be proposed to the Committee of Ministers:

i. by one or more Member Governments;

    ii. by the Secretary General, in respect of the posts of Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly.

Furthermore, when the post of Secretary General of the Consultative (Parliamentary) Assembly falls vacant, or in the case provided for in clause 8.b, proposals may be submitted to the Committee of Ministers by one or more groups of Representatives to the Consultative (Parliamentary) Assembly; they should bear not less than five and not more than ten signatures.

The Secretary General may only propose candidates who are already permanent or temporary members of the Secretariat General.

Candidates from the Secretariat General may also be sponsored by one or more Member Governments, provided that in the case of the Deputy Secretary General or Secretary General of the Consultative (Parliamentary) Assembly the Secretary General has been previously consulted and has given his assent.

b. Member Governments and Assembly Representatives shall send their proposals to the Secretary General, who will forward them, together with his own, to the Committee of Ministers.

2. Criteria determining the choice of candidates

The following criteria shall determine the choice of candidates:

a. The recruitment of persons of the highest ability and integrity and suitability for the post to be filled.

b. The qualifications and experience of persons already employed by the Council of Europe shall be taken into consideration, so that members of the Secretariat may have reasonable prospects of promotion.

c. The desirability of ensuring an equitable geographical allocation of appointments among nationals of the Member States subject to the overriding interests of efficiency. No office in the Secretariat shall be considered to be the prerogative of any particular Member State.

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.

6. Procedure in the Bureau

The proposals submitted to the Assembly by the Committee of Ministers shall be examined by the Bureau, which may summon candidates to an interview. The Bureau shall then transmit the proposals to the Assembly, indicating, if it thinks fit and where appropriate, its own order of preference and the order of preference of the Committee of Ministers with regard to the candidates.

7. Procedure in the Assembly

a. The Assembly shall proceed to make the appointment.

b. Voting shall be by secret ballot.

c. An absolute majority of the votes cast6 shall be required at the first ballot and a relative majority at the second7.

8. Term of office and possible re-appointment8

a. The three senior officials shall henceforth be appointed for a period of five years.

b. Not less than six months before the expiry of the term of any such official, the procedure laid down in the preceding clauses shall be set in motion; the official may be put forward again as a candidate in accordance with clause 1, and his term may always be renewed for a period specified in advance by agreement between the Assembly and the Committee of Ministers in the Joint Committee.

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.

2 Article 4 of the Regulations stipulates that “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.”

Note 3 Article 5.a stipulates that “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.“

4 Regulations adopted by the Committee of Ministers (43rd Meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies on 3 to 6 December 1956) with the agreement of the Assembly, subsequently amended as to paragraphs 1 and 8 as a result of a proposal by the Assembly (Recommendation 289 of 23 September 1961), by the Committee of Ministers (107th Meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies on 13 to 20 March 1962), with the agreement of the Standing Committee (Meeting of 30 March 1962).

Note 5 By Resolution (49) 20 (see p. 264 above) the Committee of Ministers, pending the amendment of articles 36 and 37 of the Statute, authorised the Assembly to appoint , on the recommendation of the Committee of Ministers, a Chief of the Administrative Services (Clerk) of the Assembly, having the rank of Deputy Secretary General. In January 2000, this title was replaced by Secretary General of the Assembly, see Rule 64 of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure.
Note 6 Only those ballot papers bearing the names of persons who have been duly entered as candidates shall be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the number of votes cast. (Rule 35.8 of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly).
Note 7 For the other modalities of the appointment by the Assembly see the provisions above p. 100.
Note 8 This paragraph was altered as a result of Recommendation 289 of the Assembly, adopted on 23 September 1961 (see Doc. 1326) and the joint decision of the Committee of Ministers and the Assembly (see Doc. 1431).


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