773cmnotes4_5






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    Ministers’ Deputies
    Notes on the Agenda

    CM/Notes/773/4.5 20 November 2001
    ———————————————

    773 Meeting, 21 November 2001
    4 Human Rights


    4.5 Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities :

    a. Opinion of the Advisory Committee on Hungary
    b. Opinion of the Advisory Committee on Slovakia

    Reference documents
    ((CM/Del/Dec(2001)740/4.3, 756/4.1 and 771/4.2, CM(2000)165 and Addendum,
    CM(2000)178 and addendum)

    Item prepared by the GR-H

      Action
      The Deputies are invited to examine, with a view to their adoption, the appended draft resolutions concerning the application of the Framework Convention by Hungary and Slovakia.

    The Secretariat recalls that, at their 756th meeting (June 2001, item 4.1), the Deputies, among other things, decided that detailed preparation for their decisions to be taken in the context of monitoring under the Framework Convention should be undertaken by the Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H).

    It further recalls that, under the same item, the Deputies took note of the statement of the Chairman of the GR-H, in which he notably reiterated that the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and Committee of Ministers’ Resolution (97) 10 remained the master texts upon this subject and that the Deputies’ decisions on general issues related to the monitoring of the Framework Convention were to be taken in application of those texts.

    The GR-H, pursuant to these decisions and other relevant decisions taken by the Deputies notably at their 740th, 756th and 759th meetings, pursued the examination of the application of the Framework Convention by Denmark, Finland, Hungary and Slovakia in particular at a meeting of the GR-H on 14 September 2001. Following that meeting, bilateral contacts were taken between the Secretariat and the states concerned in order to discuss the wording of a draft resolution in respect of each of them.

    These texts were examined by the GR-H at a meeting held on 30 October 2001. At the 771st meeting (31 October 2001, Item 4.2) the Chairman of the GR-H reported orally on the outcome of this meeting. Among other matters, he informed the Deputies that certain amendments had been proposed by the Hungarian Delegation concerning both the Resolution on Hungary and that concerning Slovakia.

    At the same meeting, Resolutions on the implementation of the Framework Convention by Denmark and Finland were adopted and the Deputies agreed to resume consideration of the drafts in respect of Hungary and Slovakia at their 772nd meeting (14 November 2001). At that meeting, after considerable debate, the Deputies decided to resume consideration of these two draft resolutions at the present meeting.

    Appended to the draft decisions are:

    - a revised version of the draft resolution concerning Hungary, amended in the light of discussions;

    - the draft resolution concerning Slovakia.

    Appended to the Notes is a short document as requested by certain delegations summarising the matters raised by the Hungarian proposal to amend the draft resolution concerning Slovakia.

      Financing assured: YES

    DRAFT DECISIONS

    773rd meeting – 21 November 2001

Item 4.5

    Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities:
    a. Opinion of the Advisory Committee on Hungary
    b. Opinion of the Advisory Committee on Slovakia

    (CM/Del/Dec(2001)740/4.3, 756/4.1, 771/4.2, 772/4.2, CM(2000)165 and Addendum, CM(2000)178 and Addendum,)

    Decisions

    The Deputies

    1. adopted Resolution ResCMN(2001)… concerning the application of the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities by Hungary, as it appears at Appendix .. to the present volume of Decisions <see Appendix 1 to these Notes>;

    2. adopted Resolution ResCMN(2001)… concerning the application of the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities by Slovakia, as it appears at Appendix .. to the present volume of Decisions <see Appendix 2 to these Notes>;

    3. invited the Advisory Committee to take note of Resolution ResCMN(2001)… and Resolution ResCMN(2001)…, in particular as regards the follow-up to the adopted conclusions and recommendations.

    Appendix 1
    (item 4.5)

    a. Resolution ResCMN(2001)…
    on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Hungary

    (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers
    on 21 November 2001
    at the 773rd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

    The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (hereinafter referred to as “the Framework Convention”) and sitting in the presence of non-member states Parties 1 ;

    Having regard to Resolution (97) 10 of 17 September 1997 setting out rules adopted by the Committee of Ministers on the monitoring arrangements under Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention, in particular rule 39 2 of Resolution (97) 10;

    Having regard to the voting rule adopted in the context of adopting Resolution (97) 10 3 ;

    Recalling that the Government of Hungary transmitted its state report in respect of the first monitoring cycle under the Framework Convention on 21 May 1999;

    Whereas the Advisory Committee accepted the invitation of the Government of Hungary to send a delegation to gather further information in Hungary; this visit taking place from 29 November to 1 December 1999;

    Whereas the Advisory Committee’s opinion on the implementation of the Framework Convention by Hungary was adopted on 22 September 2000 and then transmitted to the Permanent Representative of Hungary and communicated to the permanent representatives of all member states and to the representatives of non-member states Parties as document CM(2000)165 and subsequently made public by the Hungarian Government;

    Whereas the Government of Hungary submitted its written comments on the opinion of the Advisory Committee within the time-limit of four months following the communication of the said opinion, these written comments having been communicated to the delegations of all member states and the non-member states Parties as an addendum to document CM(2000)165 dated 3 July 2001;

    Having examined the Advisory Committee’s opinion and the written comments of the Government of Hungary;

    Having also taken note of comments by other governments, including written comments by Romania and Slovakia;

    1. Adopts the following conclusions concerning the implementation of the Framework Convention by Hungary:

    - Hungary has in many respects made commendable efforts in the protection of national minorities, including through the establishment of a system of minority self-governments and through the functioning of the education system.

    - Despite efforts to establish a legal and institutional framework for the protection of national minorities, further measures are still required to complete the framework and ensure the full realisation of standards in practice. In this respect, ongoing efforts are being made by the Hungarian authorities to implement legal norms to ensure the representation of ethnic minorities in the Hungarian Parliament, and legislative measure are under way concerning the adoption of amendments to the law on national and ethnic minorities in order to prevent persons belonging to a minority constituting self-governments in the name of another minority.

    - Despite efforts to improve the situation of the Roma minority, real problems remain notably regarding acts of discrimination in a wide range of societal settings, negative social perception and significant differences in socio-economic and living conditions between some of the Roma and the majority population.

    2. Recommends that Hungary take appropriate account of the conclusions set out in section 1 above together with the various comments in the Advisory Committee’s opinion.

    3. Invites the Government of Hungary, in accordance with Resolution (97) 10:

    a. to continue the dialogue in progress with the Advisory Committee;

    b. to keep the Advisory Committee regularly informed of the measures it has taken in response to the conclusions and recommendations set out in section 1 and 2 above.

    Appendix 2
    (item 4.5)

    b. Resolution ResCMN(2001)..
    on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Slovakia

    (Adopted by the Committee of Ministers
    on 21 November 2001
    at the773rd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

    The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (hereinafter referred to as “the Framework Convention”), and sitting in the presence of non-member states Parties 4 ;

    Having regard to Resolution (97) 10 of 17 September 1997 setting out rules adopted by the Committee of Ministers on the monitoring arrangements under Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention, in particular rule 39 5 of Resolution (97) 10;

    Having regard to the voting rule adopted in the context of adopting Resolution (97) 10 6 ;

    Recalling that the Government of Slovakia transmitted its state report in respect of the first monitoring cycle under the Framework Convention on 4 May 1999;

    Whereas the Advisory Committee accepted the invitation of the Government of Slovakia to send a delegation to gather further information in Slovakia; this visit taking place from 28 February to 2 March 2000;

    Whereas the Advisory Committee’s opinion on the implementation of the Framework Convention in Slovakia was adopted on 22 September 2000 and then transmitted to the Permanent Representative of Slovakia and communicated to the permanent representatives of all member states and to the representatives of non-member states Parties as document CM(2000)178 and subsequently made public by the Slovak Government;

    Whereas the Government of Slovakia submitted its written comments on the opinion of the Advisory Committee within the time-limit of four months following the communication of the said opinion, these written comments having been communicated to the delegations of all member states and the non-member states Parties as an addendum to document CM(2000)178 dated 2 July 2001;

    Having examined the Advisory Committee’s opinion and the written comments of the Government of Slovakia;

    Having also taken note of comments by other governments, including written comments by Hungary;

    1. Adopts the following conclusions concerning the implementation of the Framework Convention by Slovakia:

    - Slovakia has made valuable efforts to support national minorities and their cultures and improvements have been achieved in recent years in inter-community relations in particular between the Hungarian minority and other parts of the population of Slovakia.

    - Legal guarantees pertaining to some articles of the Framework Convention need to be strengthened, and, in a number of areas where satisfactory legal guarantees exist, further efforts are required to ensure their full implementation.

    - Despite recent improvements in the legal status of minority languages in official contacts, the legislative framework touching upon languages still contains shortcomings.

    - Despite efforts by the Government, there remain problems in the implementation of the Framework Convention as concerns Roma, in particular discrimination encountered by persons belonging to this minority in various fields as well as their treatment by some law-enforcement officials and the extremely wide socio-economic differences between some of the Roma and the majority population.

    2. Recommends that Slovakia take appropriate account of the conclusions set out in section 1 above together with the various comments in the Advisory Committee’s opinion.

    3. Invites the Government of Slovakia, in accordance with Resolution (97) 10:

    a. to continue the dialogue in progress with the Advisory Committee;

    b. to keep the Advisory Committee regularly informed of the measures it has taken in response to the conclusions and recommendations set out in section 1 and 2 above.

    Appendix

    Note concerning the draft Resolution on the application of the Framework Convention for the protection of national minorities by Slovakia

    It is recalled that, during the debate on this subject at the 772nd meeting of the Deputies (14 November 2001) some delegations indicated that they would appreciate a brief explanation of the issues raised. In response to this request, the Secretariat submits the following information:

    At the meeting of the Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H) held on 30 October, the Delegation of Slovakia indicated that it was prepared to accept the text of the draft resolution as drafted by the Secretariat.

    At the same meeting, as reported in Notes on the Agenda 772/4.2, the Delegation of Hungary proposed to add a new paragraph as follows:

    “The Committee of Ministers refers to its decision at their 761st meeting “invited their Rapporteur on Local Authorities to study the questions linked to Recommendation 88 (2001) [of the CLRAE] on local and regional democracy in the Slovak Republic and to report back” and invites the Advisory Committee to take this into account in accordance with para. 36 of Res (97) 10.”

    In this Recommendation, the CLRAE among other things expresses the view that “changes in territorial administration of [Slovakia] should be made with a view to improving local democracy, bringing the practice of local government into line with the standards set out in the European Charter of Local Self-Government and creating appropriated regional structures” and recommends the Slovak authorities to “speed up the public administration reform and continue the efforts made to date in the legislative sphere to establish regions with real powers and to set up, by means of regional elections, the elected bodies without which such regions cannot operate” and to “decide on the number of regions, taking account of the citizens’ aspirations and in respect of large minorities”. The full text of the Congress’ Recommendation can be found on http://www.coe.fr/cplre/textad/indexe.htm .

    The Rapporteur on Local Government has indicated that he should be in a position to submit his report on this Recommendation in December 2001.

    At the GR-H meeting and at the 772nd meeting of the Deputies, the Director General of human rights recalled that the issues raised in the Congress Recommendation are already taken into account in the Opinion of the Advisory Committee on Slovakia (see paragraph 48 and the third conclusion and recommendation “in respect of Article 15” – page 18) and may therefore be deemed to be covered in the text of the draft resolution, by virtue of the recommendation contained in the operative part, Section 2, “that Slovakia takes appropriate account of the conclusions set out in Section 1 above together with the various comments in the Advisory Committee’s opinion (italics added for emphasis). The Director General of human rights also recalled that, by virtue of the Section 3 of the draft resolution, this issue could be further addressed in the on-going dialogue between Slovakia and the Advisory Committee.

Note 1 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Note 2 According to Rule 39 of Resolution (97) 10, “the Committee of Ministers shall invite a representative from each non-member Party to attend the meetings of the Committee of Ministers whenever it exercises its functions under the Framework Convention, without the right to participate in the adoption of decisions”
Note 3 In the context of adopting Resolution (97) 10 on 17 September 1997, the Committee of Ministers also adopted the following rule: “Decisions pursuant to Articles 24.1 and 25.2 of the Framework Convention shall be considered to be adopted if two-thirds of the representatives of the Contracting parties casting a vote, including a majority of the representatives of the Contracting parties entitled to sit on the Committee of Ministers, vote in favour”.
Note 4 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Note 5 According to Rule 39 of Resolution (97) 10, “the Committee of Ministers shall invite a representative from each non-member Party to attend the meetings of the Committee of Ministers whenever it exercises its functions under the Framework Convention, without the right to participate in the adoption of decisions”
Note 6 In the context of adopting Resolution (97) 10 on 17 September 1997, the Committee of Ministers also adopted the following rule: “Decisions pursuant to Articles 24.1 and 25.2 of the Framework Convention shall be considered to be adopted if two-thirds of the representatives of the Contracting parties casting a vote, including a majority of the representatives of the Contracting parties entitled to sit on the Committee of Ministers, vote in favour”.


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