Council of Europe. Declaration (1994) 4 on compliance with commitments accepted by member states of the Council of Europe (1994)
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
ON COMPLIANCE WITH COMMITMENTS
ACCEPTED BY MEMBER STATES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 November 1994
at its 95th Session)
The Committee of Ministers,
Bearing in mind:
- the vocation of the Council of Europe to promote the reinforcement of democratic security in Europe, as stressed by the Vienna Summit (October 1993), where Heads of State and Government also resolved to ensure full compliance with the commitments accepted by all member States within the Council of Europe;
- the commitments to Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law accepted by the member States under the Council's Statute, the European Convention on Human Rights and other legal instruments;
- the importance of the strict compliance with these commitments by every member State;
- the statutory responsibility incumbent upon itself for ensuring full respect of these commitments in all member States, without prejudice to other existing procedures, including the activities of the Parliamentary Assembly and conventional control bodies;
- the need to facilitate the fulfilment of these commitments, through political follow-up, carried out constructively, on the basis of dialogue, co-operation and mutual assistance,
Decides as follows :
1. The Committee of Ministers will consider the questions of implementation of commitments concerning the situation of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in any member State which will be referred to it either:
- by member States,
- by the Secretary General, or
- on the basis of a recommendation from the Parliamentary Assembly.
When considering such issues the Committee of Ministers will take account of all relevant information available from different sources such as the Parliamentary Assembly and the CSCE.
2. The Secretary General will forward to the Committee of Ministers to this end information deriving from contacts and co-operation with member States that are liable to call for the attention of the Committee of Ministers.
3. The Committee of Ministers will consider in a constructive manner matters brought to its attention, encouraging Member States, through dialogue and co-operation, to take all appropriate steps to conform with the principles of the Statute in the cases under discussion.
4. The Committee of Ministers, in cases requiring specific action, may decide to:
- request the Secretary General to make contacts, collect information or furnish advice;
- issue an opinion or recommendation;
- forward a communication to the Parliamentary Assembly;
- take any other decision within its statutory powers.
5. The Committee of Ministers will continue to seek greater efficacity in its procedures with a view to ensuring compliance with commitments, in the framework of a constructive dialogue.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
PROCEDURE FOR IMPLEMENTING THE
DECLARATION OF 10 NOVEMBER 1994
ON COMPLIANCE WITH COMMITMENTS ACCEPTED
BY MEMBER STATES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 20 April 1995
at the 535th meeting of the Ministers Deputies)
In the Declaration adopted on 10 November 1994 on compliance with commitments accepted by member States of the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers decided to seek greater efficacity in its procedures with a view to ensuring compliance with commitments, in the framework of a constructive dialogue. It has agreed on the following:
1. The dialogue will be based on the principles of non-discrimination and co-operation. It will not affect existing procedures arising from statutory or conventional control mechanisms.
2. At least three meetings of the Ministers Deputies at A level, fixed in advance, shall be devoted every year to this question.
3. At the first meeting and subsequently every second year, unless otherwise decided, the Secretary General shall present a factual overview of the compliance with the commitments accepted by member States. The overview should be based on information from member States and all relevant information as set out in paragraph 1 of the Declaration.
4. If, during the deliberations, a need to continue the discussion on the situation in a member State is voiced, the matter will be put on the agenda of the next meeting, referred to in paragraph 2 above.
5. By request made a month before each of these meetings, any Delegation or the Secretary General may ask to put the situation in any member State on the agenda of that meeting, on the basis of its own concerns or with reference to a discussion in the Parliamentary Assembly.
6. The request should be accompanied by specific questions, to enable the Delegations concerned to obtain relevant information.
7. In accordance with Article 21 of the Statute, the discussions should be confidential and held in camera, to encourage a constructive dialogue with the member States concerned. The presence of senior officials from the capitals should be encouraged.
8. Conclusions of the meeting may be followed up in accordance with paragraph 3 of the Declaration. If needed, appropriate assistance may be provided to the member States concerned. Progress may be reviewed at subsequent meetings.
9. The Clerk of the Parliamentary Assembly may be invited to be present to provide information on any discussions in Assembly bodies on the States concerned.
10. Nothing in the preceding paragraphs precludes the Ministers Deputies from taking decisions in accordance with paragraph 4 of the Declaration of 10 November 1994, after a question has been on the agenda for a reasonable number of meetings.