Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur Groups
GR-SOC
Rapporteur Group for Social and Health Questions

GR-SOC(2005)9 Addendum 17 March 20051
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Notes on the Agenda
Meeting of 17 March 2005 at 3 p.m.

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European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS) – Abridged report of the 13th meeting (Strasbourg, 2-3 November 2004)

At their 919th meeting on 16 March, the Deputies examined the abridged report of the 13th meeting of the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS) held in Strasbourg on 2-3 November 2004, with a view to its adoption. In this context, the Committee of Ministers was invited to approve the extended terms of reference of two committees, the Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting Instruments in the Field of Social Security (CS-CO) and the Committee for Coordination in the Social Security Field (CS-CR), for the period ending 31 December 2006 (see appendices 1 and 2 to the present addendum). The Deputies discussed the proposed extension, as set out in paragraph 19 of the abridged report:

    “19. The Committee agreed to renew the terms of reference of its two subordinate committees dealing with different aspects of social security:

    a. Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting Instruments in the Field of Social Security (CS-CO);

    b. Committee for Coordination in the Social Security Field (CS-CR).

    It noted that the Committees would be working together closely and agreed to give further consideration to the possibility of amalgamating the two committees later on. The Committee of Ministers is invited to approve the extended terms of reference.”

One delegation suggested that in view of the possibility, and indeed desirability, of merging the two committees, the extension of the existing terms of reference was not appropriate. Other delegations supported the extension of the terms of reference in order for the two committees to continue their planned activities during the coming year.

One delegation, supported by others, considered that the terms of reference could be extended for a shorter period, until 31 December 2005, instead of the two-year period proposed by the CDCS in its report.
It was agreed to continue the discussion on this matter in the meeting of the GR-SOC, in order to make a clear proposal for a decision to the Deputies at their next meeting (920th meeting 23 March 2005).

Appendix 1

Specific terms of reference

1. Name of the Committee:

Committee of Experts on standard-setting instruments in the field of social security (CS-CO)

2. Type of Committee:

Committee of Experts

3. Source of terms of reference:

European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS)

4. Specific terms of reference:

These terms of reference are derived from the following legal instruments:

European Code of Social Security (ETS No 048) (and Protocol (ETS No 048A) Articles 1, 2, 74, 76 and 78;
European Code of Social Security (revised) (ETS No 139) Articles 1, 34, 79, 83.

The Committee is instructed to:

a. Supervise the application of the European Code of Social Security, Article 74 and examine the conclusions of the Group of consultants to examine the reports on the non-ratified provisions of the Code (article 76);

b. 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;

c. Assist member states wishing to ratify the European Code of Social Security, the Protocol and the (revised) Code to examine the legal, financial and administrative implications of ratification;

d. Take stock of problems that states have in meeting specific provisions of the European Code of Social Security, the Protocol and the (revised) Code by providing, notably, the necessary technical assistance with a view to suggesting possible measures (adaptation of the legal instrument concerned, recommendations to member states, etc) for overcoming the above-mentioned problems;

e. Promote ratification of these instruments through the following promotional activities: organisation of colloquia, study visits, training activities, etc and monitor, via a road map, the development of this process;

f. 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.

g. Reflect on a better organisation of the work of the Council of Europe in the field of Social Security and make proposals in view of collaboration with the Committee for Coordination in the Social Security Field (CS-CR).

5. Membership of the Committee:

a. The governments of all member states are entitled to appoint one member with the following qualifications: Senior national official in the fields covered by the present terms of reference.

The Council of Europe will bear the travel and subsistence expenses for one Committee member per country (two in the case of the member state whose representative has been elected as the chairperson of the Committee).

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

c. The following observers with the Council of Europe may send a representative to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

Canada;
Holy See;
Japan;
Mexico;
United States of America.

d. The following observers with the Committee may send representatives to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

Australia;
New Zealand;
International Labour Office (ILO);*
OECD;
International Social Security Association (ISSA);
European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

6. Working structures and methods:

The CS-CO 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. In addition, the CS-CO prepares summary information for the attention of the CDCS on trends in social security derived from the national reports on the application of the Code and the conclusions of the ILO.

The CS-CO may set up working parties or have recourse to consultants.

7. Duration:

These specific terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2006.

Appendix 2

Specific terms of reference

1. Name of Committee:

Committee for Coordination in the Social Security Field (CS-CR)

2. Type of Committee:

Committee of Experts

3. Source of terms of reference:

European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS)

Terms of reference derived from a Convention: Article 2 of the Supplementary Agreement for the Application of the European Convention on Social Security (No 78 in the European Treaty Series).

4. Specific terms of reference:

The Committee is instructed to:

a. Promote coordination of social security schemes (through the instruments in this field drawn up by the Council of Europe);

b. Examine all the administrative issues and questions of interpretation arising from the provisions of the European Convention on Social Security, from any agreements or arrangements concluded for its implementation, and from any other instrument relating to social security coordination drawn up by the Council of Europe (European Interim Agreements, etc); and prepare the discussions on these matters of the European Committee for Social Cohesion (CDCS);

c. Promote and develop cooperation between member states with a view to regulating the obtaining of benefits, especially those deriving from the provisions of the Convention on invalidity, old age and death (pensions);

d. Prepare the documents and leaflets required for the application of the Convention, as provided for in Article 2 of the Supplementary Agreement for the Application of the Convention;

e. Deal with any other question relating to international social security at the request of the CDCS, and especially supervise the activities relating to special social security schemes and to the taxation at source of exported benefits, and ensure that the information documents prepared as part of these activities are regularly updated;

f. In accordance with paragraph e above, carry out work relating to the following matters:

In respect of the Interim Agreements on Social Security as a means of co-operation between Council of Europe member states and European states which are not members:

- promote ratification of the European Interim Agreements by Council of Europe member states and states which are not members, especially by the countries of central and eastern Europe;

- on the basis of the European Interim Agreements, undertake any activity intended to foster the coordination of the national social security legislation of Council of Europe member states and of states which are not members, and especially examine the legal, financial and administrative implications of adhesion to these instruments by the countries of central and eastern Europe. In this context, the Committee should also address the issue of coordination on social security between countries which are members of the European Union, the European Economic Area and the other Council of Europe member states;

In respect of the European Convention on Social Security and the Supplementary Agreement:

- promote the ratification of the Convention by Council of Europe member states and by states which are not members;

- to study, when requested to do so by the CDCS, the progress of national social security legislation coordination between Council of Europe member states, giving particular attention to relations between the Contracting Parties to the European Convention on Social Security and to the question of relations in the social security sphere between European Union, European Economic Area member states and the other Council of Europe member states;

In respect of the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance (ETS No 14):

- promote the ratification of the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance by Council of Europe member states and states which are not members, especially by the countries of central and eastern Europe;

- carry out activities relating to social and medical assistance;

- deal with issues relating to its application.

g. Reflect on a better organisation of the work of the Council of Europe in the field of Social Security and make proposals in view of collaboration with the Committee of Experts on Standard-Setting Instruments in the field of Social Security (CS-CO).

5. Membership of the Committee:

a. States, the governments of which may appoint members: all member states.

b. Number of members per state whose travel and subsistence expenses will be borne by the Council of Europe budget: one member from each of the twenty member states determined by the rota system described below.2

c. Desirable qualifications of Committee members: experts in the field of international coordination of social security schemes; senior governmental officials responsible for the implementation of international social security conventions.

d. Other participants:

Commission of the European Communities.

e. The following states, having observer status with the Council of Europe, may send a representative to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses s:

Canada;
Holy See.

f. The following states and/or organisations may send representatives to meetings of the Committee, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

Australia;
New Zealand;
ILO (one expert as technical advisory member);
International Social Security Association (ISSA);
Central Commission for the Navigation on the Rhine (CCNR).

6. Duration of terms of reference:

These specific terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2006.

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.

2 Functioning of the rota system:
- Among the 20 member states of the Committee for coordination in the social security field whose travel and subsistence costs are borne by the Council of Europe budget, 12 of the 22 states which have ratified the European Interim Agreements and/or the European Convention on Social Security (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom) take part in the rota system;
- the rota system operates according to English alphabetical order, for a period comprising two meetings of the Committee from the day after the meeting of the Committee which completes a rota period; the Secretariat is instructed to contact the states concerned in advance, so that they can state whether they intend to take part in the Committee's work; if a negative reply is given, the next State is consulted in respect of the meeting concerned;
- in addition, 8 member states which have not yet signed or ratified the European Interim Agreements and/or the European Convention on Social Security, but which have made clear their intention of taking action towards this goal, are invited to participate in the Committee's work at the Council of Europe's expense.



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