Notes on the Agenda
26 June 2000
717 Meeting, 13 July
11 Administration and Logistics
11.2 General budgetary framework for 2001 - Proposal by
the Secretary General to set up an "Intervention Fund"
Item prepared by the GR-AB
SG/Inf(2000)1 and 18
GR-AB(2000)CB1 and CB7
In the light of the opinion of the Budget Committee and the recommendation of the GR-AB,
the Deputies are invited to adopt the attached draft decisions.
It is recalled that in his proposed General budgetary framework for 2001 (document
SG/Inf(2000)1), the Secretary General stated "For the sake of helping to ensure
financing of unexpected activities and continuity of projects which run over several
budgetary years, it would be helpful to adopt the decision that financial
results of the ordinary budget be put automatically into a intervention
fund - outside the ordinary budget - and be used for purposes decided by the
Committee of Ministers acting on proposals from the Secretary General."
At the meeting of the GR-AB held on 11 January 2000 (see the synopsis of that meeting
GR-AB(2000)CB1) the Group considered the Secretary Generals proposal for the
Budgetary Procedure - Budgetary calendar for 2001. Summing-up the discussion at that
meeting, the Chairman noted, inter alia, that the Budget Committee should be
invited to advise on the technical aspects of the proposal concerning the financial
results of future years. Subsequently, at their 696th Meeting (3 February 2000,
Item 11.1c), the Deputies invited the Budget Committee to consider the technical aspects
of the Secretary Generals proposal concerning the future financial results of the
Ordinary Budget and to report back.
At its May 2000 session, the Budget Committee examined the Secretary Generals proposal.
Paragraphs 33-37 of the report of that meeting (CM(2000)83) state:
33. The Committee restated its position that, in principle, the credit balance
belonged to the member states and should be paid back to them.
34. The Committee did not think that it was prudent to automatically set aside, on a
permanent basis, appropriations for unknown non-specific purposes. The Committee felt that
this would be a procedure which would severely weaken budgetary control mechanisms.
35. Accordingly, the Committee recommended that in the event that an intervention fund
was to be set up, it should not be financed by means of the automatic transfer of the
credit balance to such a fund.
36. The Committee accepted that there was a need for the Council of Europe to have a
capacity to react quickly to events. However, the Committee recommended that any such
system should be established within the framework of the annual budget either as a
pre-financed item or to be financed as and when the need occurred, for example as a
separate budget line in respect of which member states would be called upon to make
contributions only as and when the Committee of Ministers authorised specific expenditure.
37. The Committee discussed other possible uses of the credit balance and concluded
that, given the fact that member states had a clear and indeed large liability in respect
of accrued future pension rights, it would be able to recommend a decision regarding the
automatic transfer of the credit balance only if the transfer was to be used for the
clearly defined purpose of financing the future reserve fund for pensions.
At the meeting of the GR-AB held on 15 June 2000, the Group recommended the adoption of
the following draft decisions.
At their 715th meeting (21 June 2000, item 1.1), the Deputies agreed to
postpone consideration of this item to the present meeting.
717th meeting 13 July 2000
General budgetary framework for 2001 - Proposal by the Secretary General to set up an
(CM/Del/Dec(2000)696/11.1c, 715/1.1, CM(2000)83, SG/Inf(2000)1 and 18, GR-AB(2000)CB1
1. instructed the Secretary General to prepare the budget for 2001 and future years
with a separate budget line (Intervention fund) in respect of which member states would be
called upon to make contributions only as and when the Committee of Ministers authorised
2. took note with great interest of the Budget Committees recommendation
regarding the automatic transfer of the credit balance for the financing of a possible
future reserve fund for Council of Europe staff pensions and agreed to resume
consideration of this matter in the framework of their consideration of the General
accounts of the Council of Europe for the financial year 1999.