Notes(99)674...(679/4.1)...Future of the European Social Charter

 

 

Ministers' Deputies
Notes on the Agenda
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679 Meeting, 15 (and 16) September 1999
4 Human Rights

4.1 Future of the European Social Charter
a. Increase in the membership of the Committee of Independent Experts

b. Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1354 (1998)

Notes(99)674 6 September 1999

Reference documents
- CM/Del/Dec(99) 675/4.3
- CM/Del/Dec(99)665/4.3
- GR-H(99)1 and CB2
- GR-H(98)10, 11,12 and 15


FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER

a. Increase in the membership of the committee of independent experts

Action

The Representatives on the Committee of Ministers of the Contracting Parties to the European Social Charter footnote 1 are invited to resume examination of the attached draft decisions with a view to increasing the number of members of the Committee of Independent Experts. The Deputies, as a whole, are invited to examine the draft decisions concerning the procedure for the designation of members of the Committee of Independent Experts to fill the vacancies thus created with a view to its adoption.

1. The Secretariat recalls that, following the adoption of the Action Plan of the Strasbourg Summit, and of Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1354 (1998) on the future of the Social Charter, the Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H) was instructed to examine a number of aspects of the functioning of the Charter's organs.

2. Notes on the Agenda No. 99/287 prepared for the 665th meeting (item 4.3) explain the situation as it was on 12 March 1999.

3. At their 665th meeting (March 1999), the Deputies agreed to resume consideration of this item at one of their forthcoming meetings. At their 675th meeting (June 1999), the Deputies agreed to resume consideration of this item at the present meeting.

4. The draft decisions attached to these Notes on the Agenda have been modified in order to take account of the ratifications that have taken place since the 665th meeting as well as the accession of Georgia to the Council of Europe. The dates for the elections and terms of reference have also been changed.

 

DRAFT DECISIONS

Item 4.1

a.

FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER

Increase in the membership of the Committee of Independent Experts

(GR-H(99)1, GR-H(99CB2, CM/Del/Dec(99)665/4.3)

 

Decisions

A. The Representatives on the Committee of Ministers of the Contracting Parties to the Charter decided unanimously:

1. to increase the membership of the Committee of Independent Experts from nine to fifteen, in the following manner:

a. creation of three seats for a term starting on 1 January 2000 and ending on 31 December 2004;

b. subsequent creation of three seats on a date to be determined by the Deputies.

2. to extend the terms of office of current members of the Committee as follows:

- from 18 September to 31 December 2000: Mrs Grévisse, Mr Birk, Mr Grillberger and Mr Mikkola;

- from 18 September to 31 December 2002: Mr Akillioglu, Mr Aliprantis, Mr Bruto da Costa, Mr Evju and Ms Jamoulle.

B. The Deputies

1. adopted the following procedure for filling the three new vacant posts on the Committee of Independent Experts with terms of office starting on 1 January 2000 and ending on 31 December 2004:

a. each contracting party will be entitled to communicate to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, by 15 October 1999 at the latest, the name of a candidate whom it considers suitable for the vacant seats, bearing in mind that the vacancies concern groups III, IV and V, and having regard to article 25 of the Charter as it appears in article 3 of the Protocol amending the European Social Charter as well as to the agreed rules concerning nationality, and also taking into account Recommendation No R (81) 6 of the Committee of Ministers adopted on 30 April 1981;

b. the Secretary General will then communicate the list of names submitted to the Committee of Ministers, which will carry out an election by secret ballot at the Deputies' meeting in November 1999;

c. the candidate or candidates having obtained an absolute majority of the votes cast and the highest number of votes will be declared elected;

d. if one or all the seats remain vacant after the first ballot, there will be a second round of voting and the candidate or candidates having obtained the highest number of votes will be declared elected;

2. agreed, for the purposes of this election, to allocate the 41 member states as follows:

First group

Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Switzerland

Second group

Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Moldova, Romania, Turkey

Third group

Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom

Fourth group

Albania, Andorra, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, San Marino, Spain

Fifth group

Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Slovenia.

FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER

b. Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1354 (1998)

Action

The Deputies are invited to resume consideration of this item in the light of the decision to be taken under item a) regarding the issue of increasing the membership of the Committee of Independent Experts.

1. At their 621st meeting (18 and 19 February 1998, A-level), the Deputies asked their Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H) to consider the Recommendation and if possible to prepare a draft reply. They decided to consider the Recommendation further at a forthcoming meeting with view to a reply to the Parliamentary Assembly on the basis of the GR-H’s proposals.

2. At their 624th meeting (24 and 25 March 1998, A-level), the Deputies decided to ask the Committee of Independent Experts and the Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter for opinions on the Recommendation. These opinions were received in April and May 1998 and are contained in documents GR-H(98)10 and 11.

3. The GR-H has discussed the Recommendation on several occasions (11 May 1998, 3 September 1998, 3 December 1998, 11 January 1999 and 1 February 1999) on the basis of document GR-H(98)12 prepared by the Directorate of Human Rights containing elements for a reply and on the basis of document GR-H(98)15 on the Future of the European Social Charter also prepared by the Directorate of Human Rights in the context of the follow-up to the Second Summit. At the two latter meetings the only proposal of the Assembly that was discussed was that of the increase in the membership of the Committee of Independent Experts.

4. To date no decision has been taken by the Deputies in direct response to the Recommendation. They have decided, however, to invite all signatory states to participate in the meetings of the Governmental Committee as observers at their own expense (see CM/Del/Dec(92)482/13, GR-H(98)CB6), which was one of the proposals put forward in the document on the follow-up to the Second Summit (document GR-H(98)15 on the Future of the European Social Charter).

5. Accordingly, the Secretariat proposes that a reply to Recommendation 1354 (1998) be examined in the light of the present meeting. It is recalled that according to decisions taken concerning the adoption of replies to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations, a reply to this Recommendation should have been adopted in November 1998.

DRAFT DECISION

Item 4.1

b.

FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER

Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1354 (1998)

(GR-H(99)1, GR-H(99CB2, CM/Del/Dec(99)665/4.3)

Decision

The Deputies agreed to resume consideration of this item in the light of the decision to be taken regarding the issue of increasing the membership of the Committee of Independent Experts.


1. Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Romania and Slovenia having ratified the Revised Charter became Parties to this treaty when it entered into force on 1 July 1999



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