Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur documents
RAP-PROG
Rapporteur on the Programme of Activities

RAP-PROG(2005)CB1 27 April 20051
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Programme of Activities 2004 – Progress Review Report
Report by the Rapporteur on the Programme of Activities

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1. The Rapporteur on the Programme of Activities recalled the informal discussions held in October 2004 on the presentation of the evaluation report on the Programme of Activities and other issues related to evaluation, with a view to improving such reports in the future. She noted that at that time delegations had called for a much shorter, more focussed and analytical evaluation report2. Referring to the document under discussion at this meeting, she thanked the Directorate of Strategic Planning for having drafted the report on the 2004 Programme (CM/Inf(2005)12) in the spirit of those previous discussions; the new style report was much more concise and analytical: an executive summary, including general and specific recommendations, was presented at the beginning of the document, followed by an assessment of the overall strengths and weaknesses of each Line of Action presented in a much sharper, reader friendly way.

2. She further recalled that the pertinent Rapporteur Groups had examined those parts of the report relevant to their domain of competence, and, in particular, the general and specific recommendations presented at the beginning of the report, as well as the assessment of overall strengths and weaknesses outlined for the relevant Lines of Action. They had also been invited to provide comments to the Rapporteur on the Programme, including any conclusions they were able to draw concerning the implications for the implementation of the 2005 Programme of Activities and the future priorities for 2006 Programme of Activities.

3. The Rapporteur on the Programme of Activities convened a meeting on 24 March 2005 in order to bring together the opinions expressed in the Rapporteur Groups, with a view to drawing general conclusions about the Progress Review Report for 2004 and to making any consequent recommendations to the Deputies as to their implication for future priorities. The extract of the synopses for the GR-J, GR-SOC, GR-H and GR-C were distributed at the meeting and the Representative of the Chair of GR-EDS gave an oral report on the discussions which had taken place in the GR-EDS earlier in the day.

4. During the meeting, the Chairs of the Rapporteur Groups present gave an overview of the discussions which had taken place in their Rapporteur Groups. In general, the quality of the Progress Review Report was praised and it was felt that the Report was a useful tool for reflection in the drive to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Programme of Activities. The Report was considered to be particularly helpful in the context of the Third Summit and the reflection on next year's priorities and contained useful recommendations for further organisational reform. The detailed comments and conclusions drawn by the Rapporteur Groups on the examination of the Progress Review Report in their sectors of competence are appended to this document.

5. Debate then focussed on the general recommendations set out in the executive summary of the document and on what follow-up should be given to the Progress Review Report.

6. In the main, delegations expressed support for the general recommendations which are reproduced in Appendix 1 for ease of reference. Amongst those explicitly endorsed: the need to seek further specialisation, to focus on the comparative advantage and added value of the Council of Europe, to take better account of the results of monitoring mechanisms and judgments of the Court, introducing a feedback mechanism to ascertain the results of Council of Europe expertise, shorter term programmes incorporating country strategies where appropriate, and need to define clear criteria for new – and indeed ongoing – projects and programmes to assess relevance and added value.

7. Whilst being supportive of the recommendations in general, a number of delegations warned against: taking a too restrictive notion of specialisation within the Council of Europe, bearing in mind its statute, the political nature of its activities and of course the discussions being held in the framework of the preparation of the Action Plan to be adopted at the Third Summit and which will lay down the principal tasks of this Organisation over the coming years; drawing too hasty conclusions before the recommended reviews as to the effectiveness of certain activities had been thoroughly conducted; placing unnecessary burden on steering committees, national authorities and the Secretariat when establishing follow-up mechanisms on the results of Council of Europe expertise.

8. A certain number of other general recommendations were put forward by delegations: first, more transparency in the presentation of the Programme of Activities in particular in relation to the interaction of Ordinary Budget resources and extra-budgetary resources (joint programmes and voluntary contributions); second, the need to review working methods in particular as regards steering committees and their subordinate bodies; third, thematic approaches should be considered as well as country strategies; and finally, the question of increased involvement of civil society should be aimed at in all sectors and a more global approach should be taken.

9. A number of suggestions were made as to the appropriate follow-up to be given to the Progress Review Report: work on a number cross sectorial recommendations – such as questions in relation to steering committees, extra-budgetary resources and formulating criteria for new projects – could be initiated in the appropriate working groups; Rapporteur Groups could continue discussion of the issues specific to their domain of competence; a list of other issues could be drawn up for the next meeting convened by the Rapporteur.

10. The Rapporteur concludes that there is broad support for the Progress Review Report as a whole. She recommends that the Secretariat be invited to take due account of the recommendations formulated therein, including the overall assessments made under each Line of Action , in the light of comments made by delegations during the Rapporteur Group discussions and during this meeting and bearing in mind the decisions to be taken in the framework of the Summit, for the elaboration of the priorities for the coming year and their translation into a concrete Programme of Activities for 2006 and beyond. In this perspective, it would be useful if the Secretariat, when presenting the draft Programme for 2006, succinctly explains how the recommendations have been followed up. This will facilitate follow-up of key issues identified by the competent Rapporteur Groups when they come to examine the relevant parts of the draft Programme.

11. With regard to establishing criteria for launching new projects and programmes – and possibly ongoing ones – the Rapporteur recommends that the Secretariat be invited to present proposals to be examined at a forthcoming meeting of the RAP-PROG.

12. With regard to working methods in general she notes that a proposal has been made in the framework of the discussions on the draft Action Plan and appropriate decisions would be taken by the Committee of Ministers on its implementation. With regard to working methods of steering committees, she notes that a new Committee of Ministers' resolution on Committee structures, terms of reference and working methods would shortly be presented to the GT-REF.INST.

13. With regard to extra-budgetary resources, the Rapporteur notes that the financing of many priority activities relied on such resources and more transparency was needed with this regard. When presenting the budgetary proposals for next year, information on such resources could be provided, in particular, concerning those Programmes benefiting from voluntary contributions on a recurrent basis.

Appendix 1

General and Specific Recommendations to improve the effectiveness of the Programme of Activities

    General Recommendations

    Ø Strategic recommendation: the CoE should seek to further specialise to increase its comparative advantage and impact: e.g. in the field of Roma, specialisation in housing of Roma; in human rights e.g. specialisation of training for persons involved in the legal defence of vulnerable groups.
    Ø New initiatives should be closely examined before their adoption and criteria for launching new projects and programmes might be established to better assess CoE interest and added value.
    Ø All DGs should incorporate general tendencies in Court's judgments and monitoring results when developing assistance programmes and projects.
    Ø All projects should be part of coherent shorter-term programmes with country strategies, where applicable.
    Ø There is clearly a need to establish a regular follow-up mechanism to ascertain the results of the CoE expertise relating to national legislation.
    Ø Before applications are made to seek extra-budgetary resources, a thorough analysis should be made of their relevance to CoE priorities and their impact on the CoE staff.
    Ø Evaluation of a number of projects could be undertaken, addressing issues such as impact, relevance to core values and CoE comparative advantage

    Specific Recommendations

    Ø Compliance with commitments: In LoA 1, correlation between ratifications and resources has to be established to maintain efficiency and effectiveness. The long-term budgetary implications of the adoption of new Conventions which have imbedded monitoring systems have to be projected. Furthermore, a number of activities in LoA 1, which do not fully comply with the notion of monitoring, could be transferred to other programmes.
    Ø The Confidence Building Measures Programme should be examined with a view to assessing its current effectiveness.
    Ø Social field: The activities and working methods of the CoE in the social field needs to be re-examined in order to achieve more tangible results and better integration of results of monitoring in social projects. General rules and criteria for developing pilot projects in the social (as well as cultural field) have to be established and their implementation closely monitored.
    Ø Environment: must integrate notions of Human Rights as currently being looked at by the Steering Committee for Human Rights.
    Ø NGOs and Youth: The balance between multilateral and national youth activities should be re-examined and the review of national youth policies stepped up.
    Ø A Multi-annual NGO programme on Human Rights could ensure more coherent planning and could attract more funds.

Appendix 2

Rapporteur Group on legal affairs – (GR-J)3

"Evaluation of the 2004 Programme of activities in the field of legal co-operation

2. The Chairman recalled that the Group was invited to examine the Progress Review Report on the Programme of Activities for 2004 issued by the Secretary General (document CM/Inf(2005)12). This included those parts of the Report that were relevant to its domain of competence, and, in particular, the general and specific recommendations contained in it, as well as the assessment of overall strengths and weaknesses outlined for the relevant Lines of Action. It was invited to provide an opinion to the RAP-PROG. The Group was invited to examine also the parts of the report relating to local and regional democracy. The Rapporteur on Local and Regional Cooperation (RAP-LARC), who had been invited to the meeting, had unfortunately been unable to attend.

3. The Progress Review Report was introduced by Mr Tim Cartwright, Directorate of Strategic Planning. He explained inter alia that the document was forward-looking in that it set out not only what had happened in the past, but also raised questions and made recommendations (p. 4) that could be useful for reflections on general policy orientations. Rather than containing a detailed description of results the Report seeked to interpret them. This was meant to be in line with what RAP-PROG requested in October 2005: a more concise and analytical document than last years'. Moreover, its publication had been brought forward with a month. Furthermore, on the request from several delegations the report contained an executive summary (pp. 5-8). The Directorate General of Legal Affairs had prepared a more detailed document that had also been distributed to delegations (document DG-I(2005)6). It was a complement to the Progress Review Report.

4. Mr Cartwright referred in particular to the parts of the Executive Summary relating to a Society based on the Rule of Law and to Pluralist Democracy and Good Governance (p.4).

5. Mr Roberto Lamponi, Director of Legal Co-operation, recalled that the Director General of Legal Affairs, Mr Guy De Vel, had outlined the action and results achieved by the Directorate General of Legal Affairs in 2004 on the basis of document DGI(2005)2 at the Groups previous meeting and that his presentation had received very positive reactions. He therefore concentrated his intervention to the various recommendations made (p. 4) (for more details p. 22, line of action 3 (Rule of Law)):

a. As regards the recommendation to establish a regular follow-up mechanism: the Secretariat did not always receive the necessary feedback on the outcome of national legislative work, training or capacity building work. It tried to gather this information, but not in a sufficiently structured manner. DG I was therefore attentive to the comment made and had started considering a scheme that would systematise and improve the follow-up to Council of Europe expertise.

    b. With respect to the also relevant comment on extra-budgetary resources: the danger hinted at here is that under pressure to obtain extra resources, the substance of a programme might suffer. In order to avoid this, the Council of Europe Secretariat always participated in the elaboration of the programmes, which were then submitted to the European Union or other donors. This was being done in collaboration with the countries concerned.

    c. On the stepping up of cooperation with NGOs: until now a fruitful cooperation had been developed with representatives of the legal professions, such as prosecutors, lawyers and judges. DG I was looking into possibilities of developing further cooperation also with local NGOs concerning assistance activities, to be examined case by case with the authorities of the country concerned.

6. In the discussion that followed, a couple of delegations asked further questions on the follow-up mechanism, referring to previous discussions on such issues in the GR-J. The question was asked which body would be responsible for follow-up, would it be steering committees, if so, how would their workload be effected?

7. One delegation asked about the comments made relating to joint programmes on p. 22 and whether such programmes would continue as before. It also asked about the possibilities to avoid situations such as that concerning the draft revised European Prison Rules, ie. resources had been used for a specific purpose and then it was not possible to finalise the work within the set timeframe.

8. Mr Lamponi replied that the document contained no criticism of the joint programmes carried out so far and that they would certainly continue, provided of course that they continued to serve the priorities of the Council of Europe. Concerning the European prison Rules, the terms of reference for elaborating them would expire only at the end of 2006, which meant that rather than being late the CDPC had been early when considering them last week. They would now be finalised by the CDPC Bureau. Priority had been given to this project following the recommendations made on this subject by the Parliamentary Assembly and the European Parliament. Concerning the follow-up to assistance activities, the Secretariat would assure the follow-up in cooperation with the experts that had participated in the activities. This work would not burden Steering Committees.

9. Mr Blair, Director of Cooperation for Local and Regional Democracy, explained that keeping track of the follow-up given to legislative assistance work was a cumbersome process involving translations of legislation, etc. Although necessary, it took up resources which were already scarce. In his field, his Directorate carried out the assistance activities but the Congress carried out the monitoring, which provided a useful feedback. He also referred to the work programmes to which the Ministers committed themselves at the Zagreb Conference of Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government in South–East Europe: this was a useful innovation, providing an agreed tool with which to follow progress made . As regards the follow-up to Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers, the Steering Committee for Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR) had elaborated a system for requesting such information from governments in its field of competence. If certain problems persisted, this could result in further standard-setting. Mr Blair also referred to the scarce resources allocated to the monitoring mechanism of the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which had resulted in a backlog beginning to appear in the monitoring system.

10. The Chairman recalled that the Group's discussion would be summarised in the synopsis of the meeting and that the discussion would continue at a more general level in the RAP-PROG.”

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Rapporteur Groups on social and health questions – (GR-SOC)4

“Programme of Activities 2004 - Progress Review Report

3. On the basis of the Progress Review Report on the Programme of Activities for 2004 (document CM/Inf(2005)12), the Group heard a presentation by Mr Tim Cartwright, of the Directorate of Strategic Planning, concentrating on the general and specific recommendations presented at the beginning of the report and the assessment of overall strengths and weaknesses outlined for the relevant Lines of Action. It was pointed out that this year, in response to a report by the Rapporteur on the Programme of Activities (RAP-PROG), efforts had been made to produce a more concise document and to issue the report earlier, in order for its findings to be taken into account more rapidly.

4. Mr Cartwright drew the attention of delegations to the executive summary of the report and to the recommendations made in relation to each line of action of the Programme of Activities concerning social and health activities. He stressed that in certain areas, such as health, Roma and census design and observation, the Council of Europe's activities in the social and health field occupied an important “niche”, giving good results, whereas in areas such as social security and human dignity and sustainable development, results were less tangible and further assessment needed.

5. The acting Director General of DGIII then gave a presentation of the “DGIII Report on the Programme of Activities 2004” (DGIII-Central (2005)1), a working document reviewing the Directorate's 2004 activities. He underlined that 2004 had been a globally positive year for activities in the social and health field, resulting for example in 8 recommendations prepared for the Committee of Ministers out of a total of 20 in all areas, and drew attention to a number of important conferences and projects carried out during the year.

6. The Group expressed its appreciation of the thorough and exhaustive work carried out by the Secretariat during this exercise. It was felt that the Progress Review Report was an invaluable tool for the definition of future priorities, identifying as it did the need for focus, specialisation, clear-cut criteria for pilot projects, and the need to take more account of monitoring exercises. One delegation, supported by others, stated that the report also pinpointed the necessity to review working methods, for instance the composition and functioning of expert groups and the state of acceptance of Council of Europe treaties. The report was seen as a “helpful paper for a better future”. One delegation stressed that the review of activities it contained was a demonstration of the increasing importance of social issues and the need to step up the fight against poverty, access to social rights and the protection of vulnerable groups; the Council of Europe's commitment in the field should be reflected in the Final Declaration of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government in Warsaw.

7. Several delegations expressed their satisfaction with the activities carried out by DGIII during the previous year, referring for instance to the revised Strategy for Social Cohesion adopted in 2004, seen as an important step towards renewed focus for activities. Delegations referred to activities they regarded as successful in 2004: integrated migration management; activities related to disability; work to support internally displaced persons (IDPs); the Forums held in 2004, in particular on the “flexibility of work”; programmes such as “Training for trainers”. One delegation stressed that it considered the “Human dignity and sustainable development” work as a strength, and not a weakness as stated in the report.

8. One delegation asked whether cooperation with the European Commission on joint programmes proceeded as successfully as it appeared, in particular with regard to the financing of projects by the Commission. The acting Director General of DGIII confirmed that this was the case. The same delegation went on to suggest that a document on these joint programmes and their progress could be made available for the discussions in the RAP-PROG. The secretariat was willing to supply such information but felt that the discussion on these programmes would perhaps be more appropriately held in the GR-EU or in GR-EDS.

9. Several delegations emphasised the need to achieve better results by focusing activities on core issues, in view of the limited financial means that could be devoted to each activity. At the same time, most delegations agreed that specialisation in an effort to fill “niches” should not be the overriding goal of activities in the social and health field, and indeed in those of the Organisation as a whole, but that the aims enshrined in the Statute of the Council of Europe should be borne in mind at all times.

10. The Secretariat pointed out that the recommendations contained in the report were aimed to identify areas where the Organisation excelled in its work, and were not intended as strategic measures for overall policies. The conclusions were not to be understood as setting out new rules or guidelines.

11. In conclusion, the Chair invited the Secretariat to prepare a summary of the exchange of views, to be included in the synopsis of the meeting, which would be transmitted to the RAP-PROG as a contribution to the general discussion on the Progress Review Report to be held at its next meeting.

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Rapporteur Group on human rights – (GR-H)5

05/13 Programme of Activities 2004 – Progress Review Report

The Secretariat (Directorate of Strategic Planning) drew attention to the observations made in the relevant section of document CM/Inf(2005)12. Attention was drawn to the strategic recommendations to concentrate on areas of clear comparative advantage and impact, to encourage all DGs to be attentive to the need to incorporate general trends in Court judgments and monitoring results when developing assistance activities and to develop systematic feedback on Council of Europe expertise relating to national legislation.

Line of action 1: Compliance with Human Rights and rule of Law standards was divided into two chapters: the European Convention on Human Rights and the other instruments. The execution activities of the Committee of Ministers made a major contribution to the fulfilment of this priority but despite the Committee's considerable efforts to improve the efficiency of execution control, the backlog was increasing, not least because of the Court's increased output.

The workload of other control mechanisms had increased in proportion to the number of states ratifying them (or, in the case of ECRI, the enlargement of the Council of Europe), and it might be appropriate to institute some kind of formal correlation between resources and the number of states parties. The review of the 2004 programme also revealed the need to ensure greater transversal co-ordination with, for example, social cohesion, education…

The Director General of Human Rights underscored the remarks of the representative of DSP and indicated that he shared the main lines of the observations in the Evaluation report concerning DGII areas of activity. It was important to draw from these observations orientations for the future and place them also in the perspective of the Action Plan under elaboration for the Third Summit. He drew attention to the specific situation of DGII which was conditioned by the fact that it was responsible for more independent treaty and other control mechanisms than any other Directorate General. Since these mechanisms were demand-driven, they required the resources necessary to fulfil their mandate which was, in itself, problematic in the current climate of zero real growth. Inevitably, in a framework of finite resources, the need to provide minimal resources to the mechanisms had led to a situation in which it was increasingly difficult to preserve the intergovernmental activity in the human rights field. In fact, over recent years, the resources for the intergovernmental sector - notably human resources - had been drastically reduced. The Director General considered that, sooner rather than later, this situation would have an impact on the credibility of the Council of Europe's human rights activity.

Assistance activities also competed for the same finite resources but were invariably the least well endowed, although not because they were viewed as being of less importance. Referring to the recommendation that DG's should incorporate general trends in Court judgments and monitoring results in their assistance activities, the Director General said this would require a much broader geographical basis for those activities, since many of the systemic violations found by the Court concerned the “older” member states. He also drew attention to the increasing reliance on extra-budgetary resources for activities, both assistance and intergovernmental activities (e.g. a large part of the ECHR reform work had been funded by voluntary contributions) which gave rise to a growing concern about the stability and durability of activities funded in this way.

In the discussion, several delegations indicated that they shared the views expressed by the representative of DSP and the Director General. Several delegations also emphasised the interrelationship between the activity of control mechanisms, intergovernmental activity and assistance programmes, pointing to the need to pursue all three types of work.

One delegation raised the question whether the monitoring by the mechanisms might lead to imbalances as between State parties and non-parties, while another delegation raised a specific question regarding states having joined the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities while claiming not to have any such minorities. A further delegation referred to the absence of a definition of “national minority” in the Convention.

One delegation recalled its proposal that a group of external experts should assess the situation of the European Court of Human Rights; another suggested that the present round of reforms should be completed before such action were contemplated.

One delegation stated that it was not clear where activities were funded by voluntary contributions or by the Ordinary Budget and that it would be helpful to have this information. In reply, the Secretariat said that the Secretary General was also concerned by this problem and agreed that more clarity was needed. This was not an easy exercise, given uncertainty at any given moment about future voluntary contributions that might be forthcoming. Such certainty was inherent in voluntary contributions which depended on donors' priorities and cash reserves, but the Secretariat was actively investigating how a more complete and transparent picture could be provided in the future.

The Chairman concluded the debate, indicating that, in general terms, the group supported the assessment contained in the Evaluation report as supplemented by the comments made orally by the representative of DSP and the Director General of human rights.

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Rapporteur Group on education, culture, sport, youth and environment – (GR-C)6

2004 Programme of Activities – Progress Review Report

The Chair, Ambassador Christian Ter Stepanian, Permanent Representative of Armenia, introduced the discussion by recalling that the GR-C had started in September 2004 an evaluation of the programmes of activities of the Council of Europe in the field of cultural cooperation in the framework of the preparations of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the European Cultural Convention (ECC) with a view to determine the future priorities of the Organisation in this area; the Group could, notably, base itself on the Wroclaw Declaration and the lines of action which it defined. The first discussions showed that education for democratic citizenship, cultural diversity, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, as well as actions for the young people took an important place in the activities of the Organisation.

The Chair regretted that the constraints of the heavy work programme did not allow to give more time to consider the progress report of the programme of activities of the year 2004.

The DSP representative shortly introduced the reference document CM/Inf(2005)12, the document that Delegations had asked for at the RAP-PROG meeting in October 2004. He drew the Delegations' attention particularly to the general recommendations.

The Director of School, Out-of-School and Higher Education referred to the value of this mid-term, internal assessment, based on partly explicit (e.g. “results” and “partnerships”) and partly implicit parameters, as a positive process that had been conducive to better communication and understanding within the Secretariat. The exercise had led to greater awareness of the issues at stake, and hence contributed to the quality of the internal and external decision-making process. The Director drew particular attention to the Council's considerable contribution to the Bologna Process, successful co-operation with the EU, UNESCO and ALECSO, particularly as concerned Modern Languages and intercultural dialogue.

A Delegation, while regretting that there was not enough time to study the detailed document DGIV(2005)DC01, supported the Council of Europe activities in this field.

The representative of the Directorate of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage pointed out that the programmes were better structured, and standard-setting, field action and communication strategy were coherently put together. This Department's work with Cyprus, Serbia and Montenegro and the draft Convention on the value of cultural heritage for society were of particular importance.

A Delegation took the floor to support the activities and the major role of the Council of Europe in this area. Thus, this sector merited reinforcement in budgetary terms and human resources. This Delegation noted that the two projects with its country were positively evaluated by its authorities and that bilateral co-operation between the Council of Europe and its country could be further strengthened. Cooperation with UNESCO was supported. HEREIN network project was considered important.

Another Delegation suggested discussing the above mentioned document DGIV(2005)DC01 in further detail at a subsequent GR-C meeting. It stressed as being important and successful the Cultural Routes programme, the Compendium of National Policies in Cultural Field and HEREIN network. It had, however, some reservations about the draft Convention on the value of cultural heritage for society. It drew attention to the following aspect: although the Council of Europe was well placed for pursuing the inter-disciplinary approach and could be congratulated on its efforts, the national administrations of member states were not organised in an inter-disciplinary way and had difficulties in that respect.

The Director of Youth and Sport saw the results of the past year devoted to the promotion and extension of the core values of the Council of Europe, including the fight against racism and discrimination, to a very large number of youth workers and multipliers. The Globalisation and Youth event was a strong moment of the last year. Now the Youth Summit parallel to the Third Summit was in preparation. The Director highlighted a very strong co-operation with the European Commission, as well as new seminars against islamophobia. Activities based on the convention against the spectator violence were of particular importance.

A Delegation intervened to say that it was desirable to strengthen the youth activities in relation to the countries of South-East and Eastern Europe. In addition, the necessary measures should also be undertaken to strengthen the coordinating role of the Council of Europe in respect of WADA.

A Delegation invited the GR-C to return to the evaluation of the “Ballons Rouges” project.

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Rapporteur Group for Democratic Stability - (GR-EDS)7

"2004 Programme of Activities – Progress Review Report

1 The Chair reminded the Group that it was to study the aspects of the progress review report on the 2004 Programme of Activities (CM/Inf(2005)12) of relevance to its remit, namely Lines of Action 4, 6 and 10, in order to deliver an opinion on these to the Rapporteur on the Programme of Activities (RAP-PROG).

2 An initial phase of discussion was taken up with general comments. Several delegations noted the difficulty of targeting the activities to be evaluated by the GR-EDS considering that it had a trans-sectoral remit which, in addition to the three lines of action in question, covered many parts of the Programme of Activities. They observed that there was no one section that might specifically match the compass of the Group's work, which involved country-related activities and in particular those concerning monitoring of compliance with commitments and judicial monitoring machinery. In reply to these observations, the Head of the Planning and Evaluation Department pointed out that while the country-related monitoring activities conducted by DSP (Monitoring Department), for 2004 at least, did not come within the scope of the Programme of Activities (Vote II), on the other hand, as from the current year, they formed an integral part of Line of Action 1 and would consequently be evaluated early in 2006. As things stood, the GR-EDS was required to examine the activities of the Programme of Activities for 2004 in the DGAP's sphere of responsibility, as set out in the appendix to the notes on the agenda.

3 Regarding Lines of Action 4 and 6, wholly or partly devoted to the development of civil society, the delegations stressed their particular value both for the Organisation and for European civil society. Such being the case, a delegation considered that they should undergo a comprehensive review to define more precisely the goals pursued. In the specific case of the confidence-building measures programme, the delegation wondered about the expediency of ending it. Others, however, thought that a decision to do so would be untimely and that the evaluation suggested by the Secretariat should be carried out beforehand. One of those delegations even suggested increasing the resources allocated to the programme in question, noting that it could advantageously secure additional funding by means of voluntary contributions. The Director General of Political Affairs, backed by the Head of the Planning and Evaluation Department, indicated that re-centring the programmes and rationalising their functioning, especially where the confidence-building measures were concerned, should allow the ever-increasing needs in the field of assistance to civil society to be met. The Secretariat would put forward proposals to that effect.

4 Line of Action 10, relating to Council of Europe outreach, was commented on by a delegation which reiterated its doubts over the usefulness of the Council of Europe information offices. The delegation emphasised the importance of study visits, which in its view should be continued, and expressed its support for cooperation activities with the Russian Federation in the Chechen Republic, for which extra resources should be allocated.

5 The Rapporteur on the Programme of Activities, replying to a delegation which would have wished for a more strategic approach in this evaluation exercise, recalled that the principal aim of the preliminary examination by sectors was to draw all inferences with useful bearing on the implementation of the 2005 Programme of Activities and the future priorities for the 2006 Programme of Activities, while keeping in mind the discussions held in connection with preparations for the Summit. The strategic approach would be developed from all the proposals and comments made by the various groups, and would lead to the formulation of final conclusions by the RAP-PROG.

6 The Chair summed up the discussion by noting that the activities under examination by the GR-EDS were, on the whole, distinctly appreciated, and that the Lines of Action concerning pluralist democracy and the development of civil society respectively would be reviewed in their entirety, with special attention being paid to the functioning of the confidence-building measures programmes."

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.
Note 2 See the Rapporteur's report to the Deputies in document RAP-PROG(2004)CB4
Note 3 GR-J(2005)CB3 – meeting of 15 March 2005
Note 4 GR-SOC(2005)CB3 – meeting of 17 March 2005
Note 5 GR-H(2005)CB3 – meeting of 17 March 2005
Note 6 GR-C(2005)CB3 – meeting of 18 March 2005
Note 7 GR-EDS(2005)CB5 – meeting of 24 March 2005


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