Statutory Report 2009

2. Political developments

General
Relations with member states
Compliance with member states' commitments
Relations with non-member states
Relations with international organisations
Regional co-operation
European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR)
INGOs/NGOs
Mediterranean
North-South Centre
The Council of Europe and the conflict in Georgia

General

At their 1073rd meeting (9 and 14 December 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1073/2.4), the Deputies took note of the third annual activity report of the Centre of Expertise for Local Government Reform (CM(2009)156). They agreed to forward it to the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress in order for them to take note of the results of the Centre, and to communicate it to the CDLR for information. Convinced of the important role that the Centre of Expertise can play in support of local self-government, the Deputies invited it to continue its activities – having regard to the resources available – in co-operation with all partners concerned, in particular the Congress and the CDLR.

At their 1069th meeting (4 November 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1069/2.5), the Deputies adopted the reply to Recommendation 265 (2009) of the Congress on “Good governance: a key factor for the sustainable economic development of regions”.

At their 1069th meeting (4 November 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1069/2.4), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1860 (2009) on “Electronic democracy”.

At their 1068th meeting (20-21 October 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1068/2.4), the Deputies adopted the reply to Recommendation 1843 (2008) of the Parliamentary Assembly on the “Honouring of obligations and commitments by Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

At their 1068th meeting (20-21 October 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1068/2.3), the Deputies took note of the Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process (CM(2009)148) and adopted the Declaration on the Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process.

At their 1066th meeting (23 September 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1066/2.4), the Deputies adopted the reply to Recommendation 1867 (2009) of the Parliamentary Assembly on “Honouring of obligations and commitments by Serbia”.

At their 1064th meeting (9 September 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1064/2.3), the Deputies adopted replies to Recommendation 234 (2008) of the Congress on “City diplomacy”; Recommendation 235 (2008) of the Congress on “Services of general interest in rural areas, a key factor in territorial cohesion policies”; Recommendation 240 (2008) of the Congress on a “Draft European Charter of Regional Democracy”; Recommendation 248 (2008) on “E-tools: a response to the needs of local authorities” and Recommendation 249 (2008) on “Electronic democracy and deliberative consultation on urban projects” of the Congress.

At their 1064th meeting (9 September 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1064/2.1bis), the Deputies took note of the opinions of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress on the draft Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority. They adopted the Additional Protocol and took note of the Explanatory Report thereto (CM(2009)76). The Deputies decided to open the Additional Protocol for signature on the occasion of the 16th session of the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Authorities (Utrecht, the Netherlands, 16-17 November 2009).

At the same meeting, the Deputies took note of the opinions of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress on draft Protocol No. 3 to the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities concerning Euroregional Co-operation Groupings (ECGs). They adopted the Protocol and took note of the Explanatory Report thereto (CM(2009)77). The Deputies decided to open the Protocol for signature on the occasion of the 16th Session of the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Authorities (Utrecht, the Netherlands, 16-17 November 2009).

At their 1063rd meeting (8 July 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1063/2.6), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1834 (2008) on “The accession of the European Union/European Community to the European Convention on Human Rights”.

At their 1057th meeting (20 May 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1057/2.3), the Deputies adopted the text of the Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation between the Council of Europe and the Task Force for International Co-operation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF) (CM(2009)79) and authorised the Secretary General to sign it. They instructed the GR-EXT to follow the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding.

At their 1056th meeting (6-8 and 11 May 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1056/2.5), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1797 (2007) on “Missing persons in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia from the conflicts over the Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions”.

At their 1054th meeting (15-16 April 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1054/2.3), the Deputies decided to accept the invitation by Armenia and the theme “The Council of Europe Consensus on the Principles of Democracy” for the Forum Session in 2010.

At their 1052nd meeting (25 March 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1052/2.3), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1841 (2008) on the “State of democracy in Europe – Functioning of democratic institutions in Europe and progress of the Assembly’s monitoring procedure”.

At their 1049th meeting (18 February 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1049/2.4b), the Deputies adopted CM/Rec(2009)1 on e-democracy and took note of the Explanatory Memorandum thereto.

At their 1049th meeting (18 February 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1049/2.4a), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the fourth and final meeting of the CAHDE (Strasbourg, 13-14 November 2008) (CM(2009)9). They also took note of the proposals prepared by the CAHDE to the Committee of Ministers on possible future work in the field of e-democracy, as well as of relevant parts of the conclusions of the General Rapporteurs of the Forum for the Future of Democracy on the theme of e-democracy (Madrid, 15-17 October 2008). The Deputies then took note of the report of the biennial meeting to review developments in the field of e-voting and the application of Rec(2004)11 on e-voting (Madrid, 16 October 2008), and in particular of the proposals resulting from it with regard to priority issues for the Council of Europe’s future work in this field.

At their 1048th meeting (11-12 February 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1048/2.4), the Deputies adopted the Addendum to the reply to Congress Recommendation 218 (2007) on “The opening of the European Charter of Local Self-Government to the accession of the European Community and of non-member states of the Council of Europe”.

Also at their 1048th meeting (11-12 February 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1048/2.5), the Deputies adopted the interim reply to Congress Recommendation 228 (2007) on a “Draft Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government”.

At their 1048th meeting (11-12 February 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1048/2.7), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1826 (2008) on “The situation in the Republics of Central Asia”.

At their 1046th meeting (21 January 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1046/2.3), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1832 (2008) on “Abuse of the criminal justice system in Belarus”.

Also at their 1046th meeting (21 January 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1046/2.4), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1825 (2008) on “Strengthening co-operation with the Maghreb countries”. They instructed the Secretariat to prepare an evaluation of ongoing and planned co-operation with the other organisations referred to in paragraph 4d of the reply, with which specific project-level co-operation is taking place, and invited the GR-EXT to examine this co-operation on the basis of the Secretariat’s report and to report back at one of their forthcoming meetings.

At their 1045th meeting (14 January 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1045/2.5), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1827 (2008) – “The Council of Europe and its observer states – the current situation and a way forward”.

Relations with member states

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Moldova
Montenegro
Russian Federation
Serbia
“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
Belarus
Observer states
Candidate states
European Union
OSCE
United Nations
OECD
South-Eastern Europe
South Caucasus

Armenia

At their 1070th meeting (18 November 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1070/2.1bis), the Deputies approved the draft co-operation programming document between the Council of Europe and this country for the period 2009-2011 (DSP(2009)6 rev2 and DSP(2009)6 rev2corr), taking into account the comments of the delegation of Armenia, invited the member states to consider providing voluntary contributions for its financing and instructed the Secretariat to ensure its implementation and to report back, in due course, to the GR-DEM.

Azerbaijan

At their 1062nd meeting (1 July 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1062/2.1bis), the Deputies approved the draft co-operation programme between the Council of Europe and this country for the period 2009-2010 (DSP(2009)7 rev), invited the member states to consider providing voluntary contributions for its financing and instructed the Secretariat to ensure its implementation and to report back, in due course, to the GR-DEM.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

At their 1066th meeting (23 September 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1066/2.1bis), the Deputies approved the draft co-operation programme between the Council of Europe and this country for the period 2009-2011 (DSP(2009)11), invited the member states to consider providing voluntary contributions for its financing and instructed the Secretariat to ensure its implementation and to report back, in due course, to the GR-DEM.

At their 1062nd meeting (1 July 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1062/2.1bis), referring to the conclusions of the fifteenth monitoring report on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s compliance with obligations and commitments (DPA/Inf(2009)24), the Deputies noted with concern the deteriorating political climate in the country and condemned the repeated attempts to challenge the Dayton Agreement, undermining the functioning of the state institutions.

At the same meeting, the Deputies noted some progress in fulfilling the commitments and obligations to the Council of Europe, in particular progress with the ratification of the (Revised) European Social Charter and the completion of the appointment procedure of the state Ombudsmen and underlined the importance of bringing the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as soon as possible, and in any case before the 2010 general elections, in line with the European Convention of Human Rights. They urged the political actors to renew the dialogue on constitutional reform without further delay.

The Deputies reiterated their serious concern regarding the increasingly entrenched segregation in the education system of Bosnia and Herzegovina and again urged the authorities to take measures which would contribute to safeguarding the multi-ethnic character of the education system.

Finally, the Deputies urged the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the recommendations contained in Chapter VIII of the fifteenth monitoring report, namely to submit as soon as possible suitable candidates to the Council of Europe bodies currently without a member from Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as the Venice Commission, CPT, ECRI and the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities; to continue full co-operation with the ICTY, including facilitating the arrest and the handing over of all remaining indictees to the Tribunal; to implement fully and effectively the justice sector reform strategy, the war crime strategy and the juvenile justice strategy; to adopt without delay and implement fully and effectively the revised return strategy for the implementation of Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement; to adopt the anti-discrimination law as soon as possible; to complete the unification of the institution of the Ombudsman through the adoption of the law on cessation of the Republika Srpska Ombudsman and the transfer of responsibilities to the institution of the state Ombudsman both in the Republika Srpska and in the Federation; to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages; to complete, as soon as possible, the reform of the public broadcasting system, while preserving the independence of the media supervisory bodies. Take measures which would create a healthy media environment and bring to justice those responsible for attacks on journalists; and to prepare the population and housing census to be carried out in 2011, ensuring that the international census standards are respected and introducing mechanisms of supervision and international monitoring of the census operations, contributing to high public confidence in the census data.

Moldova

At their 1061st meeting (17 and 19 June 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1061/2.1bis), the Deputies took note of the report on the visit made by a delegation of the GR-DEM to Moldova from 18 to 20 May 2009 (CM(2009)92) and of the information provided by the Moldovan delegation.

The Deputies approved the proposals for Council of Europe pre-electoral assistance in view of the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Moldova (DPA/Inf(2009)22) and authorised the Secretary General to use the funds available in the “field mission reserve” to the sum of €100 000 to finance them, and invited member states to consider granting voluntary contributions to the same end. They also instructed the Secretariat to implement the aforementioned activities, remaining in close contact with the Moldovan authorities and other international organisations with a view to adjusting the activities, as appropriate, in the run-up to the elections.

Finally, the Deputies encouraged the Moldovan authorities to take all appropriate measures to secure free and fair elections, in particular regarding the updating of electoral rolls, the implementation of effective measures to prevent frauds, facilitate the participation of Moldovan citizens living abroad in the voting process and secure freedom of assembly, as well as freedom of expression and information, which includes free and fair access by all political parties and candidates to the media during the election campaign.

At their 1055th meeting (22 and 23 April 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1055/2.1bis), the Deputies took note of an oral report from the Secretariat on its fact-finding mission to Moldova concerning the situation after the Parliamentary elections on 5 April 2009 and agreed to resume consideration of this question at their 1056th meeting (6-7 May 2009).

At their 1049bis meeting (2 and 5 March 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1049bis/2.1bis), the Deputies, in the light of the report of the Secretariat on the state of progress of co-operation between the Council of Europe and Moldova (SG/Inf(2009)1), welcomed the progress made by Moldova with regard to the implementation of reforms which aim to promote the protection of human rights and the functioning of democratic institutions. They reiterated the importance for the elections, which will take place in Moldova on 5 April 2009, to be carried out in conformity with the relevant international standards, including during the campaign preceding the elections, in particular by ensuring free and fair access to the media during this campaign and called on the Moldovan authorities to ensure proper follow-up to the recommendations of the Venice Commission concerning the Moldovan electoral legislation. The Deputies also called on the Moldovan authorities to intensify their efforts with regard to the different issues identified in the conclusions and recommendations of the Secretariat’s report, in particular with regard to the follow-up to the recommendations of Council of Europe experts.

At the same meeting, the Deputies invited the GR-DEM to follow progress made in the implementation of the above-mentioned decisions. In this respect, the Group might consider it necessary to enhance dialogue with the Moldovan authorities, including by organising a visit to Moldova at an appropriate time in agreement with the Moldovan authorities.

Also at their 1049bis meeting, and in the light of the report presented by the Secretariat on the confidence-building measures taken in the framework of the Transnistrian conflict settlement process (DPA/Inf(2009)2), the Deputies encouraged the Secretariat to continue to implement confidence-building measures, with particular focus on civil society, and invited it to report back to the GR-DEM in due course.

Montenegro

At their 1066th meeting (23 September 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1066/2.1bis), in the light of the third Secretariat report on compliance with obligations and commitments by the Republic of Montenegro (SG/Inf(2009)13), the Deputies welcomed the considerable progress made by the Montenegrin authorities in meeting the accession commitments and obligations since the last report.

The Deputies called on the government and parliament of Montenegro to promptly ratify those Council of Europe conventions which were called for within one or two years after accession and recognised that there have been positive developments in the reform of the justice system and the fight against corruption over the past year. These efforts should be continued. The Venice Commission, in its opinion on the Constitution of Montenegro (CDL-AD(2007)047), expressed concern about potential political influence on the appointment of judges, the Supreme State Prosecutor, the State Prosecutors and the Ombudsman. These concerns are still valid and should be addressed at the earliest opportunity.

The Deputies invited the Montenegrin authorities to follow up and implement the third report’s specific recommendations for the next reporting period with a view to demonstrating significant progress in the fourth report. The Committee of Ministers will pay particular attention in the next report to the adoption of the Law on Non-Discrimination, in line with Council of Europe standards; the adoption of legislation guaranteeing transparency of media ownership and remove the offence of defamation from the Criminal Code; the revision of the electoral legislation in close consultation with the Venice Commission; the amendment of the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Freedoms of National Minorities, in order to avoid undue restrictions, notably based on citizenship; and with regard to the people displaced by the wars in the former Yugoslavia and currently residing in Montenegro: the adoption of proactive measures, in line with the 2007 government strategy for improvement of the situation of Roma, Askhali and Egyptian (RAE), to deliver identity documents without delay to those not yet in possession of them within the RAE population, both for “Internally displaced persons” (IDPs) and local RAE; to review the status of IDPs and “Displaced persons” (DPs) with a view to ensuring a clear legal status for all which should facilitate their genuine enjoyment of a right to return or, if this is not practicable, of meaningful local integration in Montenegro for themselves and their children; and to review the government’s interpretation of the Law on Employment and Work of Foreigners, to ensure reasonable access to the labour market by people with DP or IDP status.

Russian Federation

At their 1049th meeting (18 February 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1049/2.1bis), the Deputies took note of the information set out in document DPA/Inf(2009)3 with regard to the co-operation programme between the Council of Europe and the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic in 2009. They instructed the Secretariat to implement the programme and to report back to the GR-DEM in due course.

Serbia

At their 1060th meeting (10 June 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1060/2.1bis), the Deputies, referring to the conclusions of the fourth monitoring report on compliance with obligations and commitments by the Republic of Serbia (document SG/Inf(2009)3), which underlines that Serbia has very nearly fulfilled all the formal, quantifiable commitments it undertook upon accession to the Council of Europe, invited the Republic of Serbia to fulfil, in the shortest possible time, its last outstanding accession commitments in line with Opinion No. 239 (2002) of the Parliamentary Assembly, namely to:

a. ensure full co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), including the arrest and transfer of the two remaining fugitives from justice;

b. sign and ratify the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities).

The Deputies decided that the post-accession monitoring procedure of the Committee of Ministers with respect to the Republic of Serbia be replaced by a dialogue-based regular stocktaking of co-operation and progress with the fulfillment of statutory commitments and democratic processes and requested, to this effect, that the GR-DEM submit to the Committee of Ministers on an annual basis, or at any time requested by the Committee of Ministers, a review of the state of democratic institutions, the rule of law and human rights in Serbia, as well as an overview of co-operation with the Council of Europe. This report, drawn up on the basis of information provided by the Secretariat and by the authorities of the Republic of Serbia, should take stock of developments and progress made by the Republic of Serbia in relation to Council of Europe standards and pay particular attention to the following:

      · the protection and promotion of human rights, including of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities;

      · the functioning of democratic institutions;

      · the independence and efficiency of the justice system;

      · the fight against corruption, economic and organised crime, and trafficking in human beings;

      · the role of the media and of civil society.

At their 1052nd meeting (25 March 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1052/2.1bis), the Deputies, in the light of the fourth report concerning compliance by Serbia with its obligations and commitments and the implementation of the post-accession co-operation programme (SG/Inf(2009)3), welcomed the positive developments which have taken place since the third report, in particular the arrest and transfer to the Hague in July 2008 of Radovan Karadžic, accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). They recognised the readiness of the Serbian authorities to fulfil the remaining commitments and called upon them to secure full implementation of those remaining commitments as soon as possible, in particular: ensure full co-operation with the ICTY, including the arrest and transfer of the two remaining fugitives from justice; sign and ratify the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities (Madrid Convention) and the Protocols thereto, while in the meantime applying their fundamental principles, ratify the revised European Social Charter; and adopt, as soon as possible, and ensure full implementation of the following legislative texts:

    i. a global law prohibiting discrimination which is fully compatible with Council of Europe standards and takes into account Council of Europe expertise;

    ii. a legislation on citizens’ associations and non-governmental organisations which is consistent with the relevant European standards;

    iii. the law on the election and competences of the national minority councils, taking account of Council of Europe expertise;

ensure that the implementation of the new legislation relating to the judiciary was fully in line with Council of Europe standards and the relevant opinions of the Venice Commission and that the procedure for re-appointment/recruitment of judges is based on objective and appropriate criteria, carried out in a transparent and independent manner which allows for adequate recourse.

At the same meeting, the Deputies invited the Serbian authorities to follow up the recommendations contained in the fourth report, and, in particular, to make the best possible use of Council of Europe expertise and assistance for relevant draft legislation. Moreover, the Deputies invited the Serbian authorities to pursue work on enacting regulations concerning the prison system, war crimes and torture, so as to ensure prosecution for crimes not prosecuted by the ICTY as well as to prevent ill-treatment in the context of police operations.

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

At their 1056th meeting (6-8 and 11 May 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1056/2.1bis), the Deputies approved the draft co-operation programme between the Council of Europe and this country for the period 2009-2010 (DSP(2009)4 rev3), and instructed the Secretariat to ensure its implementation and to report back on this matter, in due course, to the GR-DEM.

Compliance with member states' commitments

Relations with non-member states

Belarus
Observer states
Candidate states

Belarus

At their 1068th meeting (20-21 October 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1068/2.1bis), the Deputies took note of the report prepared by the Secretariat on the state of co-operation with Belarus (DPA/Inf(2009)33) and instructed the Secretariat to continue to implement the activities aimed to promote the Council of Europe values in this country.

At their 1062nd meeting (1 July 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1062/2.1bis), the Deputies approved the proposals for future activities of the Council of Europe (DPA/Inf(2009)21 rev), invited the member states to consider providing voluntary contributions for their financing and instructed the Secretariat to ensure their implementation and to report back, in due course, to the GR-DEM. They also authorised the GR-DEM to hold ad hoc exchanges of views with the representative of Belarus to the Council of Europe when the agenda of the GR-DEM includes issues concerning co-operation with Belarus.

At their 1045th meeting (14 January 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1045/2.1bis), the Deputies took note of the progress in the implementation of the assistance programme for Belarus in 2008 and the prospects for 2009, and instructed the Secretariat to continue planning these activities and to submit to them a detailed programme with the necessary financial information in due course.

Observer states

Candidate states

Relations with international organisations

European Union
OSCE
United Nations
OECD

European Union

At their 1069th meeting (4 November 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1069/2.3), the Deputies took note of the results of the 29th quadripartite meeting between the Council of Europe and the European Union (Luxembourg, 27 October 2009) and invited the GR-EXT and GR-DEM to bear the conclusions of the meeting in mind in their future work within their respective mandate.

At their 1058th meeting (27 May 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1058/2.4), the Deputies took note of the results of the 28th Quadripartite meeting between the Council of Europe and the European Union (Madrid, 11 May 2009) and invited the GR-DEM to bear the conclusions of the meeting in mind in its future work.

At their 1056th meeting (6-8 and 11 May 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1056/2.4), the Deputies approved the report on co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union and its addenda (CM(2009)52 and CM(2009)52 add1 and CM(2009)52 add2) and agreed to transmit these documents to the 119th Session of the Committee of Ministers.

OSCE

At their 1067th meeting (7 October 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1067/2.3), the Deputies took note of the report of the Chair of the Ministers’ Deputies on the results of the 10th meeting of the Co-ordination Group between the Council of Europe and the OSCE (CM/Inf(2009)43).

The Deputies also invited the GR-EXT to have substantive discussions on the agendas of the Co-ordination Group’s meetings well in advance. They stressed the importance of an effective working relationship and better co-operation between the two organisations in the area of the fight against trafficking in human beings, avoiding unnecessary duplication and achieving greater synergy, and asked the Co-ordination Group to consider the matter and report back.

The Deputies then took note that the Co-ordination Group will meet in Strasbourg in spring 2010 to examine co-operation in the areas of the promotion of tolerance and non-discrimination and the protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.

At their 1052nd meeting (25 March 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1052/2.5), the Deputies took note of the report of the Chair of the Ministers’ Deputies on the results of the 9th meeting of the Co-ordination Group between the Council of Europe and the OSCE (Vienna, 13 March 2009), including the changes concerning the organisation of the work of the Co-ordination Group (CM/Inf(2009)11). They also took note that the Co-ordination Group will meet in Strasbourg on 11 September 2009 to examine co-operation in the areas of the fight against terrorism and trafficking in human beings.

At their 1050th meeting (11 March 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1050/2.4), the Deputies took note of the agenda of the meeting and invited the GR-EXT to examine the results of the meeting with a view to determining the follow-up to be given and to report back at their 1052nd meeting (25 March 2009).

United Nations

At their 1047th meeting (4 February 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1047/2.1bis), the Deputies approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Council of Europe and the United Nations Development Programme and authorised the Secretary General to sign it.

OECD

Regional co-operation

South-Eastern Europe
South Caucasus

South-Eastern Europe

South Caucasus

European Committee on Local and Regional Democracy (CDLR)

At their 1073rd meeting (9 and 14 December 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1073/2.3), the Deputies endorsed the opinion of the CDLR that governments currently have no interest to engage in developing provisions for a further additional protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government and agreed to inform the Congress accordingly.

At the same meeting, the Deputies adopted the terms of reference of the CDLR and approved the terms of reference of its subordinate committees LR-GG, LR-IC and LR-FS. Finally, they took note of the abridged report of the 44th meeting of the CDLR (CM(2009)151 rev).

At their 1058th meeting (27 May 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1058/2.3a), the Deputies took note of the abridged report of the 43rd meeting of the CDLR (CM(2009)75 rev).

Also at their 1058th meeting (27 May 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1058/2.3b), the Deputies invited the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress to deliver an opinion on the draft Additional Protocol to the European Charter of Local Self-Government on the right to participate in the affairs of a local authority, if possible by 30 June 2009. They agreed to resume consideration of this item, in the light of the above-mentioned opinions, with a view to considering the adoption of the draft Additional Protocol and taking note of its Explanatory Report, at their 1063rd meeting (8 July 2009).

At their 1058th meeting (27 May 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1058/2.3c), the Deputies invited the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress to deliver an opinion on draft Protocol No. 3 to the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities concerning Euroregional Co-operation Groupings (ECGs), if possible by 30 June 2009. They agreed to resume consideration of this item, in the light of the above-mentioned opinions, and with a view to considering the adoption of draft Protocol No. 3 and taking note of its Explanatory Report, at their 1063rd meeting (8 July 2009).

At their 1050th meeting (11 March 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1050/2.3), the Deputies adopted CM/Rec(2009)2 on the evaluation, auditing and monitoring of participation and participation policies at local and regional level.

At the same meeting, the Deputies took note of the opinion of the CDLR on Recommendation 240 (2008) of the Congress, and agreed to adopt a reply to this recommendation in due course. They also took note of the state of play as regards the preparation of a draft additional protocol on democratic participation to the European Charter on Local Self-Government and of the intention of the CDLR to finalise this work in time for the Committee of Ministers to adopt and open it for signature at the 16th session of the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Local and Regional Government (Utrecht, 16-17 November 2009).

Also at their 1050th meeting, the Deputies took note of the report of the 42nd meeting of the CDLR (CM(2009)8).

At their 1047th meeting (4 February 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1047/2.3), the Deputies approved the terms of reference of the following CDLR subordinate committees:

- Committee of Experts on good democratic governance at local and regional level (LR-GG);

- Committee of Experts on local and regional government institutions and co-operation (LR-IC);

- Committee of Experts on local and regional finance and public services (LR-FS).

INGOs/NGOs

(http://www.coe.int/T/E/NGO/Public/)

Please see under Section 8 for INGO/NGO involvement in the Youth field.

Mediterranean

North-South Centre

The Council of Europe and the conflict in Georgia

At their 1070bis meeting (18 November 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1070bis/1.2a), the Deputies took note of the report by the Slovenian Chairmanship on the action taken by the Council of Europe since the 119th Session of the Committee of Ministers following the conflict in Georgia (CM(2009)164).

At their 1070th meeting (18 November 2009), the Deputies adopted replies to Recommendation 1846 (2008) of the Parliamentary Assembly on “The consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia” (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1070/2.1a) and Recommendation 1857 (2009) of the Parliamentary Assembly on “The humanitarian consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia” (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1070/2.1b).

At their 1061st meeting (17 and 19 June 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1061/2.1), the Deputies agreed to resume consideration of the draft reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1846 (2008) on “The consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia” at their 1062nd meeting (1 July 2009).

At their 1060th meeting (10 June 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1060/2.1), the Deputies took note of the schedule submitted by the Secretary General (SG/Inf(2009)10) concerning the presentation of the reports which he has been invited to prepare under this item. They also agreed to unfreeze the appropriations frozen in the 2009 Ordinary Budget under budget heads I.2.1. Commissioner for Human Rights and V.3.1. Implementing Council of Europe standards for culture and cultural heritage and co-operation in priority regions for €226 900 and €93 000 respectively, and authorised the transfer of these amounts to a special account for the implementation of these activities.

At their 1057th meeting (20 May 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1057/2.1), the Deputies instructed the Secretariat to prepare draft replies to Recommendations 1846 (2008), 1857 (2009) and 1869 (2009) of the Parliamentary Assembly, for examination at one of their forthcoming meetings.

At its 119th Session (12 May 2009) (CM(2009)PVadd1 item3), the Committee of Ministers, concerned with the human rights protection and humanitarian situation of all persons affected by the conflict in Georgia, gave its active support to the activities of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and to the full implementation of his six-point Action Plan,1 and called on all those concerned to facilitate and grant access by the Council of Europe and the international community to all persons affected by the conflict and in need of human rights protection.

The Committee of Ministers took note of the reports prepared by the Secretary General following the decision adopted by their Deputies on 11 and 12 February 2009. It underlined the importance of restoring democracy, human rights and the rule of law in all areas affected by the conflict, in line with the Council of Europe values and standards, and invited the Secretary General to submit projects for further activities to this end, paying particular attention to the need to co-ordinate with other international organisations and bearing in mind the positive role which can be played by civil society and NGOs in this context. It also took note of the first report of the Secretary General on the human rights situation in the areas affected by the conflict, looked forward to the subsequent quarterly reports and called all those concerned to facilitate access to information on the situation in all areas affected by the conflict, in order for all views to be taken into account.

The Committee of Ministers welcomed the support provided by the Council of Europe Development Bank to the funding of some social projects and invited the Bank to consider favourably possible additional projects. It agreed that a review of action taken by the Council of Europe following the conflict in Georgia would be carried out at the meeting for the handover of the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers on 18 November 2009.

At their 1053rd meeting (1 April 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1053/2.1), the Deputies agreed to carry out a detailed examination of the report submitted by the Secretary General (SG/Inf(2009)5), together with the report to be prepared on the human rights situation in the areas affected by the conflict, at their 1055th meeting (22 April 2009), in the presence of the Secretary General, without prejudice to the possibility for delegations to intervene on this matter at their next meeting.

At their 1048th meeting (11-12 February 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1048/2.1), the Deputies invited the Secretary General to report on a regular basis on the human rights situation in the areas affected by the conflict, in close co-operation with the Commissioner for Human Rights, and using all available sources of information, so as to provide the Committee of Ministers with a basis for an assessment of the situation and possible decisions on action. They requested that the Secretary General provide as soon as possible: an update of the report which he had submitted in document SG/Inf(2008)19 on the initiatives carried out, under way or planned within the Council of Europe to address the consequences of the conflict between Georgia and the Russian Federation, including information on the findings of the various monitoring mechanisms of the Council of Europe; an overview of activities of the ECHR, the PACE and the Congress related to the conflict.

At their 1045th meeting (14 January 2009) (CM/Del/Dec(2009)1045/2.1), the Deputies agreed to resume consideration at their 1046th meeting (21 January 2009) of the information note prepared by the Secretariat in document CM/Inf(2009)3 on the steps taken under the procedure initiated between Georgia and the Russian Federation in application of Article 23 of the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (ETS No. 112).

1 Right to return of those who fled or were displaced; rights of displaced persons to care and support; demining; protection against lawlessness; protection of detainees/prisoners of war and persons in hiding; international presence and monitoring for the protection of human rights.



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