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iGuide

 
 

Committee of Ministers

Procedures and working methods

 
 

(9 April 2014)

 

Table of contents

Introduction
I. Key Reference Texts
1. Statute of the Council of Europe
2. Special Agreement relating to the Seat of the Council of Europe
3. General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe
II. Committee of Ministers at Ministerial Level
1. Membership
2. Chairmanship
3. Frequency of Ministerial Sessions
4. Guidelines for the organisation of ministerial sessions
5. Voting rules
III. The Committee of Ministers at Deputy Level
1. Appointment of the Ministers' Deputies (Article 1)
2. Powers of the Committee of Ministers meeting at Deputy Level (Article 2)
3. Meetings (Article 3)
4. Composition of delegations (Article 4)
5. Agenda (Article 5) and documents
6. Chair (Article 6) and the conduct of meetings
7. Quorum (Article 7)
8. Languages (Article 8)
9. Voting (Article 9)
10. Method of voting (Article 10)
11. Partial Agreements (Article 11)
12. Order to be followed in the examination of proposals or amendments (Article 12)
13. Re-opening of a discussion (Article 13)
14. The Secretary General (Article 14)
15. Consultation of representatives of the Assembly or experts (Article 15)
16. Conclusions of the meeting (Article 16)
17. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure (Article 17)
18. Rules of Procedure of the Committee of Ministers (Article 18)
19. Human Rights (DH) meetings
20. Bureau
IV. The Deputies’ Rapporteur Groups/Thematic Coordinators/Working Parties
1. Rapporteur Groups
2. Thematic Co-ordinators
3. Working Parties
V. Appointment to various functions and bodies
1. Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly
2. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
3. Advisory panel of experts on candidates for election as judge to the European Court of Human Rights
4. Other functions and bodies
VI. Intergovernmental Committees and Council of Europe Conferences of Specialised Ministers
1. Intergovernmental committees
2. Council of Europe Conferences of Specialised Ministers
VII. Council of Europe Conventions and Partial and Enlarged Agreements
VIII. Protocol, privileges and immunities and other
1. Protocol, privileges and immunities
2. Use of the Committee of Ministers Foyer
3. Gifts to the Council of Europe/Committee for Works of Art
IX. Relations with other Council of Europe bodies, States, international organisations and non-intergovernmental organisations
1. Parliamentary Assembly
2. Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
3. Observer States
4. Non-member/non-observer States
5. International Organisations
6. Non-Governmental Organisations
7. Council of Europe Offices
X. Financial and administrative matters
1. Programme and Budget of the Council of Europe
2. Financial and administrative arrangements
3. Reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses to government experts and other persons travelling at the charge of Council of Europe budgets
4. Consultants
5. Staff Regulations
6. Conditions of service of the SG, DSG, the SG of the Assembly, judges of the Court and the Commissioner
7. Improving gender mainstreaming and gender balance
8. Information policy and classification of documents

Introduction



The iGuide on the procedures and working methods of the Committee of Ministers is intended to provide members of Permanent Representations and other persons concerned with information on the functioning and operation of the Committee of Ministers both internally and in relation to other bodies and institutions. It also provides other important information on financial and administrative matters.

It is intended to be a user friendly web-based service tool provided by the Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers.

You can also download the full version of the iGuide from the Committee of Ministers' website at www.coe.int/cm.

Should you have any queries or suggestions for improvement please send them to cm@coe.int.

I. Key Reference Texts



1. Statute of the Council of Europe
2. Special Agreement relating to the Seat of the Council of Europe
3. General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe

1. Statute of the Council of Europe

The Statute is the founding text of the Council of Europe and that of the hightest rank. It has been further developed by a number of Resolutions of a statutory character which are used as a flexible formula for making good any shortcomings or gaps in the Statute.

They are:

- Resolution Res(51)30, inter alia, on the admission of new members, on the powers of the Committee of Ministers, on the Joint Committee, on Relations with intergovernmental and non-governmental international organisations

- Statutory Resolution Res(93)26 on observer status

- Statutory Resolution Res(93)27 on majorities required for decisions of the Committee of Ministers

- Statutory Resolution Res(93)28 on partial and enlarged agreements

- Statutory Resolution CM/Res(2011)2 relating to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

2. Special Agreement relating to the Seat of the Council of Europe

The Council of Europe and the Government of the French Republic signed a Special Agreement in 1949.

This Agreement defines the legal status of the Council of Europe in the State which hosts the Organisation on its territory. It aims namely at guaranteeing the independence of the Organisation and of its staff, which leads the host State to grant certain privileges and immunities (see § 3 below and Chapter VIII § 1 Protocol, privileges and immunities) and extraterritoriality for its premises.

3. General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe

The General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities was established in 1949.

The General Agreement, concluded in accordance with the provisions of the Statute of the Council of Europe, provides for the immunities and privileges necessary for the fulfillment of the function of the Representatives of the member States to the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly, as well as of the Secretariat. Among these immunities and privileges are the juridical personality of the Council of Europe, the immunity of jurisdiction, the inviolability of the buildings and premises of the Council.

(See also Chapter VIII § 1 Protocol, privileges and immunities.)

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II. Committee of Ministers at Ministerial Level



1. Membership
2. Chairmanship
3. Frequency of Ministerial Sessions
4. Guidelines for the organisation of ministerial sessions
4.1     Format
4.2     Agenda
4.3     Participation
4.4     Speaker’s list
4.5     Interpretation
5. Voting rules

The Committee of Ministers (CM) is the Council of Europe's decision-making body. Its role and functions are described in Chapter IV of the Statute. The CM meets at ministerial level and at Deputy level.

The CM adopts its own rules of procedure.

1. Membership

Each member State has one representative on the CM, and each representative has one vote. Representatives on the CM are the Ministers for Foreign Affairs. When a Minister for Foreign Affairs is unable to be present or in other circumstances where it may be desirable, an alternate may be nominated to act for him, who shall, whenever possible, be a member of his government. A member of the Assembly can not at the same time be a member of the CM.1

2. Chairmanship

The Chair of the CM is held for a six-month term in turn by the representatives of the members in English alphabetical order. The Chair passes to a new Chair mid-May and mid-November, at a date fixed by the CM based on a joint proposal by the incoming and outgoing Chairs.

3. Frequency of Ministerial Sessions

The CM's timetable is based on the holding of one annual ordinary ministerial session around the symbolic date of 5 May2, leaving open the possibility of holding – should the circumstances call for it – a second one during the year.3

The date and venue of the Ministerial Session is fixed by the CM.

4. Guidelines for the organisation of ministerial sessions

The Deputies have adopted Guidelines for the organisation of ministerial sessions and for raising the level of participation.

4.1     Format

Ministerial sessions are comprised of two parts: a formal session and informal discussions (often during a working lunch/dinner). The arrangements concerning the format – including the sequence of formal session and informal discussions – are decided on a case-by-case basis for each session by the outgoing and incoming chairs, in consultation with member States.

4.2     Agenda

The agenda of the formal ministerial session generally includes:

- institutional matters linked to the handover of the chairmanship (stocktaking of the achievements of the outgoing Chair and presentation of the priorities of the incoming Chair; date and venue of the next session);

- a specific topic for debate. The outgoing and incoming chairs, with the SG, have the initiative for proposing subjects, in close consultation with member States. In order for ministerial sessions to attract the interest of ministers, political topics of current concern and significance - on which a discussion at the pan-European level of the Council would be of added value - should be chosen for discussion. The SG would present the item, after which discussion would be led by one or more ministers (facilatators), under the direction of the Chairmanship;

- items requiring a decision at the ministerial level following the work carried out during the six-months' period of the outgoing chairmanship, which would be dealt with without debate (they would be included in the list of decisions and would only be discussed at the specific request of a member State);

- where appropriate, a text - prepared by the Deputies - which adds to international consensus on a specific subject could be proposed for adoption.

On this basis, a provisional draft agenda is prepared by the SG, in consultation with the outgoing and incoming Chairs, for consideration by the Deputies. A member State or the SG may ask for a question to be included in the provisional draft agenda. The final decision on the draft agenda is taken by the Deputies.

The agenda is formally adopted at the beginning of the session.

During the informal discussions, the Foreign Affairs Ministers have the possibility to address a political current event linked with their mandate and in a pan-European frame or the item discussed at the informal part could be the same as the one on the agenda, making it possible to have a more detailed discussion and to cover more controversial aspects and the strategies which might be envisaged. The theme retained is generally introduced by the Chair. Again, depending on the topic, a leading personality to introduce the theme of discussion or voice some personal sentiments may be invited. The discussions may lead to the preparation of conclusions by the Chair.

The operation of the CM at ministerial level is subject to the information policy (see Chapter X, § 8: Information policy and classification of documents). As a rule, substantive documents should be available at the end of March and at the latest one month before the session.

4.3     Participation

Participation in the formal session:

- the President of the Assembly is invited to all formal Ministerial sessions.4 In view of the themes, the President of the Court, the President of the Congress, the President of the Conference of INGOs, as well as the Commissioner for Human Rights, may also be invited.

- the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is invited, as are in general the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the observer countries.

- the other participants from outside the Council are invited on an ad hoc basis.

Participation in the informal discussions is decided on a case-by-case basis by the Chair following consultations with member States. A listening room could also be made available, where appropriate.

4.4     Speaker’s list

During the formal session, the speaker’s list is drawn up under the responsibility of the Chair. Speaking time is allotted to Ministers and political figures. Member States may present national position papers containing detailed statements in writing on the topics under discussion, either to provide a more detailed statement on an issue than the time allocated for an oral statement would allow, or for delegations not represented at ministerial/political level to be able to give their views. Documents should be submitted in one of the official languages.

There is no speaker’s list for the informal discussions.

4.5     Interpretation

During the formal Session, besides the two official languages, simultaneous interpretation is provided in German, Italian and Russian, as well as Spanish (passive).

During the informal working lunch/dinner, simultaneous interpretation is provided in English and French.5

5. Voting rules

The voting rules are set out in Article 20 of the Statute.

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III. The Committee of Ministers at Deputy Level



1. Appointment of the Ministers' Deputies (Article 1)
2. Powers of the Committee of Ministers meeting at Deputy Level (Article 2)
3. Meetings (Article 3)
4. Composition of delegations (Article 4)
5. Agenda (Article 5) and documents
6. Chair (Article 6) and the conduct of meetings
7. Quorum (Article 7)
8. Languages (Article 8)
9. Voting (Article 9)
10. Method of voting (Article 10)
11. Partial Agreements (Article 11)
12. Order to be followed in the examination of proposals or amendments (Article 12)
13. Re-opening of a discussion (Article 13)
14. The Secretary General (Article 14)
15. Consultation of representatives of the Assembly or experts (Article 15)
16. Conclusions of the meeting (Article 16)
17. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure (Article 17)
18. Rules of Procedure of the Committee of Ministers (Article 18)
19. Human Rights (DH) meetings
20. Bureau

In accordance with Article 14b. of the Rules of Procedure of the CM, the way in which the Deputies’ powers are exercised and the procedure for their meetings are determined by their own Rules of Procedure. The boxed text below reproduces the current edition.6

The rules of procedure of the CM apply, where appropriate, to meetings of the Deputies in respect of matters not provided for in their own rules.

1. Appointment of the Ministers' Deputies (Article 1)

In accordance with Article 14 of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee of Ministers, each Minister for Foreign Affairs shall appoint a Deputy to act on his behalf outside the meetings held at the level of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs.


2. Powers of the Committee of Ministers meeting at Deputy Level (Article 2)

1. The Committee of Ministers meeting at Deputy level – hereinafter referred to as "the Deputies" – is empowered to deal with all matters within the competence of the Committee of Ministers and to take decisions on its behalf.

2. Decisions taken by the Deputies shall have the same force and effect as decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers meeting at the level of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs.

3. The Deputies shall, however, not take decisions on any matter which, in the view of one or more of them, should by reason of its political importance be dealt with by the Committee of Ministers meeting at ministerial level.

Matters within the competence of the CM are set out in Chapter IV of the Statute.

The Deputies apply Article 2, paragraph 3 above with the understanding that it requires that a member makes a request to that effect and that the Deputies agree on the basis of a decision taken by two-thirds majority of the representatives casting a vote and of a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the CM, as provided for in Article 20.d of the Statute.

3. Meetings (Article 3)

1. The Deputies shall meet for the purpose of transacting business and taking decisions on behalf of the Committee of Ministers.

2. The date of each meeting shall as a rule be fixed during the previous meeting.

3. Meetings shall be held at Strasbourg unless the Deputies decide otherwise by a simple majority.

4. When a meeting of the Deputies has been arranged in accordance with the provisions of this Article, any request for postponement shall be made at least fifteen days before the date fixed for the opening of the meeting; a decision to postpone the meeting shall be regarded as taken if two-thirds of the Members inform the Secretary General of their agreement at least seven days before the date originally fixed. A decision to advance the date of the meeting shall be regarded as taken only if all the Members inform the Secretary General of their agreement at least fifteen days before the new date which has been proposed.

Meetings of the Deputies are organised along the following lines, whilst maintaining some flexibility: 7

    · 3 Deputies’ meetings per month;

    · The Deputies’ Human Rights (DH) meetings, devoted to the supervision of the execution of judgments of the Court in compliance with Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights, take place at least 4 times a year for a duration of two or three days. They do not take place in the same week as other CM meetings;

    · extraordinary meetings may be convened by the Chair on urgent matters following proposals by one or more delegations or the SG and following consultations, notably with the Bureau;8

    · the Deputies in principle meet on a Wednesday.

In practice, the schedule of the Deputies’ meetings is adopted in the autumn before the start of the year.

The operation of the CM at Deputy level is subject to the information policy (see Chapter X, § 8: Information policy and classification of documents).

Article 21 of the Statute provides that, unless the Committee decides otherwise, meetings of the CM shall be held in private. A decision not to hold a meeting in private requires a unanimous vote of the Deputies casting a vote and a majority of the Deputies entitled to vote (See Article 9.1c.: Voting below).

During normal private meetings of the Deputies, the SG or the DSG may be present at all times. The SG is responsible for ensuring that presence of Secretarial staff during such sessions is limited to the minimum necessary.9

When greater privacy is envisaged, the Deputies may hold discussion in a more restricted session (“in camera”). Any delegation has a right to propose that an item be discussed in camera. The proposal may be made in a written note to the Chair, who in that case announces it without identifying the delegation concerned. The meeting will go into restricted session immediately upon this announcement, following which the requesting delegation is given the floor to justify its request. The decision as to whether to maintain a restricted session or to ask specified members of the Secretariat to be present during the discussion of the item concerned or to revert to normal session is taken by a simple majority of votes cast, in accordance with Article 9.3 of the Rules of Procedure.10

The EU participates in meetings of the Deputies and subsidiary groups11.

Observer States may observe regular meetings of the Deputies. Nevertheless, member States may hold in camera discussions if they deem it appropriate12.

The Chair should be able to invite, for discussions of special importance in the CM, high-ranking representatives from non-member States and from international organisations following consultation with the Bureau and the Committee.13

4. Composition of delegations (Article 4)

1. A Deputy may be aided by one or more assistants whose names and titles shall be notified to the Secretary General. An assistant may represent the Deputy and vote in his absence at meetings of the Deputies.

2. A Deputy may also be accompanied by advisers or experts who may speak at his request and with the Chairman's permission.


5. Agenda (Article 5) and documents

1. At each meeting of the Deputies, the Secretary General shall present a preliminary draft agenda for the following meeting which shall comprise:
a.
Opinions of the [Parliamentary] Assembly;
b.
Recommendations of the [Parliamentary] Assembly14;
c.
Other texts adopted by the [Parliamentary] Assembly15;
d.
Subject to the provisions of Article 13, items whose inscription has been requested by any member;
e.
Reports of committees of experts set up under Article 17 of the Statute;
f.
Items whose consideration is requested by the Secretary General.

2. On the basis of the preliminary draft so established, the Deputies agree on the draft agenda for their next meeting. The agenda shall be adopted at the beginning of each meeting. Any supplementary items may be added only if the Deputies so decide. Decisions about the agenda shall be taken by a simple majority.

The agenda and documents are subject to the information policy (see Chapter X, § 8: Information policy and classification of documents).

Agendas

The draft agendas are prepared by the Chair and the Secretariat in accordance with guidelines set by the Deputies16.

Given that the CM should be concerned primarily with the strategic and political orientation of the Council, agendas should mainly include items of a political nature and/or items requiring a decision. Moreover, to enhance the role of the CM as a political forum, substantial discussions on topical questions of pan-European significance are in principle held on a regular basis (total of 4-6 per year). Member States suggest topics for discussion and may provide documents to introduce a thematic discussion17 and CM statements on major events are encouraged.

Since July 2007, thematic monitoring exercises take place on an ad hoc basis, on a theme chosen by the CM. The modalities currently in force for the CM’s thematic monitoring procedure are set out in CM/Del/Dec(2007)999/2.2 app218 and are based on the 1994 CM Declaration on compliance with commitments undertaken by member States which is the legal basis for the CM's monitoring, including the thematic monitoring exercise.

Draft agendas should contain items ready for decision and take into account the time available. They should not include items that are not urgent or which could usefully be prepared by the relevant subsidiary body.

Preliminary draft agendas are examined by the Bureau, prior to their approval by the Deputies. They indicate the items to be prepared by Rapporteur Groups/Thematic coordinators/working parties.

In practice, the Deputies approve the preliminary draft agendas for the month to come, a couple of weeks before the beginning of that month.

The draft agendas are regularly up-dated on the website and one paper copy is published just before the meeting with the most up-to-date information possible.19

Items proposed by Secretariat Departments for examination are generally only included definitively on agendas once the Secretariat of the CM had received and distributed the necessary working documents.20

The titles of Assembly recommendations and written questions are quoted inside inverted commas within CM's documentation21.

The reports of Conventional Committees and other such bodies are not automatically placed on the Deputies’ agenda, unless action by the CM is required or unless a delegation so requests.22 The reports are circulated to all delegations and marked to the effect that they will not be placed on the agenda unless a delegation so requests.

Order of business

After adopting the agenda, the Deputies adopt the order of business based on a draft proposed by the Chair.

The order of business indicates, in a separate block (“in the box”), items for which draft decisions are proposed for adoption without debate.

Meetings are organised along the following lines while maintaining some flexibility:23

- the morning session begins with political issues and allows for a brief report from the SG and/or the DSG. The afternoon session generally should not exceed 3 hours, and is devoted to the remaining items as necessary;

- hearings and exchanges of views on topics of strategic and political orientation of particular significance to the Council, in principle, take place at the beginning of the afternoon (not more than one per meeting);

- items prepared by Rapporteur Groups are placed "in the box" for adoption without debate in cases where they were approved without objection at subsidiary group level. Delegations might make an explanatory statement without reopening discussion;

- use of silent procedures/adoption of decisions ad referendum is encouraged. The normal deadline is one and a half working days. (See § 10. Method of voting below.)

Any delegation could request that an item be removed from the box, even on the day of the meeting, under the item 'Adoption of the Agenda'. However, in order to provide all delegations with appropriate notice of this fact, it is highly recommended that two working days' notice be provided in writing to the Chair. If an item is removed from the box on the day of the meeting, the item should be postponed to the next meeting of the Deputies.24

Documents25

The SG assembles the material required by the representatives on the CM and distributes it to them.26 Documents are distributed in the two official languages.27

The documentation includes basic documents required for discussion and Notes on the agenda setting out the draft decisions. The Secretariat prepares Notes on the agenda only when they give added value to the Deputies' discussions and/or when they are necessary for preparing the Deputies' decisions.28

The presentation of documents should be standardised according to the following principles: concise, clear, and short. They should include at the beginning a summary, clearly defined recommendations for action to be taken, resource implications (financial and human) and a contact point.

Steering and expert committee reports and reports from conferences should be presented in the first instance to the competent Rapporteur Groups/Thematic coordinator within one month of the meeting, it being understood that the work of the Steering Committees will not be duplicated.

Documents should be presented within the deadlines set by the CM. In very exceptional and urgent cases, documents should be submitted no later than 24 hours before their consideration.

CM Documents

4 weeks before the meeting29

Notes on the agenda

the Friday before the week preceding the meeting30

Decisions

to be distributed within three working days after the end of the meeting31

Information documents for DH meetings:

one month before the meeting32

Distribution of documents

Prior to the meeting

one paper copy of each language of documents is sent to delegations on the 'navette33

In the meeting room

access to documents is provided electronically on “CM Direct”. This also applies to amended decisions and to documents made available during the course of meetings. Paper copies are not provided in the meeting room.34

For DH meetings

all documents are distributed in electronic form only

Documents distributed at the request of delegations

see CM/Del/Dec(2012)1147/1.10

The Secretariat of the CM distributes documents for discussion in the meetings of the CM and its subsidiary groups.

A delegation may request the Secretariat to distribute a working document for an item on the agenda of the meetings of the Deputies or their subsidiary groups or for an item which will appear on the draft agenda.

A request for the distribution of such a document shall be accompanied by a covering letter of the Permanent Representative. This applies in all cases except for written texts of oral statements made during a meeting and draft amendments formulated during a debate.

The Secretariat will distribute the document with the following mention on each page of the document:

“Documents distributed at the request of a Representative shall be under the sole responsibility of the said Representative, without prejudice to the legal or political position of the Committee of Ministers.”

If documents do not fall into the above category, delegations may make their own arrangements for their distribution.

Documents distributed by the Secretariat will be accessible in the electronic database of the CM.

6. Chair (Article 6) and the conduct of meetings35

1. The Deputy to the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers shall be the Chairman of the Deputies.

2. The Deputy who will next succeed to the Chair shall be the first Vice-Chairman of the Deputies. The outgoing Chairman will become the second Vice-Chairman. If the Chairman is absent, the Chair shall be taken by the first Vice-Chairman or, in his absence, by the second Vice-Chairman, then by the next full member present, in the alphabetical order adopted for the signature of the Statute of the Council of Europe, then by the last Chairman but one.

3. The Chair shall pass to a new Chair immediately following the transfer of the Chair of the Committee of Ministers.

The Chair

The Chair is held by a Permanent Representative. 36

The Chair acts in a neutral way and ensures that the rules and guidelines are respected. The Chair guides the discussions, put proposals to the vote and announce decisions.37

The Chair discourages the removal of items from “the box” for discussion without sound justification. Delegations wishing to do so are encouraged to inform the Chair two working days before the meeting. If the question is not urgent and having consulted with the relevant Chair as appropriate, the item may be referred back to the competent subsidiary group.

To open an item, the Chair may give a short introduction and indicate the maximum length of time available. Three minutes speaking time is allocated to each intervention, on the understanding that the Chair uses flexibility, depending on the agenda item. The Chair should announce the number of delegations asking for the floor and give the names of at least the next two on the list.

The Chair guides the discussions towards an operational result, in particular by requesting delegations to react to compromise texts or specific proposals. When it appears that a consensus is emerging, the Chair may ask if there are any delegations which do not share the same position, with a view to concluding the discussion.

With regard to the time available, the Chair may close the speakers’ list or the discussion, requesting further contributions in writing for the record.

At the end of an item and/or meeting, the Chair should conclude briefly on the outcome (substance and/or procedure).

The Chair avoids opening drafting exercises during the Deputies’ meetings. If the issue is not ready for a decision the Chair postpones the item. If the item concerns only a small number of delegations the Chair may invite them, with the assistance of a mediator and the Secretariat, as appropriate, to resolve the question in the margins of the meeting.

Between meetings, the Chair takes the necessary steps, especially when there is disagreement on the substance, to advance work in hand by conducting consultations with delegations. The results are presented by the Chair, whenever possible, in writing.

Delegations

Whenever appropriate, delegations are encouraged to communicate to the Chair the positions they are likely to take in a forthcoming meeting. When that includes proposals for amending texts, delegations are encouraged to suggest specific wording in writing beforehand.

Delegations are encouraged to limit the use of courtesies during meetings.

When formal statements of some length have to be made, they should ideally be summarised briefly drawing attention to highlights and conclusions, the full written text being distributed separately as early as possible before the meeting and included, if appropriate, in the records of the meeting.

As far as modalities of conducting exchanges of views with different personalities are concerned, delegations are encouraged to submit questions in writing in advance, which will enable the personalities to answer them in their introductory comments.

7. Quorum (Article 7)

The Deputies shall not deliberate or decide with full effect unless two-thirds of the Deputies are present or represented in accordance with the provisions of Article 4, paragraph 1 of these Rules of Procedure.


8. Languages (Article 8)

1. English and French shall be the official languages, in accordance with Article 12 of the Statute.

2. A Deputy may speak in any other language, but in that case he himself shall provide for interpretation into one of the official languages.


9. Voting (Article 9)38

1. The following decisions shall require a unanimous vote of the Deputies casting a vote, and a majority of the Deputies entitled to vote:
a.
Recommendations to governments under Article 15.b of the Statute;
b.
Decisions on the inclusion of information about the activities of the Committee in the reports made by the Committee of Ministers to the Assembly in pursuance of Article 19 of the Statute;
c.
Decisions to derogate from the rule that meetings are held in private or concerning the publication of information relating to the conclusions and decisions of the Deputies on the basis of the provision of Article 21 of the Statute;
d.
Decisions on holding sessions of the [Parliamentary] Assembly elsewhere than in Strasbourg;
e.
Recommendations for the amendment of the Statute;
f.
Decisions on the admission of new Members;
g.
Decisions on matters which the Deputies may, under the conditions provided for in paragraph 4 of this Article, decide to subject to a unanimous vote on account of their importance.

2. Resolutions concerning the adoption of the budget shall be taken by a two-thirds majority.

3. Questions arising under the Rules of Procedure or under the Financial or Staff Regulations shall be decided by a simple majority.

4. All other decisions of the Deputies, including, in case of doubt, the decision as to which paragraph of this Article applies, require a two-thirds majority.

Opening of conventions and agreements for signature

Decisions on the opening for signature of conventions and agreements concluded within the Council shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of the Representatives casting a vote and a majority of the Representatives entitled to sit on the CM, as set out in Article 20.d of the Statute.39

CM Recommendations

In 1994, the Deputies agreed upon a “gentleman’s agreement” amongst themselves to the effect that no delegation should request the application of the rule of unanimity provided for under Article 20.a (i) of the Statute to block the adoption of recommendations to the governments of member States, if the majority foreseen in Article 20.d of the Statute has been attained (i.e. a two-thirds majority of the Representatives casting a vote and a majority of the Representatives entitled to sit on the CM).40

Replies to the Assembly

In 1994, the Deputies, noting that no binding decision on this subject exists in the Statute, agreed to adopt replies to the Assembly then on by a two-thirds majority of the Representatives casting a vote and a majority of the Representatives entitled to sit on the CM, as set out in Article 20.d of the Statute, considering that every effort will be made to reach a consensus within a reasonable period of time. They also agreed to specify, at the beginning of the text of an answer of the CM to the Assembly, if a delegation should request it, that this answer was adopted by a majority as provided by Article 20.d of the Statute.41

This 1994 agreement is not applied to replies to written questions from members of the Assembly, which are adopted by the unanimous vote of the representatives casting a vote and of a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the CM. (See also Chapter IX § 1.4 and § 1.5 on the procedure for dealing with recommendations and written questions of the Assembly.)

Decisions authorising the creation of a Partial Agreement

In accordance with the Statutory Resolution on Partial and Enlarged Agreements, decisions authorising certain member States to pursue an activity as a Partial Agreement are taken by a two-thirds majority of the Representatives casting a vote and a majority of the Representatives entitled to sit on the CM, as set out in Article 20.d of the Statute.42 (See also Chapter VII, § 2: Partial Agreements.)

Decisions concerning the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities

Decisions pursuant to Articles 24.1 and 25.2 of the framework convention shall be considered to be adopted if two-thirds of the representatives of Contracting Parties casting a vote, including a majority of the representatives of the Contracting Parties entitled to sit on the CM, vote in favour. This rule may be revised whenever the CM deems it appropriate.43

Appointments to various functions and bodies

For the Chairs of Rapporteur groups/Ad hoc working parties and Thematic coordinators see Chapter IV, § 1.2.1: Selection procedure.

For the SG, DSG and SG of the Assembly, the Commissioner, other functions and bodies: see Chapter V: Appointment to various functions and bodies.

10. Method of voting (Article 10)

1. In every vote it shall be open to a Deputy:
a.
to record his approval, opposition or abstention, which may be accompanied by an explanatory statement;
b.
to agree a text or decision ad referendum; in that case he shall inform the Secretariat at a later date whether he is able to give his final agreement. Should his vote have been necessary in order to obtain the statutory majority or to achieve the required unanimity, the adoption of the text or the application of the decision shall be suspended; once the final agreement had been given, the text or decision shall take effect as of the date on which the vote was taken in the meeting of the Deputies;

2. Where unanimity is required, a Deputy may:
a.
record his opposition, in which case the proposal shall be rejected;
b.
require that the decision be deferred; in that case the question is included in the agenda of a subsequent meeting;
c.
approve the adoption of a text but reserve the right of his government to comply with it or not;
d.
record his abstention which may be accompanied by an explanatory statement, which shall not prevent the Deputies from reaching a decision in accordance with the provisions of Article 9 of the present Rules.

3. A two-thirds majority is obtained if two-thirds of the Deputies casting a vote and the majority of the Deputies entitled to vote, vote in the same sense44.

4. A simple majority requires the votes of half of the number of the Deputies entitled to vote, plus one45.

5. Only affirmative and negative votes shall count in calculating the number of votes cast.

6. After the result of a vote has been announced a Deputy may, with the agreement of his colleagues expressed by a simple majority, change the position which he adopted during the vote.

7. Before proceeding to a vote, the Chairman may ask the Deputies to express their views on an indicative basis.

The Deputies agreed upon a “gentleman’s agreement” amongst themselves to the effect that their delegations would endeavour, whenever possible, not to abstain when voting on the inclusion of activities in the intergovernmental programme of activities.46

Silent procedures/adoption of decisions ad referendum

Use of silent procedures/adoption of decisions ad referendum should be encouraged. The normal deadline is one and a half working days.47

The following rules apply to the ad referendum procedure48:

- where, in accordance with Article 10, paragraph 1.b of the Rules of Procedure for the Meetings of the Ministers’ Deputies, a Deputy agreed a text or decision ad referendum, the Chair shall ascertain whether that Deputy’s vote is necessary in order that the decision may be regarded as having been taken according to the relevant voting rules;

- if so, the Committee shall fix a time-limit, normally within one and a half working days if it is not possible before the end of the meeting, within which the Deputy having voted ad referendum shall be asked to inform the Secretariat of his government’s final position;

- if, on expiry of this time-limit, the Deputy in question has given his/her final agreement or has not contacted the Secretariat, the decision shall be deemed to have been taken at the date on which the vote was taken in the meeting of the Deputies;

- if, before the expiry of the time-limit, the Deputy in question informs the Secretariat that he/she is unable to give his/her final agreement, the matter shall again be placed on the agenda of the CM, for consideration at the next meeting of the Deputies. The procedure for "informing" the Secretariat should be oral during meetings of the Deputies and in writing thereafter.

11. Partial Agreements (Article 11)

Article 11 of the Rules of Procedure of the meetings of the Ministers' Deputies is obsolete following the adoption of Statutory Resolution Res(93)28 on Partial and Enlarged Agreements (92nd Session, 14 May 1993).

See also Chapter VII, § 2: Partial Agreements.

12. Order to be followed in the examination of proposals or amendments (Article 12)

1. When several proposals relate to the same subject, they shall be put to the vote in the order in which they were tabled. In case of doubt as to the degree of priority the Chairman shall give a ruling.

2. When an amendment is moved to a proposal, the amendment shall be voted on first. When two or more amendments are moved to a proposal, the Deputies shall first vote on the amendment furthest removed in substance from the original proposal and then on the amendment next furthest removed therefrom, and so on, until all the amendments have been put to the vote. Where, however, the adoption of one amendment necessarily implies the rejection of another amendment, the latter amendment shall not be put to the vote. The proposal shall then be put to a final vote subject to any amendments which may have been carried. In case of doubt as to the degree of priority the Chairman shall give a ruling.

3. The parts of a proposal or of an amendment may be put to the vote separately.

4. In the case of proposals of a budgetary nature, the highest total shall be put to the vote first. Each vote relating to a particular sub-head entails the final grant of the corresponding appropriations.


13. Re-opening of a discussion (Article 13)

On a proposal which has been rejected, a Deputy may subsequently ask for the re-opening of the debate and for a second and final vote. The Deputies shall decide thereon by a simple majority.



14. The Secretary General (Article 14)

The Secretary General or his representative may, at any time, make a written or oral statement on any subject under discussion.

It is customary for the SG to make a communication at the beginning of each meeting of the Deputies (except DH meetings) at which he/she is present under the item 1.3 – Dialogue with the SG and the DSG.49

The communication is divided into two parts:

- a short written communication to inform of the main official visits and activities since the last communication, together with the list of future visits. This is distributed one or two days in advance of the Deputies’ meeting and links to speeches and relevant documents included as appropriate. This should not give rise to discussion, unless a delegation specifically requests. However, protocol matters, such as expressions of gratitude for official visits or attendance at various events, should not be raised during the meeting; if necessary they could be dealt with in a letter;

- an oral communication for the SG to broach matters of particular political relevance or staff matters to allow him to get reactions from delegations. Depending on the aspects the SG wishes to raise, discussions could be held in camera, as appropriate.

The above applies mutatis mutandis to the DSG.

15. Consultation of representatives of the Assembly or experts (Article 15)

With the agreement of the Deputies, the Chairman may request the attendance of a representative of the Assembly, an expert or any qualified person to make a statement on particular aspects of any question on the agenda. Unless otherwise decided, anyone so invited shall take no part in the discussion and shall withdraw after making his statement and answering any questions.

For the consultation of representatives of the Assembly see Chapter IX, § 1 on relations with the Assembly.

Different exchanges of views with external personalities are held in accordance with specific guidelines50 depending on the persons concerned:

External personalities including: heads of state of member or non-member States, members of governments of such states, Chairs or high officials of international organisations or bodies

depending on rank and/or subject matter received either by the Deputies themselves, or in a special meeting of the Deputies51, or by one of the subsidiary bodies52

Commissioner, President of the Congress, President of the Conference of INGOs, External Auditor

presentation of annual report, and possibly exchange of views with the Deputies on specific subjects

President of the Court

twice per year (end of January before the opening of the judicial year and early July), without duplicating the work in the framework of the GT-REF.ECHR. The Court distributes an information document shortly before each meeting, so that Deputies can have an informed exchange of views. Either party could request additional exchanges of views if necessary53

Chairs of conventional committees

annual hearing of the CPT, pf the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the protection of national minorities and of the European Committee of Social Rights54. The chairs of other conventional committees are normally heard in the appropriate subsidiary body

Chairs of Council bodies established by the CM

annual report to the Deputies. There are annual hearings of representatives of a number of important committees including the: ECRI, CEPEJ, CAHDI, GRETA, MONEYVAL and ECSR. There are also biennial hearings with a number of other committees, namely: CCJE and CCPE. There are annual hearings of the Budget Committee in the GR-PBA (or the Deputies as appropriate)

Chairs of partial agreements

the practice consists in inviting the chairs of partial agreements, ie currently the President of the Venice Commission and of GRECO to meetings of the Deputies

Chairs of steering and expert committees

in the appropriate subsidiary body


16. Conclusions of the meeting (Article 16)

1. At the end of each meeting the draft conclusions shall be submitted by the Secretary of the Committee of Ministers for approval of the Deputies. This report shall record the conclusions reached by the Deputies and shall not constitute a summary report of the discussions or of the views expressed. Nevertheless, when the Deputies are unable to reach agreement on a question for which unanimity is required the majority and minority views shall be recorded in the conclusions.

2. The point of view expressed by a Deputy during a meeting shall be recorded if a specific request is so made. The same applies to statements by the Secretary General or his representative.

3. The final text of the conclusions shall be distributed within three working days after the end of the meeting.

Volume of Decisions adopted and Records

Since 1993, the conclusions of the meeting are contained in two documents: 1. Decisions adopted and 2. Records containing statements by Delegations or by the Secretariat if requested and the results of formal votes. In certain cases, summings-up of the Chair could enable the drafting of records to be avoided. The Deputies’ meetings are recorded, and the recordings kept for a period of six months, so that Delegations or the Secretariat may consult them if need be.

The Deputies agreed in 2001 that verbatim transcriptions should be used only very exceptionally.55

Adoption of Decisions56

In accordance with standing instructions, the Secretariat prepares, whenever possible, draft decisions for each item on the agenda of a meeting of the Deputies. The draft decisions are appended to the Notes on the Agenda.

When an item is dealt with without debate ("in the box"), the draft decisions are adopted together with the order of business.57

When an item has been discussed, the draft decisions are approved, amended or replaced.

In the event of amendment or replacement, the draft decisions are formally approved at the end of the meeting during the “adoption of decisions”. If no change is made to the draft decisions, they are considered adopted.

At the end of the meeting, the Secretary to the CM lists orally those items for which there are no decisions and the items where decisions had been adopted as in the Notes on the Agenda. He/She then draws attention to the draft decisions which have been amended or those which have been redrafted with a view to their formal adoption.

17. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure (Article 17)

Subject to the provisions of the Statute, these Rules of Procedure may be amended by the Deputies by a two-thirds majority, except in the case of Articles 2 and 9 the amendment of which shall require a unanimous vote.


18. Rules of Procedure of the Committee of Ministers (Article 18)

The Rules of Procedure of the Committee of Ministers shall apply, where appropriate, to meetings of the Deputies in respect of matters not provided for in these Rules.


19. Human Rights (DH) meetings

Supervision of the execution of judgments and of the terms of friendly settlements

DH meetings are Deputies’ meetings which are devoted to the supervision of the execution of judgments and decisions of the Court.58

The exercise of the powers of the CM is governed by the Rules of the CM for the supervision of the execution of judgments and of the terms of friendly settlements.

The rules of procedure governing the Deputies’ meetings apply to DH meetings, unless otherwise provided (see below).59

The Deputies have further agreed additional and specific working methods for the DH meetings to deal with the ever increasing workload. The latest system for the supervision of the execution was adopted by the Deputies in December 2010. 60

Standard and enhanced procedure

This system sets a twin track supervision system: a standard and simplified procedure as the norm and an enhanced procedure for certain cases.

The indicators for the classification of cases under the enhanced supervision procedure are the following:

    - judgments requiring urgent individual measures;

    - pilot judgments;

    - judgments disclosing major structural and/or complex problems as identified by the Court and/or the CM;

    - interstate cases.

In addition, the CM may decide to examine any case under the enhanced procedure following an initiative of a member State or the Secretariat.

Agendas of DH meetings

All cases are deemed to be on the agenda of each DH meeting. The Deputies have access at all times to the list and status of the pending cases in the website of the Department for the execution of the judgments and decisions of the Court or of the CM. Accordingly no agenda is drawn up for the DH meetings.

Order of business of DH meetings

A draft order of business is prepared for each DH meeting, under the responsibility of the Chair.

It includes a section on cases proposed for consideration under enhanced procedure with or without debate and a section on case management. Only the cases under enhanced procedure, or proposed for enhanced procedure, are examined. A request for debate can be made by any member State or the Secretariat.

The draft order of business is issued one month before the meeting. Delegations may propose amendments up to 10 calendar days before the meeting. After expiry of this time-limit, a revised draft order of business is issued, on the basis of comments received.

Under the enhanced procedure, for the cases proposed without debate, a draft decision is in principle prepared and distributed with the draft order of business. For those proposed with debate, the Secretariat is instructed to prepare as a rule preliminary draft decisions for all the cases under Article 34 of the Convention, appearing on the order of business, to be circulated with the revised draft order of business, unless the State or States under examination object(s). In case of an objection, the Secretariat will prepare points for consideration to guide the debate.

For case management, the draft order of business includes a number of draft decisions, in principle taken without debate, such as the classification of new judgments and new decisions of the Court, the supervision of the payment of just satisfaction, the transmission of action plans and the adoption of resolutions closing the examination of certain cases.

The Deputies approve the order of business at the opening of the meeting.

20. Bureau

Membership

The Bureau consists of six members in the English alphabetical order (the present Chair, the two previous Chairs and the three future Chairs).61

Quorum

For the Bureau to deliberate and take decisions validly, four of its six members must be present or be represented as provided for in Article 4, paragraph 1 of the Rules of Procedure for the Meetings of the Ministers' Deputies.

Decision making

The Bureau’s decisions are generally taken by consensus. If however consensus cannot be reached, decisions are taken by a simple majority, the Chair having a casting vote62.

The Bureau has no decision-making power on questions of substance and may not substitute itself for the full Committee.

Main Tasks63

- providing guidance to the Chair and Secretariat on handling Committee business;

- preparation of the meetings of the CM, including proposals for draft agendas of items to be prepared by Rapporteur groups/thematic coordinators/working parties, and indication of items where no debate is envisaged;

- contacts with the Assembly, in particular, representing the CM at the Joint Working Party with representatives from the Bureau of the Assembly, and the preparation of the Joint Committee;

- representing the CM in some other meetings and exchanges of views;

- at the request of the Chair or the CM receiving visitors on behalf of the CM and, if appropriate, holding an exchange of views with the visitors;

- advising the Chair at his/her request on urgent political statements to be issued by the Chair in his/her own name;

- carrying out consultations about the nominations of Chairs of Rapporteur Groups and Working Parties and submit relevant proposals to the CM for decision;

- examination of requests for the use of the CM meeting room and foyer.

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IV. The Deputies’ Rapporteur Groups/Thematic Coordinators/Working Parties64



1. Rapporteur Groups
1.1     Membership
1.2     Chairs
1.2.1     Selection procedure
1.2.2     Length of chairmanship
1.2.3     Duties
1.2.4     Absence
1.3     Responsibilities and powers
1.4     Functioning
1.4.1     Organisation of work
1.4.2     Meetings
1.4.3     Languages
1.4.4     Agenda
1.4.5     Documentation
1.4.6     Participation in meetings
2. Thematic Co-ordinators
2.1     Appointment
2.2     Term of office
2.3     Terms of reference
2.4     Working methods
3. Working Parties
3.1     Membership
3.2     Chair
3.3     Terms of reference
3.4     Working methods

Rapporteur groups/Ad hoc working parties/Thematic coordinators are informal working structures of the Deputies and have no decision-making power. They prepare decisions for the CM for adoption, ideally without debate.65

1. Rapporteur Groups

1.1     Membership

Rapporteur Groups are open to all delegations wishing to take part in the activities, to the EU and to states enjoying observer status with the CM. 66 Their members shall be permanent representatives or their deputies. They will be assisted by the Secretariat (and, where necessary, the Chair or members of committees of experts).

The current list of Rapporteur Groups is: GR-DEM, GR-EXT, GR-PBA, GR-C, GR-H, GR-J and GR-SOC. 67

1.2     Chairs

1.2.1     Selection procedure68

1. Chairs of a Rapporteur Group are appointed from among Permanent Representatives;

2. Whenever the Chair of a Rapporteur Group becomes vacant, the Chair of the Deputies will notify the Deputies and any candidate interested in the position will notify the Chair of the Deputies accordingly;

3. A list of all foreseeable forthcoming vacancies in the following 12 months will be put on the CM website in order to allow delegations to have an overview and plan accordingly. It will be up-dated regularly;

4. The Deputies’ Bureau selects Chairs of Rapporteur Groups in accordance with all the following criteria: seniority, qualifications, availability and stated interest in the field of activities. Gender balance should be borne in mind when considering candidates;

5. The outgoing Chair of the Deputies may be offered the chairmanship of a group, regardless of his/her seniority;

6. The Bureau submits recommendations to the Deputies who then take a decision;

7. The Bureau should seek to make a recommendation by consensus, in principle within two meetings;

8. When more than one candidature is received, the Chair will carry out consultations with the candidates, in order to identify a consensual solution to be presented to the CM;

9. If the Bureau does not reach consensus, then the full list of candidates should be submitted for a decision by the CM. The list will contain the candidates who have expressed to the Chair the wish to maintain their candidature, in alphabetical order of the member State they represent;

10. If the Bureau makes a recommendation, but a candidate maintains his/her candidature, then the list of candidates will be submitted for a decision by the CM.

In case of a vote on the list of candidates, the candidate obtaining the simple majority of votes within the meaning of Article 10.4 of the rules of Procedure for the Meetings of the Deputies (ie, half of the number of the Deputies entitled to vote, plus one) and the largest number of votes shall be declared elected.69

1.2.2     Length of chairmanship

The term of office of each Chair of a Rapporteur Group is two years, in principle non-renewable, from the date of his/her nomination by the Deputies. This period may, however, be extended by the Deputies in exceptional cases, where continuity in the activities embarked upon by a particular group is required.

1.2.3     Duties

Within each Rapporteur Group the Chair has an instigating and guiding role in the group's sphere of work. He or she reports to the Deputies on the group's work when the items that the group has prepared come up for discussion.

Where appropriate, the Chair of each Rapporteur Group and the Group itself may make any contact outside the Council. Such contacts are made after consulting the Chair of the Deputies in good time, who may decide to refer the matter to the Bureau and, if necessary, the Deputies. These contacts should not interfere with the statutory role of the SG when representing the Organisation.

The guidelines for the conduct of meetings of the Deputies (see Chapter III, § 6.1: Guidelines for the conduct of meetings above) apply mutatis mutandis to the Chairs of Rapporteur groups. In addition, the following guidelines should also be applied:70

· advance knowledge of items for the agenda, planned timetable and timely distribution of documents;

· in principle, documents for discussion should be distributed 15 workings days in advance;

· delegations should ideally present proposed amendments in writing 3-5 working days before the date of the meeting;

· preliminary debates or exchanges of views in the groups should not take place if the documents were not distributed on time;

· in principle, information documents are not discussed unless a delegation so requests;

· group synopses should be distributed no later than 4 working days after the meeting.

1.2.4     Absence

The absence of a Rapporteur Group Chair should not prevent the group from meeting when necessary. Therefore a Vice-Chair can be appointed to stand in for the Chair in case of absence. Any appointment is made in close consultation with the Chair of the Deputies.

If both the Chair and Vice-Chair of a Rapporteur Group are absent or unavailable, it is recommended that a replacement be appointed on an ad hoc basis.

1.3     Responsibilities and powers

Each Rapporteur Group deals, in close contact with the SG, with matters falling within its field of activity.71 As such, it plays a part in the supervision of progress and results of the programme of activities.

Rapporteur Groups may engage in general policy discussions of relevance to their sectors of activity. They will develop their activities in contact with:

- the Assembly, its committees, their chairs and Rapporteurs, and, mutatis mutandis,

- the Congress and its bodies, as well as with

- steering committees, their Bureaux and chairs,

- conferences of specialised ministers and their preparatory committees.

Rapporteur Groups are responsible for maintaining dialogue with the steering committees and partial agreements (working in their respective sector of activities); this shall include, where necessary, the holding of hearings.

Rapporteur Groups may appoint working parties or thematic coordinators for a fixed time, after consultation with the Bureau, to consider specific issues within the Group’s field of competence.

Rapporteur Groups have no decision-making power.

The Secretariat is responsible inter alia for:

- providing general services such as preparation and distribution of documents to be discussed by Rapporteur Groups, including synopses of meetings;

- convening Rapporteur Groups meetings in accordance with the general practices of good management;

- where appropriate and under the supervision of the Bureau, co-ordinating the work of the different Rapporteur Groups.

1.4     Functioning

1.4.1     Organisation of work

Work is organised on the following lines:

Chair of the Deputies and Bureau (under the supervision of the Deputies): co-ordination of Rapporteur Groups' responsibilities

Rapporteur Groups:
• forums for information exchange and identifying problems,
• preparing Deputies' discussions, with the aim, ideally, of drawing up draft decisions grouped in a box in the draft order of business to be presented to the Deputies for adoption without debate,
• no rules of procedure and, in particular, no rule on quorums

If a delegation considers it necessary, after the Rapporteur Group meeting, to continue discussion on an item at plenary level, the Chair of the Deputies and the Chair of the Group should be informed accordingly and if possible this fact should be mentioned in the synopsis of the meeting.

Deputies: adoption of Decisions, discussion of general policy matters and rulings on questions not resolved within the Rapporteur Groups


1.4.2     Meetings72

A timetable of meetings should be prepared, as far as possible well in advance, according to the following guidelines:

· meetings should only be convened when the agenda justifies it; as appropriate, the GR-DEM may hold a meeting every 3-4 weeks; the GR-PBA and GR-H every 4 weeks; the other GRs every 6 weeks; GTs as their task requires; additional meetings may be organised if necessary;

· Mondays and Fridays should generally be meeting-free days;

· meetings should be no longer than 3 hours;

· the GR-J and GR-H should in principle not take place during the same week;

· whenever possible, meetings should be avoided during school holidays.

1.4.3     Languages

Interpretation is in principle provided, unless there is an express agreement from the Chair of a particular group that a meeting may be held without interpretation.73

1.4.4     Agenda

Rapporteur Groups’ agendas are in principle drawn up at the instigation of the Deputies or the Deputies' Bureau.

Within their particular spheres of activity, the Chair of each Rapporteur Group and the Group itself has room for initiative. In the interest of consistency, however, they keep the Chair of the Deputies informed of their draft agendas, and he or she may decide to consult the Bureau and, if necessary, the Deputies.

1.4.5     Documentation

Convocations to and synopses of the meetings of the Rapporteur Groups are issued under the responsibility of each group’s Chair. Copies thereof are sent to all delegations and, where appropriate, to observers, in order to ensure that they are kept regularly informed of the work in progress in the different groups.

At their meetings, Rapporteur Groups endeavour to make use of annotated agendas and Chairs of the Deputies' Rapporteur Groups seek to comply with the deadline for circulation.

Meeting synopses should provide a succinct record of the content of the debates without, as far as possible, identifying the delegations concerned.

The presentation of documents should be standardised according to the following principles: concise, clear, and short. They should include at the beginning a summary, clearly defined recommendations for action to be taken, resource implications (financial and human) and a contact point.74

Documents should be presented within the deadlines set by the CM. In very exceptional and urgent cases, documents should be submitted no later than 24 hours before their consideration. In principle, the deadlines for Rapporteur Group documents are:75

- annotated agendas: the Friday before the week preceding the meeting

- documents for discussion: 15 workings days in advance

- synopses: 4 working days after the meeting

- delegations should ideally present proposed amendments in writing 3-5 working days before the date of the meeting.

Steering and expert committee reports and reports from conferences should be presented in the first instance to the competent Rapporteur Groups/Thematic coordinator within one month of the meeting; it being understood that the work of the Steering Committees will not be duplicated.76

1.4.6     Participation in meetings

Non-member States without observer status

Representatives of non-member States without observer status are allowed to participate, on an ad hoc basis, in meetings of the Rapporteur Groups, if the topic to be discussed directly concerns those countries, upon invitation by the Chair of the relevant Group and with the prior agreement of the CM, in accordance with Article 20.a. of the Statute.77

Concerning Belarus, the GR-DEM may 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.78

Other external personalities

Where appropriate, the Chair of each Rapporteur Group and the Group itself may make any contact outside the Council. Such contacts are made after consulting the Chair of the Deputies in good time, who may decide to refer the matter to the Bureau and, if necessary, the Deputies. Delegations should be informed in good time of the participation of outside personalities in group meetings.79

Rapporteur Groups are encouraged to invite a representative of the European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) to their meetings as an observer whenever engaging in a debate of particular concern to the Roma and Travellers.80

Staff Committee

The Chairperson of the Staff Committee is authorised to attend meetings and follow the proceedings of the GR-PBA on a regular basis, it being understood that the existing provisions on relations between staff and the CM, as set out in the Article 7 of the Regulations on staff participation (Appendix I of the Staff Regulations), remained valid.81

2. Thematic Co-ordinators

Thematic coordinators (“TC”) are appointed by the CM to follow certain areas of importance to the Organisation.82

The work of Thematic coordinators should be coordinated with that of the CM. In particular:83

- all TCs will inform the CM of their plans (at least once a year);
- all TCs will keep the CM regularly informed of their activities and seek its guidance, as appropriate.

There is currently one Thematic coordinator: TC-INF (Information Policy).

2.1     Appointment

Thematic Co-ordinators are appointed from among Permanent Representatives and Deputy Permanent Representatives.

Rules regarding the selection procedure of the Chairs of Rapporteur Groups apply to TCs (see § 1.2.1 above).

2.2     Term of office

The term of office of each TC is, in principle, two84 years not renewable, from the date of his/her nomination by the Deputies. This period may be extended by the Deputies in exceptional cases where continuity in the activities embarked upon by a particular TC is required. The CM will take a decision to continue, redirect or discontinue a TC towards the end of each mandate.85

2.3     Terms of reference

TCs should have a mandate approved by the CM. The mandates should be readily accessible on the CM web-site. 86

TCs may be asked to consider matters relating to the Deputies’ work, on the basis of the principle of individual work – collective decision. They work in close contact with the SG and the relevant Secretariat departments and, where this proves necessary, place at the disposal of the plenary committee their experience in their specific field.

Each TC addresses issues within his/her remit. TCs may make contact with any internal Council body as appropriate.

Where necessary, TCs may make any contact outside the Council after consulting the Chair of the Deputies in good time, who may decide to refer the matter to the Bureau and, if necessary, the Deputies. These contacts should not interfere with the statutory role of the SG when representing the Organisation.

TCs may also be appointed, for a fixed period of time, after consulting the Bureau, to consider specific issues discussed within the Rapporteur Groups (see § 1.3 above).

2.4     Working methods

To perform their assignments TCs may consult the delegations as necessary and, if appropriate, convene informal meetings. Before any such meeting, TCs should issue to delegations a convocation and, where appropriate, an annotated draft agenda. The guidelines for the conduct of meetings by the Chairs of Rapporteur groups apply mutatis mutandis to TCs (see § 1.2.3 above).

The same procedure for informing the Chair of the Deputies as that chosen for the Rapporteur Groups applies to TCs’ draft agendas.

The TCs may present a report to the Deputies in writing, possibly for consideration without debate. The report indicates in particular the outcome of any consultations, including the results obtained from informal meetings held.

3. Working Parties

There is currently one ad hoc working party87:
- GT-REF.ECHR: its mandate expires on 31 December 201588.

3.1     Membership

Working Party membership may be restricted or open, as decided by the Deputies. The latter also decide on whether observers can take part in the activities of the Working Parties.

3.2     Chair

Chairs of a Working Party are appointed from among Permanent Representatives.

Rules regarding appointment and duties of the Chairs of Rapporteur Groups (see § 1.2 above) apply to Chairs of Working Parties.

Chairs of Working Parties set up by Rapporteur Groups are appointed by the relevant Rapporteur Group, after consultation with the Bureau of the Deputies.

3.3     Terms of reference

Terms of reference of Working Parties refer to specific tasks relating to the work of the Deputies or of a Rapporteur Group. The duration of Working Parties is in principle stipulated when they are set up. They may, as in the case of Rapporteur Groups and TCs, be asked to consider matters relating to their specific task.

All ad hoc working parties should have mandates and be limited in time. The mandates, approved by the CM, should be readily accessible on the CM web-site.89

3.4     Working methods

Working Parties will implement the same methods and procedures as those laid down for the Rapporteur Groups and TCs.

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V. Appointment to various functions and bodies



1. Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly
2. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
2.1    Terms of reference
2.2    Election procedure
3. Advisory panel of experts on candidates for election as judge to the European Court of Human Rights
3.1    Terms of reference
3.2    Appointment of the members of the panel
4. Other functions and bodies
4.1    Calls for candidatures
4.2    Deadline for receipt of candidatures
4.3    Voting arrangements in the Committee of Ministers

This section presents the procedures relating to senior appointmentments and those to a number of functions and bodies. (See also Chapter X, § 7: Improving gender mainstreaming and gender balance.)

1. Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly

In accordance with Article 36.b of the Statute, the SG and DSG are appointed by the Assembly on the recommendation of the CM. The same applies to the SG of the Assembly.

The regulations for the appointment of the SG, DSG and SG of the Assembly are laid down in regulations adopted by both the CM and the Assembly.

Concerning the procedure for election of the SG, the CM agreed in 2007 that it will henceforth present to the Assembly candidates who enjoy a high level of recognition, are well-known among their peers and the people of Europe, and have previously served as Heads of State or Government, or held senior ministerial office or similar status relevant to the post, and asks the governments of member States to present candidates who match this profile.90

The CM and the Assembly have adopted a joint interpretative statement on Rules and procedures for the future elections of the SG.91 This statement clarifies the consultation process between the Assembly and the CM. The calendar for the election of the SG and a competence framework are appended to that statement. It also specifies that the CM may vote when drawing-up the list of candidates. In this context, it is recalled that Article 20.d of the Statute (i.e. two-thirds majority of the representatives casting a vote and of a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the CM) applies in the absence of a consensus on the list of candidates to be submitted to the Assembly.

Concerning the DSG, the Deputies, having agreed with the Assembly in the Joint Committee on 26 January 2012, approved a competence framework for the post of DSG.92

(See also Chapter X, § 6: Conditions of service of the SG, DSG, the SG of the Assembly, judges of the Court and the Commissioner.)

2. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

2.1    Terms of reference

The terms of reference are set out in the Resolution Res(99)50 on the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

2.2    Election procedure

Article 9 of Resolution Res(99)50 stipulates that the Commissioner shall be elected by the Assembly by a majority of votes cast from a list of three candidates drawn up by the CM.

The Deputies apply the following procedure for drawing up a list of three candidates:93

“1. A ballot paper presenting the names and proposing States of all the candidates would be presented. The names would appear in the chronological order of the submission of the candidatures.

2. Each delegation would vote for three candidates appearing on the ballot paper. Ballot papers on which either less than three or more than three candidates were indicated would be considered invalid.

3. The three candidates obtaining the highest number of votes and the absolute majority of the representatives entitled to vote would be declared selected for inclusion in the list.

4. If in the first round less than three candidates obtained the majority referred to under paragraph 3 above, a second or subsequent rounds might prove necessary. The Chairman might propose that, for the purposes of a second or subsequent round, the threshold majority could be that of the absolute majority of the valid votes cast.

5. In the case of a second or subsequent rounds, the Chairman may invite delegations of States whose candidates have obtained the lowest number of votes to consider withdrawal.

6. In the second or subsequent rounds, each delegation would vote only for the number of candidates corresponding to the remaining places on the list.

7. The Chairman would announce the results of each round of election in camera.

8. Once the list is drawn up, the Chairman would address a letter to the President of the Assembly indicating that, out of [number] candidates submitted, the Committee of Ministers had drawn up the list of three candidates following a voting procedure, the names being presented in alphabetical order so as to indicate that the Committee of Ministers does not wish to express any preference as between candidates included in the list.”

(See also Chapter X, § 6: Conditions of service of the SG, DSG, the SG of the Assembly, judges of the Court and the Commissioner.)

3. Advisory panel of experts on candidates for election as judge to the European Court of Human Rights

3.1    Terms of reference

The terms of reference of the Advisory Panel of Experts on Candidates for Election as Judge to the Court are set out in Resolution CM/Res(2010)26.

3.2    Appointment of the members of the panel

The Panel shall be composed of seven members, chosen from among members of the highest national courts, former judges of international courts, including the Court and other lawyers of recognised competence, who shall serve in their personal capacity. The composition of the Panel shall be geographically and gender balanced.94

The members of the Panel shall be appointed by the CM following consultations with the President of the Court. Proposals for appointment may be submitted by the High Contracting Parties. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner. Members shall be appointed for a term of three years, renewable once. Where a member of the Panel does not complete his/her term, a successor will be appointed for a full term. Members of the Panel shall be from different member States.95

The Deputies applied the following procedure for the appointment of the first panel in December 2010:96

- delegations were invited, having regard to paragraphs 2 and 3 of Resolution CM/Res(2010)26, to submit to the Chair, proposals for appointment to the Advisory Panel of Experts on Candidates for Election as Judge to the Court;

- their Chair was entrusted, in contact with the Chair of the Ad hoc working party on Reform of the Human Rights Convention system (GT-REF.ECHR)97 and the Chair of the then Liaison Committee with the European DD Court of Human Rights (CL-CEDH)98, with carrying out the necessary consultations in order to present proposals regarding the composition of the Panel;

- the decision on the composition of the Panel was taken on the basis of the Chair’s proposals.

4. Other functions and bodies99

The Deputies agreed to harmonise procedures and voting arrangements for the appointment of members of certain bodies100 and functions101 as follows:

4.1    Calls for candidatures

The responsible organs and departments are invited to ensure that calls for candidatures for posts or functions which may give rise to elections in the CM contain (at least) the following information:

- Indication of the post/function,

- Required qualifications,

- Term of office,

- Allowances (if applicable),

- Identification of the department/authority responsible for receiving candidatures,

- Deadline for receipt of candidatures (if applicable) using the following form of words: “Candidatures must reach … no later than X/X/X”,

- A reminder of the Council’s principles on ensuring balanced representation of women and men.102

4.2    Deadline for receipt of candidatures

The admissibility deadline for candidatures for posts or functions open to all member States or to several of them to be filled by means of elections in the CM must be strictly complied with.

The deadline is deemed to have been met if the date on which the candidature was received at the Council, as attested by the stamp of the responsible department, is on, or before, the date of the stipulated deadline.

The candidature may also reach the Council, by electronic mail to the Secretariat of the CM (cm@coe.int). In this case, the date of the electronic mail will constitute a sufficient indication of compliance with the deadline. The Secretariat will provide the sender with an electronic receipt for the mail concerned. However, the original of the letter of candidature will have to reach the Council as soon as possible, and, at all events, prior to the holding of the election.

Any member State is at liberty to replace a candidature already submitted with another, prior to expiry of the deadline.

Nevertheless, the CM may decide, by a majority as provided by Article 20 (b) of the Statute, to prolong the deadline for receipt of candidatures in the case where a member State wishes to replace a candidature which has reached the Council by the stipulated deadline with another candidature after expiry of the deadline, provided that the state in question can put forward objective reasons for forgoing the initial candidature (death, illness, change to another function incompatible with the duties of the function concerned … ). The prolongation of the deadline would apply to all member States invited to submit candidatures.

When the Secretariat receives the candidatures it does not take a decision on their admissibility. This is a matter exclusively for the CM, assisted by its different rapporteur groups which regularly hold exchanges of views on this matter. However, in the Deputies’ Notes on the Agenda or the rapporteur groups’ annotated agendas, the Secretariat will draw delegations’ attention to any aspects which prima facie fail to comply with the call for candidatures.

4.3    Voting arrangements in the Committee of Ministers

As a general rule:

- voting shall be by secret ballot,

- the candidate or candidates obtaining the simple majority of votes103 (ie, half of the number of the Deputies entitled to vote, plus one) and the largest number of votes shall be declared elected,

- if one seat, or more, remain(s) vacant after the first vote, there will be a second round of voting. The candidate(s) having obtained the highest number of votes will be declared elected, except for the CPT where a simple majority is required.104

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VI. Intergovernmental Committees and Council of Europe Conferences of Specialised Ministers



1. Intergovernmental committees

Intergovernmental committees are governed by Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 on intergovernmental committees and subordinate bodies, their terms of reference and working methods. Committees may also be set up in the framework of conventions or resolutions which set out their own rules for their functioning.

The current list of intergovernmental committees can be found in the intergovernmental committees' database (internal access) / external access)105.

The list of other committees can be found in the document Council of Europe committees established by a Resolution of the CM or by a Convention or by other instruments106.

2. Council of Europe Conferences of Specialised Ministers

Conferences of Specialised Ministers help to define and pursue the goals of the intergovernmental activities undertaken within the Council of Europe in their respective fields of competence. They allow the Council to focus on matters of immediate interest to its member States.

The principles for the organisation of such conferences are set out Resolution CM/Res(2011)7 on Council of Europe conferences of specialised ministers.

The resolution also provides for a series of links between the Conferences and the Council, particularly as regards their preparation, provision of the Secretariat’s assistance and their follow-up. The principles enshrined in the resolution are notable for their flexibility.

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VII. Council of Europe Conventions and Partial and Enlarged Agreements



1. Conventions
2. Partial Agreements
2.1     Partial and enlarged agreements – regulatory framework
2.2     Wording of decisions taken in the framework of partial/enlarged agreements

1. Conventions

The Council of Europe Treaty Series groups together all the conventions concluded within the Organisation since 1949. Whatever they are called ("agreement", "convention", "arrangement", "charter", "code", etc.), all these texts are international treaties in the sense of the Convention of Vienna of 1969 on the law of treaties.

The conventions of the Council of Europe are prepared and negotiated within the institutional framework of the Council. Negotiations culminate in a decision of the CM to adopt the final text of the proposed treaty. It is then agreed to open the treaty for signature by member States of the Council and, if necessary, by the other States or organisations who have taken part in its elaboration.

The conventions of the Council are not statutory acts of the Organisation. They owe their legal existence to the consent of those member States that sign and ratify them.

Furthermore, the great majority of the conventions of the Council make provision for non-member States of the Organisation to become Parties thereto, upon invitation by the CM of the Council and by means of the procedure of accession (see Chapter X, § 2.3.2 on Contributions of non-member States).

The SG is the depositary of the conventions of the Council of Europe. He is the custodian of these conventions and presides over their signature and the deposit of the instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession. It is also the SG who is responsible for the notifications prescribed in the final clauses of the conventions, and who arranges for their registration with the Secretariat of the United Nations.

Following the practice introduced by the CM in 1965, explanatory reports have been published on most conventions. They are prepared by the committee of experts instructed to draft the convention in question and are published when the convention is adopted by the CM. These explanatory reports might facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the conventions, although they do not constitute instruments which provide an authoritative interpretation of them.

The text of all Council of Europe treaties, their explanatory reports, the status of signatures and ratifications, declarations and reservations made by States, as well as the notifications issued by the Treaty Office since 2005, are available on the website of the Treaty Office.

Generally, the costs relating to the functioning and operation of these conventions are covered by the Ordinary Budget of the Organisation, unless otherwise provided for by the respective conventions or in the case of non-member States (see Chapter X, § 2.3.2). (See also Chapter X, § 2.3: Income and contributions.)

2. Partial Agreements

2.1     Partial and enlarged agreements – regulatory framework

By virtue of Statutory Resolution Res(93)28 on partial and enlarged agreements, the CM may authorise some member States to carry out activities in the framework of a partial agreement or, together with non-member States, in an enlarged partial agreement. The decision is taken by a two-thirds majority of the Representatives casting a vote and a majority of the Representatives entitled to sit on the CM, as set out Article 20.d of the Statute.

The Statutory Resolution also sets out the applicable rules with regard to the budget and functioning of the agreement as well as admission of members, observers and the EU. For financial and administrative arrangements see Chapter X, § 2.2 on partial and enlarged agreements.

Criteria for establishing partial and enlarged agreements are set out in Resolution Res(96)36 establishing the criteria for partial and enlarged agreements of the Council and as amended by Resolution CM/Res(2010)2.

The detailed modalities governing a state’s accession to and withdrawal from agreements are set out in CM(2013)58 final.

2.2     Wording of decisions taken in the framework of partial/enlarged agreements

The Deputies use the wording “the Committee of Ministers/the Deputies in its/their composition restricted to the representatives of the states members of [a partial agreement]” in their decisions relating to such agreements.107

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VIII. Protocol, privileges and immunities and other



1. Protocol, privileges and immunities
2. Use of the Committee of Ministers Foyer
3. Gifts to the Council of Europe/Committee for Works of Art

1. Protocol, privileges and immunities

The Council has its own Protocol Department, which services the Organisation’s organs including the CM. In accordance with its mandate Protocol is primarily responsible for arranging ceremonies and events of an official nature, providing permanent missions and, where appropriate, the Consulates General resident in Strasbourg, Strasbourg Town and Prefectoral authorities with advice on rules for ceremonies and diplomatic protocol and information relating to etiquette; procedure and the usage in the host country; visits to the Council of Europe by Sovereigns, Heads of State, Heads of Government and other dignitaries and the organisation of official events at the Council of Europe.

Protocol keeps the list of accredited members of diplomatic missions and protocol lists of both Permanent Representatives and personalities and high officials of the Council of Europe.

Protocol also deals with matters related to the privileges and immunities of the members of Permanent Representations and their families and liaises in this respect with the French authorities and in particular the French Protocol.

Finally, Protocol also liaises with the local prefectoral authorities on matters of common interest and concern, in particular those relating to the security of diplomatic missions accredited to the Council of Europe.

2. Use of the Committee of Ministers Foyer

The use of the Foyer of the CM is subject to prior authorisation by the CM. Any request is first considered by the Bureau of the Deputies, which makes a recommendation to the CM, in application of the regulations. 108

3. Gifts to the Council of Europe/Committee for Works of Art

Gifts to the Council are subject to prior authorisation of the CM. The Committee for Works of Art109 is responsible for recommending to the CM whether to accept offers of gifts and their appropriate location within the Council premises. The CM adopts the rules governing the functioning of the Committee for Works of Art and criteria for gifts.110

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IX. Relations with other Council of Europe bodies, States, international organisations and non-intergovernmental organisations



1. Parliamentary Assembly
1.1     General considerations
1.2     Statutory Report
1.3     Joint Committee and other contacts
1.3.1     Joint Committee
1.3.2     Other contacts
1.4     Replying to Assembly Recommendations
1.4.1     Initial examination
1.4.2     Guidelines for drawing up draft replies
1.4.3     Adoption of replies: majority required
1.4.4     Titles of Assembly Recommendations
1.4.5     Information on the action taken on Assembly recommendations
1.5     Replying to written questions from members of the Assembly
1.5.1     Written questions addressed to the CM
1.5.2     Written questions addressed to the Chair-in-office of the CM
1.6     Consultation with the Assembly on the admission/withdrawal of members
1.7     Consultation with the Assembly before the adoption of draft conventions and protocols
1.8     Consultation with the Assembly on budgetary matters
1.8.1     Budget of the Assembly
1.8.2     Programme and Budget of the Council of Europe
1.9     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers
2. Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
2.1     General
2.2     Contacts between the Congress and the CM
2.3     Replying to Congress Recommendations
2.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers
3. Observer States
3.1     General
3.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions
3.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups
3.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers
4. Non-member/non-observer States
4.1     General
4.2     Participation at meetings of the Deputies’ subsidiary groups
4.3     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers
5. International Organisations
5.1     European Union
5.1.1     General
5.1.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions
5.1.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups
5.1.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers
5.2     OSCE
5.2.1     General
5.2.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions
5.2.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups
5.2.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers
5.3     United Nations
5.3.1     General
5.3.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions
5.3.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups
5.3.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers
5.4     Other international organisations
5.4.1     General
5.4.2     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers
6. Non-Governmental Organisations
6.1     International non-governmental organisations (INGOs)/Conference of INGOs
6.1.1     General
6.1.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions
6.1.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups
6.1.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers
6.2     National non-governmental organisations
7. Council of Europe Offices

1. Parliamentary Assembly

1.1     General considerations

The Statute and the Rules of Procedure of the CM, as well as the Rules for the meetings of the Deputies and the Assembly, all contain provisions on relations between the two organs. In February 1994 the CM decided to use the denomination "Parliamentary Assembly" in all Council documents.

Ever since the inception of the Council, the Assembly and the CM have sought procedures and other means of improving relations and facilitating communication between them. The most recent are set out in document CM(2009)142.111 The SG was also tasked with drawing up a report on ways to enhance working relations between the two organs which he presented in the Joint Committee in June 2010.112

1.2     Statutory Report

Article 19 of the Statute requires the CM to supply regular reports of its activities to the Assembly, together with appropriate documentation. These reports have come to be known as the "Statutory Reports".

Information is provided to the Assembly as follows:

- the Statutory report, prepared by the Secretariat of the CM, giving information on CM activities and decisions which are already available in a dispersed manner. The Statutory Report is produced in electronic form only, is regularly updated and contains links to appropriate documentation;113

- a written communication, prepared under the authority of the Chair on the occasion of each part-session, and in which the main developments that took place since the previous session are summarised, is published prior to his/her oral presentation;

- an oral communication by the Chair in which he/she addresses in detail a few issues of major political importance, often linked to action taken very recently, following which the Chair responds to oral questions.

1.3     Joint Committee and other contacts

1.3.1     Joint Committee

The Joint Committee is the organ of co-ordination between the CM and the Assembly. It is composed of the representatives on the CM and a corresponding number of representatives of the Assembly (the members of the Bureau and one representative of each parliamentary delegation of member States not represented on the Bureau).114 Its functions and rules of procedure are set out in Statutory Resolution Res(51)30 PartC. Meetings are held on an ad hoc basis, as necessary.

1.3.2     Other contacts

The President of the Assembly is invited to all Ministerial sessions.115

Meetings between the Chair of the Deputies and the President of the Assembly take place regularly to inform about each other’s work. Since 2009, informal meetings on questions of common interest between the Bureau of the CM and the Presidential Committee of the Assembly have been used for an exchange of information and discussion in a working and informal atmosphere. Working contacts and informal dialogue between Chairs of Rapporteur groups/thematic coordinators/working parties and Chairs and Rapporteurs of Assembly committees, and cross-participation in each others’ fora where appropriate, are encouraged.116

The SG of the Assembly regularly informs the Deputies of the preparation and results of the part sessions, as well as current and future activities of the Assembly.

1.4     Replying to Assembly Recommendations

1.4.1     Initial examination

When conducting their initial examination of the texts adopted by the Assembly, the Deputies adopt a reply common to all the texts, dealing with the procedure to be followed.117

1.4.2     Guidelines for drawing up draft replies

The following guidelines for drawing up draft replies apply: 118

- the Deputies rely on the expertise available within the Deputies, the relevant Rapporteur Group and the Secretariat, in preparing replies to Assembly recommendations;

- a steering committee should be consulted where there is a need for technical expertise which is not available within the Secretariat;

- the Deputies should concentrate on giving timely replies to Recommendations (within 3 months whenever possible);

- the Secretariat places immediately on the agenda any Assembly recommendation for which sufficient elements for a reply were available;

- where recommendations are to be examined, and the replies to them, prepared by a Rapporteur Group, care should be taken to ensure that they are given priority treatment in that Rapporteur Group's order of business;

- priority should be given to final replies (taking stock of the situation while at the same time informing the Assembly of the intentions of the CM with regard to the specific proposals);

- priority should be given to substance rather than procedure;119

- draft replies shall be as short, concise and result-oriented as possible;

- comments or opinions on a recommendation requested by the CM from steering committees or other bodies may assist the CM in drafting its reply and are not, unless agreed otherwise, appended;

- during the preparation of draft replies to recommendations, the Chair of the Deputies and/or Rapporteur Groups should take the necessary steps, especially when there is disagreement on the substance, to advance work by conducting consultations with delegations.

1.4.3     Adoption of replies: majority required

Replies to the Assembly are adopted by a two-thirds majority of the representatives casting a vote and a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the CM,120 considering that every effort will be made to reach a consensus within a reasonable period of time. If a delegation should request, it is specified at the beginning of the text of a reply, that “this answer was adopted by a majority as provided by Article 20.d of the Statute”.121

1.4.4     Titles of Assembly Recommendations

The titles of Assembly Recommendations are quoted inside inverted commas within CM documentation.122

1.4.5     Information on the action taken on Assembly recommendations

Information on the action the CM has taken on Assembly recommendations is regularly included in the written reports prepared by the chairmanship at each session, and a comprehensive report on this action is forwarded to the Assembly every year.123

1.5     Replying to written questions from members of the Assembly

1.5.1     Written questions addressed to the CM

General considerations

Questions should be in the remit of the Council in so far as they deal with controversial bilateral questions. Priority should be given to questions tabled by groups of Parliamentarians and to questions on subjects immediately relevant to the Council’s activities.124

Procedure for replying

On the understanding that the primary objective of the CM remains that of drafting a consensual reply to written questions of Parliamentarians and with a view to speeding up replies to written questions, the following procedure applies:125

- the item is placed on the agenda (as far as possible within 10 days of being submitted) for an exchange of views (oral and/or in writing), setting out the number of the written question, its author and its title, the latter in quotation marks126.

- delegations that so wish, are encouraged to submit their comments in writing before the discussion, to be held during the first consideration of the item in plenary. Depending on their nature, these written comments may provide a first indication as to what chances there are to end up with a consensual reply.

- an exchange of views (oral and/or in writing) on the question is held in the plenary meeting of the Deputies.

- in the light of this exchange of views, the CM:

i. either instruct the Secretariat to prepare a draft reply;

ii. or invite the Chair to hold informal consultations in order to explore the possibility of arriving at a consensual draft reply.

- written questions should receive a reply within 3 months whenever possible. Draft replies shall be as short, concise and result-oriented as possible127.

- the Secretariat makes use of the written procedure in the preparation of draft replies to written questions, before including a draft reply on the agenda for adoption by the Deputies128.

- if, in the light of consultations, the Chair notes that it appears impossible to prepare a consensual reply, he/she informs the CM accordingly. The CM may then decide, by a two-thirds majority of the representatives casting a vote and a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the CM,129 to instruct the Chair to inform the President of the Assembly that, "owing to a lack of consensus it has not been possible to adopt a reply". The Chair’s letter would not be a reply of substance.

Adoption of replies: majority required

The practice is to require the unanimous vote of the representatives casting a vote and of a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the CM.130

1.5.2     Written questions addressed to the Chair-in-office of the CM131

The following procedure with regard to written questions of parliamentarians to the Chair of the CM applies:132

- Distribution of the written question: upon reception, the written question shall be distributed to the delegations in the form of a CM document. It shall include a footnote stating that the Chair of the Deputies will, in due course, present to the CM the wording of his/her proposed reply.

- the item shall not be placed on the agenda before the reply has been drafted.

- Examination of the written question: once the text of the reply has been finalised by the Chair of the Deputies, it shall be distributed to the delegations and the written question shall be placed on the agenda of the Deputies.

- the delegations will thus have an opportunity to comment on the reply, it being understood that responsibility for the final wording lies with the Chair.

1.6     Consultation with the Assembly on the admission/withdrawal of members

The CM, before inviting a State to become a member or associate member of the Council, in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the Statute, or inviting a member of the Council to withdraw, in accordance with Article 8, shall first consult the Assembly.133

1.7     Consultation with the Assembly before the adoption of draft conventions and protocols

The CM has agreed to consult the Assembly on all draft treaties, except on a small number of treaties, of an exclusively technical nature, which may not require such consultation.134

Timetables for consultation on new draft treaties will be established allowing the Assembly to give its opinion without undue haste and within a reasonable timeframe (3 months).135

1.8     Consultation with the Assembly on budgetary matters

1.8.1     Budget of the Assembly

The SG submits the annual budget for adoption by the CM.136 He/She shall refer to the CM requests from the Assembly which involve expenditure exceeding the amount already allocated in the budget for the Assembly and its activities.

The Assembly's opinion on its part of the draft budget shall be transmitted to the CM at the same time as the draft budget.137

The budgetary package technique is applied to the Assembly's budget, excluding appropriations for staff related expenditure, thereby affording the Assembly considerable budgetary freedom within the budgetary package.138

1.8.2     Programme and Budget of the Council of Europe

The Assembly is consulted regarding the draft Programme and Budget of the Organisation (see Chapter X, § 1: Programme and Budget of the Council of Europe). This consultation is organised with due regard to the role and prerogatives of both organs.139

Generally, the SG presents his/her proposals for priorities of the Organisation for the next biennium to the Assembly at the beginning of the budgetary preparatory work. Exchanges of views then take place, involving the Assembly’s Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs and the Deputies' Rapporteur Group on Programme, Budget and Administration (GR-PBA), before the Assembly adopts its budgetary opinion.

1.9     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers

The Assembly may send representatives to participate in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers.140

2. Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

2.1     General

The Congress is a consultative organ composed of representatives of local and regional authorities. Its membership and functions are regulated by Statutory Resolution CM/Res(2011)2.

2.2     Contacts between the Congress and the CM

At each plenary session of the Congress, the Chair of the CM is invited to present an oral communication in which he/she addresses the action of the CM, following which the Chair responds to oral questions.

The President of the Congress is invited to Ministerial sessions on an ad hoc basis.

The SG of the Congress regularly informs the Deputies of the preparation and results of the sessions, as well as current and future activities of the Congress.

2.3     Replying to Congress Recommendations

The CM replies to Congress recommendations, where appropriate, along the same lines as the procedure for replying to Assembly recommendations.

2.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers

The Congress may send representatives to participate in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers.141

3. Observer States

3.1     General

The CM may, after consulting the Assembly, grant observer status to the Organisation under Statutory Resolution Res(93)26 on Observer status.

Currently observer status has been granted to: the Holy See (CM/Del/Dec(76)255/5), United States of America (Resolution Res(95)37), Canada (Resolution Res(96)9), Japan (Resolution Res(96)37) and Mexico (Resolution Res(99)32).

The Deputies approved criteria for the granting of observer status.142

3.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions

Observer states may be invited on an ad hoc basis to attend Ministerial Sessions.

3.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups

Observer states may observe regular meetings of the Deputies’ meetings from September 2006. Nevertheless, member States may hold in camera discussions if they deem it appropriate.143

Observers may participate in the subsidiary groups, unless the meetings were held in camera or other ad hoc arrangements had been decided.144

3.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers

Representatives designated by observer States shall take part in the meetings of intergovernmental committees with no right to vote nor defrayal of expenses, unless otherwise indicated (cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24)

Ministers of observer States shall be invited to participate in conferences of specialised ministers as observers, unless the CM decides otherwise (cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)7).

4. Non-member/non-observer States

4.1     General

Among non-member States without observer status, a special framework is provided for dialogue with countries in neighbouring regions, in particular within the framework of the preparation and implementation of the Neighbourhood Co-operation Priorities.145

At this stage, the Deputies have endorsed priorities for co-operation with Kazakhstan and Morocco146, as well as with Tunisia147 and Jordan148.

4.2     Participation at meetings of the Deputies’ subsidiary groups

Representatives of non-member States without observer status are allowed to participate, on an ad hoc basis, in meetings of the Rapporteur Groups, if the topic to be discussed directly concerns those countries, upon invitation by the Chair of the relevant Group and with the prior agreement of the CM, in accordance with Article 20.a. of the Statute.149

4.3     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers

Non-member States without observer status to the Council may request to participate in the work of the intergovernmental committees. The SG shall refer the matter to the CM. This decision shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of all the representatives entitled to sit on it. Representatives of non-members States shall have no right to vote nor defrayal of expenses (cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24).

Ministers of non-member States without observer status wishing to participate in conferences of specialised ministers may be invited by the CM to do so, after having obtained the consent of the CM, which shall determine the conditions of such participation (cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)7).

5. International Organisations

5.1     European Union

5.1.1     General

The relations between the Council and the EU are described in the texts reflected in the Compendium of Texts and in the Memorandum of Understanding.150

‘High Level Political Dialogue Meetings’ take place between the Chairmanship of the CM, the SG and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.151 They are complemented by informal ad hoc agenda-driven meetings between the SG and leaders of the EU.

A yearly report on co-operation between the Council and the EU is prepared by the GR-EXT.152

Co-operation between the Council and the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency is based on the agreement which is set out in CM(2008)74 rev.153 In this context, the CM appoints an independent person to sit on the Management and Executive Boards of the Agency (for the appointment procedure, see Chapter V, § 4: Other functions and bodies).

5.1.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is invited to participate at the CM at Ministerial level.

5.1.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups

A Representative of the EU participates in the various meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups.154

5.1.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers

The EU may send representatives to participate in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers.155

5.2     OSCE

5.2.1     General

Cooperation between the Council and the OSCE is based on the Declaration on co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE.156

Meetings between with the OSCE take the following form:

- "High-level "2+2/3+3" meetings may be organised on an ad hoc basis by the Chairs-in-Office of the Council and the OSCE. The participants are, under their own authority, the Chair of the CM, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and the Secretaries General of the two organisations. The Presidents of the two Parliamentary Assemblies may be invited to meetings, as appropriate.

- Co-ordination Group157 meetings, as necessary and at least every six months. The meetings are hosted alternately by the OSCE and the Council. The participants are Permanent Representatives from the Troika of the OSCE, the current and incoming Chair of the CM. The meetings are open to Permanent Representatives of the countries in the Bureau of the CM, the Chair of the Rapporteur Group on External Relations (GR-EXT) as well as representatives from the Secretariats of the two organisations. Focal points from the two sides are appointed in areas selected as priorities.158 The Council focal points are:

- Chair of the Rapporteur Group on Legal Co-operation (GR-J): the fight against terrorism;

- Chair of the Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H): protection of national minorities and promotion of tolerance and non-discrimination, combating trafficking in human beings.

The question of Council of Europe participation in the OSCE Permanent Council remains open.

The GR-EXT contributes to the preparation of the agendas of the Coordination Group’s meetings, by holding substantive discussions thereon well in advance159.

5.2.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions

The SG of the OSCE may be invited on an ad hoc basis to participate at the CM at Ministerial level.

5.2.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups

Representatives of the OSCE may be invited for an exchange of views on an ad hoc basis.

The OSCE may participate in meetings of the Rapporteur Group on External Relations (GR-EXT) for items dealing with relations between the Council of Europe and the OSCE, the OSCE being represented by the country holding the OSCE Chairmanship, assisted, if necessary, by a member of the OSCE Secretariat.160

5.2.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers

The OSCE may be invited to send representatives to participate in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers under the conditions laid down in the respective CM resolutions. 161

5.3     United Nations

5.3.1     General

The relations between the Council and the UN are based on the Agreement between the Secretariat General of the Council of Europe and the Secretariat of the United Nations signed on 15 December 1951162 and on the Arrangement on Co-operation and Liaison between the Secretariats of the United Nations and the Council of Europe (exchange of letters of 17 October 1971).

The Council was granted observer status with the UN on 17 October 1989 (UN General Assembly Resolution 44/6 of 17 October 1989).

Every other year, the UN General Assembly adopts a resolution on co-operation between the UN and the Council to coincide with its debate on co-operation with regional and other organisations.163 A draft of such a resolution is prepared and adopted by the CM in Strasbourg. The CM Chair is then asked to table the draft with the UN in New York and hold the necessary consultations towards its adoption by the UNGA, preferably without a vote.

The Council co-operates actively with a number of UN bodies and specialised agencies based on co-operation documents approved by the CM.

5.3.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions

The SG of the UN may be invited to participate on an ad hoc basis at the CM at Ministerial level.

5.3.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups

The Deputies hold an annual exchange of views on the UN (human rights questions) with the participation of experts from capitals.164

5.3.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers

The UN may be invited to send representatives to participate in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers under the conditions laid down in the respective CM resolutions.165

5.4     Other international organisations

5.4.1     General

The CM may adopt co-operation documents with other international organisations and various institutions on an ad hoc basis (for documents adopted see list).

5.4.2     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers

Representatives of other international organisations may be invited to participate in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers under the conditions laid down in the respective CM resolutions.166

6. Non-Governmental Organisations

6.1     International non-governmental organisations (INGOs)/Conference of INGOs

6.1.1     General

The Council may establish working relations with INGOs by granting them participatory status. The rules for participatory status, and the CM’s role in that procedure, as well as the modalities of cooperation, are set out in Resolution Res(2003)8 on Participatory status for international non-governmental organisations with the Council of Europe.

6.1.2     Participation at Ministerial Sessions

The President of the Conference of INGOs is invited to Ministerial sessions on an ad hoc basis.

6.1.3     Participation at meetings of the Deputies and their subsidiary groups

The President of the Conference of INGO presents an annual report to the Deputies.

6.1.4     Participation in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers

Representative(s) of the Conference of INGOs are entitled to take part in the meetings of intergovernmental committees and subordinate bodies as participants and to conferences of specialised ministers where it has specific expertise in the matters to be discussed.167

Representatives of other non-governmental organisations may be invited to participate in intergovernmental committees and in conferences of specialised ministers under the conditions laid down in the respective CM resolutions.168

6.2     National non-governmental organisations

The Council may establish working relations with national NGOs by concluding partnership agreements. The rules for granting partnership, and the CM’s role in that procedure, are set out in Resolution Res(2003)9 on Status of partnership between the Council of Europe and national non-governmental organisations.

7. Council of Europe Offices

Council offices in member States and non-member States as well as offices in charge of liaison with one or more international organisations or institutions are established by a decision of the CM. The rules governing such offices and their terms of reference are set out in Resolution CM/Res(2010)5 on the status of Council of Europe Offices.

The consent of the CM should be given prior to the appointment of special representatives to fulfil political missions in the spirit of reinforcing democratic stability.169

/

X. Financial and administrative matters



1. Programme and Budget of the Council of Europe
2. Financial and administrative arrangements
2.1     Financial Regulations and Supplementary Provisions
2.1.1     Financial Regulations
2.1.2     Budget Committee
2.1.3     Treasurer
2.1.4     Internal Auditor
2.1.5     External Auditor
2.1.6     Oversight Advisory Committee
2.1.7     Management Board of the Pension Reserve Fund
2.1.8     Tenders Board
2.2     Partial and Enlarged Agreements
2.3     Income and contributions
2.3.1     Contributions of member States
2.3.2     Contributions of non-member States
2.3.3     Voluntary contributions/special accounts and administrative levy
2.4     Financial implications of decisions
2.5     Evaluation and Criteria for launching, discontinuing and evaluating projects
3. Reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses to government experts and other persons travelling at the charge of Council of Europe budgets
4. Consultants
5. Staff Regulations
6. Conditions of service of the SG, DSG, the SG of the Assembly, judges of the Court and the Commissioner
7. Improving gender mainstreaming and gender balance
8. Information policy and classification of documents
8.1     Information policy
8.2     Classification of documents
8.2.1     General rule
8.2.2     Rules applicable to other bodies of the Council of Europe
8.2.3     Nomenclature of CM documentation

1. Programme and Budget of the Council of Europe

The Programme and Budget of the Organisation covers two consecutive financial years (“the biennium”). It presents for each financial year of the biennium the General Budget (Ordinary Budget, Extraordinary Budget, Budget of the European Youth Foundation, the Pensions reserve fund and any subsidiary budgets thereto) and the budgets of the partial and enlarged agreements. It is also includes information in respect of estimated voluntary contributions for each year.170

The Programme sets the Organisation's objectives for the biennium, along with expected results and performance indicators. The Budget authorises the budgetary receipts and budgetary expenditure of the Organisation for the implementation of the Programme for each of the financial years of the biennium.

The SG proposes, and the CM approves, the Programme and Budget in accordance with the Financial Regulations.171

The CM approves the Programme for the biennium and the Budget for the first financial year, as well as the Budget for the second financial year on a provisional basis, before the beginning of the biennium. The CM approves the Budget and if applicable the revised Programme for the second financial year before 1 November of the first financial year in the biennium.172

The cycle for the adoption of the biennial Programme and Budget is presented in the following table.

Cycle for the adoption of the biennial Programme and Budget

    Year (B-1) before the start of the biennium

    (B(1) = first year of biennium, B(2) = second year of biennium)

    Progress review report on the implementation of the Programme and Budget for the previous year (distribution and exchange of views in the GR-PBA)

    before end of March B-1

    Secretary General’s detailed proposals for Priorities for B(1)-B(2) and their budgetary implications:

    - -distribution of draft Priorities document

    beginning April B-1

    - decision by the Committee of Ministers on the main orientations of the Secretary General’s proposals

    end April B-1

    - examination by the Budget Committee of the budgetary implications of the Secretary General’s proposals

    May B-1

    - opinion of the Parliamentary Assembly on the Secretary General’s proposals

    May or June B-1

    - approval by the Committee of Ministers of the total of member states’ contributions for B(1) and B(2)

    end June B-1

    Draft Programme and Budget of the Council of Europe for B(1)-B(2):

 

    - distribution of the draft Programme and Budget document

    before end of August B-1

    - distribution of interim progress review report for the on-going financial year

    before 15 September B-1

    - examination by the Budget Committee

    September B-1

    - approval by the Committee of Ministers of the Programme for B(1) and B(2) and of the Budget for B(1) and provisional approval of the Budget for B(2)

    end November B-1
    (Deputies’ biennial budget meeting)

    First year of biennium B(1)

 

    Progress review report on the implementation of the Programme and Budget for the previous year (distribution and exchange of views in the GR-PBA)

    before end of March B(1)

    Draft adjusted Budget, and if appropriate Programme, for the second year B(2):

 

    - distribution of the draft adjusted Budget document

    before 30 June B(1)

    - distribution of interim progress review report for the on-going financial year

    before 15 September B(1)

    - approval by the Committee of Ministers

    before 1 November B(1)

    Second year B(2) of the biennium: as for year B-1

 

If the Programme and Budget cannot be adopted within the prescribed deadlines, the CM shall authorise the SG to incur expenditure on a monthly basis of an amount not exceeding one twelfth of the previous financial year’s Budget and to call contributions from each member State amounting to one third of its contribution to the previous financial year’s Budget.173

The current Programme and Budget together with previous versions are available at the following address: http://www.coe.int/t/cm/budgetprogramme_en.asp

2. Financial and administrative arrangements

2.1     Financial Regulations and Supplementary Provisions

2.1.1     Financial Regulations

The Financial Regulations are adopted by the CM. They contain inter alia the rules concerning the Programme and Budget, member States’ contributions and other income, the management of the funds, the financial statements and the budgetary management accounts as well as the Budget Committee, the External Auditor, the Internal Auditor, the Oversight Advisory Committee and the Organisation's Treasurer.174

2.1.2     Budget Committee

In fulfilling its budgetary functions, the CM is assisted by a Budget Committee, made up of eleven independent experts appointed by the CM (of which five upon presentation by the five major contributors).175 The procedure for the appointment of the members is appended to the Financial Regulations. The rules of procedure of the Budget Committee are laid down in internal regulations176 approved by the CM.177 Decisions on the admission of observers to the Budget Committee are taken by the CM.178

2.1.3     Treasurer

The SG appoints a high ranking official to the office of Treasurer. The Treasurer is responsible for safe custody and handling of the funds and assets of the Organisation. He or she also undertakes other responsibilities provided for in the Financial Regulations, particularly in matters of payment of expenditure and collection of receipts. 179

2.1.4     Internal Auditor

The SG appoints an Internal Auditor responsible for evaluating and contributing to the improvement of risk management, control, and governance processes. The Internal Auditor verifies that internal control is implemented in accordance with the provisions of the regulations and that appropriate administrative and financial management procedures are put in place.180

2.1.5     External Auditor

The CM appoints an External Auditor (a supreme audit institution of a member State), responsible inter alia for certifying the annual financial statements and budgetary management accounts of the Organisation and making observations with respect to the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the financial procedures, the accounting system and the administration and management of the Organisation.181 The procedure for the appointment of the External Auditor is appended to the Financial Regulations.

The cycle for the approval of the annual accounts is set out in the following table.

Cycle for the approval of the annual accounts:

- up to and including audit of 2013 financial year

    Each year:

    Draft annual accounts of the previous year (financial statements and the budgetary management accounts) made available to the External Auditor

    before end of March

    Opinion of External Auditor

    before end of June

    Distribution of annual accounts and report of the External Auditor to the Committee of Ministers

    before end of August

    Decisions by Committee of Ministers:

    - approval of annual accounts, discharge to Secretary General and allocation of credit balance of the previous year

    before end of October


- as from audit of 2014 financial year

    Each year:

    Draft annual accounts of the previous year (financial statements and the budgetary management accounts) made available to the External Auditor

    before end of March

    Opinion of External Auditor

    before end of May

    Distribution of annual accounts and report of the External Auditor to the Committee of Ministers

    before end of May

    Decisions by Committee of Ministers:

    - approval of annual accounts, discharge to Secretary General and allocation of credit balance of the previous year

    before end of October


2.1.6     Oversight Advisory Committee

The CM appoints an Oversight Advisory Committee to exercise an independent appraisal of internal and external control systems of the quality of financial reporting and of follow-up given to Internal Oversight and External Audit recommendations.182 The complete terms of reference of the Oversight Advisory Committee are set out in Resolution CM/Res(2014)3.

2.1.7     Management Board of the Pension Reserve Fund

The CM appoints the Management Board of the Pension Reserve Fund. The Board is responsible, subject to the control of the CM, for the management of the Fund. The Statute of the Fund and terms of reference of the Management Board are set out in Resolution Res(2006)1.183

2.1.8     Tenders Board

The SG appoints a Tenders Board which is responsible for overseeing call for tenders under the conditions laid down in the Financial Regulations.184

2.2     Partial and Enlarged Agreements

These budgets comprise the supplementary expenditure entailed by an agreement, to be shared among the participating states, and the various receipts to be set off against it. For each financial year of the biennium, they provide for a contribution to the pension reserve fund and an annual lump-sum contribution to administrative expenditure foreseen under the Ordinary Budget, determined on the basis of the amount of administrative expenditure included in the Budget for the second financial year of the previous biennium.185

See also Chapter VII, § 2: Partial Agreements.

2.3     Income and contributions

The income of the Organisation consists of obligatory contributions, voluntary contributions and miscellaneous receipts.

2.3.1     Contributions of member States

Obligatory contributions

In accordance with Article 38b of the Statute,186 member states’ contributions to the budgets are determined in accordance with Resolution Res(94)31 on the method of calculating the scales of member states' contributions to Council Budgets.

Payment of contributions/unpaid contributions

Article 39 of the Statute provides that the SG shall each year notify the government of each member of the amount of its contribution, and each member shall pay to the SG the amount of its contribution, which shall be deemed to be due on the date of its notification, not later than six months after that date.

The Financial Regulations set out practical modalities for payment of contributions in application of Article 39 of the Statute.187 In particular, they stipulate that each member state shall pay at least one third of its obligatory contributions in the course of the first two months of the year and the balance by the end of the period of six months referred to in Article 39 of the Statute (in general, by the end of June).

Member States that have not paid their entire contribution before the end of the period of six months are required to pay simple monthly interest of 0.5% on amounts remaining unpaid on the first day of each of the following six months, and 1% on amounts remaining unpaid on the first day of each month thereafter.

The CM is informed of the situation regarding unpaid contributions on a regular basis.

The CM has agreed that, apart from exceptional circumstances having prevented a member State from fulfilling its obligation, Article 9 of the Statute188 will be applied to any state which has failed to fulfil all or a substantial part of its financial obligation for a period of two years.189

2.3.2     Contributions of non-member States

Contributions of non-member States can concern partial agreements, Council of Europe conventions and voluntary contributions.

Non-member States contribute to the enlarged partial agreements (see § 2.2 above) to which they are member.

They also contribute to the costs relating to the functioning and operation of Council of Europe conventions (see Chapter VII, § 1: Council of Europe Conventions) to which they are Parties, when the conventions concerned provide follow-up mechanisms.

The reason is that member States of the Organisation already contribute to covering the costs of the conventions by means of their contribution to the Ordinary Budget.

The contribution of non-member States is governed by Resolution CM/Res(2013)7 concerning financial arrangements for the participation of non-member States in Council of Europe conventions.

The amount of the contribution is calculated in accordance with a specific method set out in Appendix to the resolution, in the absence of a specific provision in the relevant convention, with a minimum contribution of €10 000 - this amount will be adjusted annually according to inflation.

Every year the SG notifies the governments of the non-member States concerned of the amount of their contribution and, unless the CM decides otherwise, invites them to proceed to payment. The provisions of Article 10 of the Financial Regulations shall apply mutatis mutandis to the contribution of any contracting party to a Council of Europe convention which is not a member of the Council. Unless the CM decides otherwise, the contribution is be allocated to the General Budget.

Non member States can also make voluntary contributions (see § 2.3.3 below).

2.3.3     Voluntary contributions/special accounts and administrative levy

The Financial Regulations provide that the SG may accept voluntary contributions, which are managed through special accounts. The purpose of these accounts must conform to the aims of the Council as set forth in its Statute.190

The general framework for the resource management and mobilisation strategy appears in document CM(2009)10 final.191

The Programme and Budget includes information in respect of estimated voluntary contributions for each financial year of the biennium. The SG reports on the activities carried out under special accounts in the framework of the annual accounts of the Organisation. A report of voluntary contributions received is distributed on a quarterly basis.

The rules for the opening and management of special accounts are adopted by the Deputies. These foresee that a special account may be opened for the Ordinary budget (one per vote), partial and enlarged agreements, joint programmes and other ad hoc purposes. All specifically identifiable items of expenditure arising from the activities financed by a special account shall be charged to that account, and receipts are subject to an administrative levy to cover general expenditure (associated administrative and logistical support costs), unless the CM decides otherwise.192

Unspent appropriations on special accounts shall be automatically carried forward to the following financial year until the termination of the activity for which they were intended, at which point any remaining balance will be allocated in accordance with the donor's instructions or by decision of the CM.193

Further information on voluntary contributions and joint programmes is available at: http://www.coe.int/t/cm/budgetprogramme_en.asp

Administrative levy

Modalities in respect of the administrative levy are adopted and regularly updated by the Deputies. The current policy is set out in CM(2010)143.194 This foresees:

- the percentage levy in relation to the additional costs incurred for the processing of payments in respect of joint programmes and voluntary contributions is set at 2.3%;

- an annual levy per position financed by these contributions of €18 000 per position occupied by a staff member based in the Strasbourg, Paris or Brussels premises and €3 300 per position occupied by a staff member based in the Graz or Lisbon premises.

In the specific case of joint programmes, the total amounts levied are offset against the fixed percentage for administrative overheads specified in the general conditions of the grant contracts of the EU: "A fixed percentage not exceeding 7% of the total amount of direct eligible costs of the Action may be claimed as indirect costs to cover the administrative overheads incurred by the Beneficiary for the Action, ..."

2.4     Financial implications of decisions

Documents supporting the decision process should set out resource implications (financial and human).195

In the Notes on the agenda, the Secretariat sets out whether financing is assured or not.

2.5     Evaluation and Criteria for launching, discontinuing and evaluating projects

The Evaluation Policy appears in document CM(2008)156.196

As a follow-up to the Third Summit in Warsaw (16 and 17 May 2005) 197, the Deputies approved criteria for launching, discontinuing and evaluating projects, set out in document CM(2006)101 final.198

3. Reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses to government experts and other persons travelling at the charge of Council of Europe budgets

The CM adopts the rules concerning the reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses and fixes the rates of daily allowances when adopting the budget.

Specific rules apply to the following categories:199

4. Consultants

The framework for the use of consultants is laid down in Resolution Res(2004)25 on service contracts of consultants. Outsourcing is gouverned by Resolution Res(2004)26 on outsourcing contracts to external service providers.

5. Staff Regulations

The CM adopts the Staff Regulations which are regularly updated. The SG is responsible to the CM for the work of the Secretariat.200

The Staff Regulations require specific information, consultation or authorisation of the CM in the following areas:

- Appendix II - Regulations on appointments:

    Article 25 - Procedure for appointment to grades A6 and A7 (the non-publication of a vacancy at grade A6 or A7 requires the agreement of the CM; the SG makes an appointment after an informal exchange of views with the CM; and in the case of the Secretary to the CM and the Internal Auditor the appointment becomes effective only after approval by the CM);

    Article 27 - Appointment to posts in the Private Office of the SG (before appointing the Head of the Private Office, the SG shall inform the CM of his or her intentions);

    Article 28 - Supernumerary transfer (for A6 and A7 staff, the SG may make a supernumerary transfer after an informal exchange of views with the CM);

- Appendix III - Regulations on the Table of Posts:

    Article 1 - Definition of the Table of Posts (approved annually by the CM when voting the budget);

    Article 2 - Permanent transfers of posts from one department to another, regradings and suppression of posts (posts of grades A7or A6 may be transferred permanently within the Table of Posts with the prior consent of the CM; the SG informs the CM of other changes within the Table of Posts in the framework of the next budget);

    Article 3 - Secondment of officials to another department (secondment of grade A7 or A6 officials within the Table of Posts requires the prior consent of the CM; a list of other secondments within the table of posts at the time of the presentation of the draft budget is appended to the said draft);

    Article 4 – Exceptions (any other measure constituting a departure from the Table of Posts may be taken only with the prior consent of the CM);

- Appendix IV – Regulations governing staff salaries and allowances (approval of the annual adjustment in application of the remuneration adjustment procedure adopted by the CM);201

- Appendix XI - Statute of the Administrative Tribunal:

    Article 1 - Membership of the Tribunal (the Court appoints one judge (the Chair of the Tribunal) and his/her deputy and the CM appoints two judges and two deputies).

The relations between the Staff Committee and the CM are laid down in Appendix I - Regulations on Staff participation.

In this context, the Chairperson of the Staff Committee is authorised to attend meetings and follow the proceedings of the GR-PBA on a regular basis, it being understood that the existing provisions on relations between staff and the CM, as set out in the Article 7 of the Regulations on staff participation, remained valid.202

On questions of salary scales and pensions, the CM is assisted by the Co-ordinating Committee on Remuneration (CCR), which reports to the Councils of the Co-ordinated Organisations.203 The Regulations concerning the co-ordination system are adopted by the CM. They are set out in document CM(2004)14,204 as amended by decision CM/Del/Dec(2007)1009/11.4.

6. Conditions of service of the SG, DSG, the SG of the Assembly, judges of the Court and the Commissioner

The conditions of service of the SG, DSG and the SG of the Assembly is laid down in Resolution Res(71)8. The basic annual salaries provided for in Article 1, paragraph (a) of that Resolution are revised annually, on the basis of the CCR salary adjustment method. The regulations governing the pension scheme and temporary leaving allowance applicable to these specially appointed officials are laid down in Resolution CM/Res(2012)48.

The status and conditions of service of judges of the Court and of the Commissioner are set out in Resolution CM/Res(2009)5 as amended by CM/Res(2013)4.

7. Improving gender mainstreaming and gender balance

The Deputies have agreed on a number of measures in order to improve gender mainstreaming, strengthen the work on gender equality within the structures of the CM, and ensure balanced participation in selection processes for different bodies, entities and committees of the Council and within the member States. These include in particular,

- CM’s Message to Steering Committees of the Council of Europe on gender mainstreaming (628th meeting, 15-16 April 1998)

- Recommendation Rec(81)6 on the participation of women and men in an equitable proportion in committees and other bodies set up in the Council of Europe

- Recommendation Rec(2003)3 on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making

- Recommendation CM/Rec(2007)17 on gender equality standards and mechanisms

- CM Declaration on making gender equality a reality (119th Session, Madrid, 12 May 2009).

The SG is required to prepare an annual report on the follow-up given to the above as well as on the implementation of the gender equality policy in the Council, including within Council bodies, entities and committees to be presented to the CM.205

8. Information policy and classification of documents

8.1     Information policy

The Council's information strategy is set out in Resolution Res(2000)2.

The outlines of the CM's information policy are given in document RAP-INF(2000)3 rev.

8.2     Classification of documents

8.2.1     General rule

Resolution Res(2001)6 regulates access to Council documents.

The policy of access to CM documents is based on the following principles:206

Classification

Distribution

i. documents not subject to any particular classification are public;

 

ii. documents classified “restricted until examined by the Committee of Ministers” are declassified after the CM has examined the item in question;

- documents marked "restricted" are distributed to member Governments and the Secretariat of the Council of Europe;

iii. documents classified “restricted” are declassified a year after being issued;

- documents marked "restricted" are distributed to member Governments and the Secretariat of the Council of Europe;

iv. documents classified “confidential” are declassified ten years after being issued;

- documents marked "confidential" are distributed to member Governments and the service or committee responsible for the document. Distribution to other parties requires written permission from the author service;

v. documents classified “secret” are declassified thirty years after being issued.

- documents marked "secret" are individually numbered and issued to persons authorised by the Private Office with signature for receipt.

With a view to further improving transparency of the work of the CM, the Secretariat is encouraged to make more use of lower level classifications.207

With regard to “human rights” meeting and “monitoring” documents this policy is applied subject to advance distribution by the Secretariat of the list of documents reaching their declassification date and to the possibility for member States to oppose such declassification. Opposition by one or more member States to the declassification of one or more documents is communicated – with the reasons for this opposition – to the CM, which sets a new date for the declassification of the document(s) concerned, within the limit of the maximum period of 30 years laid down for the declassification of documents classified “secret”.

Any delegation wishing to prevent the automatic declassification of a document may do so by informing the Secretariat within 12 months of its date of issue. The Secretariat will periodically check whether an embargo on a document should stand.208

In addition, ad hoc decisions concerning the classification of specific types of documents have been taken as follows:

Documents

Classification

Decisions

Unclassified unless the CM explicitly decide otherwise.209

Agendas of CM meetings

Public one week in advance of meeting.210

Chair’s summing up

Restricted.211

Records

Confidential (unless a decision to declassify).212

Abridged reports of meetings of steering committees

Restricted at the date of issue and declassified after examination by the CM.213

Explanatory memorandum

Public at the same time as the corresponding recommendation or convention (except if an objection has been or is mentioned concerning this publication (in which case, the CM will decide according to the nature and motivation of this objection)).214

Thematic “monitoring” documents :215

 

- national contributions on the various themes;

- public

- general comments by the Secretariat on the different themes, which were not confidential ;

- restricted

- country-by-country comments by the Secretariat.

- confidential

DH documents:
Rules of the CM for the supervision of the execution of judgments and of the terms of friendly settlements216

 

- information and documents relating thereto provided by a High Contracting Party to the CM217

- public unless the CM decides otherwise in order to protect legitimate public or private interests;

- information and documents relating thereto provided to the CM, in accordance with the present Rules, by the injured party, the applicant, by non-governmental organisations or by national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights;

- public unless the CM decides otherwise in order to protect legitimate public or private interests. This information is distributed together with any observations of the delegation(s) concerned provided that the latter are transmitted to the Secretariat within five working days of having been notified of such communication;

- annotated agenda, decisions

- after each meeting of the CM, the annotated agenda presented for the CM’s supervision of execution shall also be accessible to the public and shall be published, together with the decisions taken, unless the CM decides otherwise.

- annual report218

- public once adopted

- action plans219

- action plans and action reports, together with relevant information provided by applicants, non-governmental organisations and national human rights institutions 220 will be promptly made public221 and put on line except where a motivated request for confidentiality is made at the time of submitting the information.


8.2.2     Rules applicable to other bodies of the Council of Europe

The rules on the access to Council documents222 apply as follows:

- steering committees: Rules on access to CM documents are directly applicable.

Steering Committees and Ad hoc Committees may themselves decide as to the publication of technical reports on certain activities. 223

- Partial Agreements: the rules apply to the Partial Agreements, without prejudice to any more favourable rules on access already applied by certain Partial Agreements, and subject to duly reasoned specific exceptions which may be adopted by the competent governing bodies.

- independent monitoring bodies: willingness to implement the policy, subject to compliance with the conventional or statutory provisions applicable to each of them.

In the event of any doubt about whether or not a document is public, use is made of the procedure for access to classified documents set up by the CM in September 1998, particularly in respect of documents – other than those of the CM – which have not been the subject of specific decisions with a view to achieving consistency between access to documents issued before and access to those issued after adoption of the 2001 resolution.

8.2.3     Nomenclature of CM documentation

The definitions of CM document references can be found in the following table.

/

Nomenclature of Committee of Ministers documentation

CM

 

SERIES

TYPICAL REFERENCE

NOTES

1

Sessions

CM(2012)OJ

Agendas of CM Sessions

 

CM(2012)PV prov / final

Minutes of CM Sessions. A provisional version is distributed for comments before a final is issued

2

Summits

SUM(2005)PV prov / final

Minutes. A provisional version is distributed for comments before a final is issued


Deputies (other than DH meetings)

 

SERIES

TYPICAL REFERENCE

NOTES

1

Agendas

CM/Del/OJ(2012)1149

Agendas for meetings of the Deputies

2

Orders of business

CM/Del/OT(2012)1149

Orders of business for meetings of the Deputies

3

CM Documents

CM(2012)1

Concern items on the agendas (generally giving rise to a decision)

4

CM/AS Documents

CM/AS(2012)1

CM documents for the attention of the Parliamentary Assembly

 

CM/AS(2012)Rec1444 prov / final

CM draft / final replies to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations

 

CM/AS(2012)Quest615 prov / final

CM draft / final replies to Parliamentary Assembly Written Questions

5

CM/Cong Documents

CM/Cong(2012)Rec307 prov / final

CM draft / final replies to Congress Recommendations

6

Notes on the agenda

CM/Notes/1149/1.6

Explanatory notes on items on the agendas of Deputies’ meetings. They normally include draft decisions

7

Adopted texts:

Decisions

CM/Del/Dec(2012)1149

Volume of decisions taken on all items at a meeting, including any texts adopted

 

CM/Del/Dec(2012)1149/1.6

Individual decisions taken at a meeting, referenced by item number

 

Recommendations

   
 

- General

CM/Rec(2012)1

Recommendations adopted (other than as listed below)

 

- Social Charter

CM/RecChS(2007)1

Recommendations adopted in the context of the Social Charter supervision system

 

- European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

CM/RecChL(2012)4

Recommendations on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

 

Resolutions

   
 

- General

CM/Res(2012)2

Resolutions adopted (other than as listed below)

 

- Social Charter

CM/ResChS(2012)1

Resolutions adopted in the context of the Social Charter supervision system

 

- European Code of Social Security

CM/ResCSS(2012)1

Resolutions adopted in the context of the control system of the European Code of Social Security

 

- Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

CM/ResCMN(2012)1

Resolutions adopted in the context of the control system of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

 

- Convention for the Prevention of Torture

CM/ResCPT(2012)1

Resolutions adopted in the context of the control system of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture

 

- European Diploma for protected natural areas

CM/ResDip(2012)1

Resolutions awarding the European Diploma for a protected natural area

 

SERIES

TYPICAL REFERENCE

NOTES

8

Summing-up

CM/Del(2012)1148 add

Chairperson’s summing-up of an item, if appropriate

9

Records

CM/Del/Act(2012)1148 prov / final

Statements for the record whose insertion is requested by delegations. A provisional version is distributed for comments before a final is issued

10

Information documents

CM/Inf(2012)1

CM information documents (which generally do not require a decision)

 

SG/Inf(2012)1

Information documents from the Secretary General, prepared under the responsibility of the Private Office

 

DGxx(2012)1

Documents relating more specifically to the activities of a particular DG

11

Rapporteur Groups, Working Parties and Thematic Co-ordinators

GT-REF.ECHR(2012)1

Documents for consideration by a Deputies’ Rapporteur Group, Working Party or Thematic Co-ordinator

 

GR-PBA(2012)OJ1

Convocations for the Deputies’ Rapporteur Group, Working Party or Thematic Co-ordinator

 

TC-INF(2012)CB1

Synopsis of a meeting of the Deputies’ Rapporteur Group, Working Party or Thematic Co-ordinator

12

Bureau

CM/Bur/Del(2012)1

Information documents and reports of the Bureau of the Deputies

13

Documents distributed

DD(2012)1

Various information documents / statements / proposed amendments concerning items on the Deputies’ and subgroup meetings, distributed at the request of the Chair, delegations or the Secretariat


Deputies’ DH meetings

 

SERIES

TYPICAL REFERENCE

NOTES

1

Orders of business

CM/Del/OJOT/DH(2012)1144

Orders of business for meetings of the DH

2

Decisions

CM/Del/Dec(2012)1144

Annotated order of business and volume of decisions adopted

 

CM/Del/Dec(2012)1144/1

Individual decisions taken at the DH meetings referenced by case number

3

Resolutions

CM/Del/Dec(2012)1144volres

Volume of resolutions adopted at the DH meetings

 

CM/ResDH(2011)292

Interim resolutions adopted at the DH meetings

4

Records

CM/Del/Act/DH(2012)1144

Records include summaries by the Chair and statements whose insertion is requested by Delegations. A provisional bilingual version is distributed for comments before a final is issued in both languages

5

Information documents

CM/Inf/DH(2012)3

Concern cases on the agendas of DH meetings (prepared by the Department for the execution of judgments and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights)

6

Documents distributed

DH-DD(2012)378

Various documents concerning items on the DH meetings, including information from Contracting Parties / governments, action plans / action reports received from respondent States, information from injured parties and information from NGOs and National human rights institutions

List of abbreviations

Assembly

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

CAHDI

Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law

CCJE

Consultative Council of European Judges

CCPE

Consultative Council of European Prosecutors

CEPEJ

European Commission for Efficiency of Justice

CM

Committee of Ministers

Commissioner

Commissioner for Human Rights

Congress

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

Council

Council of Europe

Court

European Court of Human Rights

CPT

European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Deputies

Ministers' Deputies

DH

Human Rights (Droits de l'Homme)

DSG

Deputy Secretary General

ECRI

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance

ECSR

European Committee on Social Rights

EU

European Union

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission

GRECO

Group of States against Corruption

GR-PBA

Rapporteur Group on Programme, Budget and Administration

GT-REF.ECHR

Ad hoc Working Party on reform of the Human Rights Convention system

INGOs

International non-governmental organisations

MONEYVAL

Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism

OSCE

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

SG

Secretary General

UN

United Nations


Footnotes

1 Statute, Articles 14 and 25a

2 Cf. CM(2013)164

3 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2003)831/1.5

4 Cf. CM/AS(2003)Rec1567 final

5 Cf. CM/Inf(98)47

6 The text was approved by the Deputies at their 69th meeting (March 1959) and amended at their 133rd meeting (June 1964), 182nd and 183rd meetings (September and October 1969), 201st meeting (September 1971) and at their 934th meeting (July 2005).

7 First approved at the Deputies’ 951st meeting (CM/Del/Dec(2005)951/1.5), revised at the 1098th meeting (17 November 2010) (Cf. CM(2010)154 final) and at the 1134th meeting (15-16 February 2012) (Cf. CM(2011)96 final).

8 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(99)668/1.5

9 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(75)243/XL, decision 9

10 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(75)243/XL, decision 9

11 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(96)579/2.1

12 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2006)971/1.6

13 Cf. CM(99)64 - Approved at the 668th Deputies’ meeting (CM/Del/Dec(99)668/1.5), amended by CM/Del/Dec(2012)1145/1.9

14 By Recommendation is meant a proposal by the Assembly addressed to the CM, the implementation of which is beyond the province of the Assembly, but within that of governments.

15 A Resolution embodies a decision by the Assembly on a question of substance which it is empowered to put into effect, or an expression of view for which it alone is responsible. An Order is concerned with a question of form, transmission, execution or procedure. It must relate to a question already placed on the Assembly's Register and may not deal with the substance of that question. Nevertheless, the examination of such texts may on occasion lead the Deputies to take up a position.

16 Cf. CM(2011)96 final – Approved CM/Del/Dec(2012)1134/1.6

17 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2013)13 final - Thematic Debates of the Committee of Ministers – Procedure and modalities

18 The original modalities were adopted in 1995 (CM/Del/Dec(95)535/2.4 app7), modified in 2004 (CM/Del/Dec(2004)893/2.4 app6) and again in 2007 (CM/Del/Dec(2007)999/2.2 app2). No thematic monitoring exercise has yet been undertaken under the 2007 revised rules.

19 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2001)21 – Approved CM/Del/Dec(2001)769/1.4

20 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2001)26 – Approved CM/Del/Dec(2001)776/1.4

21 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2002)797/11.1 and CM/Del/Dec(2007)996/1.4

22 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(94)506/ADM3 which contains a list of the other bodies

23 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

24 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2007)15 - Approved CM/Del/Dec(2007)1010/1.4

25 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

26 Cf. Article 21 of the Rules of procedure of the Committee of Ministers

27 Cf.Article 12 of the Statute

28 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2001)4

29 Cf. CM/Del/Concl(56)40/II

30 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(75)243/XL

31 Cf. Rules of procedure for the meetings of the Ministers’ Deputies, Article 16, § 3

32 Cf. CM/Inf/DH(2010)37, paragraph 31

33 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2009)1073/1.4

34 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2010)1091/1.4

35 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

36 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(92)472/44 and Appendix 19, item 3 "Other considerations"

37 Article 9 of the Rules of procedure of the Committee of Ministers

38 Statute of the Council of Europe - Article 20
a. Resolutions of the Committee of Ministers relating to the following important matters, namely:

      i. recommendations under Article 15.b;
      ii. questions under Article 19;
      iii. questions under Article 21.a.i and b;
      iv. questions under Article 33;
      v. recommendations for the amendment of Articles 1.d, 7, 15, 20 and 22; and
      vi. any other question which the Committee may, by a resolution passed under d below, decide should be subject to a unanimous vote on account of its importance, require the unanimous vote of the representatives casting a vote, and of a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.

b. Questions arising under the rules of procedure or under the financial and administrative regulations may be decided by a simple majority vote of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
c. Resolutions of the Committee under Articles 4 and 5 require a two-thirds majority of all the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
d. All other resolutions of the Committee, including adoption of the budget, of rules of procedure and of financial and administrative regulations, recommendations for the amendment of articles of this Statute, other than those mentioned in paragraph a.v above, and deciding in case of doubt which paragraph of this article applies, require a two-thirds majority of the representatives casting a vote and of a majority of the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.

39 Statutory Resolution Res(93)27 on majorities required for decisions of the Committee of Ministers

40 519bis meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, (4 November 1994) – Item 2.2 para. C. (CM/Del/Dec(94)519bis/2.2)

41 519bis meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies, (4 November 1994) – Item 2.2 para. C. (CM/Del/Dec(94)519bis/2.2)

42 Statutory Resolution Res(93)27 on majorities required for decisions of the Committee of Ministers

43 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(97)601/4.5

44 The Council of Europe membership from 11 May 2007 being 47, a minimum of 24 votes in favour is necessary for a proposal to be adopted. Different possibilities concerning a 2/3 majority of votes cast and majority of the representatives enabled to sit on the Committee of Ministers are set out in CM/Inf(2007)22.

45 The Council of Europe membership from 11 May 2007 being 47, a minimum of 24 votes in favour is necessary for a proposal to be adopted.

46 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(90)443/8

47 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

48 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2002)808/1.4

49 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2009)27

50 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2008)2 rev - Approved CM/Del/Dec(2008)1021/1.4

51 Prior to 2008, in a meeting of the enlarged Bureau.

52 Representatives of non-member states without observer status to the Council of Europe are allowed to participate, on an ad hoc basis, in meetings of the Rapporteur Groups, if the topic to be discussed directly concerns those countries, upon invitation by the Chair of the relevant Group and with the prior agreement of the Committee of Ministers, in accordance with Article 20.a. of the Statute of the Council of Europe. (CM/Bur/Del(2007)13 and CM/Del/Dec(2007)1009/1.7).

53 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

54 CM/Del/Dec(2011)1123/4.2

55 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2001)26 – Approved CM/Del/Dec(2001)776/1.4

56 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2004)25 - Approved CM/Del/Dec(2004)900/1.4

57 CM/Del/Concl(77)265 and CM(77)25

58 The Deputies decided in January 1994 (CM/Del/Dec(94)506/Item ADM3C) to hold DH meetings starting in 1995.

59 Cf. paragraph 27 of CM/Inf/DH(2010)45 final

60 Cf. 1100th (DH) meeting, item e.The practical modalities of these procedures are contained in the attached document (http://www.coe.int/t/cm/iGuide/III19_en.asp).

61 Resolution Res(92)6 and CM(2001)72, paragraph 12, as confirmed at the 108th Session of the CM (CM(2001)PV1, item 6)

62 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(92)472/44 and Appendix 19, item 3 "Other considerations"

63 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(75)243/XL, CM/Del/Dec(92)472/44, CM/Del/Dec(94)506/ADM3 decision 12, as amended by CM/Del/Dec(2012)1145/1.9

64 Cf. CM(2002)155 : Vademecum on working methods of the Deputies’ subsidiary bodies approved on 4 December 2002 (CM/Del/Dec(2002)820/1.4)

65 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

66 Observer States may participate in the Deputies’ subsidiary groups, unless the meetings were held in camera or other ad hoc arrangements had been decided (CM/Del/Dec(2006)971/1.6).

67 The summary of the main fields of activity as of February 2012 is contained in GT-REF.INST(2011)11 revadd.

68 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2011)1118/1.9

69 Procedure agreed at the Deputies’ 1134th meeting (15-16 February 2012).

70 Cf. CM(2011)96 final.

71 The summary of the main fields of activity as of February 2012 is contained in GT-REF.INST(2011)11 revadd.

72 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

73 As from 2006, upon the implementation of the Guidelines for the reform and modernisation of the Committee's working methods.

74 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

75 Cf. CM(2002)155 and CM(2011)96 final

76 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

77 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2007)1009/1.7

78 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2009)1062/2.1bis

79 Cf. CM/Bur/Del(2008)6

80 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2004)902/6.1

81 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2002)780/1.4 and CM/Bur/Del(2002)3

82 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

83 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

84 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

85 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

86 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

87 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

88 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2012)1145/1.6

89 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

90 117th Session (11 May 2007)

91 Cf. CM(2009)195 final

92 Cf. CM(2011)180 final

93 677bis meeting (27-28 July 1999, item 4.1)

94 Cf. Paragraph 2 of Resolution CM/Res(2010)26

95 Cf. Paragraph 3 of Resolution CM/Res(2010)26

96 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2010)1098/1.7 and CM/Del/Dec(2010)1101/1.7

97 Formerly GT-SUIVI.Interlaken.

98 The CL-CEDH has since been discontinued.

99 CM/Bur/Del(2010)25 final, CM/Del/Dec(2010)1098/1.5

100 The bodies concerned are: the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT); the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities; the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages; the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR); the Administrative Tribunal; the Budget Committee, the Youth Card Board of Co-ordination; the Management Board of the Pension Reserve Fund; the Committee of Experts on Buildings (CAHB) and the Oversight Advisory Committee.

101 The functions concerned are: the External Auditor and the Independent Person sitting on the Management and Executive Boards of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

102 Cf. in particular, Recommendation Res(81)6

103 Within the meaning of Article 10.4 of the rules of Procedure for the Meetings of the Deputies

104 In accordance to Article 5 of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman of Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

105 The intergovernmental committees' database is accessible online at the following address: Internal access - http://intranet.coe.int/jahia/Jahia/lang/en/Accueil/DPFL/ Programme_and_Budget_Department/_Theme_files/ Base_de_donnes_des_comites_intergouvernementaux%20/ External access - http://www.coe.int/t/cm/intergovernmental-committees-compendium/default_en.asp

106 http://intranet.coe.int/jahia/webdav/site/IntranetDGAL/ shared/Finances/EN%20Committees%20established%20by %20a%20Committee%20of%20Minisiters%20resolution%20or%20a%20convention.doc

107 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2007)1011/10.7

108 Cf. CM/Inf(97)55

109 The Committee for Works of Art was established in 1992 (cf. CM/Del/Dec(92)482/35), replacing the informal Gifts Committee created by the CM in November 1975 (cf. CM/Del/Dec(75)250/XXXIII).

110 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2006)959/11.2 app5

111 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2009)1067/1.6

112 Cf. SG/Inf(2010)12

113 Cf. CM(2001)72 (Appendix, paragraph a)

114 Agreed in the Joint Committee on 6 December 1963

115 Cf. CM/AS(2003)Rec1567 final

116 Cf. CM(2009)142

117 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(98)615

118 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(98)615, as amended by CM/AS(2003)Rec1567 final and CM(2011)96 final

119 Cf. CM(2009)142

120 i.e. the majority provided for in Article 20.d of the Statute

121 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(94)519bis/2.2 paragraph C (agreement of 4 November 1994)

122 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2007)996/1.4

123 Cf. CM/AS(2003)Rec1567 final

124 CM(2011)96 final

125 At their 1015th meeting (16 January 2008), the Deputies adopted a simplified procedure for dealing with written questions from members of the Assembly (cf. CM(2008)4 final and CM/Del/Dec(2008)1015/1.6)

126 CM/Del/Dec(2002)797/11.1

127 Cf. CM(2011)96 final

128 Procedure agreed at the Deputies’ 1033rd meeting (3-4 September 2008)

129 i.e. the majority provided for in Article 20.d of the Statute

130 Article 20.a.iii and 21.b. of the Statute. The agreement of 4 November 1994 (CM/Del/Dec(94)519bis/2.2) has been applied to the replies to recommendations but it has never been applied to replies to Written Questions.

131 Until 2002 the distinction between written questions to the Committee of Ministers and written questions to the Chair-in-office was not made. All questions were addressed to the Committee. In 2002 the distinction was made.

132 CM/Del/Dec(2002)816/1.4

133 Cf. Statutory Resolution Res(51)30

134 Report on the follow-up action on the final report of the Committee of Wise Persons (CM(99)64), approved by the CM at its 104th Session in May 1999 supplementing Resolution Res(52)26 on consultation of the Assembly

135 Cf. CM(2009)142

136 Under Article 38 of the Statute

137 Cf. Resolution Res(53)38 on the budgetary system of the Assembly

138 Principle agreed at the Deputies’ 246th meeting in 1975

139 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(98)628/11.3, CM/AS(2003)Rec1567 final and CM(2009)142

140 Cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 and Resolution CM/Res(2011)7

141 Cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 and Resolution CM/Res(2011)7

142 CM/Del/Dec(99)676/2.4 app5

143 CM/Del/Dec(2006)971/1.6

144 CM/Del/Dec(2006)971/1.6 and CM/Bur/Del(2007)2

145 Cf. CM(2011)PVadd1 Item5 and SG/Inf(2011)13, item 8

146 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2012)1130/2.5

147 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2012)1138/2.5

148 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2012)1143/2.3

149 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2007)1009/1.7

150 Cf. CM(2007)74

151 Replacing the former ‘Quadripartite’ meetings

152 CM/Del/Dec(2011)1126/2.3

153 CM/Del/Dec(2008)1029/1.6

154 CM/Del/Dec(96)578 and CM/Del/Dec(96)579/2.1 app5

155 Cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 and Resolution CM/Res(2011)7

156 Approved at a joint meeting between the CM of the Council of Europe and the Permanent Council of the OSCE in April 2005 (Cf. CM(2005)65, Appendix III)

157 Cf. Decision No. CM/865/01122004

158 Cf. GR-OSCE(2005)4

159 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2009)1067/2.3

160 CM/Del/Dec(98)643/2.4. In this context it is recalled that the GR-OSCE referred to in that decision was merged with the GR-EU, RAP-UN and RAP-OCDE to form the GR-EXT in 2005 (cf. CM(2005)181 rev).

161 Cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 and Resolution CM/Res(2011)7 respectively

162 Cf. Exchange of letters of 15 December 1951

163 Since 2000 (every second year since 2004)

164 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2007)990/2.3

165 Cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 and Resolution CM/Res(2011)7 respectively

166 Cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 and Resolution CM/Res(2011)7 respectively

167 Cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24

168 Cf. Resolution CM/Res(2011)24 and Resolution CM/Res(2011)7 respectively

169 Cf. CM(99)64 - Approved at the 668th Deputies’ meeting (CM/Del/Dec(99)668/1.5)

170 Financial Regulations, Article 17

171 Financial Regulations, Article 3

172 Financial Regulations, Article 23

173 Financial Regulations, Article 24

174 Financial Regulations, Article 1

175 Financial Regulations, Article 25

176 CM/Del/Dec(98)622/11.1 appendix 7

177 Financial Regulations, Article25, paragraph 9

178 CM/Del/Dec(98)622/11.1

179 Financial Regulations, Articles 30 and 32

180 Financial Regulations, Article 66

181 Financial Regulations, Articles 69-72

182 Financial Regulations, Article 73. The Committee was renamed in April 2014 (cf. CM/Del/Dec(2014)1196/11.1).

183 Cf. Resolution Res(2006)1, as amended by Resolution CM/Res(2008)50, CM/Del/Dec(2011)1105/11.1abd and CM/Del/Dec(2012)1153/11.1 Part 3B

184 Financial Regulations, Articles 40-42

185 Financial Regulations, Article 21

186 Article 38b. The expenses of the Secretariat and all other common expenses shall be shared between all members in such proportions as shall be determined by the Committee on the basis of the population of members. The contributions of an associate member shall be determined by the Committee.

187 Financial Regulations, Article 10

188 Article 9: The Committee of Ministers may suspend the right of representation on the Committee and on the Parliamentary Assembly of a member which has failed to fulfil its financial obligation during such period as the obligation remains unfulfilled.

189 Decision taken at the 95th Session of the Committee of Ministers (10 November 1994).

190 Financial Regulations, Articles 4 and 11

191 CM/Del/Dec(2009)1050/11.1

192 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(89)431/42a, Appendix 7, amended by CM/Del/Dec(2005)951/11.1 and CM/Del/Dec(2006)978/11.10

193 Financial Regulations, Article 11

194 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2010)1099/11.5

195 Cf. CM(2011)96 final and CM(2000)159 rev

196 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2008)1042/1.6

197 Cf. CM(2005)79 final and CM(2005)80 final

198 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2007)984/1.9

199 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2010)1089/11.3, as amended by CM/Del/Dec(2013)1162/11.4

200 Article 37 of the Statute

201 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2012)1145/11.1

202 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2002)780/1.4

203 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Council of Europe, Western European Union (WEU), European Space Agency (ESA), European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and EUMETSAT

204 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2004)892/11.5

205 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2008)1040/4.5

206 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(98)641/1.3 and CM/Del/Dec(2000)735/1.5a as amended by CM/Del/Dec(2004)883/1.4

207 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(2008)1029/1.4

208 CM/Bur/Del(2003)19

209 CM/Del/Dec(94)519bis/1.3

210 CM/Del/Dec(99)661/1.8, paragraph 2

211 CM/Del/Dec(2002)Chair790/1.6a

212 CM/Del/Dec(94)519bis/1.3

213 CM/Del/Dec(2007)1014/1.4

214 CM/Del/Dec(2000)735/1.5a, CM/Del/Dec(2002)790/1.6a

215 CM/Bur/Del(2001)24

216 CM/Del/Dec(2006)964/4.4 app4, (Rule 8 and 14: Access to information)

217 Pursuant to Article 46, paragraph 2 and Article 39, paragraph 4 of the Convention

218 CM/Del/Dec(2006)964/4.4 app4, (Rule 5)

219 CM/Del/Dec(2010)1100

220 Under rules 9 and 15 of the Rules for the supervision of execution judgments and of the terms of friendly settlements

221 Taking into account Rule 9 § 3 of the Rules of supervision

222 Cf. Resolution Res(2001)6

223 Cf. CM/Del/Dec(94)506/ADM3



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