Ministers’ Deputies / Bureau
Information documents

CM/Bur/Del(2007)13 9 October 20071
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Meeting report
Strasbourg, 8 October 2007

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The following items were discussed by the Bureau at its meeting on 8 October 2007.

1. Meeting for the transfer of the Chairmanship in November 2007

The Bureau noted that the date for the transfer of the Chairmanship between Serbia and Slovakia had been agreed. It would take place on 12 November 2007 at 10:00am. The draft agenda and relevant draft decision will appear under item 1.2 "Preparation of forthcoming meetings" of the 1006th meeting (10 October 2007).

2. Committee of Ministers' meeting schedule for 2008

The Bureau examined the draft meeting schedule for 2008 (see Appendix III), and decided to circulate it
to delegations for information and possible comments to the Chair before midday on 17 October 2007, with
a view to its approval at the 1009th meeting (24 October 2007).

3. Inviting non-member States without observer status to the Council of Europe to meetings of the Committee of Ministers' Rapporteur Groups

The Bureau considered this question in the light of the memorandum appended to this report (Appendix II). The Bureau invited delegations to consider the proposed lines of action as set out in section 3 of the said memorandum, with a view to taking relevant decisions at their 1009th Meeting, on 24 October 2007.

4. Participation of the Committee of Ministers in various conferences or events:

- 15th Session of the Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Local and Regional Government (Valencia, Spain, 15-16 October 2007)

The Bureau noted that Ambassador Neris Germanas, Thematic Co-ordinator on Local and Regional Co-operation (TC-LARC) and Permanent Representative of Lithuania, would participate at this meeting.

- European Committee on Organ Transplantation meeting (Dublin, 12 October 2007) and
9th European Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation (Dun Laoghaire, 13 October 2007) :

The Bureau noted that Ambassador Yevhen PERELYGIN, Chair of the Rapporteur Group on Social and Health
Questions (GR-SOC) and Permanent Representative of Ukraine, would participate at these events.

5. Use of the Committee of Ministers’ Meeting Room

The Bureau was informed of a request to use the Committee of Ministers’ Meeting Room for the 12th meeting
of the Statutory Committee of GRECO at 3:00pm on 29 November 2007, at the close of the 1012th (Budget)
Meeting of the Deputies. The Bureau recommended acceding to this request.

6. Date of next meeting

Thursday, 18 October 2007, 2:00 pm.

Appendix I

1. State of preparation of the 1006th meeting (10 October 2007) and 1009th meeting
(24 October 2007) of the Ministers' Deputies

The Bureau took note of the state of preparation of the above meetings.

With regard to the 1006th meeting (10 October 2007), the Bureau recommended that :

- the following new items be added:

4.5 European Court of Human Rights – Election of judges – List of candidatures in respect of Luxembourg

4.6 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities - Second opinion of the Advisory Committee on Spain, adopted on 22 February 2007

11.1 Management of Staff Under-performance – Draft Resolution adding Article 22bis to the Staff Regulations and amending Article 23 thereof

- the following items be postponed to a forthcoming meeting of the Ministers' Deputies:

4.2 Rights of national minorities in Latvia – Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1772 (2006)

With regard to the 1009th meeting (24 October 2007) the Bureau recommended that:

- the following new items be added:

1.6 Preparation of the meeting for the transfer of the Chairmanship

1.7 Inviting non-member States without observer status to the Council of Europe to meetings of the Committee of Ministers' Rapporteur Groups

3.3 Written Questions by members of the Parliamentary Assembly to the Committee of Ministers
- Action by the Chairperson of the Ministers’ Deputies concerning certain written questions

4.2 European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) – Examination of proposals for the nomination of members

4.3 Abolition of the death penalty in all member states of the Council of Europe

6.1 European Health Committee (CDSP) – Abridged report of the 60th meeting
(Strasbourg, 5-7 June 2007)

- the following items be postponed to the 1010th (7 November 2007) of the Ministers' Deputies:

1.5 Review of action taken by the Committee of Ministers on Parliamentary Assembly recommendations

The Bureau decided to come back to the general matter of written questions from members of the Parliamentary Assembly at its next meeting.

2. Draft agendas of the 1010th (7 November 2007), 1010bis (12 November 2007), 1008th (in camera) (13 November 2007) and 1011th (21 November 2007) meetings of the Ministers' Deputies
The draft agendas and relevant draft decisions for the above meetings of the Ministers' Deputies appear in the Notes on the Agenda No. 1006/1.2 for the present meeting (item 1.2 - “Preparation of forthcoming meetings”).

Appendix II

Memorandum on the question of inviting non member States without observer status to the Council of Europe to meetings of the Committee of Ministers’ Rapporteur Groups

In the context of the proposed invitation of Belarus to meetings of the Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment (GR-C), the general question of participation of non-member States without observer status to the Council of Europe to meetings of the Committee of Ministers' Rapporteur Groups was considered.

1. Rules governing the participation of non member states in meetings of the Committee of Ministers and its Rapporteur Groups

According to the Council of Europe Statute, meetings of the Committee of Ministers shall, as a rule, be held in private. Nonetheless, the Committee of Ministers is entitled to decide otherwise (Article 21-a of the Statute). Accordingly, from a legal viewpoint, nothing prevents non-member states of the Council of Europe being invited to attend a meeting of the Committee of Ministers, the Deputies or a Rapporteur Group, albeit without voting rights.

There are already some precedents for this. Since 1996, the Observer States to the Council of Europe and the European Commission regularly attend Committee of Ministers’ meetings. As to the non-member states without observer status to the Council of Europe, the most common practice is to invite leading political figures from these countries to exchange views with the Committee of Ministers. Further examples of precedents are provided by the times when both Poland and Montenegro were invited to take part in Committee of Ministers’ meetings when they were not yet members of the Council of Europe because they were due to join shortly.

Being a party to a Council of Europe Convention does not entitle a non-member state to take part in a meeting of the Deputies or a Rapporteur Group, even where the non-member state is concerned by an agenda item relating to the application of the Convention. Indeed, several non-member states without observer status to the Council of Europe take part regularly in the preparation of Council of Europe Conventions or are even parties to them without being invited by the Committee of Ministers to attend the meetings during which these Conventions are adopted and their implementation is discussed. On the other hand, a non-member state without observer status to the Council of Europe but which is a Party to a Council of Europe Convention is entitled to participate in meetings held under this Convention. It is also recalled that participation in meetings of an expert committee set up by virtue of Article 17 of the Statute is decided by the Committee of Ministers when adopting the expert committee's terms of reference.

However, as indicated above, there is no legal reason why the Committee of Ministers should not invite a non-member state without observer status to the Council of Europe to take part, without voting rights, in one or the other meeting of a Rapporteur Group, on a specific agenda item, so that matters of direct concern to this country can be discussed directly with its representative.

2. Precedents concerning the invitation of non-member states without observer status to the Council of Europe to meetings of Rapporteur Groups

In the past, Belarus has been invited to participate on an ad hoc basis in meetings of the former Rapporteur Group on Democratic Stability (GR-EDS), the predecessor of the current Rapporteur Group on Democracy (GR-DEM), where an agenda item concerned cooperation with this country. These invitations were made at the initiative of the Chair of the Group following consultation of the latter, in accordance with the following decision adopted by the Ministers’ Deputies at their 701st meeting (8 March 2000):

    “The Deputies
    ….
    4. decided as follows:

    - GR-EDS meetings will be opened up to representatives of applicant countries for the agenda items of relevance to them, on the understanding that specific discussion of any country’s membership prospects, would continue to be held in the absence of applicant countries;

    - attendance at GR-EDS meetings of any non-member state which was neither an applicant nor an observer would be on the basis of ad hoc invitations issued on the Chair’s initiative and subject to the Group’s agreement.”

3. Proposed lines of action for the future

Two options are possible :

1) To follow the same solution as that previously retained for GR-EDS/GR-DEM for all Rapporteur Groups, namely: to allow the ad hoc participation of representatives of non-member states without observer status to the Council of Europe in one or the other meeting of Rapporteur Groups if the topic to be discussed directly concerns those countries, upon invitation by the Chair of the Group concerned and with the prior agreement of the Rapporteur Group concerned.

2) To allow the ad hoc participation of representatives of non-member states without observer status to the Council of Europe in one or the other meeting of Rapporteur Groups, if the topic to be discussed directly concerns those countries, upon invitation by the Chair of the Group concerned and with the prior agreement of the Committee of Ministers.

Appendix III

Committee of Ministers – 2008 Draft meeting dates

 

January

February

March

April

May

June

 

July

August

September

October

November

December

 

1

Tu +

F

S

Tu

Th

S

1

Tu

F +

M +

W AP

S

M

1

2

W +

S

S

W 1023

F

M

2

W 1031

S

Tu

Th AP

D

Tu 1043DH

2

3

Th +

S

M

Th

S

Tu 1028DH

3

Th +

S

W 1033

F AP

M +

W 1043DH

3

4

F +

M

Tu 1020DH

F

S

W 1028DH

4

F +

M +

Th

S

Tu +

Th 1043DH

4

5

S

Tu

W 1020DH

S

M

Th 1028DH

5

S

Tu +

F

S

W 1040+

F

5

6

S

W 1017

Th 1020DH

S

Tu [118CM]

F

6

S

W +

S

M

Th

S

6

7

M

Th

F

M +

W [118CM]

S

7

M +

Th +

S

Tu

F

S

7

8

Tu

F

S

Tu [ID]+ +

Th

S

8

Tu +

F +

M

W 1037

S

M

8

9

W

S

S

W +

F

M

9

W 1032+

S

Tu

Th

S

Tu

9

10

Th

S

M

Th +

S

Tu

10

Th +

S

W

F

M

W 1044

10

11

F

M +

Tu

F +

S

W 1029

11

F +

M +

Th 1034

S

Tu

Th

11

12

S

Tu +

W 1021

S

M

Th

12

S

Tu +

F

S

W

F

12

13

S

W +

Th

S

Tu

F

13

S

W +

S

M

Th

S

13

14

M

Th +

F

M AP+

W

S

14

M +

Th +

S

Tu

F

S

14

15

Tu

F +

S

Tu AP+

Th 1026

S

15

Tu +

F +

M

W 1038

S

M

15

16

W 1015

S

S

W AP+

F

M

16

W +

S

Tu 1035DH

Th

S

Tu

16

17

Th

S

M

Th AP+

S

Tu

17

Th +

S

W 1035DH

F

M

W

17

18

F

M +

Tu

F AP+

S

W 1030

18

F +

M +

Th 1035DH

S

Tu

Th

18

19

S

Tu +

W

S

M

Th

19

S

Tu +

F

S

W 1041

F

19

20

S

W 1018+

Th

S

Tu

F

20

S

W +

S

M

Th

S

20

21

M AP

Th +

F

M

W 1027

S

21

M +

Th +

S

Tu

F cms1

S

21

22

Tu AP

F +

S

Tu

Th

S

22

Tu +

F +

M

W 1039

S cms1

M +

22

23

W AP

S

S

W 1024

F

M AP

23

W +

S

Tu

Th

S

Tu +

+

23

24

Th AP

S

M

Th

S

Tu AP

24

Th +

S

W 1036

F

M

W +

24

25

F AP

M

Tu

F

S

W AP

25

F +

M +

Th

S

Tu 1042Bud

Th +

25

26

S

Tu

W 1022

S

M

Th AP

26

S

Tu +

F

S

W 1042Bud

F +

26

27

S

W 1019

Th

S O

Tu Cong

F AP

27

S

W +

S

M +

Th 1042Bud

S

27

28

M

Th

F

M O

W Cong

S

28

M +

Th +

S

Tu +

F

S

28

29

Tu

F

S

Tu

Th Cong

S

29

Tu +

F +

M AP

W +

S

M +

29

30

W 1016

 

S

W 1025

F

M

30

W

S

Tu AP

Th +

S

Tu +

30

31

Th

 

M

 

S

 

31

Th

S

 

F +

 

W +

31

2006 2007 2008
+ = School Holidays O = Orthodox Easter Ordinary meetings 24 = 26d 26 = 28d 26 = 28d
DH = Human Rights meeting Bud = Budget meeting DH 6 = 12d 5 = 11d 4 = 12d
AP = Parliamentary Assembly Cong = Congress Monitoring 1 = 1d 2 = 2d
ID = “Council of Europe annual exchanges on the religious dimension for intercultural dialogue” on an experimental basis Sessions 1 = 1d 1 = 1d 1 = 1d
118CM = 118th Session of the Committee of Ministers Summit _______ ______ ______
Total meetings days 40 42 41
cms = Conferences of specialised Ministers: 1.Youth ; 2. Migration (dates to be fixed)

Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set out in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.


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