1. At their 860th meeting (12 November 2003, item 1.7), the Deputies approved the timetable concerning the procedure for the election of the Secretary General.
2. In accordance with the said timetable, the closing date for the nomination of candidates was set at 13 February 2004. By this date, the following nominations (by order of presentation) had been received:
- Mr Walter Schwimmer, on behalf of the Government of Austria by letter dated 19 December 2003;
- Mr Terry Davis, on behalf of the Government of United Kingdom by letter dated 3 February 2004;
- Ms Kristiina Ojuland, on behalf of the Government of Estonia by letter dated 6 February 2004.
3. The nomination letters and their accompanying curricula vitae are reproduced in documents CM(2004)2 revised and addendum, CM(2004)21 revised and CM(2004)30.
4. In accordance with the timetable concerning the procedure for the election of the Secretary General, the Deputies are invited, at the present meeting, to examine the nominations and, if necessary, to decide to call the candidates for a personal interview by the Committee or a sub-committee appointed for this purpose (Rule 3 of the Rules concerning the appointment to the posts of Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly having the rank of Deputy Secretary General).
5. In accordance with the approved timetable, this interview could take place during the 875th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies (10 March 2004). As regards the formalities for this interview, the Deputies might wish to follow those used at their previous examination of nominations to the post of Secretary General (24 March 1999), namely:
- the candidates to be informed by the Secretariat of the date for the interview;
- invitation to the candidates to outline their views for about fifteen minutes, after which the Deputies may ask them questions;
- length of the interviews, including questions and answers not to exceed one hour per candidate.
6. The Deputies must also decide upon the order in which the candidates are be interviewed.
7. Once these formalities have been agreed, and possibly produced in the form of a summary by the Chairman, the Secretariat shall notify candidates of them.
8. It is also recalled that the Deputies have already agreed to consult the Assembly at a meeting of the Joint Committee, scheduled at the April Session of the Parliamentary Assembly (26-30 April 2004). The Deputies will be called upon, at their 884th meeting (19 May 2004), to adopt a Resolution containing the names of candidates to be forwarded to the Assembly with a view to the election by the Assembly at its June Session (21-25 June 2004), in conformity with Article 5 of the procedure of appointment 1.