Ministers’ Deputies / Bureau
CM/Bur/Del(2007)15 rev 7 November 20071
Strasbourg, 5 November 2007
The following items were discussed by the Bureau at its meeting on 5 November 2007.
1. Budget Committee - Appointment of members and alternate members for the period
1 January 2008 – 31 December 2010
The Bureau recommended extension of the deadline for candidatures to 15 November 2007 to enable interested member states to submit a further candidate, as only 10 (out of 11) candidatures2 had been received within the previous deadline (15 October 2007).
2. Written Questions from members of the Parliamentary Assembly
The procedure of the Committee of Ministers for dealing with questions from members of the Parliamentary Assembly is currently under review, and the Bureau continued discussion of this question. It was agreed that the Incoming Chair would proceed to informal consultations on this matter, with a view to preparing a document for decision by the Committee of Ministers at one of its forthcoming meetings.
3. Participation of the Committee of Ministers in various conferences or events
The Bureau noted that the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, Ms Diana Štrofová, would participate at the forthcoming 8th Conference of European Health Ministers "People on the Move: Human Rights and Challenges for Health Care Systems" on behalf of the Committee of Ministers. This conference will take place in Bratislava on 22 to 23 November 2007.
4. Subsidiary groups - Vacancies
The Bureau noted that the position of Chair of the Working Party on Institutional Reforms (GT-REF.INST) would shortly become vacant.
Those interested in this position should inform the Chair before 23 November 2007.
5. Use of the Foyer of the Committee of Ministers
The Bureau was informed of the request from the European Roma and Travellers' Forum (ERTF), to hold a Reception following their Plenary Assembly on 26 November 2007 (6:30pm to 8:00pm) in the Foyer.
The Bureau noted confirmation of dates from Ambassador Gega, Permanent Representative of Albania, concerning a photographic exhibition to be held in the Foyer from 28 to 30 November 2007.
The Bureau was also informed of the request from Ambassador Kuchár, Permanent Representative of Slovakia, to hold exhibitions in the Foyer from 25 January to 8 February 2008 and from 18 April to 2 May 2008.
The Bureau recommended acceding to these requests.
6. Other business
- Adoption of decisions without debate : after having studied the procedures on this question as defined within the Working Methods of the Committee of Ministers (see Appendix II), the Bureau recalled that 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. It is also recalled that 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.
- Exchange of views with Mrs Mary Daly, Chair of the High-Level Task Force on Social Cohesion (TFSC) : The Bureau noted that Mrs Daly would present the report of the Task Force during the forthcoming meeting of the Rapporteur Group on Social and Health Questions (GR-SOC), being held on 20 November 2007 at 2:30pm.
- Seating Arrangements in the Committee of Ministers' meeting room : The Bureau approved an adjustment to the seating arrangements in the Committee of Ministers' meeting room during the forthcoming chairmanships, due to the change of order with regard to Sweden and Slovenia (cf. decision taken at the 971st meeting, 12 July 2006 (item 1.7)).
7. Date of next meeting
Monday 26 November 2007.
1. State of preparation 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 Bureau took note of the state of preparation of the above meetings.
With regard to the 1010th meeting (7 November 2007), the Bureau recommended that :
- the following new item be added:
4.3 European Court of Human Rights – Election of judges – List of candidatures in respect of Latvia
- the following items be postponed to the 1011th meeting (21 November 2007) of the Ministers' Deputies:
2.3 Monitoring Group (GT-SUIVI.AGO) – Oral progress report on the Group’s work by the Chair
3.1.c Written Question No. 531 by Mr Salles: “New attacks on freedom of expression in Turkey”
- the following items be postponed to a forthcoming meeting of the Ministers' Deputies:
3.1.b Written Question No. 527 by Mr Huss: “Ban on a Moscow demonstration by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in 2007”
4.1 “Rights of national minorities in Latvia” – Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1772 (2006)
With regard to the 1011th meeting (21 November 2007), the Bureau recommended that:
- the following new items be added:
3.1.a Written Question No. 538 by Mrs de Pourbaix-Lundin: “Ratification of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings”
3.1.c Written Question No. 532 by Ms Beck: “The dissolution of the Russian Republican Party in the light of Russia’s modified Law on political parties”
8.1 Governing Board of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) – Request for observer status by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)
2. Draft agendas of the 1012th (27 - 29 November 2007) and 1014th (12 December 2007) meetings of the Ministers' Deputies - Items to be entrusted to Rapporteur Groups and Thematic
The draft agendas and relevant draft decisions for the above meetings of the Ministers' Deputies appear in the Notes on the Agenda No. 1010/1.2 for the present meeting (item 1.2 - “Preparation of forthcoming meetings”).
Adoption of decisions without debate
Information document prepared by the Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers
The procedure of adoption without debate adopted by the Deputies at their 265th meeting (April 1977) specifies that:
“The Secretariat will indicate, in a separate block on the order of business for each meeting of the Deputies, those items for which a draft decision has been included in the Notes on the Agenda, and which in the view of the Chairman, the Bureau or of the Secretariat might be adopted without prior discussion.
“This procedure can be used for a considerable number of uncontroversial matters, e.g. in cases in which the committee is only asked to “take note” or on technical proposals which emanate from committees of experts and have not given rise to disagreement within these committees.”
To take greater account of this decision, the Deputies approved, in September 2001, a wider use of the adoption without debate procedure (CM/Bur/Del(2001)17 – item 6).
When adopting the guidelines for the reform and modernisation of the Committee's working methods in December 2005 (CM(2005)181 rev), this use was systematised.
These guidelines specify inter alia that:
- “items prepared by Rapporteur Groups should be placed "in the box" for adoption without debate in cases where they were approved without objection at subsidiary group level. Delegations might make a statement in exceptional cases without it leading to further discussion;”
- “The Chair should ensure that the rules are respected. In particular he/she should discourage the removal of items from the box for discussion without good justification. Delegations wishing to do so are encouraged to inform the Chair two working days before the meeting. If the question is not urgent, the item could be referred back to the competent Rapporteur Group or Working Party for further consideration. Whenever appropriate, the Chair may invite the Chairs of subsidiary groups concerned to comment on this.”
- “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.”
Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue; it will be declassified in accordance with Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 2 5 (out of 5) by the major contributors: France; Germany; Italy; Russian Federation; United Kingdom and 5 (out of 6) by the other member states: Austria; Belgium; Poland; Sweden; Turkey.