831st meeting – 12 March 2003

    Item 1.5

    Working Party on Institutional Reforms (GT-REF.INST) -
    Report by the Chairman

    (GT-REF.INST(2003)CB1 and CB2)

    Decisions

    The Deputies

    1. took note of the report by the Chairman of the Working Party on Institutional Reforms (GT-REF.INST) and of the synopses of the meetings of 16 January and 25 February 2003 (GT-REF.INST(2003)CB1 and CB2);

    2. on this basis, agreed in principle on a reform of the current system of ministerial sessions, which will be based on the following three principles:

    - the current system of a six-month term for the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, held on a rota basis by member states according to English alphabetical order, is confirmed;

    - the new Committee of Ministers' timetable will be based on the holding of one annual ordinary ministerial session;

    - this annual ordinary ministerial session will take place in Strasbourg, leaving open nevertheless the possibility of holding -should the circumstances call for it- a second one during the year, either in Strasbourg, or at a venue other that the Council of Europe's headquarters, in conformity with Article 21 of the Statute;

    3. noted that the new system involving the outgoing and incoming chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers will be implemented for the first time in 2004, on an experimental basis. The future Dutch and Norwegian Chairmanships will present before the end of the year concrete proposals on the modalities of this implementation (in particular the date of the ministerial session, its organisation and its chairmanship), on the basis of the discussions held on this matter within the GT-REF.INST.



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