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Communication on the activities of the Committee of Ministers

Statutory Report 2014


1. General questions

Thematic debates
Sessions of the Committee of Ministers
Situation in Ukraine
Conferences of Specialised Ministers
Partial Agreements
Internal functioning
Appointments to high-level Council of Europe posts

 

At their 1213th meeting (26 November 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1213/1.6), the Deputies took note of the conclusions of the 2014 Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue (GR-C(2014)12).

At their 1213th meeting (26 November 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1213/1.5), the Deputies took note of the opinions of the European Court of Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly on the CDDH report on the review of the functioning of the Advisory Panel of experts on candidates for election as judge to the European Court of Human Rights (CM(2013)175) and on the final activity report of the Advisory Panel (Advisory Panel(2013)12) (DD(2014)513 and DD(2014)854). The Deputies welcomed the Parliamentary Assembly's decision to upgrade its Sub-Committee on the Election of Judges to a permanent general committee of the Assembly and the fact that the Sub-Committee always gives substantial weight to the views of the Advisory Panel when assessing the suitability of candidates.

The Deputies adopted Resolution CM/Res(2014)44 amending Resolution CM/Res(2010)26 on the establishment of an Advisory Panel of Experts on Candidates for Election as Judge to the European Court of Human Rights, and also adopted the amendment to the Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers on the selection of candidates for the post of judge at the European Court of Human Rights adopted on 28 March 2012. They decided that the rates of daily allowances of members of the Parliamentary Assembly and Ministers' Deputies, judges and ad hoc judges of the European Court of Human Rights and Commissioner for Human Rights on official journeys shall also apply to the members of the Advisory Panel.

At their 1212th meeting (19 November 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1212/1.5), the Deputies took note of the information memorandum prepared by the Secretariat (CM(2014)129) drawing up a review of the follow-up given by the Committee of Ministers to recommendations adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly to which replies are still pending, up to and including Recommendation 2056 (2014) adopted at the fourth part of its 2014 Session (Strasbourg, 29 September – 3 October 2014). They instructed the Secretariat to submit to them the Parliamentary Assembly recommendations for appropriate follow-up action in accordance with the indications set out in this document and with due consideration to providing an early and substantial reply to the Parliamentary Assembly texts. The Deputies agreed to forward document CM(2014)129 to the Parliamentary Assembly for information.

At their 1206th meeting (10 September 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1206/1.4), the Deputies, recalling their decision of 16 April 2014 (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1197/4.1), noted that their Chairman would invite Mr Oleg Slizhevsky, Minister of Justice of Belarus, for an exchange of views at their 1209th meeting (8 October 2014), under the item “Abolition of the death penalty in Europe”.

At their 1204th meeting (2-3 July 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1204/1.7), the Deputies adopted the reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 2033 (2014) on the “Internet and politics: the impact of new information and communication technology on democracy”.

At their 1202nd meeting (10-11 June 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1202/1.7), the Deputies decided to appoint the following personalities to sit on the Panel for a full term ending on 30 June 2017: Mr Christoph Grabenwarter, Ms Eliška Wagnerová, Mr Matti Paavo Pellonpää, Mr Jean-Paul Costa, Mr Michail Vilaras, Mr John L. Murray.

At their 1198th meeting (29-30 April and 2 May 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1198/1.6), the Deputies took note of the sub-themes of the 2014 Exchange, namely:

Sub-theme I:
“Tolerance of religion and non-religious convictions in culturally diverse societies: a social capital.”
Sub-theme II:
“Contribution of religions and non-religious convictions to combating all forms of discrimination, intolerance and violence.”
Sub-theme III:
“The contribution of cultural heritage of a religious nature to intercultural dialogue and to the respect of the universal values defended by the Council of Europe.”

At their 1196th meeting (2-3 April 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1196/1.7), the Deputies noted that the theme of the 2014 Exchange will be as follows: “Intercultural dialogue: interaction between culture and religion”.

At their 1194th meeting (12-14 March 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1194/1.6), the Deputies took note of the mid-term report by the Secretary General on the Council of Europe Strategy on Internet Governance 2012-2015 (SG/Inf(2014)7), and encouraged its continued implementation. They agreed to transmit the Secretary General’s report to the Parliamentary Assembly, to the Commissioner, to the Congress and to relevant intergovernmental committees for information.

At their 1190th meeting (5 February 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1190/1.6), the Deputies agreed to hold the 2014 Council of Europe Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue in Baku (Azerbaijan) on 1 and 2 September 2014.

At their 1190th meeting (5 February 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1190/1.4), the Deputies agreed to invite Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella (Gabon), President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, to participate in the exchange of views with experts from the capitals on the work of the United Nations in the human rights field (1192nd meeting, 20 February 2014).

At their 1188th meeting (15 January 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1188/1.4), the Deputies approved the Bureau’s recommendation that Ambassador Ana Vukadinović, Permanent Representative of Montenegro and Chair of the GR-SOC, represent the Committee of Ministers at the High-level Conference “Growing with Children’s Rights” on the implementation of the Council of Europe Strategy for the Rights of the Child 2012-2015 (Dubrovnik, 27-28 March 2014).

Thematic debates

At their 1215th meeting (9-10 December 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1215/1.6), the Deputies took note of the Secretary General’s document, the proposals made by their thematic co-ordinator on information policy (TC-INF) and of the various suggestions and points of views expressed during the debate and in that light agreed that the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media will be invited to the thematic debate organised each year on the subject of a relevant aspect of media freedom in Europe. The Deputies welcomed the signature, on 4 December 2014, of a Memorandum of Understanding on the setting-up and operation of a Freedom of Expression Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists, concluded between the Council of Europe and partner organisations.

At their 1211th meeting (12 November 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1211/1.4), the Deputies agreed to invite to their thematic debate on “Ensuring freedom of expression on the Internet” (1215th meeting, 9-10 December 2014): Ms Constance Bommelaer – Senior Director, Global Policy Partnership, Internet Society; Mrs Anriette Esterhuysen – Executive Director, Association for Progressive Communications (APC); Mr Matthias Kettemann – University of Graz, University of Frankfurt, co-author of the book Freedom of Expression and the Internet; and Mrs Dunja Mijatovic – OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media.

At their 1209th meeting (8 October 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1209/1.4), the Deputies approved the Bureau’s recommendation to hold the next thematic debate on “Ensuring freedom of expression on the internet” at their 1215th meeting (9-10 December 2014).

At their 1203rd meeting (18 June 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1203/1.5), the Deputies took note of the summary of the Chairman and of the various points of views expressed during the debate; and in that light, they instructed the GR-DEM to examine the general proposals concerning the strengthening of interaction with NGOs and to report back in due course. The Deputies also instructed the GT-REF.ECHR to examine the proposals relevant to the Committee of Ministers’ supervision of the execution of the Court’s judgements and to report back in due course.

At their 1200th meeting (28 May 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1200/1.5), the Deputies agreed to hold a thematic debate on the “State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe – report by the Secretary General” on 3 July 2014.

At their 1200th meeting (28 May 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1200/1.4), the Deputies agreed to invite Mr Jean-Marie Heydt, President of the Conference of INGOs, and Ms Annelise Oeschger, Chair of the Human Rights Committee (Conference of INGOs), to their thematic debate on “The role and functioning of NGOs in the Council of Europe” (1202nd meeting, 10-11 June 2014) and to live-stream the debate on the internet.

At their 1198th meeting (29-30 April and 2 May 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1198/1.4), the Deputies agreed to hold their next thematic debate on “The role and functioning of NGOs in the Council of Europe” at their 1202nd meeting (10 June 2014, 3 p.m.).

At their 1191st meeting (12-13 February 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1191/1.4), the Deputies approved the Bureau’s recommendation to hold their next thematic debate on “Violence against women (co-operation in particular in the context of the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence)” on 19 March 2014, at their 1195th meeting, and to continue that meeting on 20 March 2014, if necessary. They also approved the Bureau’s recommendation to invite Mr José Mendes Bota, General Rapporteur on violence against women of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly, to participate in the thematic debate on violence against women.

At their 1189th meeting (22 January 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1189/1.5), the Deputies took note of the follow-up proposals made by the Secretary General in document SG/Inf(2014)2. They invited the Secretary General to implement these proposals and to report in due course.

Sessions of the Committee of Ministers

At their 1212th meeting (19 November 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1212/1.4), the Deputies agreed that the 125th Session of the Committee of Ministers (Brussels) will be held on 19 May 2015.

At their 1200th meeting (28 May 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1200/1.5), the Deputies agreed to hold a thematic debate on the “State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe – report by the Secretary General” on 3 July 2014.

At their 1199th meeting (13 May 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1199/1.6), the Deputies decided to declassify the Minutes of the formal part of the Session which will appear in document CM/PV(2014)124 final.

On the item “Securing the long-term effectiveness of the supervisory mechanism of the European Convention on Human Rights”, the Deputies instructed the GT-REF.ECHR to continue following the reform process in order to allow for the Deputies to report back at the 125th Ministerial Session.

On the item “Policy of the Council of Europe towards neighbouring regions”, the Deputies instructed the GR-EXT to continue following the development of the policy of the Council of Europe towards neighbouring regions in order to allow for the Deputies to report back at the 125th Ministerial Session.

At their 1198th meeting (29-30 April and 2 May 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1198/1.5), the Deputies approved the draft agenda of the 124th Session of the Committee of Ministers and took note of the programme of the 124th Session of the Committee of Ministers prepared by the chairmanship. The Deputies approved the report on the follow-up to the Brighton Declaration (CM(2014)39 prov2), and agreed to submit to the Ministers the draft decisions for adoption without debate at the Session. They also approved the report on the implementation of the Council of Europe policy towards neighbouring regions (CM(2014)50 prov) and agreed to submit to the Ministers the draft decisions for adoption without debate at the Session, as well as draft decisions on the Secretary General’s report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe for adoption at the Session and on the report on the conflict in Georgia (October 2013 – March 2014) (SG/Inf(2014)17). Finally the Deputies took note of the annotated draft agenda of the 124th Session (CM(2014)OJ prov).

At their 1197bis meeting (23 April 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1197bis/1.5), the Deputies agreed to submit to the Ministers the following draft decision, for adoption without debate at the Session:

“The Committee of Ministers took note with appreciation of the development of the co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union, as reflected in document CM(2014)38.”

At their 1195th meeting (19 and 20 March 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1195/1.6), the Deputies noted that, in addition to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Chairmanship would also issue invitations to the President of the European Court of Human Rights; the President of the Congress; the President of the Conference of INGOs; and the Commissioner for Human Rights. The Deputies noted that the Chairmanship would also issue invitations to the Secretary General of the OSCE and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the five observer States.

At their 1188th meeting (15 January 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1188/1.4), the Deputies agreed that the handover of the Chairmanship between Austria and Azerbaijan taking place at the 124th Session of the Committee of Ministers (5-6 May 2014) will take effect on 14 May 2014.

Situation in Ukraine

At their 1210th meeting (22 and 24 October 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1210/1.6), the Deputies, recalling their decision of 17 September 2014 as well as their previous decisions on the subject, remained deeply concerned by the continued violation of the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine as well as by the situation of all persons affected by the conflict, including internally displaced persons and refugees. The Deputies stressed that a sustainable political solution to the crisis needs to be based on the respect for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They urged all sides concerned to fully respect and implement the provisions of the Protocol signed in Minsk on 5 September 2014, as well as the agreement reached by the Contact Group in Minsk on 19 September 2014, and to continue their dialogue on this basis, and underlined the Russian Federation’s responsibility in this context. The Deputies emphasised the need, in accordance with the Minsk Protocol, to hold early local elections in Eastern Ukraine in full conformity with Ukrainian law and international standards, and looked forward to the holding of national parliamentary elections on 26 October 2014, again in full conformity with international standards.

The Deputies condemned the deterioration of the human rights situation observed by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe during his visit to Crimea in September, in particular the persecution and intimidation of members of the Crimean Tatar community, and stressed the need to ensure respect for all human rights, including for persons belonging to national minorities, in line with the relevant standards of the Council of Europe; stressed in this context the need to ensure that the relevant human rights bodies of the Council of Europe be able to carry out their monitoring activities unimpeded. They reiterated their call for immediate, safe and unrestricted access to the crash site of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft downed on 17 July 2014, in order to retrieve the remaining bodies and to enable independent experts to continue their investigations. The Deputies took note with deep concern of various reports on serious human rights violations allegedly committed in the context of the violent conflict in Eastern Ukraine; stressed the importance of not tolerating impunity and of bringing all perpetrators of human rights violations – irrespective of the side to which they belong – to justice according to internationally accepted standards. They called on all sides concerned to provide all available evidence and information in order to enable and support the competent authorities of Ukraine in their sovereign prerogative to conduct prompt, thorough and effective investigations of all alleged human rights violations committed on the territory of Ukraine, using the expertise of the Council of Europe in order to ensure full compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Deputies welcomed the recent adoption by the Parliament of Ukraine of the laws on the Office of the Prosecutor General, on the fight against corruption and on the rights and freedoms of internally displaced persons, and encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to continue to draw on the expertise and resources made available by the Council of Europe in the framework of the Package of Immediate Measures for Ukraine and other co-operation projects offered by the Organisation, including the Venice Commission, in order to pursue and implement the reforms needed to achieve full compliance with Council of Europe standards.

At their 1207th meeting (17 September 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1207/1.5), the Deputies, having reviewed the situation in Ukraine on the basis of the report presented by the Secretary General on his visits to Kyiv and Moscow on 2 and 4 September 2014, recalling their previous decisions, stressed that the crisis in Ukraine can only be resolved, as advocated by the Secretary General, on the basis of the principles of the peaceful settlement of disputes, the full respect of the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders and the protection of human rights. They welcomed the Protocol signed in Minsk on 5 September 2014 as a first step towards a durable ceasefire and a long-term solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, and called on all parties to strictly respect and fully implement all twelve principles contained therein without delay.

The Deputies called upon the Russian Federation to use its influence over the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine with a view to de-escalating tensions and facilitating dialogue in the search of a peaceful and negotiated outcome to the crisis. They urged the Russian Federation to withdraw all its troops from Ukraine and refrain from any further military interference in Ukraine, including the supply of military assets to other parties, and to secure the border to avoid the illegal transfer of such assets, in full respect of the United Nations’ Charter and its commitments within the Council of Europe, regarding in particular the principles of the peaceful settlement of disputes and the full respect of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of States, rejecting any forms of threats of force.

The Deputies condemned the downing of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft on 17 July 2014 and called for immediate, safe and unrestricted access to the crash site to enable independent experts to continue their investigations.

The Deputies underlined the importance for the peace process that the parliamentary elections scheduled in Ukraine for 26 October 2014 are held throughout the whole of its territory in a free and democratic manner and invited the Secretary General to provide any assistance which may be requested by the Ukrainian authorities for the successful conduct of these elections. They encouraged the Secretary General to continue to assist the Ukrainian authorities in the conduct of the necessary internal reforms, in particular regarding the constitution, the judiciary, decentralisation and the protection of persons belonging to national minorities; welcomed the preparation of a new Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine to this effect and stressed the distinct contribution of the Venice Commission and the International Advisory Panel.

The Deputies expressed their deep concern regarding the situation of all persons affected by the conflict, including internally displaced persons and refugees, and encouraged the Secretary General to examine how the Council of Europe can address, in co-ordination with other international organisations, the humanitarian needs and the human rights consequences of the military operations in Ukraine. They reiterated that the illegal annexation by the Russian Federation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol cannot form the basis for any alteration of their status, and underlined that the full and effective enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights by all individuals living there, including the native Crimean Tatars and other persons belonging to national minorities, must be secured.

At their 1197th meeting (16 April 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1197/1.6), recalling their previous decisions, and in particular those adopted at their 1192bis (26 February 2014), 1194th (12-14 March 2014), 1195th (19-20 March 2014) and 1196th (2-3 April 2014) meetings, and having taken note of Resolutions 1988 (2014) and 1990 (2014) of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Deputies welcomed the holding of the first meeting of the International Advisory Panel on investigations in Ukraine from 9 to 11 April 2014.

The Deputies expressed their deep concern regarding the recent acts of violence and the occupation of administrative buildings in eastern Ukraine; reiterated in this context member States’ commitment to the respect for international law, for the United Nations’ Charter and for the Statute of the Council of Europe, and in particular to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the full respect of the territorial integrity, unity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They called on all parties to urgently take steps to reduce tensions and engage without delay in a dialogue in order to settle the situation in a peaceful and negotiated manner. The Deputies expressed their full support to the four-party Contact Group meeting which is to be held in Geneva on 17 April 2014 as well as any other efforts aiming at facilitating such dialogue.

The Deputies underlined the importance of preparing the Presidential elections scheduled for 25 May 2014 in the framework of an inclusive and impartial process, and called on all Ukrainian political forces to participate in such a process so that the elections are held in a free and democratic manner and in a peaceful environment. They reiterated their support to the initiatives taken by the Ukrainian authorities to consolidate the functioning of democratic institutions, the protection of human rights and the rule of law, and welcomed the contacts which they have recently undertaken with the Council of Europe to this end; welcomed in this context the visit of the Venice Commission to Ukraine on 15 April 2014 in order to provide assistance for the reforms under way, in particular regarding the constitution.

At their 1196th meeting (2-3 April 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1196/1.8), the Deputies, recalling their previous decisions, and in particular those adopted at their 1192bis (26 February 2014), 1194th (12-14 March 2014) and 1195th (19-20 March 2014) meetings, stressed that the illegal referendum held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on 16 March 2014 and the subsequent illegal annexation by the Russian Federation cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. They welcomed the participation of the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mr Andrii Deshchytsia, in their meeting and the commitment of the Ukrainian authorities, which he reiterated on this occasion, to effectively implement reforms aimed at strengthening human rights protection, the functioning of democratic institutions and the rule of law in line with the Council of Europe values. The Deputies welcomed also the immediate assistance measures for Ukraine presented by the Secretary General at the meeting, including the important tasks assigned to the Venice Commission in assisting Ukraine in various areas of reform, encouraged their rapid implementation and invited member States to urgently consider granting voluntary contributions for their financing. They welcomed the appointment of the third member of the International Advisory Panel and looked forward to the Panel starting its work rapidly.

The Deputies recalled the obligation for all States Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights to abide by this instrument and reiterated their call to the two Parties concerned to comply without delay with the interim measure granted by the European Court of Human Rights following the Inter-State application lodged by Ukraine. They expressed their appreciation to the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, composed of independent experts, for the ad hoc report promptly prepared on the situation of national minorities in Ukraine. The Deputies noted the concerns raised in this report (CM(2014)46), including those regarding the safety of persons belonging to national minorities, and called on the parties concerned to effectively follow up all its conclusions. They invited the Advisory Committee to continue to monitor the situation of national minorities throughout Ukraine, including in Crimea, using all available means; welcomed in this context the launching of the third monitoring cycle regarding the implementation by Ukraine of the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the fourth monitoring cycle regarding the implementation by Ukraine of the provisions of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, under which an assessment regarding the protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, including regional or minority languages, will be provided throughout Ukraine, including in Crimea.

The Deputies decided to continue to follow closely the situation in Ukraine.

At their 1195th meeting (19 and 20 March 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1195/1.7), the Deputies, recalling their previous decisions, and in particular those adopted at their 1192bis (26 February 2014) and 1194th (12-14 March 2014) meetings, reiterated their solidarity with Ukraine and its people and underlined that the current crisis in Ukraine must be resolved peacefully, based on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as in strict adherence to international law.

The Deputies condemned the fact that the referendum conducted by the local authorities of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in violation of the Ukrainian legislation took place on 16 March 2014. They deplored the subsequent decision of the President of the Russian Federation to sign treaties on the admission of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into the Russian Federation, as well as his appeal to the Parliament of the Russian Federation to adopt a law to complete this process. The Deputies firmly recalled the duty of all member States to comply with the commitments undertaken under the Statute of the Council of Europe and relevant instruments of the Organisation and stressed in this context the importance of the interim measure granted by the European Court of Human Rights following the Inter-State application lodged by Ukraine and called on the two Parties concerned to comply with this measure without delay. They urged the Russian Federation to enter into direct dialogue with the Government of Ukraine and called on both sides to use all relevant international mechanisms to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to the current crisis, and to refrain from any steps which may increase tensions and lead to further violence.

Finally, the Deputies supported the Secretary General’s initiatives to assist the Ukrainian authorities in their efforts to consolidate democratic institutions, to protect human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, and to promote the rule of law.

At their 1194th meeting (12-14 March 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1194/1.7), referring to their previous decisions concerning Ukraine, and in particular the decision of 26 February 2014 in which they recalled their governments’ commitment to the respect for international law, for the United Nations’ Charter and for the Statute of the Council of Europe, and in particular to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the full respect of the territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine, and appealing to refrain from any steps which would endanger such principles, the Deputies expressed once again their solidarity with Ukraine and its people, underlined the importance of maintaining the efforts towards a political solution in the country and the contribution of the Council of Europe to that end, notably regarding the consolidation of democratic institutions, the protection of all persons, including those belonging to national minorities and rebuilding trust.

The Deputies took note of the report on the visit of the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General to Kyiv on 10 March 2014. They welcomed the establishment of a tripartite working party involving the Parliament, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Council of Europe to bring forward the legislative reforms and encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to draw without delay on the expertise of the Venice Commission regarding the reform of the Constitution and the adoption of a new electoral law. The Deputies repeated their call on all sides concerned to ensure that the International Advisory Panel as proposed by the Secretary General be enabled to begin its work. Having regard to the request made by the Ukrainian authorities, the Deputies decided in accordance with paragraph 36 of Resolution Res(97)10 of the Committee of Ministers on the monitoring arrangements under Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, to instruct the Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention to review the situation of national minorities in Ukraine and to report back on its findings as soon as possible.

The Deputies requested the Secretary General to rapidly submit proposals for assistance to the Ukrainian authorities for the preparation of the forthcoming Presidential elections scheduled for 25 May 2014 and welcomed the Secretary General’s decision to submit the question of the legality of the referendum called for by the local authorities in the autonomous Republic of Crimea to the Venice Commission; expressed grave concern regarding the intention to hold a referendum on the status of Crimea not authorised by Ukraine. They decided to resume consideration of this item at their next meeting.

At their 1192bis meeting (26 February 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192bis/1.2), the Deputies expressed their solidarity with Ukraine and its people and underlined the importance of maintaining the efforts towards a political solution in the country within a democratic context. They recalled their governments’ commitment to the respect for international law, for the United Nations’ Charter and for the Statute of the Council of Europe, and in particular to the peaceful settlement of disputes and the full respect of the territorial integrity, unity and independence of Ukraine.

The Deputies underlined that the reforms undertaken in Ukraine should be conducted in an all-inclusive manner, fully respect the principle of the rule of law and comply with the country’s commitments to the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights and the other Council of Europe conventions to which Ukraine is party, in particular the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. They called on all sides concerned to ensure that the International Advisory Panel as proposed by the Secretary General be enabled to begin its work on the basis of a mandate reflecting the current situation. The Deputies invited Ukraine to draw on the Council of Europe’s expertise when preparing the important reforms to come, starting with the revision of the Constitution and of the electoral legislation. Finally, the Deputies requested the Secretary General to revise, as appropriate, the Action Plan with Ukraine and to reinforce the Council of Europe presence in Kyiv in order to provide the necessary assistance during this transition period.

At their 1192nd meeting (19-21 February 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192/1.3), the Deputies supported the Secretary General’s call of 18 February 2014 to put an immediate end to violence in Ukraine. The Deputies underlined the urgency of restoring a climate of confidence in Ukraine and of reestablishing political dialogue within the relevant institutions; consequently reiterated their call on all political forces in Ukraine to resolve the ongoing crisis with mutual consideration, through democratic and peaceful means and within the framework of the rule of law. They stressed that the investigations regarding the violent incidents which have taken place in Ukraine from 30 November 2013 onwards should be completed rapidly by the Ukrainian authorities through a transparent and impartial process.

The Deputies urged the Ukrainian authorities to appoint their representative on the International Advisory Panel proposed by the Secretary General and to provide this Panel with all the necessary support so that it can without delay start its work, in accordance with its mandate, regarding the above-mentioned incidents. They expressed the continued readiness of the Council of Europe and its Venice Commission to provide at the request of the Ukrainian authorities all necessary assistance with a view to the revision of the Constitution and of the electoral law, in order to reach, through an inclusive process, a solution in line with Council of Europe standards and acceptable for all in Ukraine. The Deputies supported the preliminary conclusions of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights presented to the Committee of Ministers during the last meeting and encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to closely work with the Commissioner in the follow-up.

Conferences of Specialised Ministers

At their 1196th meeting (2-3 April 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1196/1.6), the Deputies noted that the 16th Session of the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for Spatial/Regional Planning (CEMAT) would be held in Nafplio (Greece) on 17 June 2014.

Partial Agreements

The following partial agreements are dealt with in the respective sections:

North-South Centre (see section 2)

European Audiovisual Observatory (see section 5)

Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) (see section 6)

European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) (see section 6)

Pompidou Group (see section 6)

EURIMAGES (see section 7)

European Centre for Modern Languages (Graz) (see section 7)

Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (see section 7)

Partial Agreement on the Youth Card (see section 8)

Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS) (see section 8)

EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement (see section 9)

European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) (see section 10)

Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) (see section 10)

Internal functioning

At their 1215th meeting (9-10 December 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1215/1.4), the Deputies agreed to hold an exchange of views with Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at their 1219th meeting under the item: United Nations – exchange of views (human rights questions) with experts from capitals, on 12 February 2015.

At their 1213th meeting (26 November 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1213/1.4), the Deputies decided to hold a supplementary meeting on 2 December 2014 (9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.) and confirmed their 1215bis meeting on 17 December 2014.

At their 1209th meeting (8 October 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1209/1.4), the Deputies authorised the presence at the 1210th meeting (22 October 2014), of the incoming External Auditor, Mr Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, President of the Polish Supreme Audit Office (NIK) and his colleagues, in order to observe the exchange of views under item 11.2b with the outgoing External Auditor, Mr Didier Migaud (First President of the Cour des comptes, France).

At their 1209th meeting (8 October 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1209/1.4), the Deputies approved the Committee of Ministers’ meeting schedule for 2015.

At their 1209th meeting (8 October 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1209/1.4), the Deputies agreed to invite Ms Mbarka Bouaida, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Morocco, for an exchange of views during the next Rapporteur Group on External Relations (GR-EXT) meeting on 16 October 2014.

At their 1204th meeting (2-3 July 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1204/1.4), the Deputies entrusted the chairmanships of Rapporteur Groups as follows:

- Ambassador Helle, Permanent Representative of Norway, with the Chair of the Rapporteur Group on Democracy (GR-DEM), from 9 July 2014;
- Ambassador Eisenbarth, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg, with the Chair of the Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport, Youth and Environment (GR-C), from 18 September 2014;
- Ambassador Gil Catalina, Permanent Representative of Spain, with the Chair of the Ad hoc Working Party on the Follow-up to the Interlaken Process (GT-REF.ECHR), from 1 August 2014.

At their 1198th meeting (29-30 April and 2 May 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1198/1.4), the Deputies agreed to bring forward their 1199th meeting from 21 to 13 May 2014.

At their 1197th meeting (16 April 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1197/1.4), the Deputies agreed to invite the Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of Belarus to participate in the exchange of views under the item “Abolition of the death penalty in Europe” scheduled at their 1197th meeting (16 April 2014).

At their 1197th meeting (16 April 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1197/1.4), the Deputies agreed to hold an additional Deputies’ meeting (1197bis meeting) on 23 April 2014; to start the Deputies’ 1198th meeting on 29 April 2014; and to move the 1211th meeting from 5 to 12 November 2014.

At their 1189th meeting (22 January 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1189/1.4), the Deputies agreed to discontinue the Thematic Co-ordinator on Equality and Trafficking (TC-ET) and instructed their Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H) to take over the terms of reference attributed to the TC-ET.

At their 1188th meeting (15 January 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1188/1.4), the Deputies entrusted the position of Chair of the GR-J to Ambassador Miroslav Papa, Permanent Representative of Croatia.

Appointments to high-level Council of Europe posts

At their 1215bis meeting (17 December 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1215bis/1.3), the Deputies took note of the Secretary General’s intention to appoint Mr Matjaž Gruden on the post of Director of Policy Planning (Grade A6), in accordance with Article 25.5b of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations), with effect from 1 January 2015.

At their 1215bis meeting (17 December 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1215bis/1.3), the Deputies took note of the Secretary General’s intention to confirm Ms Verena Taylor on the post of Director of the Office of Directorate General of Programmes (Grade A6) and her re-appointment for a further three years, in accordance with Article 25.5b of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations), with effect from 1 February 2015.

At their 1215bis meeting (17 December 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1215bis/1.3), the Deputies took note of the Secretary General’s intention to confirm Mr Anatoly Egoshkin in the post of Director of Buildings, Facility Management and Security (Logistics) (Grade A6) and his re-appointment for a further three years, in accordance with Article 25.5a of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations), with effect from 1 March 2015.

At their 1209th meeting (8 October 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1209/1.3), the Deputies took note of the Secretary General’s decision to ask Ms Mireille Paulus, Secretary to the Committee of Ministers (Grade A7), to remain in service until the end of December 2016, two years beyond the statutory age limit, in accordance with Articles 24, paragraph 2, and 24 bis of the Staff Regulations.

At their 1209th meeting (8 October 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1209/1.3), the Deputies took note of the Secretary General’s intention to appoint Mr Stephen Phillips to the post of Section Registrar (Grade A6) in the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, in accordance with Article 61bis of the Staff Regulations and with Article 25.5b of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations), with effect from 1 November 2014.

At their 1204th meeting (2-3 July 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1204/1.3), the Deputies took note of the Secretary General’s intention, at the request of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe:

- to postpone the date of entry into force of the mandate of the Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (Grade A7) to 1 July 2015;
- to ensure that, as from 2015, each Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (Grade A7) would take up his/her duties on 1 July;
- to ask the incumbent Secretary General of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (Grade A7), Mr Andreas Kiefer, to act as Secretary General ad interim in the three-month interim period, in accordance with Article 26.2.c of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations).

At their 1204th meeting (2-3 July 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1204/1.3), the Deputies also took note of the Secretary General’s intention to extend the appointment of Mr Bjørn Berge on the post of Director of the Private Office of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General (Grade A6) in accordance with Articles 27.1 and 27.2 of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations), for a period of five years, with effect from 1 October 2014.

At their 1200th meeting (28 May 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1200/1.3), the Deputies took note of the Secretary General’s intention to appoint Mr Jeroen Schokkenbroek on the post of Executive Secretary of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) (Grade A6), in accordance with Article 25.5b of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations).

At their 1194th meeting (12-14 March 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1194/1.3), the Deputies took note of the Secretary General’s intention to appoint Mr Jean-Christophe Bas on the post of Director of Democratic Citizenship and Participation (Grade A6), in accordance with Article 25.5a of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations), with effect from 16 June 2014.

At their 1192nd meeting (19-21 February 2014) (CM/Del/Dec(2014)1192/1.5), the Deputies adopted Resolution CM/Res(2014)1 on the appointment of the Secretary General and agreed to transmit it to the Parliamentary Assembly with a view to the election by the Assembly at its June Session (23-27 June 2014).



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