Ministers’ Deputies / Bureau
CM/Bur/Del(2001)24 13 November 2001
(Strasbourg, 12 November 2001)
This is a condensed report on the items and recommendations discussed by the Bureau at its meeting on 12 November 2001.
1. State of preparation of the 772nd (14 November 2001), 773rd (21 November 2001) and 774th (Budget, 27-29 November 2001) meetings of the Ministers' Deputies
The Bureau took note of the state of preparation of the forthcoming meetings of the Deputies.
Regarding the 772nd meeting, the Bureau noted that the following items should be added:
7.5 UNESCO - Report of the visit by the Chair of the GR-C
and, subject to the possibility of holding a meeting of the Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H) to prepare the item,
4.4. European Court of Human Rights - Presentation of candidates for the election of judges - Georgia.
It also noted that item 1.5 had been divided into two parts:
a. Follow-up to the 109th session
b. Draft reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1534(2001) on democracies facing terrorism.
Regarding the 773rd meeting, the Bureau noted that the following two items should be added:
2.3 Relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union - Follow-up to the 17th Quadripartite meeting (Brussels, 20 November 2001)
4.3 The contribution of the Council of Europe to the restoration of the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy in Chechnya.
2. Thematic “Monitoring” documents –– Distribution arrangements
The Bureau took note of the Secretariat’s proposal, in accordance with the provisions of Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents, to review the status of the various “Monitoring” documents and bring their distribution into line with that of other Committee of Ministers documents.
It noted that there were three types of “Monitoring” documents concerning the thematic monitoring process:
- national contributions on the various themes, which were public;
- general comments by the Secretariat on the different themes, which were not confidential and should therefore be distributed in future under the classification “restricted”;
- country-by-country comments by the Secretariat, which were confidential and should continue to circulate under that classification.
This last category of documents had hitherto been treated as “secret”, which meant that they were distributed to heads of delegation in sealed envelopes, with a very restricted internal circulation. Most other confidential Committee of Ministers documents were not distributed under such a complex procedure; they were reproduced and distributed through the normal channels, with attention being drawn to their confidential nature. Similarly, confidential “Monitoring” documents could in future be distributed in the same way as other confidential Committee of Ministers documents.
The Bureau approved the Secretariat’s proposals and agreed to submit them to the Committee of Ministers.
3. Distribution of documents in general
The Bureau held a further discussion on the distribution of documents and agreed to pursue consideration of this item at the 772nd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies (14 November 2001) in the light of the recapitulatory Notes on the Agenda to be prepared by the Secretariat.
4. Subsidiary groups of the Ministers' Deputies
The Bureau resumed consideration of the vacancies in subsidiary groups. It reviewed them as follows, together with the recommendations it wished to submit to the Committee 1 :
- Rapporteur Group on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (GR-AB): in the absence of any other candidates for the chairmanship of this group, an extension of the term of office of Ambassador Andrew Carter, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, outgoing Chair of the GR-AB, was recommended;
- Rapporteur Group on Education, Culture, Sport and Youth (GR-C): The Bureau recommended that the Chair of the GR-C be Ambassador Benoît Cardon de Lichtbuer, Permanent Representative of Belgium.
The Bureau noted that the Chair would have to pursue his consultations on the chairmanship of the GR-SOC and agreed to return to this point at its next meeting, in the light of the outcome of the consultations.
b. Working methods
The Bureau drew the attention of all chairs of subsidiary groups to the terms of the Compendium of procedures governing the working methods of subsidiary groups of the Ministers' Deputies (CM(99)167), particularly the following provisions:
“Terms of Reference of the Rapporteur Groups
Each Rapporteur Group will deal with matters falling within its sphere of work. Rapporteur Groups are allowed to make contact with any internal Council of Europe body as appropriate.
Where necessary, the Chairman of each Rapporteur Group and the Group itself may make any contact outside the Council of Europe after having consulted the Chairman of the Ministers' Deputies in due time who may decide to consult the Bureau, and, if necessary, the Ministers' Deputies.
Rapporteur groups’ agendas are in principle drawn up at the instigation of the Ministers' Deputies or the Deputies’ Bureau.
Within their particular spheres of activity (see the section above on Rapporteur Groups’ terms of reference), the Chair of each Rapporteur Group and the Group itself will have room for initiative. In the interest of consistency, however, they will keep the Chair of the Ministers' Deputies informed of their draft agendas, and he or she may decide to consult the Bureau and, if necessary, the Ministers' Deputies.”
Likewise, for the sake of consistency, the Bureau was of the opinion that the chairs of groups should keep the Chair of the Deputies informed of any initiative that might be of interest to him.
5. Use of the Committee of Ministers Foyer
The Bureau had received requests from:
i. the delegation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, for an exhibition of the works of the Yugoslav painter Sava Stojkov during the Parliamentary Assembly session in April 2002;
ii. the delegation of Lithuania, for an exhibition of contemporary Lithuanian paintings, for two weeks from 22 April to 3 May 2002.
The Bureau, noting that the dates of these two requests partly overlapped and bearing in mind that in accordance with the Regulations concerning the use of the Committee of Ministers Foyer for exhibitions, priority was to be given to requests from member states, recommended that the request from the delegation of Lithuania be granted.
It instructed the Secretariat to contact the Yugoslav delegation to propose other dates for its exhibition or suggest that it use one of the other areas in the Palais de l’Europe that were available for such events;
iii. the delegation of Azerbaijan, for an exhibition of carpets from 21 to 24 January 2002 and a concert by Azeri singers on 23 January 2002.
The Bureau recommended that these two requests from the delegation of Azerbaijan be granted;
iv. the delegation of the Russian Federation, for an exhibition of works by the Russian painters Victor Orlov and Marina Orlova from 1 to 12 April 2002.
The Bureau, noting that the Russian delegation was already using the Committee of Ministers Foyer from 23 to 27 September 2002, drew attention to the terms of the above-mentioned regulations, which provided that “a member state whose request to hold an exhibition has been granted shall normally refrain from submitting another request until two years have elapsed”.
However, by way of exception and given that the Foyer was available on the dates asked for, the Bureau recommended that this request be granted.