Financial implications of decisions by the Deputies

Ministers' Deputies
CM Documents

CM(2000)159 revised (Restricted) 22 November 2000

730 Meeting, 22 November 2000
11 Administration and logistics

11.2 Financial implications of decisions by the Deputies
Memorandum by the Secretary General


Any decision by the Committee of Ministers to involve the Council of Europe in a new activity is based on a political assessment of the contribution the Council of Europe can make to solving a jointly identified problem in European society.  This political assessment must remain the prime criterion for establishing priorities for Council of Europe activities.


However, the success of a project and whether it actually helps to solve a shared problem depends very much on the availability of the human and financial resources needed throughout the implementation of the project, which may cover several budget years.


Under Article 38 of the Statute and Article 5 of the Financial Regulations (see Appendix) no decision entailing extra expenditure is considered to have been adopted unless the Deputies have approved forecasts of the additional expenditure on the basis of observations from the Secretary General, including an estimate of additional costs and proposals as to how they might be met.


Strict application of these rules could be based on a code of good conduct binding on the Deputies and the Secretary General.


The underlying principles of this code of good conduct should be as follows:



1.         As full as possible an estimate of additional expenditure


The estimate should include all direct costs, in particular:


-           the cost of permanent, temporary and seconded staff,

-           official journeys, etc.,

-           costs relating to consultants,

-           interpreting, translation and document production and distribution costs,

-           organisation of meetings (experts' travel expenses, etc.)

-           specific data base and information system needs,

-           installations and equipment (furniture, office systems, telecommunications),

-           any other logistical expenses such as rental of premises, purchase of vehicles, specific insurance, technical personnel, etc.



2.         Foreseeable medium-term development of the new activity


Where appropriate, the estimate referred to above should take account of the impact of an activity's rise in capacity over a period of 3 to 5 years, particularly as regards human resources requirements.  In the specific case of new legal instruments subject to ratification, the financial implications resulting from their entry into force, the progressive accession of new contracting parties and of their possible control mechanisms should be made clear.


High and low estimates should be determined for all medium-term forecasts.


3.         Financing proposals


All proposals should be accompanied by the information necessary regarding financing conditions envisaged:


-           Financing via the budget

Information should be given as to whether this will involve an increase in the organisation's resources or a redeployment of existing resources.  In the latter case, the Secretary General should specify exactly what redeployments are envisaged in the short and medium term. The Deputies' approval of the measures proposed by the Secretary General should be officially recorded.


-           Financing through voluntary contributions

The states willing to contribute should inform the secretariat of their "contribution intentions", including in a multi-annual time frame, beforehand.  If an activity is to be financed exclusively by voluntary contributions, there must be sufficient voluntary contributions to cover all expenses incurred in connection with this activity (programme expenditure, staff costs, any logistical expenses).


-           Co-financing by other international organisations

Costs to be paid out of the Council of Europe's budget should be specified, as well as the contributions expected from the other organisations concerned.





Article 38 of the Statute


a          Each member shall bear the expenses of its own representation in the Committee of Ministers and in the Consultative Assembly.


b          The expenses of the Secretariat and all other common expenses shall be shared between all members in such proportions as shall be determined by the Committee on the basis of the population of members.


            The contributions of an associate member shall be determined by the Committee.


c          In accordance with the financial regulations, the budget of the Council shall be submitted annually by the Secretary General for adoption by the Committee.


d          The Secretary General shall refer to the Committee requests from the Assembly which involve expenditure exceeding the amount already allocated in the budget for the Assembly and its activities.


e          The Secretary General shall also submit to the Committee of Ministers an estimate of the expenditure to which the implementation of each of the recommendations presented to the Committee would give rise. Any resolution the implementation of which requires additional expenditure shall not be considered as adopted by the Committee of Ministers unless the Committee has also approved the corresponding estimates for such additional expenditure.



Article 5 of the Financial Regulations


In case of need, the Committee of Ministers shall make the supplementary appropriations found to be necessary and shall simultaneously decide how these are to be covered.


Any proposal which may involve new budgetary charges shall be submitted to the Committee of Ministers, accompanied by an estimate of these charges and a statement of the means by which it is proposed to meet them. 




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