CM(98)40... European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) - Abridged report of the 14th meeting (Strasbourg, 3-6 March 1998)
Committee of Ministers
Comité des Ministres
Strasbourg, 18 March 1998
For consideration at the 628th meeting
of the Ministers Deputies
(15-16 April 1998, A level, item 4.1)
AGAINST RACISM AND INTOLERANCE
Strasbourg, Human Rights Building
Room 20 RC Jardin
2-6 March 1998
ABRIDGED MEETING REPORT
1. The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) held its 14th meeting from 3 to 6 March 1998 in Strasbourg (Human Rights Building) with Mr Nikos FRANGAKIS (Greece) in the Chair.
2. The list of participants appears in Appendix I. The agenda, as adopted, appears in Appendix II.
3. This abridged report contains a list of the items discussed and decisions taken at the meeting.
Items 1 and 2: Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda
4. See introduction.
Item 3: Communication by the Secretariat
5. ECRI was informed by the Secretariat of recent developments within the Council of Europe relevant to its work. It also noted that the Swiss Federal Commission against Racism is organising, in co-operation with the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, a colloquy on "Combating racism: the place and the role of specialised bodies" which will be held in Lausanne (Switzerland) from 22-24 October 1998; a number of the members of ECRI, including its Bureau and the members of its working group on specialised bodies, will participate in this colloquy.
Item 4: Intensification of the activities of ECRI
6. ECRI discussed a draft document prepared by an ad hoc group, containing proposals on the intensification of its activities in the framework of the follow-up to the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government of the member States of the Council of Europe. ECRI finalised this document and forwarded it to the Committee of Ministers with a view to contributing to its discussion on the intensification of ECRIs activities.
7. The document, as adopted by ECRI, is reproduced in Addendum I to this abridged meeting report.
Item 5: Texts prepared by the CBC working groups
8. ECRI discussed the draft preliminary texts concerning Estonia, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom and held an in-depth discussion on each of these texts.
9. In accordance with the country-by-country working procedure, it was agreed that the draft texts, as prepared by ECRI at the present meeting, would be transmitted by the Chair to the Permanent Representatives of the member States in question, so that they might be forwarded for comments to the national liaison officer to be nominated by the respective governments.
Item 6: Adoption of final country-by-country texts
10. ECRI examined the country-by-country texts which had been discussed with the national liaison officers, and which were now submitted to ECRI for final adoption.
11. ECRI adopted the final texts concerning Bulgaria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia. These texts are reproduced in Addendum II to this abridged meeting report.
12. In accordance with the country-by-country procedure, as agreed by the Deputies at their 598th meeting (1-3 July 1997), the aforementioned texts would be transmitted by ECRI to the governments of the countries in question through the Committee of Ministers. These texts could be published two months after their transmission to these governments, unless the latter were expressly against making the texts public.
Item 7: ECRI general policy recommendation No. 3 on combating racism and intolerance against Roma/Gypsies
13. The Chair of the working group on Roma/Gypsies, Mr Fernando FERREIRA RAMOS (Portugal) presented the results of the hearing held by this group with representatives of Roma/Gypsy organisations (Paris, 16 February 1998) as well as the text of a draft ECRI general policy recommendation No. 3 on combating racism and intolerance against Roma/Gypsies.
14. ECRI held a discussion on this text, finalised its contents and agreed to transmit it to the Committee of Ministers, requesting the latter to comunicate the text to the governments of member States and to authorise its publication.
15. The ECRI general policy recommendation No. 3, as adopted at the meeting, is reproduced in Addendum III to this abridged meeting report.
Item 8: ECRI general policy recommendation No. 4 on national surveys on victims experience and perception of racism and discrimination
16. The Chair of the working group on surveys, Ms Eva SMITH-ASMUSSEN (Denmark) presented the text of a draft ECRI general policy recommendation No. 4 on national surveys on victims experience and perception of racism and discrimination.
17. ECRI held a discussion on this text, finalised its contents and agreed to transmit it to the Committee of Ministers, requesting the latter to communicate the text to the governments of member States and to authorise its publication. The ECRI general policy recommendation No. 4, as adopted at the meeting, is reproduced in Addendum IV to this abridged meeting report.
18. ECRI asked its working group on surveys to continue its work by reflecting on ways in which the implementation of ECRI's general recommendation N° 4 might be promoted and ways in which the organisation of surveys in the various member States might be promoted.
Item 9: Annual report on the activities of ECRI
19. ECRI discussed and approved the outline of its annual report for 1997. It requested its Bureau to complete the drafting of the report as quickly as possible and expressed the wish that its Chair and Vice-Chairs could present the completed report to the Ministers Deputies at a hearing.
Item 10: Co-operation programme with NGOs
20. The Chair of the working group on relations with NGOs, Mr Andrzej SICINSKI (Poland) presented the results of a consultation meeting held in Paris on 15 December 1997.
21. ECRI discussed and finalised the text of a draft policy and action statement concerning ECRI's relations with NGOs. The text, as adopted by ECRI, is reproduced in Appendix III to this abridged meeting report.
Item 11: Co-operation with the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia
22. Mr Joseph VOYAME (Switzerland), member of the management board of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia in respect of the Council of Europe, provided information on the first meeting of the management board, which was held in Vienna on 20-21 January 1998.
Item 12: Consultant on the cohabitation of different cultures and religions
23. ECRI agreed to discuss this subject at its 15th plenary meeting (16-19 June 1998). To that end, the Secretariat would prepare a memorandum on the possible contents of the research task which might be given to a consultant. It was agreed that ECRI members with proposals to make on this subject should transmit the latter to the Secretariat before 10 May 1998.
Item 13: Contacts established with other bodies of the Council of Europe interested in the questions dealt with by ECRI
24. ECRI was informed of recent developments with regard to the question of the possible widening of the field of application of Article 14 (non-discrimination clause) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Item 14: Composition of ECRI's working groups
25. The composition of ECRI's working groups, as revised by ECRI at the present meeting, appears in Appendix IV.
Item 15: Time-table of forthcoming meetings and items to be dealt with at the 15th meeting of ECRI
26. ECRI agreed to include on the agenda of its 15th plenary meeting (16-19 June 1998) an item on the issue of the dissemination of racist material via the Internet, and asked its Secretariat to prepare a memorandum as a basis for its discussions on this item.
27. Furthermore, ECRI asked its working group on the "basket of good practices" to hold a meeting before ECRI's 15th plenary meeting (16-19 June 1998) in order to prepare proposals for the content of a second "basket" and possible ways of collecting examples of good practices.
28. The provisional timetable of forthcoming meetings appears in Appendix V to this abridged meeting report.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Albanie / Albania
Ms Admira SHEHU, Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, University of Malta, VALLETTA
Andorre / Andorra
Madame Patricia QUILLACQ, Représentante Permanente Adjointe d'Andorre auprès du Conseil de l'Europe, Conseil de l'Europe, STRASBOURG
Autriche / Austria
Professor Stefan KARNER, Ludwig BoltzmannInstitut für Kriegsfolgen-Forschung, GRAZ
Belgique / Belgium
Monsieur Johan LEMAN, Directeur du Centre pour l'Egalité des Chances et la Lutte contre le racisme, BRUXELLES
M. François SANT'ANGELO, collaborateur au Centre pour l'Egalité des Chances et la Lutte contre le Racisme, Résidence Palace, BRUXELLES
Bulgarie / Bulgaria
Monsieur Luben KOULICHEV, Assemblée Nationale de la République de Bulgarie, SOFIA
Croatie / Croatia
Ms Nina VAJIC, Professor of Public International Law, Law Faculty, University of Zagreb, ZAGREB
Chypre / Cyprus
Ms Maro CLERIDES-TSIAPPAS, Counsel for the Republic of Cyprus, Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus, NICOSIA
République Tchèque / Czech Republic
Mr Richard KRPAC, Human Rights Office, International Law Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PRAGUE
Danemark / Denmark
Professor Eva SMITH ASMUSSEN, Retsvidenskabeligt Institut A, COPENHAGEN
Estonie / Estonia
Mrs Aino LEPIK, Head of Human Rights Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Legal Department, TALLINN
Finlande / Finland
Professor Karmela LIEBKIND, University of Helsinki, Department of Social Psychology, HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO
Mr Lauri HANNIKAINEN, Associate Professor of International Law, HELSINKI
Madame Martine VALDES-BOULOUQUE, Premier Substitut du Procureur de la République auprès du Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris , Palais de Justice, PARIS
Allemagne / Germany
Dr Helga VOELSKOW-THIES, Ministerialdirigentin, Bundesministerium der Justiz, BONN
Grèce / Greece
Mr Nikos FRANGAKIS, President of the Hellenic League on Human Rights, ATHENS
Hongrie / Hungary
Mr Jenö KALTENBACH, Parliamentary Commissioner for National, Ethnic and Minority Rights, Parliamentary Commissioners' Office of the Republic of Hungary, BUDAPEST
Islande / Iceland
Reverend Baldur KRISTJÁNSSON, Special Assistant to the Bishop of Iceland, Biskupsstofa, REYKJAVIK
Italie / Italy
Monsieur le Professeur Paolo UNGARI, Presidente della Commissione per i Diritti Umani della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, ROMA
Lettonie / Latvia
Mrs Ruta MARJAA, Deputy Chairman of the Legal Affairs Commission, The Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, RIGA
Monsieur Hans BRUNHART, Ancien Chef du Gouvernement, Euroconsult AG, SCHAAN
Mme Christine STEHRENBERGER, Représentant Permanent Adjoint de la Principauté de Liechtenstein auprès du Conseil de l'Europe, Office pour les Affaires Etrangères, VADUZ
Lituanie / Lithuania
Mr Vladimir YARMOLENKO, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, VILNIUS
Monsieur Roger LINSTER, Ambassadeur, 1er Conseiller de Gouvernement, Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, LUXEMBOURG
Malte / Malta
Dr Godwin MUSCAT-AZZOPARDI, Judge, Taizé, Wied II-Qlejja, VALLETTA
Monsieur le Professeur Victor VOLCINSCHI, str Banulescu-Bodoni, 61, Academia de Studii Economice (ASE) dui Victor Volcinschi, Seful Catedrei de Drept, CHISINAU
Pays-Bas / Netherlands
Mr Willem MIJNSSEN, Gerechtshof s'Gravenhage, DEN HAAG
Norvège / Norway
Mr Petter DREFVELIN, Director General, Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), LYSAKER
Pologne / Poland
Professor Andrzej SICINSKI, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, WARSZAWA
Monsieur Fernando FERREIRA RAMOS, Procureur-Général Adjoint, Procuradoria-Geral da República, LISBOA
Roumanie / Romania
Mr Aurel-Viorel CIOBANU-DORDEA, Ministry of Justice, Directorate of Government's Agent to the Council of Europe, BUCHAREST
Fédération de Russie / Russian Federation
Mr Alexander VLADYCHENKO, Doctor of History, Deputy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Cooperation Department, MOSCOW
Sain-Marin / San Marino
Madame Federica BIGI, Ministère des Affaires Etrangères de Saint-Marin, Direction des Affaires Politiques, REP. SAN MARINO
Slovaquie / Slovakia
Professor Juraj VEC, Rector of the University Comenius, BRATISLAVA
Slovénie / Slovenia
Mrs Alenka PUHAR, Journalist-Publicist, LJUBLJANA
Espagne / Spain
Mr Tomás CALVO BUEZAS, Catedrático de Antropología Social, Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología, Universidad Complutense, MADRID
Mr Secundino VALLADARES FERNANDEZ, Facultad de Ciencias Politicas y Sociologia, Universidad Complutense, MADRID
Suède / Sweden
Ms Heléne LÖÖW, National Swedish Council for Crime Prevention, STOCKHOLM
Suisse / Switzerland
Monsieur le Professeur Joseph VOYAME, SAINT-BRAIS
Madame Doris ANGST YILMAZ, Responsable du Secrétariat de la Commission fédérale contre le racisme, BERNE
"L'ex-République yougoslave de Macédoine" / "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"
Ms Elizabeta GORGIEVA, Senior Officer at the Human and Minority Rights Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, SKOPJE
Turquie / Turkey
Mr Gün KUT, Bogaziçi University, Faculty of Political Science, ISTANBUL
Mr Oleg SEMENENKO, Second Secretary of the European and Transatlantic Integration, Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, KYIV
Royaume-Uni / United Kingdom
Mr Michael E. HEAD, WOKING
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Assemblée parlementaire / Parliamentary Assembly
Commission des questions juridiques et des droits de l'homme/Committee on Legal Questions and Human Rights
Monsieur José Luis LOPES HENARES, Sénateur, MADRID
Commission de la culture et de l'éducation/Committee on Culture and Education
Mrs Josephine VERSPAGET, Deputy, THE HAGUE
Commission des questions politiques/Committee on Political Affairs
Mr András BÁRSONY, Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly to the Council of Europe, Hungarian Parliament, BUDAPEST
Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux de l'Europe / Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe
Monsieur Gianfranco MARTINI, Segretario Generale dell'Associazione Italiana del Consiglio dei Communi e Regioni d'Europa, ROMA
Mrs Gülay ATIG, Mayor of Sisli, Sisli Belediyesi, ISTANBUL
Commission des Communautés Européennes/Commission of the European Community
Madame Annette BOSSCHER, Chef de Division Direction Générale, BRUXELLES
Monsieur Joël-Benoît d'ONORIO, Directeur du Département des Sciences juridiques et morales, Institut Portalis, AIX EN PROVENCE
* * *
Mme Isil GACHET, Direction des Droits de l'Homme, Secrétaire de la Commission européenne contre le racisme et l'intolérance/Human Rights Directorate, Secretary of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Conseil de l'Europe, STRASBOURG
Mrs Isobelle JAQUES, Administratrice / Administrator
Ms Louise BARTON, Assistante Administrative/Administrative Assistant
Mr Giancarlo CARDINALE, Attaché à la Direction des Droits de l'Homme/Attached to the Human Rights Directorate
Mme Sylvia LEHMANN, Assistante/Assistant
1. Opening of the meeting
2. Adoption of the agenda
3. Communication by the Secretariat
4. Intensification of the activities of ECRI
5. Texts prepared by the CBC working groups
6. Adoption of final country-by-country texts
7. ECRI general policy recommendation N° 3 on combating racism and intolerance against Roma/Gypsies
8. ECRI general policy recommendation N° 4 on national surveys on victims' experience and perception of racism and discrimination
9. Annual report on ECRI's activities
10. Co-operation programme with NGOs
11. Co-operation with the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia
12. Consultant on the cohabitation of different cultures and religions
13. Contacts established with other bodies of the Council of Europe interested in the questions dealt with by ECRI
14. Composition of ECRI's working groups
15. Time-table of forthcoming meetings and items to be dealt with at the 15th meeting of ECRI
16. Other business
EUROPEAN COMMISSION AGAINST RACISM AND INTOLERANCE
POLICY AND ACTION STATEMENT ON
ECRI'S RELATIONS WITH NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS
1. In accordance with its terms of reference, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) shall:
"- review member States' legislation, policies and other measures to combat racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance, and their effectiveness;
- propose further action at local, national and European level;
- formulate general policy recommendations to member States;
- study international legal instruments applicable in the matter with a view to their reinforcement where appropriate."
2. In undertaking this activity, ECRI may:
"... be seized directly by non-governmental organisations on any questions covered by it."
3. Since its establishment, ECRI has sought to co-operate with non-governmental organisations (NGOs). For example, in 1994 it circulated a letter informing selected NGOs of ECRI's creation and, on the basis of a questionnaire, sought information from NGOs on legal and policy measures in force in member States.
4. ECRI's guiding principles and future role, adopted in December 1995, envisaged its activity would consist, inter alia, of:
"- maintaining on-going relations with NGOs dealing with the promotion and protection of human rights, especially those NGOs which enjoy consultative status with the Council of Europe, and examining any material, reports and observations which these NGOs might transmit to ECRI."
5. In May 1996 ECRI met with selected NGO representatives to discuss possibilities for future co-operation. Subsequent to this meeting, it established a working group on relations with NGOs. In December 1997, ECRI met again with selected NGO representatives, to obtain their views on ECRI's proposed policy for co-operation with NGOs as contained in this policy and action statement.
6. At its 14th plenary meeting in (3-6 March 1998), in the light of the evolution of its own activity, especially its country-by-country approach, ECRI examined in detail how it could co-operate effectively with NGOs. In so doing, it adopted this policy and action statement on ECRI's relations with NGOs.
B. ECRI and NGOs
7. Tackling racism and intolerance requires not only action by governments, to whom ECRI's recommendations are addressed, but the full involvement of civil society. NGOs have a crucial role to play in this respect. It is a longstanding practice of the Council of Europe to work closely, often in partnership, with NGOs, especially in the field of promoting and protecting human rights. Building on these links, and taking into account the relations developed especially with national NGOs during the European Youth Campaign against Racism, Xenophobia, Anti-Semitism and Intolerance (EYC), ECRI aims to intensify its action against racism in co-operation with NGOs. Furthermore, ECRI underlines the importance it attaches to co-operation between governments and NGOs in the implementation of measures to combat racism. It encourages governments, on the one hand, to involve NGOs in policy-making and its application, as well as, on the other hand, NGOs to co-operate with governments and other authorities.
8. ECRI seeks to co-operate with international and, in particular, national NGOs. At the international level, it will promote contact with NGOs active in the human rights field, not solely those concerned specifically with combating racism and intolerance. At the national level, it will concentrate on developing co-operation with those NGOs which focus their activities on ECRI's area of competence.
9. ECRI's relations with NGOs should constitute a genuine partnership with two-way exchanges: NGOs are valuable information sources for ECRI, and they may also play a role in contributing to the future development of ECRI's own activity.
10. ECRI envisages employing a variety of working methods in co-operating with NGOs, including written information exchange, meetings and hearings with NGOs with specialist knowledge.
C. ECRI-NGO co-operation concerning country-by-country (CBC) work
11. ECRI welcomes the role NGOs have played to-date in providing information for use in its country reports. It seeks to enhance this role in the future, in the light of the further evolution of its CBC work.
12. On publication of its country reports, ECRI welcomes assistance from NGOs in disseminating these reports. In so doing, it is hoped that NGOs can play a role in promoting ECRI's recommendations as well as in providing comment or feedback.
D. ECRI-NGO co-operation on other aspects of ECRI activity
13. ECRI likewise welcomes assistance from NGOs in disseminating its general policy recommendations and other publications, including contributing to their up-dating, as appropriate. ECRI similarly hopes NGOs can play a role in promoting ECRI's general policy recommendations at the national level as well as in providing comment or feedback on them.
14. ECRI recognises the important role NGOs play in supporting developments in international human rights law and gaining their acceptance by governments. It welcomes NGO involvement in this respect regarding ratification of existing treaties as well as international legal instruments which may be developed relating to combating racism and intolerance.
15. ECRI attaches great importance to the role of information and education in combating racism and intolerance. With this in mind, the Council of Europe's web site Combating racism and intolerance was launched in October 1997 (address: www.ecri.coe.fr). ECRI seeks co-operation with NGOs in the further development of this web site into a forum for information exchange and comment, responsive to the needs and priorities of its users. It also welcomes NGO views on other means of communication ECRI might develop in the future, particularly its proposed newsletter.
16. ECRI welcomes co-operation with NGOs in promoting educational activity, in its broadest sense, for combating racism and intolerance.
17. Insofar as resources, human and financial, permit, ECRI welcomes the opportunity to participate in NGO conferences, seminars and meetings aimed at combating racism and intolerance. ECRI also encourages its members to co-operate actively with national and, if possible, local NGOs in promoting the implementation of its recommendations and country-specific proposals.
* * * * *
Attachment: list of members of ECRI
COMPOSITION OF ECRI'S WORKING GROUPS
WORKING GROUP ON ROMA/GYPSIES / GROUPE DE TRAVAIL SUR LES ROMS/TSIGANES
Mr Fernando Ferreira-Ramos (Chair/Président)
Mr Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea
Mr Jenö Kaltenbach
Mr Richard Krpac
Mr Willem Mijnssen
Mr François Sant'Angelo
Mr Victor Volcinschi
WORKING GROUP ON SURVEYS / GROUPE DE TRAVAIL ENQUETES
Mrs Eva Smith-Asmussen (Chair/Présidente)
Mr Tómas Calvo-Buezas
Mr Jürgen Haberland
Mr Gün Kut
Mr Godwin Muscat-Azzopardi
Mr Andrzej Sicinski
WORKING GROUP ON BASKET OF GOOD PRACTICES /
GROUPE DE TRAVAIL CORBEILLE DE BONNES PRATIQUES
Mr Godwin Muscat-Azzopardi (Chair/Président)
Mr Petter Drefvelin
Mr Jürgen Haberland
Ms Alenka Puhar
Mr François Sant'Angelo
WORKING GROUP ON SPECIALISED BODIES /
GROUPE DE TRAVAIL SUR LES ORGANES SPECIALISES
Mr Michael Head (Chair/Président)
Mrs Doris Angst-Yilmaz
Mr Petter Drefvelin
Ms Elizabeta Gorgieva
Mr Willem Mijnssen
Mr François Sant'Angelo
Mrs Martine Valdes-Boulouque
Mr Alexander Vladychenko
WORKING GROUP ON RESEARCH INSTITUTES /
GROUPE DE TRAVAIL INSTITUTS DE RECHERCHE
Mr Juraj Svec (Chair/Président)
Ms Patricia Quillacq
Mr Paolo Ungari
WORKING GROUP ON RELATIONS WITH NGOS /
GROUPE DE TRAVAIL SUR LES RELATIONS AVEC LES ONG
Mr Andrzej Sicinski (Chair/Président)
Mr Michael Head
Mr Jenö Kaltenbach
Mr Richard Krpac
Mr Godwin Muscat-Azzopardi
Mr Paolo Ungari
Mrs Martine Valdes-Boulouque
Mr Joseph Voyame
DIALOGUE GROUP FOR CONTACTS WITH NATIONAL LIAISON OFFICERS /
GROUPE DE DIALOGUE POUR LES CONTACTS AVEC LES AGENTS DE LIAISON NATIONAUX
Mr Nikos Frangakis
Mrs Alenka Puhar
Mr Joseph Voyame
one member of CBC group in question / un membre du groupe CBC concerné
COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY (CBC) GROUPS /
GROUPES DE TRAVAIL PAYS-PAR-PAYS (CBC)
The composition of the 9 CBC working groups remains unchanged.
TIMETABLE OF FORTHCOMING MEETINGS
(Subject to budgetary possibilities)
- 15th plenary meeting: 16-19 June 1998
- 16th plenary meeting: 13-16 October 1998
- Thursday 4 June 1998 (Strasbourg)
- 15 June 1998 (pending confirmation)
- 12 October 1998 (pending confirmation)
Working group on NGOs
- Monday 18 May 1998 (Paris Office)
Working group "Basket of good practices"
- One and a half day meeting before the 15th plenary meeting
CBC working groups:
CBC 2: 29-30 April 1998
CBC 3: 2 April 1998 (provisional date)
CBC 4: 19-20 May 1998
CBC 6: 24 August 1998
CBC 7: 15 May 1998
CBC 9: 6-7 April 1998 (subject to confirmation: 25 May 1998)