905th meeting – 1-2 December 2004
on enhanced cooperation and coordination between the Council of Europe and the OSCE
The Committee of Ministers,
Acknowledging the commonality of aims of the Council of Europe and the OSCE as laid down in the Council of Europe Statute and in the documents of the Vienna and Strasbourg Summits, as well as in the Charter for European Security and other OSCE agreed documents and decisions,
Welcoming the pledge made by OSCE participating states in the Platform for Cooperative Security to further strengthen and develop cooperation between the OSCE and the other international organisations and institutions, thereby making better use of the resources of the international community,
Recognising the importance of the multifaceted cooperation with the OSCE, which brings together participating states on the basis of their shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights,
Welcoming the OSCE and the Council of Europe common determination to strengthen their cooperation in pursuing the strategic objective of building a continent without dividing lines,
Reaffirming the importance of involving the OSCE participating states and the Council of Europe member states more actively in enhancing the cooperation between the two Organisations,
Acknowledging that both Organisations, based on their comparative advantages and distinctive tasks, recognise that there is scope for enhanced cooperation to ensure that the Council of Europe and the OSCE complement and reinforce each other to fully meet the expectations of the OSCE participating states and the Council of Europe member states, and to avoid unnecessary duplication,
Decides to establish a Coordination Group consisting of Permanent Representatives from the Troika of the OSCE, the current and incoming Chair of the Council of Europe, open to Permanent Representatives of the countries in the Bureau of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Chair of the Council of Europe GR-OSCE, as well as representatives from the Secretariats of the two Organisations;
Furthermore decides that the Council of Europe members of the Coordinating Group, through the Chair of the Rapporteur Group on relations between the Council of Europe and the OSCE (GR-OSCE) will, on a regular basis, bring to the attention of the Committee of Ministers any issue relating to the improvement of the cooperation between the two Organisations. In order to ensure the necessary policy guidance from the member states, as well as full transparency, discussions in the Committee of Ministers on such issues should take place at least before and after each meeting of the Coordination Group;
Also decides that:
- The Coordination Group will meet as necessary and at least every six months. The meetings will be hosted alternately by the OSCE and the Council of Europe;
- The Coordination Group, will act under the supervision of the decision-making bodies of the two Organisations and be assisted by the Secretariats, which will be responsible for preparing these meetings in cooperation with the current Chairmanships of the OSCE and the Council of Europe;
- The Coordination Group will examine cooperation between the two Organisations and make proposals for concrete follow-up. The Group will focus on cooperation in areas identified as priorities by both sides and subject to review. Focal points from the two sides will be appointed in the selected areas. They will liaise with each other and propose to the Coordination Group concrete ideas for improving cooperation. The focal points will be appointed from within existing structures, staff and budgets.
The Coordination Group will also make proposals for the joint meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to be held no later than in April 2005 to prepare a possible document on enhancing the cooperation between the two organizations which could be signed at the Warsaw Summit on 16 and 17 May 2005.
High-level “2+2/3+3” meetings will take into account the feedback from the Coordination Group.