Ministers' Deputies / Rapporteur Groups
Rapporteur Group on relations between the Council of Europe and the OSCE
GR-OSCE(2005)4 15 March 20051
Report by the Chair of the GR-OSCE on the first meeting of the Council of Europe/OSCE Co-ordination Group (Vienna, 7 March 2005) and on further work to enhance co-operation between the two organisations
1. The Council of Europe/OSCE Co-ordination Group, set up in late 2004 by two parallel decisions of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the Permanent Council of the OSCE, held its first meeting in Vienna on 7 March 2005. The meeting report, as drafted by the Slovenian Chairmanship of the OSCE is reproduced in Appendix to this document.
2. At the meeting, the main subject of the discussions was the drafting of a draft declaration on enhanced co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE, based on the text drawn up by the members representing the Council of Europe on the Co-ordination Group, distributed beforehand as a working document (see document DD(2005)137 of 1 March 2005).
3. With regard to procedure, it was agreed that the draft declaration, once it had been finalised by the Co-ordination Group, could be submitted for approval at the joint meeting between the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the Permanent Council of the OSCE, to be held at the latest in April 2005 prior to the 3rd Council of Europe Summit. Following that joint meeting, the text could then be endorsed by two formal decisions, taken in parallel by the Committee of Ministers and the Permanent Council, before being officially presented for the signature of both Chairmen at the 3rd Summit.
4. As far as the subject matter is concerned, the working document initially presented was generally considered an excellent basis on which to work, although a number of amendments were made. The Slovenian Chairmanship of the OSCE was asked to produce a revised text, in consultation with the Polish Permanent Delegation in Vienna, on the basis of the discussions held. This revised text will be circulated as soon as possible.
5. In accordance with its terms of reference, the Co-ordination Group also identified the following four priority areas for co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE in the coming months:
- the fight against terrorism;
- the fight against trafficking in human beings;
- the fight against intolerance and discrimination;
- the protection of national minorities.
6. Focal points now need to be appointed by both parties to put forward concrete ideas to improve co-operation between the two organisations in each of the above priority areas. They should be chosen from among currently available staff and within existing structures and budgets. The Council of Europe representatives in the Co-ordination Group will identify focal points on the Council of Europe side, taking into account the information provided by the OSCE on the correspondents it had appointed. The Council of Europe focal points will work to the Co-ordination Group in close cooperation with the Chair of GR-OSCE consulting as necessary with the relevant Rapporteur Groups.
7. Finally, the Co-ordination Group agreed that the joint meeting between the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the Permanent Council of the OSCE would be held on 18 April, in Strasbourg, at the invitation of the Polish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. The agenda for the meeting could be as follows:
1. Enhancing co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE: report by both Chairmen on recent developments and prospects, followed by a discussion;
2. Practical measures to enhance co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE in the four priority areas, on the basis of the preliminary ideas put forward by the correspondents appointed by the Council of Europe and the OSCE in each area;
3. Approval of a draft declaration on enhancing co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE, for subsequent adoption by two parallel decisions of the Committee of Ministers and the Permanent Council, and signature by the two Chairmen during the 3rd Council of Europe Summit in Warsaw.
Slovenian Chairmanship 2005 Vienna, 9 March 2005
Report of the first meeting of the OSCE-CoE Co-ordination Group
Vienna, 7 March 2005
The first meeting of the OSCE-CoE Co-ordination Group was hosted by the Slovenian Chairmanship of the OSCE on 7 March 2005 in Vienna. The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, Chairman of the OSCE Permanent Council. On the OSCE side Permanent Representatives from the Troika of the OSCE, SG Kubiš as well as representatives of ODIHR and the FoM participated in the meeting. CoE side was represented by Permanent Representatives of the countries in the Bureau of the CoE (Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Norway and The Netherlands), the chair of the CoE GR-OSCE, as well as representatives from the Secretariat.
Participants stressed the potential of the newly established OSCE-CoE Co-ordination Group as a useful framework for the involvement of participating/member States in reviewing and guiding co-operation between the two organisations. Better co-ordination in capitals was considered a prerequisite for good OSCE-CoE co-operation.
The Agenda included the following items:
1) Preparation of the Declaration on CoE/OSCE co-operation
Most of the meeting was spent discussing the draft text of the political document on OSCE-CoE cooperation. We have conveyed the suggestions and proposals made by participating States at the Preparatory Committee meeting on 1 March. An amended text of the declaration, based on the suggestions made by both sides at the meeting of the Co-ordination Group, will be prepared by Slovenian and Polish Missions to the OSCE and then circulated to both sides in the coming week.
We raised the issue on how best to proceed with the adoption of the document. Few options were mentioned to be considered. The option, according to which the document should be adopted respectively by the OSCE Permanent Council and the CoE Committee of Ministers' Deputies and then signed by the 2 CiOs on the margins of the CoE Summit in Warsaw, enjoyed most support and was agreed.
2) Priority Areas for OSCE-CoE cooperation and the appointment of the Focal Points
Regarding the identification of areas for enhanced co-operation, the Chair offered three priority areas that enjoyed the support of the OSCE participating States: fight against terrorism, combating trafficking in human beings, combating intolerance and discrimination.
All three priority areas were well received and met with approval. In addition, protection of national minorities was suggested as the fourth priority area. The Co-ordination Group agreed to proceed with the four priority areas. The Chair said these proposals would be referred back to the OSCE participating States.
The Chair announced the focal points in the priority areas on the OSCE side. They were as follows:
· for fight against terrorism, Brian WOO, Head of the Action Against- Terrorism Unit
· for trafficking in human beings, Dr Helga KONRAD, OSCE Special Representative
· for tolerance and non-discrimination, Amb. Christian STROHAL, Director of ODIHR
As regards the protection of national minorities, the focal point would be, subject to his acceptance, Rolf EKEUS, High Commissioner for National Minorities.
The CoE have not yet appointed their focal points. The CoE side will proceed with identifying focal points very rapidly. It was agreed that, once appointed, the CoE focal points would contact their opposite numbers in the OSCE to work out jointly ways of stepping up co-operation in their respective fields.
3) Determination of the date of the next meeting of the Co-ordination Group OSCE-CoE
While not ruling out the possibly of convening a meeting earlier should the need arise, Monday 12 September 2005 was tentatively chosen as the date for the second Meeting of the Co-ordinating Group, which would take place in Strasbourg with Portugal in the Chair of the Committee of Ministers' Deputies.
4) Determination of the date of the Joint meeting of the PC OSCE and the CMD CoE
18 April was tentatively defined as the date for the Joint Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council and the CoE Committee of Ministers' Deputies, which would be hosted by Poland in Strasbourg.
Is was agreed that the two Chairmanships would report back to the Permanent Council and the Committee of Ministers' Deputies as soon as possible on the results of today's meeting.
Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.