The Assembly Documents

On this website you will find the texts adopted by the parliamentary assembly , its public working papers ("the Documents") and the Assembly records.

Adopted Texts

The Assembly can adopt three different types of texts: recommendations, resolutions and opinions.

  • Recommendations contain proposals addressed to the Committee of Ministers, the implementation of which is within the competence of governments.
  • Resolutions embody decisions by the Assembly on questions, which it is empowered to put into effect or expressions of view, for which it alone is responsible.
  • Opinions are mostly expressed by the Assembly on questions put to it by the Committee of Ministers, such as the admission of new member states to the Council of Europe, but also on draft conventions, the budget, the implementation of the Social Charter.

Up to the year 2004, the Assembly also adopted texts called Orders (instructions from the Assembly to one or more of its committees). This category of texts was then abolished but some of its characteristics can now form part of Resolutions (see Rule 23 of the Rules of Procedure).

Texts adopted by the Assembly are available on-line in a provisional version as soon as possible after their adoption. The provisional version is replaced by a final version some weeks later. The Adopted texts have been indexed and the full text versions is online as from 1949.

Documents, Working Papers

These documents are numbered in series preceded by the reference Doc. …. Some of the main types of document are:

  • Committee reports are presented to the Assembly by a rapporteur who is responsible for preparing the report. The first part consists of a brief summary of the issues addressed and responses proposed. The second part normally contains one or more draft texts: recommendations or opinions addressed to the Committee of Ministers; resolutions. These texts are the only part of the report which may be subject to amendment. The third part contains an explanatory memorandum. It sets out the commmittee’s reasons for the proposals in the substantive text.
  • motions for a recommendation or resolution which have to be tabled by ten or more members of the Assembly belonging to at least five national delegations. Motions are then referred to committees for report and possibly to other committees for opinion. A report is divided into two parts: the operational draft resolution, recommendation, opinion or order and the explanatory memorandum. Both parts are discussed in committee, but only the operational part is voted on. When a report has been adopted in committee it is tabled for discussion by the Assembly either at a part-session or at a meeting of the Standing Committee.
  • written declarations allow members of the Assembly to give formal expression to their views on matters of European interest. At least twenty representatives or substitutes of four nationalities and two political parties must sign a written declaration. It must not exceed 200 words. If judged by the President to be in order, it is printed as an Assembly document and distributed. If a written declaration receives new signatures before the opening of the next part-session it is redistributed.
  • questions which take the form of written or oral to the Committee of Ministers. A written question is circulated as an Assembly document and the reply by the Committee of Ministers is later published with the question as another Assembly document. Members of the Assembly may put questions for oral answer to the Chairman-in-office of the Committee of Ministers. Normally an oral reply to each question is given by the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers during the presentation of the communication from the Committee of Ministers. These questions appear together in a single document. The replies appear in the sitting report (CR).

Other types of document are:

  • communications from the Secretary General
  • requests for opinion transmitted by the Committee of Ministers
  • progress reports of the Bureau and the Standing Committee
  • statutory report on the activities of the Committee of Ministers

The working papers have been indexed from 1949. Full text versions of the working papers are online as from 1992.

Verbatim records

Official reports of debates (CRs) contain the verbatim speeches in English or in French in the report compiled in that language and a summary of its simultaneous interpretation in the other official language. Thus the English report contains in extenso the speeches made in English, together with a summary in English of the speeches made in French or any other language.

The assembly records are online as from 2000.

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