Recommendation 1821 (2007)1

Code of Good Practice on Referendums


1. Recalling its Resolution 1592 (2007) on the Code of Good Practice on Referendums, the Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the elaboration of a Code of Good Practice on Referendums by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), as a complement to the Venice Commission’s pioneering work on the elaboration of a Code of Good Practice on Electoral Matters, which was endorsed by the Assembly in Resolution 1320 (2003) and by the Committee of Ministers through a solemn declaration.

2. In the light of the increasing recourse to referendums in Council of Europe member states over the last decades, as well as of the political impact of referendums, including in some instances beyond national borders, the Assembly considers the Code of Good Practice on Referendums to be an important and necessary instrument in the Council of Europe’s action to reinforce democracy and promote respect for the rule of law.

3. As another outstanding reference text in this field, the Code of Good Practice on Referendums should be given the highest visibility, and compliance with its provisions and examples of good practice should be recommended to Council of Europe member states.

4. Reiterating its Recommendation 1704 (2005) on referendums: towards good practices in Europe, the Assembly therefore asks the Committee of Ministers to adopt a recommendation to member states endorsing the Code of Good Practice on Referendums.


1. Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 23 November 2007 (see Doc. 11435, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Van den Brande).