Opinion No. 220 (2000)
Draft European landscape
European landscapes form
the basis of our living environment, an indispensable element in every
person?s quality of life. They represent our common European heritage
and are a vital but fragile asset that we must pass on to future generations.
In an evolving society where
the development of natural resources and the cultural heritage, both
being integral parts of European landscapes, are subject to constant
pressure, there is a growing need to apply innovative methods so as to
reconcile the often conflicting needs of our societies and to sustain
landscape as an important resource.
As previously stated in Resolution 1150 (1998)
and Recommendation 1393 (1998),
the Assembly welcomes the draft European landscape convention, which
aims to meet this challenge and congratulates the Congress of Local and
Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) for taking the initiative.
This proposal provides a
coherent, dynamic and flexible framework for co-operation at European
level. It takes into account the diversity of European landscapes, the
varied nature of values attached to the concept of landscape, as well
as numerous traditions of management and use of land throughout Europe.
Today, the process of drafting
the convention is in its final stages following the work by the select
committee of experts, established by the Committee of Ministers for this
The Assembly welcomes the
fact that the final proposal put forward by the expert group was subject
to a general consensus.
Furthermore, it welcomes
the strong support for the draft European landscape convention given
by a number of delegations, such as the proposal by the Italian authorities
to host a conference devoted to the opening for signature of the convention
during the Italian presidency in autumn 2000.
However, it takes note of
the concern voiced by some of the government delegations involved in
the debate, and agrees with their proposal and the initial position of
the Committee of Ministers, that the follow-up to the convention be entrusted
to existing intergovernmental committees of the Council of Europe.
The Assembly agrees with
the proposal of the German delegation to amend Article 14.2 and to increase
to ten the minimum number of signatory parties necessary for the convention
to enter into force.
In view of the aforementioned,
the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
adopt the draft European
landscape convention as proposed by the select committee of experts
with the exception of provisions regarding the European Landscape Committee,
and thus replacing Articles 10, 11 and 12 with alternative Articles
10 and 11, as defined in the appendix, and amending Article 14.2 so
as to increase to ten the minimum number of parties necessary for the
convention to enter into force;
invite member states to
sign and ratify the convention after its adoption by the Committee
invite the European Union
to adhere to the European landscape convention.
Taking into account the opinion
expressed by a number of delegations of the above-mentioned committees ? the
Committee for the Activities of the Council of Europe in the field of Biological
and Landscape Diversity (CO-DBP) and the Cultural Heritage Committee (CC-PAT) ? and
as a result of the consultation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
of Europe (CLRAE), your rapporteur proposes to replace Articles 10, 11 and
12 of the draft convention by the following new paragraphs:
Article 10 - Monitoring of
the application of the convention
The competent committee
of experts, set up by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
in pursuance of Article 17 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, shall
be responsible for monitoring the application of the convention.
Following each of the committee
of experts? meetings, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
shall transmit a report on the work carried out and on the operation
of the convention to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
and to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe.
Under its statutory powers,
the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe may forward
an opinion to the Committee of Ministers on the aforementioned report.
The committee of experts
shall propose to the Committee of Ministers, in consultation with the
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe, the criteria for
conferring and rules governing the European Landscape Award.
Article 11- European Landscape
The European Landscape Award
is a distinction which may be conferred by the Council of Europe on local
and regional authorities that have instituted, as part of the landscape
policy of a party to this convention, a policy or measures to protect,
manage and/or plan their landscape, which have proved lastingly effective
and can thus serve as an example to other territorial authorities in
Applications for the European
Landscape Award shall be submitted to the committee of experts by states.
Transfrontier local and regional authorities and groupings of local and
regional authorities may apply provided that they jointly manage the
landscape in question.
On proposals from the committee
of experts and bearing in mind the opinion of the Congress of Local and
Regional Authorities of Europe, the Committee of Ministers shall define
and publicise the criteria for conferring the European Landscape Award,
adopt the relevant rules and confer the award.
The conferral of the European
Landscape Award to local and regional authorities shall place them under
an obligation to ensure the lasting protection, management and/or planning
of the landscape areas concerned.
debate on 26 June 2000 (17th Sitting) (see Doc. 8732,
report of the Committee on the Environment, Regional Planning and Local
Authorities, rapporteur: Mr Martínez Casañ).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 June 2000 (17th Sitting).