Recommendation 1680 (2004)1

New concepts to evaluate the state of democratic development

1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1407 (2004) on new concepts to evaluate the state of democratic development.

2. It welcomes the publication of the Green Paper on “The future of democracy in Europe – trends, analysis and reforms” commissioned by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in the framework of the integrated project “Making democratic institutions work”. The final conference of this integrated project, which will take place in Barcelona from 17 to 19 November 2004, will provide an opportunity to governments, elected representatives and civil society to reflect together on the core principles of European democracy.

3. Consequently, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers, taking into account the activities already carried out by the Organisation in the field of democratic development:

i. work towards strengthening democratic development in all member states and include this into the action programme of the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe;

ii. instruct its competent steering committee to develop, in co-operation with the Assembly:

a. a code of good practice for political parties and their members, as well as clear European guidelines on how political parties could be financed;

b. guidelines for petitions, popular initiatives and referendums, in particular at local and regional level;

c. model rules of procedure for parliamentary bodies, with particular emphasis on methods of parliamentary consultation and the participation of the public;

iii. analyse, in co-operation with the Assembly, the feasibility of creating, on the basis of a convention, a committee which would draw up a list of fundamental democratic rights protected by the Council of Europe and regularly prepare a critical analysis of the functioning of democratic institutions in Europe, and update it when necessary;

iv. monitor, in co-operation with the Assembly, democratic development within the Council of Europe’s institutions and present periodically progress reports in this respect.

1. Assembly debate on 8 October 2004 (32nd Sitting) (see Doc. 10279, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Severin).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 8 October 2004 (32nd Sitting).