RESOLUTION 1132 (1997)
organisation of a parliamentary conference to reinforce democratic systems in Europe and
co-operation in the fight against terrorism
Over the past two years there has been a resurgence of terrorist
activities in Europe, and almost all European countries have recently been affected,
either directly or indirectly, by these acts of violence. They are indicative of a
profound change in the nature of terrorism in Europe, and reveal the inadequacy of
standard methods for judicial and police co-operation in combating it.
This new type of terrorism stems from the activity of
internationally organised networks which are established in several countries, sometimes
even in Council of Europe member states, playing on the legal flaws of the territoriality
of proceedings and in some cases enjoying powerful logistical and financial support.
In the past, the Parliamentary Assembly has emphasised that it
considers terrorism a matter for serious concern, and, in particular, in Recommendation 1199 (1992) on the fight against international terrorism in Europe, it insisted on the
need for close international co-operation between the Council of Europe member states.
The 1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism,
currently in force in twenty-nine member states, contains some flaws and now seems
outdated. Firstly, terrorism has assumed new forms that were inconceivable when the
convention was drafted, and secondly, terrorism has emerged in some central and east
European countries since the collapse of communism.
In its Recommendation 1324 (1997), the Parliamentary Assembly
proposed that further means of countering terrorism, corruption and organised crime should
be discussed at the 2nd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe
to be held in Strasbourg on 10 and 11 October 1997, and called, in particular, for steps
to be taken to "increase the effectiveness of the European Convention on the
Suppression of Terrorism of 27 January 1977, with the necessary amendments or additional
The growing number of terrorist acts committed throughout Europe
in the past few years and the difficulty of dealing with this highly complex phenomenon
now make it imperative to reflect together on ways of strengthening action against
terrorism, while respecting the rights and freedoms secured in the European Convention on
Holding a parliamentary conference on the subject should be a
means of moving forward. Such a conference would be the appropriate frame for conducting
fruitful discussions, identifying the problems posed by terrorism, studying measures for
prevention, protection and surveillance, and measures to reinforce international
co-operation, and making practical proposals for more effective action against terrorism,
which would include revising the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism.
the Parliamentary Assembly reiterates its forceful and unreserved
condemnation of acts of terrorism and welcomes the French initiative to include the fight
against terrorism, corruption and organised crime on the agenda of the 2nd Summit of Heads
of State and Government of the Council of Europe;
in this connection, it decides to hold a parliamentary
conference to study, with the assistance of experts, the current phenomenon of terrorism
in the democratic system, devise measures for prevention, protection and surveillance or
suppression, and measures for strengthening international co-operation, and to analyse the
requisite amendments to the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism;
it instructs its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to
organise this conference, with the assistance of other committees as necessary.
Assembly debate on 23 September 1997 (27th
Sitting) (see Doc. 7876, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights,
rapporteur: Mr López Henares; and Doc. 7904, opinion of the Political Affairs Committee,
rapporteur: Mr Galanos).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 23 September 1997 (27th Sitting).