RESOLUTION 1132 (1997)[1]

on the organisation of a parliamentary conference to reinforce democratic systems in Europe and co-operation in the fight against terrorism


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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on the Suppression of Terrorism, currently in force in twenty-nine member states, contains some flaws and now seems outdated.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.

  5. 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 protocols".

  6. 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 Human Rights.

  7. 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.

  8. Consequently:

  1. 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;

  2. 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;

  3. it instructs its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights to organise this conference, with the assistance of other committees as necessary.

[1] 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).