Council of Europe should retain ‘primacy’ when assessing EU states’ basic values

 PACE has suggested the Council of Europe should retain “primacy” when it comes to assessing EU member states’ compliance with common fundamental values – while stepping up its “political co-ordination” with the EU.

As the EU considers setting up a new democracy-monitoring mechanism for its member States, the Assembly said it should be invited to take account of Council of Europe reports, opinions and recommendations when reaching its conclusions to ensure “consistency of views”.

Approving a resolution and recommendation to governments based on a report by Petra De Sutter (Belgium, SOC), the Assembly said any new EU mechanism should continue to use Council of Europe standards as a “benchmark” for human rights and the rule of law on the continent.

“Both organisations have a shared responsibility for upholding the effectiveness of their respective legal frameworks, ensuring that any overlapping of competences does not create conflict, and ensuring that this set of shared core values and principles is interpreted in a coherent way.”

The Assembly also called on the Council of Europe’s ministerial body to regularly assess the EU’s various initiatives, hold more direct dialogue with the relevant EU institutions, and set up a body for regular co-ordination between the two organisations.

For its part, the Assembly should invite the EU to co-operate on establishing an “annual parliamentary debate on the rule of law”.