Rules of Procedure of the Assembly (October 2017)

(Resolution 1202 (1999) adopted on 4 November 1999) with subsequent modifications of the Rules of Procedure* * Resolutions ,
1234 (2000), 1235 (2000), 1266 (2001), 1275 (2002), 1284 (2002),
1296 (2002), 1325 (2003), 1343 (2003), 1348 (2003), 1356 (2003),
1368 (2004), 1369 (2004), 1379 (2004), 1395 (2004), 1431 (2005),
1432 (2005), 1445 (2005), 1447 (2005), 1448 (2005), 1490 (2006),
1491 (2006), 1503 (2006), 1504 (2006), 1515 (2006), 1529 (2006),
1554 (2007), 1583 (2007), 1584 (2007), 1585 (2007), 1658 (2009),
1698 (2009), 1699 (2009), 1712 (2010), 1780 (2010), 1799 (2011),
1841 (2011), 1842 (2011), 1854 (2011), 1903 (2012), 1911 (2012),
1937 (2013), 1965 (2013), 2002 (2014), 2058 (2015), 2102 (2016),
2169 (2017), 2182 (2017)

Rules of Procedure of the Assembly

Parts: I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII.

Complementary texts

Parts: I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII. XIV. XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII. XIX. XX. XXI. XXII.

Index

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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    External relations of the Assembly Retour au sommaire Atteindre l'élement suivant

      i. - Memorandum prepared by the Secretary General of the Assembly Approved
by the Bureau of the Assembly on 28 April 2003 (see Doc. 9835, appendix
3).

      I. Introduction
      1. Rule 12.1 (now Rule 14.1. ) of the Parliamentary Assembly’s Rules of Procedure states that the Bureau of the Assembly “guides the external relations of the Assembly”. According to the Special Rules of 2 July 1970 contained in the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure ( {P: EN_CEGBAHHE} ), the Bureau is also responsible for relations with the parliamentary and inter-parliamentary assemblies of non-member states.
      2. The possibilities for developing the Assembly’s external relations should be examined in the light of texts previously adopted, in particular Recommendation 1247 (1994) on the enlargement of the Council of Europe (see Appendix 1), as well as of the possibilities offered by the Statute of the Council of Europe.
      3. Considering that the accession of Serbia and Montenegro and of Monaco will almost complete the enlargement of the Organisation (Belarus being a special case), it seems necessary to review the guidelines governing the external relations of the Assembly and, in particular, to define criteria for co-operation with parliaments of non-European states as well as with international parliamentary assemblies.
      4. Before tackling the subject, it may be useful to recall the existing types of status with the Council of Europe in general and the Assembly in particular as well as the existing co-operation with representatives of parliaments of non-member countries and international organisations.
      5. With the organisation as a whole, states may enjoy four types of status:
      i. full membership: it currently covers the 44 European states which accept the principles of the Organisation as specified in Article 3 of the Statute;
      ii. associate membership: this status must be seen in its historical context, as it was in fact intended for certain “countries” not fully sovereign. Thus, only the Saar (from May 1950 to January 1957) and the Federal Republic of Germany (from July 1950 to May 1951) benefited from it. At present, no country enjoys this status;
      iii. observer with the Organisation: this status is granted to states willing to accept the principles of the Council of Europe and wishing to co-operate with it. This observer status, created through Statutory Resolution (93) 26, gives no right to be represented on the Committee of Ministers or the Parliamentary Assembly unless a specific decision to that effect is taken by one of these two organs on its own behalf. The United States of America (1996), Canada (1996), Japan (1996) and Mexico (1999) enjoy observer status with the Council of Europe. In 1970, the Committee of Ministers agreed that the Holy See - in the light of its unique character - would appoint a permanent observer to the Council of Europe. The Holy See was also granted the right, in 1976, to send observers to intergovernmental committees and, in 1998, to be represented at meetings of the Ministers’ Deputies rapporteur groups;
      iv. non-member states parties to Council of Europe conventions: 190 Conventions, Agreements and Protocols have been adopted within the framework of the Council of Europe. While a small number of “core” Conventions, such as the European Convention on Human Rights, are open to ratification only by member states, the vast majority are open also to non-member states. For example, the Bern Convention on the Conservation of Wildlife and Natural Habitats has also been ratified by certain countries of Africa (Burkina Faso, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia) as they belong to the migratory area of some of the species concerned.
      II. Relations with national parliaments
      a. Existing types of status
      6. The current situation as regards the status of national parliaments with the Parliamentary Assembly is the following:
      i. member state delegations: by virtue of Article 25 of the Statute, every member state of the Council of Europe is represented by a national delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly;
      ii. special guest delegations: in 1989, the Assembly created a special guest status, governed by Rule 62 of the Rules of Procedure. It was designed to foster closer relations with national legislative assemblies of European non-member states which have ratified or acceded to the Helsinki Final Act. The decision to grant special guest status is taken by the Bureau of the Assembly. At present, the federal parliament of Serbia and Montenegro benefits from it. Concerning the parliament of Belarus, the special guest status was suspended by the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly on 13 January 1997.
      iii. observer delegations: the admission of observers is governed by Rule 63.1. which states that the Assembly may grant observer status to national parliaments of non-member states meeting the conditions set out in statutory Resolution (93) 26 of the Committee of Ministers on observer states. Presently, three national parliaments enjoy observer status: those of Israel (1957), Canada (1997) and Mexico (1999).
      7. Moreover, representatives of the national parliaments of non-European member states of the OECD (Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, the United States of America) participate every year in the enlarged debate on the activities of the OECD (see {P: EN_CEGFCGBA} of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure: “Rules of Procedure for enlarged debates of the Parliamentary Assembly on the activities of the OECD”).
      b. Framework
      8. The previously mentioned Recommendation 1247 states that “membership of the Council of Europe is in principle open only to states whose natural territory lies wholly or partially in Europe and whose culture is closely linked with European culture”. However, the same paragraph adds that “traditional and cultural links and adherence to the fundamental values of the Council of Europe might justify a suitable co-operation with other states neighbouring the ‘geographical’ borders”.
      9. As regards the Parliamentary Assembly, the same recommendation specifies, in paragraph 9, that parliaments of “countries bordering directly on Council of Europe member states should be able to enjoy privileged relations with the Assembly, if they so wish”.
      10. Accordingly, Recommendation 1247, together with the Assembly’s Rule 63 (“observers”) and the Special Rules mentioned in paragraph 1, provide the framework for the external relations of the Assembly with national parliaments of non-member states which currently do not benefit from any of the statuses mentioned in the previous paragraphs.
      c. Objectives
      11. The main objectives of relations with the parliaments of member states as well as parliaments enjoying observer or special guest status, should be to develop co-operation with them with a view to bringing to their attention the Assembly’s work and to provide the Assembly with information on action taken in national parliaments on issues related to the Council of Europe.
      12. As regards relations with parliaments of non-member states, the aim should be to establish a political dialogue between these parliaments and the Assembly with a view to promoting the principles of parliamentary democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
      d. Levels of co-operation
      13. From lower to higher co-operation, five levels could be identified for the parliaments of states which currently do not benefit from any kind of status:
      i. working relations: this category would comprise parliaments of states which do not fall under the provisions stated in Recommendation 1247 (1994) (bordering Council of Europe member states or sharing its values) but which are interested in developing contacts with the Assembly or which, in the past, have established working relations with the Assembly. This is the case, for example, of the Jordanian parliament. It could also be the case for the parliaments of the three Central Asian republics (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), former members of the Soviet Union, as the Supreme Soviet of the USSR enjoyed special guest status from June 1989 until the dissolution of the State in December 1991;
      ii. working agreements: the privileged relations with the parliaments of states bordering Council of Europe member states mentioned in paragraph 9 could be formalised in “special co-operation agreements”. See Appendix 2. This category comprises several non-European states in Asia (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Mongolia, China, North Korea), in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, Iran) and in the Mediterranean region (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon and a possible Palestinian state in the future);
      iii. observer status with the Assembly: could be granted to the parliaments of states on the condition that a formal request emanates from the parliamentary authorities. Parliaments of Latin-American and Asian democracies may fall in this category. Parliaments of border states could also request such status subject to compliance with Rule 63 of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure. Bureau decision
on 15 March 2007, approved by the Assembly on 16 April 2007.
      iv. special guest status: could be kept in principle after the accession by Monaco and Belarus, but not used in practice;
      v. full membership: granted according to the Council of Europe Statute to the parliaments of new member states (Monaco, Belarus).
      III. Relations with international parliamentary assemblies
      a. Existing co-operation
      14. The Parliamentary Assembly has concluded co-operation agreements with a number of international parliamentary assemblies of different geographical scope: regional, sub-continental, continental and transcontinental. The European Parliament, the Western European Union Assembly (WEU), the Nordic Council, the Benelux Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Co-operation (PABSEC), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Central European Initiative (CEI), the Inter-parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Parliamentary Assembly of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) fall in one or another of these categories. Their representatives may be invited to attend Assembly’s debates.
      b. Objectives
      15. Considering the different status of these assemblies, it seems appropriate that the main objectives of co-operation with them should be to develop parliamentary diplomacy, to promote the parliamentary dimension of international organisations and to give an impulse to the creation of continental parliamentary assemblies similar to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
      c. Levels of co-operation
      16. Taking into account the fact that the Assembly is the parliamentary organ of an intergovernmental organisation, several levels of co-operation could be identified on a geographical basis:
      i. United Nations system (its organs, including the General Assembly): on several occasions, the Assembly has taken position in favour of introducing a parliamentary dimension to the work of the United Nations. Assembly delegations have attended several United Nations conferences. Such co-operation should continue;
      ii. worldwide parliamentary associations: the Assembly is an associate member of the Inter-parliamentary Union. Since 2002, the Presidential Committee attends the annual IPU conferences;
      iii. continent to continent co-operation: co-operation with assemblies directly elected should be left to the similar assembly existing at European level: the European Parliament. For other assemblies (Pan-African Parliament of the African Union, Latin-American Parliament) with a structure similar to the one of our Assembly, the Assembly would constitute the natural partner for co-operation;
      iv. European assemblies: in this category, a distinction should be made between those assemblies with existing institutional links (European Parliament and the Western European Union Assembly), with co-operation agreements (OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, CIS Parliamentary Assembly) and all the other European regional assemblies.
      IV. Conclusions
      17. If agreed by the Bureau Approved by the Bureau of the Assembly
on 28 April 2003 (see Doc. 9835, appendix 3)., this document could constitute the new guidelines for relations with national parliaments and international parliamentary assemblies. Subsequently, a revision of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure and the Terms of Reference See 
				{P: EN_CEGCGEFI}
			 et seq. of certain Assembly committees may be necessary to adapt it to the new situation.
      18. Moreover, fixing priorities for the relations with national and international parliaments would facilitate the definition of future activities in this field for the Assembly, the Bureau and the committees.
      19. Considering the activities carried out recently by the Assembly i.e.:
Cultural co-operation between Europe and the South-Mediterranean
countries (Res 1313 (2003); Rec 1590 (2003)), Inter-parliamentary
co-operation in the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basin (Res 1242
(2001); Rec 1502 (2001)), Clandestine migration from the South of
the Mediterranean to Europe (Rec 1449 (2000)), Sustainable development
in the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basin (Res 1149 (1998); Rec 1359
(1998))., the development of relations with parliaments of the Mediterranean countries not members of the Council of Europe could deserve particular attention.
      20. At international level, structures and organisations outside Europe similar to the Council of Europe and comprising a parliamentary body should be actively promoted.
      Appendix 1
      Recommendation 1247 (1994) Assembly debate on 4 October 1994 (26th
Sitting) (see Doc. 7103, report of the Political Affairs Committee,
Rapporteur: Mr Reddemann; Doc. 7166, opinion of the Committee on
Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Rapporteur: Mrs Haller; and Doc. 7148,
opinion of the Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries,
Rapporteur: Mr Atkinson). Text adopted by the Assembly on 4 October
1994 (26th Sitting).on the enlargement of the Council of Europe
      1. The Council of Europe is an Organisation of sovereign states striving to achieve close co-operation on the basis of democratic constitutions and the European Convention on Human Rights. It is in Europe’s interest that its basic values and ideas on human rights permeate neighbouring cultures, but without seeking in any way to question, let alone destroy, those cultures.
      2. Membership of the Council of Europe is in principle open only to states whose national territory lies wholly or partly in Europe and whose culture is closely linked with the European culture. However, traditional and cultural links and adherence to the fundamental values of the Council of Europe might justify a suitable co-operation with other states neighbouring the «geographical» boundaries.
      3. The boundaries of Europe have not yet been comprehensively defined under international law. The Council of Europe therefore should, in principle, base itself on the generally accepted geographical limits of Europe.
      4. Accordingly, within their internationally recognised borders, all member states of the Council of Europe are European: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
      5. The states whose legislative assemblies enjoy special guest status with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are also considered European, as defined in paragraph 3 above. These states are: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Latvia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.
      6. The possibility of membership is open to the republics of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Montenegro and Serbia - which currently have no formal status with the Council of Europe because of their responsibility for the crisis and the United Nations sanctions against them.
      7. The possibility of membership is also open to the Principality of Andorra.
      8. In view of their cultural links with Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia would have the possibility of applying for membership provided they clearly indicate their will to be considered as part of Europe. However, a new iron curtain should not be drawn behind these states as this would run the risk of preventing the spread of the Council of Europe’s basic values to other countries. Neighbouring countries of «geographical» Europe should, if they so wish, be viewed as possible candidates for suitable co-operation.
      9. Countries bordering directly on Council of Europe member states should be able to enjoy privileged relations with the Parliamentary Assembly, if they so wish. This applies in particular to the states on the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean.
      10. Even after internationally recognised declarations of sovereignty, any non-European parts of member states which break away from the latter should only be able to apply to participate as observers in the Parliamentary Assembly’s work.
      11. Delegations to the Parliamentary Assembly should comprise a minimum of two and a maximum of eighteen members.
      12. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers define the limits of the enlargement of the Council of Europe taking into account the above-mentioned principles.
      Appendix 2
      Draft Agreement on co-operation between the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Parliament of a non-member state
      1. The aim of this Agreement is to establish a political dialogue between the parliament of a non-member state and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe with a view to promoting in the country the principles of parliamentary democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights as well as fundamental freedoms.
      2. The parliament of a non-member state commits itself to act for and encourage the competent authorities to introduce a moratorium on executions and abolish the death penalty.
      3. The parliament of a non-member state should encourage the competent authorities to make use of the possibilities to sign and ratify the relevant Council of Europe Conventions which are open to non-member states, as well as the expertise offered by the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission).
      4. The parliament of a non-member state will report every year to the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly on the progress achieved in the promotion of the principles stated in paragraph 1 as well as on the issue of the death penalty.
      5. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe agrees to invite a delegation or representatives of the parliament of a non-member state to the plenary sittings of the Assembly and meetings of the Standing Committee whenever a subject of particular relevance to the parliament comes up for discussion.
      6. The parliament of a non-member state agrees that its delegations to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe reflect the various currents of political opinion within the parliament.
      7. Representatives of the parliament of a non-member state may also be invited to Assembly activities (conferences, hearings, colloquies and other events organised by the Assembly or its committees) relating to the functioning of democratic institutions as well as to the role of parliaments in promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law.
      8. The Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly and of the parliament of a non-member state may meet when necessary and issue joint statements on matters of common interest. The President of the Parliamentary Assembly may also invite the presidents of parliaments having signed a co-operation agreement to attend joint meetings organised by him.
      9. The Secretaries General of the Parliamentary Assembly and of the parliament of a non-member state may co-operate on matters of common interest, in particular through the exchange of information and documents, traineeships and the organisation of seminars.
      This Co-operation Agreement enters into force on the day of signature. It may be suspended or annulled by one of the parties. It remains in force for one month after reception of the notification of denunciation.