Rules of Procedure of the Assembly (July 2019)

(Resolution 1202 (1999) adopted on 4 November 1999) with subsequent modifications of the Rules of Procedure* * Resolutions 1220 (2000),
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), 2208 (2018)

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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    Access to the Palais de l'Europe and use of offices Retour au sommaire Atteindre l'élement suivant Atteindre l'élement précédent

      Access to the Palais de l'Europe and use of offices

      i. - Rules on access to and movement and security within the Council of Europe during sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly and meetings of Assembly committees and sub-committees

      (adopted by the Bureau of the Assembly on 22 November 2018) Ratified by the Parliamentary Assembly on
21 January 2019. See Progress Report of the Bureau and the Standing
Committee, Doc. 14796 Appendix 4. They shall supersede the general
regulations on security and rules on access to and movement and security
within Council of Europe premises during Assembly sessions, adopted
by the Bureau of the Assembly on 8 November 1995; the rules on Access
of members of the public to the Palais of the Council of Europe
during Parliamentary Assembly sessions, adopted by the Standing
Committee on 28 June 1984 and amended by the Bureau on 8 November
1995 and 6 September 2006; and the Standing Committee decision on
access for government representatives to Assembly committees, adopted
on 25 November 1987.
      The following rules shall apply to all premises where Assembly sessions and Assembly committee meetings are held, in particular in the Palais de l’Europe and the Council of Europe Office in Paris, unless otherwise specified.
      I. Access to the Council of Europe and movement within Council of Europe premises
      1. Access to Council of Europe premises and in particular to the Palais de l’Europe is governed by general rules issued by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Director General of Administration. During Parliamentary Assembly sessions, however, the specific rules below apply. The same rules apply to other Council of Europe premises, in the case of meetings of committees and sub-committees.
      2. The general rules on security, as well as subsidiary rules issued by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Director General of Administration, apply to the control of access to Council of Europe premises and to movement within those premises, and govern matters relating to the issuance and wearing of access badges, security checks, restrictions on movement, the carrying of weapons and the protection of personalities on official visits.
      3. Responsibility for enforcing safety and security measures lies with the staff mandated to this effect by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, in accordance with Rule No. 1388 of 21 February 2017 on the framework of accountability in matters of security. During Assembly sessions, this duty will be performed in close co-operation with the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly.
      4. Access badges are issued to members of the Assembly, members of observer, partner for democracy and special guest delegations, secretaries of national delegations and third parties in accordance with the rules laid down by the Director General of Administration, in agreement with the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly. The wearing of badges is compulsory.
      5. Any request by a parliamentarian to be accompanied by a bodyguard will be submitted to the President of the Assembly. Such bodyguard will not, however, be allowed access to the Chamber or the meeting rooms.
      6. The carrying of weapons and the presence of armed bodyguards Index within Council of Europe premises is prohibited. Any request for an exemption, in exceptional circumstances, must be submitted in writing to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, who decides in agreement with the President of the Parliamentary Assembly.
      Palais de l’Europe
      7. Areas of movement and right of access to different places of work (Chamber, meeting rooms, offices of national delegations, offices of Permanent Representations, etc.) and other areas (cafeteria, restaurants, etc.) will be determined by the issuing of distinctive badges for each category of people. The badge must be used exclusively by the person to whom it has been allocated, in strict respect of the areas to which it gives access. The person concerned is solely responsible for the use of the badge attributed to him/her.
      8. All badge requests emanating from a parliamentarian, a delegation, a political group or a committee should be referred exclusively to the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly. The Council of Europe’s Protocol will not proceed with any request for the issuance of a badge for Assembly members, their families or their relatives.
      9. No parliamentarian may invite more than six people per day, irrespective of their capacity (family members, friend or relative, voter from the parliamentarian’s constituency, representative of an interest group). The parliamentarian concerned shall assume full responsibility for their movements, behaviour and for their departure from the building. Any requests for a bigger group of visitors will be submitted to the Council of Europe Visitors’ Service.
      10. When it comes to organising events/side events, parliamentarians, national delegations, political groups or committees may make badge requests. No more than 30 persons can be invited to a side-event.
      11. The maximum period for which badges may be issued is one day, except in the case of parliamentary assistants and national parliamentary officials drafted in as reinforcements for parliamentary delegations and political groups, as well as the Assembly honorary members and official guests of the political groups.
      12. Requests should be submitted by the Wednesday before the part-session, and in any case not later than one working day before the desired date, by means of a form indicating in particular the identity of the requestor, the identity of the guest and his/her relationship with the requestor, and the precise time at which access is to begin and end.
      Office of the Council of Europe in Paris
      13. At the time of committee and sub-committee meetings, access is granted to persons mentioned in paragraph 20 below.
      14. An access badge will be issued to experts and persons invited by the chairperson of the committee / sub-committee (see below chapter IV) whose name will have been communicated by the secretariat of the committee concerned to the Paris Office one working day at least before the meeting. For a meeting open to the public, in part or in full, the list of participants should be communicated at least 72 hours before the meeting. Anyone whose name has not been communicated in the forms and deadlines provided will be denied access to the premises.
      II. Access to the Chamber
      15. Rule 23.1. of the Assembly Rules of Procedure shall be applied in such a way as to permit access to the Chamber by the following categories of individuals: Wearing the badge is compulsory for admittance to the Assembly
chamber (decision of the Assembly’s Bureau, 26 January 1987)
      i. Members of national delegations
      — representatives and substitutes from national delegations, members of observer, partner for democracy and special guest delegations;
      — members of delegations of parliaments of Council of Europe non-member States covered by an agreement of the Bureau;
      — members of delegations of parliaments which participate in the annual debates on OECD activities.
      ii. Government representatives and representatives of the Committee of Ministers (Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure)
      — representative to the Committee of Ministers and minister of the government of a member State;
      — Permanent Representatives and their deputies;
      — representatives of non-member States who enjoy observer status with the Council of Europe or whose parliaments enjoy observer, partner for democracy or special guest status with the Parliamentary Assembly;
      — representatives of non-member States whose parliaments participate in the annual debates on OECD activities.
      iii. Secretariat
      — Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly and staff of the secretariat of the Assembly;
      — Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Deputy Secretary General; members of the Private Office of the Secretary General;
      — secretaries of national delegations and of observer, partner for democracy and special guest delegations;
      — secretaries of political groups;
      — directors general and directors of the Council of Europe;
      — the Head of the Protocol Department and his/her deputy;
      — any other staff whose duties require their presence there.
      iv. Other persons
      — personalities invited by the President or by the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly;
      — the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the President of the European Court of Human Rights, the President of the Conference of INGOs.
      16. Requests for access should be submitted to the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly. He/she may grant other Council of Europe staff members access to the Chamber upon request (Protocol staff, press officers from the Directorate of Communication) or upon request for a specific debate (members of the secretariat of the Committee of Ministers when the communication from the Committee of Ministers is being delivered, or members of the secretariat of the Commissioner for Human Rights when the Commissioner is presenting the annual activity report). The Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly may also grant access to the Chamber to persons accompanying a personality invited by the President of the Assembly or by himself/herself.
      III. Access to the Chamber gallery
      17. Only persons wearing a badge that has been duly issued for this purpose by the Safety and Security Service of the Council of Europe will be admitted to the galleries. Priority shall be given to access requests signed by the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly.
      18. Members of the public who are admitted to the galleries must be appropriately dressed, remain seated and keep silent. Anyone expressing approval or disapproval will be removed immediately by the security agents.
      IV. Access to the meeting rooms of committees
      19. Rule 48 of the Assembly Rules of Procedure shall be applied as follows:
      — Committee meetings shall be held in private.
      — A committee may decide, at the latest at the time of adopting the meeting agenda, that part of the meeting or a specific item will be open to the public, and to divide the agenda into items that are open to the public and others that are not; only items concerning a hearing or an exchange of views with experts, ministers or members of a national parliament or government, representatives of an international organisation or representatives of civil society may be open to the public.
      — A committee may decide to hold all or part of a meeting in camera, i.e. with only members of the committee or its secretariat being present. The decision shall be taken by the Chair of the committee and shall appear in the draft agenda sent to members, or by the committee itself, at the latest at the time of adopting the agenda for the meeting in question. Where appropriate, checks may be carried out to ensure that only authorised persons are admitted to the meeting room.
      — The Monitoring Committee and the Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights shall meet in camera, except in the case of joint meetings with other committees or hearings or exchanges of views if the committee so decides. Only their respective members shall take part.
      20. The following persons have access to committee meetings (unless the Rules of Procedure stipulate otherwise) Rules 48.3, 48.4, 48.5, 48.6, 48.8.:
      — committee members and their substitutes;
      — other members of the Assembly, observers, partners for democracy, special guests and delegations / representations of parliaments of non-member states of the Council of Europe with the agreement of the Bureau, in those committees where they are allowed;
      — secretaries of national delegations, subject to a maximum of two secretaries per national delegation, i.e. one maximum official for each constituent assembly of the national parliament (for countries with bicameral parliaments), or one secretary per observer, partner for democracy or special guest delegation (whose name must appear in the Assembly list), carers accompanying parliamentarians with reduced mobility, in those committees where they are allowed;
      — secretaries of political groups, in those committees where they are allowed;
      — members of the Committee of Ministers or any other minister of the government of a member State;
      — Permanent Representatives/Ministers’ Deputies (including chargés d’affaires duly notified to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe), or one of their deputies, whose name will be, if possible, notified in advance to the chairperson of the committee concerned; only Permanent Representations of member States of the Council of Europe may be represented (no access either for other representatives of diplomatic missions of member or non-member states or for representatives of international organisations, unless specifically authorised by the committee concerned);
      — the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the Deputy Secretary General;
      — the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly and the staff of the secretariat of the committee concerned;
      — other members of the staff of the secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly (except in the case of the Monitoring Committee, the Committee on Rules, Immunities and Institutional Affairs and the Committee on the Election of Judges to the European Court of Human Rights);
      — at the invitation of the Chair of the committee, for a specific agenda item, where appropriate: directors general and directors of the Council of Europe; secretaries of Council of Europe bodies (Committee of Ministers, Commissioner for Human Rights, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, European Court of Human Rights) and steering committees and expert committees of the Council of Europe; the Private Office of the Secretary General; permanent representatives or ambassadors of States which have observer, partner for democracy or special guest delegations to the Assembly; representatives of other international organisations with which the Parliamentary Assembly has a co-operation agreement; representatives of the Conference of INGOs; subject to a maximum of one person per committee or body; guests and experts for a hearing.
      21. Committee documents shall be distributed to parliamentarians having access to the committee concerned.
      22. The above rules shall also apply to Assembly committee meetings which are held at venues other than the Council of Europe.
      V. Parliamentarians’ Bar
      23. During Assembly part-sessions, the Parliamentarians’ Bar shall be reserved, as a matter of priority, for parliamentarians, their guests and persons who have access to the Chamber.
      VI. Use of electronic means of communication during sittings and meetings
      24. Assembly members and individuals attending or participating in sittings or meetings shall exercise discretion when using mobile telephones and other electronic means of communication and shall refrain from any behaviour that might interfere with the smooth conduct of business. Anyone who fails to comply with these instructions will be asked to leave the Chamber or meeting room.
      25. Committee meetings must not be filmed or recorded, even partially, by those attending or participating in the meetings.
      VII. Press and media
      26. During Assembly sessions, requests for press and media accreditation shall be handled by the Directorate of Communication of the Council of Europe, in line with the latter’s regulations. Journalists and representatives of the press and media are required to comply strictly with the instructions issued by the Directorate of Communication of the Council of Europe and the Assembly’s Communication Division. The wearing of badges is compulsory.
      27. Media activities must not:
      — compromise security
      — interfere with the maintenance of order, the proper conduct of activities or the free movement of individuals
      — compromise people’s dignity and interfere with their privacy
      — cause damage to physical property and equipment
      — hinder television recording by the Assembly.
      28. Journalists and representatives of the press and media will not be allowed into the Assembly Chamber, except for photographers accredited by the Directorate of Communication of the Council of Europe.
      29. All plenary debates and speeches are recorded and broadcast by the Council of Europe's audiovisual department. There shall be no filming in the Assembly Chamber. Filming is permitted only from the galleries.
      30. Photographs may be taken and video or audio recordings made in a committee room only if the meeting is open to the press. In the case of meetings which are not open to the press, the committee chair may give permission for such activities before the meeting starts or at the end of the meeting.
      31. Interviews must not be conducted either inside the Assembly Chamber or in the committee meeting rooms.
      32. Press briefings will be held in the designated locations, as indicated by the Assembly’s Communication Division. Only duly accredited journalists may attend.
      33. Press conferences should preferably be held at times other than during plenary sittings and committee meetings. They should focus on subjects which fall within the Assembly’s mandate or otherwise fall within the scope of Council of Europe action. Authorisations are not given for press conferences where the subject for discussion could impair the good name or prejudice the impartiality of the Council of Europe, or otherwise run counter to its fundamental objectives. Press conferences will take place in the prescribed place, as indicated by the Assembly’s Communication Division (usually Room 1 in the Palais de l’Europe when the Assembly is in session). Only duly accredited journalists may ask questions.
      34. Filming is permitted in the context of the parliamentary business and activities of the Assembly, except in areas duly indicated, in particular in the Parliamentarians’ Bar. Filming in the offices of a national delegation is subject to prior approval by the delegation concerned.
      35. During periods when the Assembly is not in session, especially in the case of meetings of the Standing Committee and other Assembly committees which are held in venues other than the Palais de l’Europe, the Assembly’s Communication Division will determine the specific rules governing access and activities of journalists and representatives of the press and the media.
      VIII. Enforcement measures
      36. Any persons who are found or are observed to be without good reason in an area which they were not authorised to enter, or whose behaviour compromises the smooth conduct of Assembly business, may, at the request of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly or the Secretary General of the Assembly, be removed and permanently prohibited from entering the Council of Europe, including the Palais de l'Europe.
      37. The President of the Parliamentary Assembly or the Secretary General of the Assembly may ask the Directorate General of Administration/Directorate of General Services to deny access to the Palais de l'Europe or any other Council of Europe building, in particular the Council of Europe Office in Paris, to any individuals in respect of whom he/she has been informed or has good reason to believe that their behaviour is liable to disrupt the activities of the Assembly or its committees.
      38. Guidance on all matters covered by these rules and situations which may arise from their application may be sought from the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly.

      ii. - Use of the Chamber and meeting rooms Not applicable
to the Committee of Ministers’ meeting rooms.

      Rules and criteria approved by the Bureau of the Assembly on 13 December 1968 See Progress Report of the Bureau
and the Standing Committee, Doc. 2515, Chapter II, of which the
Assembly took note on 27 January 1969s
      1. Chamber
      The Chamber shall not be used without the consent of the President. In giving his consent, the President shall bear in mind the following criteria which are not binding but should help him in taking his decision:
      — use of the Chamber is granted only for meetings (not for lectures); during inter-sessions, visitors may be allowed into the Chamber if accompanied by a member of the Secretariat;
      — these meetings must have an international and in particular a European character;
      — preference is given:
      a. to organisations having consultative status with the Council of Europe;
      b. to meetings where the subject for discussion is on the Assembly’s register or otherwise falls within the scope of the Council of Europe;
      — use of the Chamber is not granted for meetings where the subject for discussion could impair the good name or prejudice the impartiality of the Council of Europe or otherwise run counter to its fundamental objectives;
      — no meetings of a commercial nature may be held in the Chamber.
      2. Committee and other meeting rooms (including the facilities of the Directorate of Communication)
      Between sessions, committee rooms are made available by the Secretary General, in accordance with the needs of the various organs of the Council of Europe.
      During sessions, two categories of meetings should be distinguished:
      — Official meetings
      The Secretary General of the Assembly meets as a matter of routine – subject only to the availability of the accommodation – any request for a committee room emanating from either the President of the Assembly, Committee Chairmen, Chairmen of Sub-Committees, Chairmen of Political Groups, Leaders of National Delegations or the Council of Europe Secretariat, provided the request concerns the official meeting of a recognised organ of the Council.
      Priority is given to meetings of Assembly bodies, though such bodies may not meet concurrently with a sitting of the Assembly without the express approval of the President.
      — Unofficial meetings
      The above-mentioned persons as well as any individual member of the Assembly can ask for a committee room in order to hold an unofficial meeting, provided its purpose is clearly stated. The responsibility for agreeing to such requests rests with the President of the Assembly who delegates his powers to the Secretary General of the Assembly, it being understood that the latter will refer to him personally in case of doubt On 3 July 1973, the Bureau of the
Assembly decided that, without wishing to restrict the prerogatives
of the political groups, whenever their meetings deal with questions
that are of a special nature and/or are to be attended by outsiders,
the President of the Assembly should be informed well in advance
so that he may give the Chairman of the political group concerned
any advice or comments that may be appropriate and, where necessary,
refer the matter to the Bureau beforehand. See Progress Report of the
Bureau and the Standing Committee, Doc. 3342, Chapter V, of which
the Assembly took note on 25 September 1973..
      The President or the Secretary General of the Assembly will agree to such requests on the basis of the criteria already given under paragraph I, points 2, 3 and 4, and of the general rule that such meetings should not be held concurrently with a sitting of the Assembly.
      These criteria are not binding but designed to help the President and the Secretary General of the Assembly in taking a decision.
      If, after examining the situation in the light of the above criteria, the President or the Secretary General of the Assembly decide to agree to a request from an individual member of the Assembly or a group of members, it shall be clearly understood that the member or members concerned bear the sole responsibility for all the proceedings of the meeting, and that the Council of Europe as such incurs no liability.
      3. Financial implications
      The financial regulations governing the use of the Chamber and of committee rooms are the responsibility of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe who decides what charges are to be made in accordance with the principles agreed by the Committee of Ministers.
      These rules and criteria should not be regarded as in any way affecting either the special arrangements made with certain organisations, such as the European Parliament and the Western European Union, or existing practice with regard to the use of the Council Chamber of the Committee of Ministers.

      iii. - Use of the offices of political groups by third parties

      (Decision of the Bureau of the Assembly on 17 March 1977 See Progress Report of the Bureau and the Standing
Committee, Doc. 3968, paragraph 18, of which the Assembly took note on
25 April 1977.)
      Political groups can place their offices at the disposal of third parties only if at least one member of the group attends the meeting and assumes responsibility for it.