Rules of Procedure of the Assembly (January 2023)

(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), 2278 (2019), 2287 (2019),
2349 (2020), 2350 (2020), 2360 (2021), 2392 (2021), 2405 (2021)<br><br>Wherever used herein, the masculine form refers to both women and men, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. The words "President", "Vice-President", "Secretary General", "Representative", "Substitute", "chairperson", etc. refer to persons of both sexes.

Rules of Procedure of the Assembly


Complementary texts





    Conduct of proceedings Retour au sommaire Atteindre l'élement suivant Atteindre l'élement précédent

      Conduct of proceedings

      Rule 32 - Public sittings See the Statute of the Council of Europe,
Article 35.

      32.1. Sittings of the Assembly shall be public, unless the Assembly decides otherwise.

      Rule 33 - Debate and consideration of texts

      33.1. Each item on the agenda shall be considered on the basis of a report Except current affairs debates, elections, nominations, addresses
by, and questions to, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe,
communications from, and questions to, the Chairperson-in-office
of the Committee of Ministers and speeches by, and questions to,
invited guests. from the relevant committee or from the Bureau.
      33.2. Subject to the provisions of Rules 7. , 8.3. , 9.2. and 73.3. and of paragraph 3 below, this report, except for the Progress Report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee, shall be distributed If the Assembly is not in session,
the date of distribution shall be the moment when documents are
being made available to members in their paper or electronic versions.
During part-sessions, it shall be that of the distribution order
signed by the Secretary General of the Assembly or his or her representative. at least two weeks before the opening of the part-session. The main committee’s report shall be made available to the committee for opinion in time for the latter to draw up its opinion if possible one week before the latter’s meeting. If the report is not distributed within the time-limit laid down, and at least ten representatives or substitutes belonging to at least five national delegations so request when the draft agenda is considered, the debate shall be postponed until a later part-session unless urgent procedure has already been requested with respect to that report. However, if at least ten representatives or substitutes belonging to at least five delegations object, the postponement may be overruled by the Assembly through a vote by a two-thirds majority.
      33.3. In the case of a debate under urgent procedure, the committee’s report may not be considered until twenty-four hours after its distribution.
      33.4. Following the debate on the committee’s report or on the report of a Bureau ad hoc committee on the observation of an election, the Assembly shall vote on the draft text or texts which it may contain. Amendments and sub-amendments to those draft texts may be tabled and considered in accordance with the provisions of Rule 34 . When all amendments and sub-amendments have been considered and voted, the Assembly shall vote on the text as a whole. After the announcement of the outcome of the vote, representatives or substitutes who have not spoken in the proceedings may speak for not more than one minute each to explain their votes.
      33.5. The Progress Report of the Bureau and the Standing Committee may contain a special section or an appendix listing the decisions to be ratified by the Assembly, in particular decisions taken on the basis of Rule 26 concerning official documents. Adoption of a motion by a member to change a Bureau decision shall require a majority of the votes cast. On any such motion only the mover, one speaker against and the rapporteur of the Bureau shall be heard.

      Rule 34 - Amendments and sub-amendments

      34.1. Index For amendments and sub-amendments to be tabled, they must be signed by at least five representatives or substitutes or approved by the committee submitting the report or an opinion.
      34.2. Amendments may relate only to texts submitted to the Assembly for adoption.
      34.3. Except where an amendment is self-explanatory, it may be accompanied by an explanatory note of no more than 50 words to facilitate better understanding or clarify the scope of the amendment.
      34.4. An amendment which would tend to delete, replace or render inoperative the whole of a draft text “The whole of a draft
text” is the complete draft recommendation, opinion or resolution
submitted to the vote of the Assembly or the Standing Committee.
There may be cases where an amendment formally speaking does not
entirely replace a draft text but in substance does. It is up to
the President to declare such an amendment admissible or not (Rule 34.6. ). The Committee on
Rules of Procedure and Immunities considers that in any case an
amendment should not replace all paragraphs (sub-paragraphs) nor
the great majority of the operative part of a draft text unless
it consists of a single point (Doc. 7418). See also Doc. 8953 (2001). or which seeks to convert a draft resolution into a draft recommendation is not in order.
      34.5. Sub-amendments shall relate to an amendment previously tabled and may not contradict the sense of the amendment. A sub-amendment may not be further amended.
      34.6. The President shall decide whether amendments and sub-amendments are in order. Unless the Bureau decides otherwise and except for debates under urgent procedure, amendments shall be tabled in accordance with the following deadlines:
      - for the first day of a part-session, three hours before the opening of the sitting;
      - for debates on the second day, not later than 4 p.m. on the first day of the part-session;
      - for debates on the subsequent days of a part-session, not later than twenty-three and a half hours before the opening of the sitting at which the debate is to begin. i.e. normally 10.30 a.m. and 4 p.m.	
See also “Organisation of debates”, paragraph 2, 
      If the Assembly adopts changes to the draft agenda, the President may, if necessary, propose different deadlines to the Assembly.
      Sub-amendments shall be tabled one hour before the scheduled end of the sitting preceding that in which the debate begins.
      34.7.a. The President may exceptionally declare an oral amendment or sub-amendment to be in order if, in his or her opinion, it is designed to make a clarification, to take account of new facts or to lead to conciliation. In coming to that decision, he or she may consult the chairperson of the committee concerned.
      34.7.b. An oral amendment or oral sub-amendment judged to be in order by the President shall not be taken into consideration if ten or more members of the Assembly object.
      34.8. Amendments and sub-amendments shall have priority over the texts to which they refer and shall be put to the vote before the text itself.
      34.9. When an amendment or sub-amendment is called, only the following shall be heard: one of the signatories (or, if none of them do so, any other member of the Assembly) in order to move it, one member to speak against and the chairperson or rapporteur of the committee seized for report to express the committee’s opinion. The
committee's position shall only be given by “in favour” or “against”,
together with the result of the vote in the committee; where appropriate,
the Assembly shall be informed when “the committee has not taken
any position”. See the guidelines in Appendix 14 of Doc. 14150. An amendment or sub-amendment which is not moved shall not be considered. An amendment or sub-amendment which has been withdrawn by its signatories may be moved by any other member of the Assembly. A rapporteur may not sign or move any amendment or sub-amendment to a draft text presented by the committee on whose behalf he or she is reporting except for amendments or sub-amendments tabled on behalf of that committee.
      34.10. Before the first amendment is called, the President or any member may move a motion that only the rapporteur or the committee chairperson should speak on amendments. On any such motion shall only be heard the mover, one speaker against and the chairperson of the committee concerned.
      34.11. Following a proposal presented by the chairperson of the committee seized for report, and if no Assembly member objects, amendments which have been unanimously approved by the committee shall be declared as adopted by the Assembly. In these circumstances Rules 34.7 and 34.8. shall not be applied. This paragraph shall also apply to discussion of a report presented by a committee to the Standing Committee.
      34.12. Any amendment which has been rejected by the committee seized for report by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast shall not be put to the vote in plenary and shall be declared as definitively rejected, unless ten or more members of the Assembly object.
      34.13.a. If two or more contradictory amendments relate to the same paragraph, the amendment which differs most from the text shall have priority over the others and shall be taken first. If it is agreed to, the other amendments thereby fall; if it is rejected, the amendment which is next in priority shall be considered, and similarly for each of the remaining amendments. In case of doubt as to the order, the President shall give a ruling, if necessary after consulting the chairperson of the committee concerned.
      34.13.b. The same procedure shall be followed if two or more contradictory sub-amendments relate to the same amendment.
      34.13.c. The President can propose that complicated amendments be considered and voted upon in parts, unless the chairperson of the committee concerned objects.

      Rule 35 - Right to speak

      35.1. No member of the Assembly may speak unless called by the President. Members shall speak from their places and shall address the President.
      35.2. Except as provided in Rules 36 and 37 , members wishing to speak in a debate shall enter their names in the speakers’ register. The speakers’ list is the responsibility of the President. See
also Rule 38  below
(Organisation of debates) and the rules governing the organisation
of debates, 
      35.3. A speaker may not be interrupted, except that, with the permission of the President, he or she may give way during his or her speech, to allow another representative to put a question to him or her on a particular point or to raise a point of order.
      35.4. If a speaker departs from the subject, the President shall call him or her to order. If a speaker is called to order twice on the same item of business, the President may, on the third occasion, forbid him or her to speak on that item.
      35.5. Rapporteurs on an item of business may be called when they so request.
      35.6. A representative who wishes to make a personal statement shall be heard for no more than two minutes at such time as the President may decide. No debate may arise on a personal statement.
      35.7. Comments on any questions of procedure shall last not more than two minutes.

      Rule 36 - Points of order

      36.1. A representative shall have a prior right to speak if he or she asks leave to raise a point of order. See also Rule 35.6. . This must be confined to raising questions of procedure for a ruling from the Chair. If the right to raise points of order is misused, the President may forbid the offending representative to speak for the remainder of the item of business.

      Rule 37 - Procedural motions

      37.1. A member shall have a prior right to speak if he or she asks leave:
      37.1.a. to move a dilatory motion; The effect of adopting a
dilatory motion is to defer the debate until such time as one or
more conditions relating to the text under discussion are fulfilled.
      37.1.b. to move the adjournment of the Assembly The effect of adjourning
the Assembly is to close the sitting. or of a debate The effect of adjourning the debate is to
bring up the next item on the agenda for immediate discussion.;
      37.1.c. to move the closure of a debate The effect of closure
of a debate is to halt discussion, and where possible to have the
text or texts before the Assembly voted on immediately.;
      37.1.d. to move reference of the report back to committee either during the opening sitting when the draft agenda is adopted, or when the report is debated anytime before the vote on the whole of any draft text begins.
      None of these procedural motions may be moved more than once during a debate.
      The procedural motions mentioned in paragraphs a. to c. shall be in order only if notice has been given in writing to the President before the end of the previous sitting. If these motions and also the reference of a report back to committee mentioned in paragraph d. are moved in the course of the first sitting of a part-session, such notice must be given two hours before the start of the sitting.
      37.2. The above matters shall take precedence over the main question, the proceedings on which shall be suspended while they are being considered.
      37.3. In debate on the above matters the following only shall be heard: the mover of the motion, one speaker against the motion, and the rapporteur or the chairperson of the committee concerned. For
the speaking time, see 

      Rule 38 - Organisation of debates See “Rules governing the organisation
of debates”, 

      38.1. The Bureau may at its discretion propose to the Assembly the modalities and time-table for a sitting or an item of business.
      38.2. The Assembly shall decide upon any such proposal without debate.

      Rule 39 - Free debate

      39.1. The Assembly may hold a free debate lasting for not more than one hour. The President shall call the members of the Assembly or the members of delegations of special guests, observers or partners for democracy wishing to speak on any subject of their choice not appearing on the agenda of the part-session. The Assembly may hold only one such debate during a part-session. Speakers must have their names entered in the speakers' register. Their statements must comply with the principles set out in Rule 22.6. on acceptable words. This debate shall not give rise to a vote.