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

Print

    Additional provisions relating to Assembly debates Retour au sommaire Atteindre l'élement suivant

      Additional provisions relating to Assembly debates
      (adopted by the Bureau of the Assembly on 25 March 2002 On 26 March 2002 the Standing Committee approved these provisions. and 17 December 2007 See Doc. 11490 Part 1.)

      i. - Organisation of debates

      In accordance with Rule 38 , the modalities for the organisation of Assembly debates are as follows:
      1. The time allotted for debating – as well as voting – in the agenda in respect of each report or group of reports should be adhered to. Therefore, the general debate will have to be interrupted somewhat earlier, so as to leave time for consideration of amendments and final voting of all texts. The President may allow the sitting to continue beyond the indicative closing times agreed by the Assembly if this is necessary to complete the business the Assembly has agreed to take at those sittings.
      2. So that it may be known in advance how long voting is likely to take, unless the Bureau decides otherwise and except for debates under urgent procedure, all 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 Rule 34.6.  of
the Rules of Procedure.
      Unless the Bureau decides otherwise, sub-amendments must be tabled at least one hour before the scheduled end of the sitting preceding that in which the debate begins.
      3. If speakers whose names have been duly entered on the list and who are actually present, are not able to speak for lack of time, they shall be authorised to hand in the text of their speech in writing, in a final and legible form at the end of the debate, in one of the official or working languages, for publication in the Official report, provided that it does not exceed the speaking time they would have been allowed. See
Rule 31.2.  of the Rules
of Procedure. The text, in electronic format and no longer than 400 words, shall be submitted to the Table Office no later than four hours after the list of speakers is interrupted.
      4. To ensure that the speaking time is respected, the time available is displayed and a bell rings when the time ends.

      ii. - List of speakers

      In pursuance of Rule 35.2. of the Rules of Procedure (Right to speak) and of the provisions relating to the organisation of debates, the following criteria will be applied for drawing up the list of speakers:
      1. Names will be entered in the register in chronological order of the arrival date and time of the request.
      2. As soon as the draft agenda of the part-session has been published names may be entered solely by fax (+33 388 41 27 33) or e-mail (Table.Office@coe.int) addressed to the Table Office of the Parliamentary Assembly. As from the third part-session 2015, registration on the
list of speakers shall be made online on the Assembly website. Online
registration may take place until the deadline indicated in paragraph
5. These registrations must reach the Table Office before midnight on the Friday preceding the opening of the forthcoming part-session. The income time will be used as criteria for the chronological position of the registration. Names may not be entered on the list of speakers for a debate under urgent procedure or a current affairs debate until a specific request is placed on the draft agenda drawn up by the Bureau.
      3. As from the first day of the part session, names will be entered only by members of the Assembly themselves, secretaries of national delegations or secretaries of Political Groups.
      4. Any subsequent modification of a previous registration will be considered as a new registration and the name concerned will be placed at the end of the list.
      5. The list of speakers for a debate shall be closed one hour before the scheduled end of the previous sitting preceding that in which the debate begins. The list for the first sitting of the part-session shall be closed one and a half hours before the opening of that sitting.

      iii. - Order of speakers

      The order of speakers on the list for each sitting will be determined according to the following criteria:
      1. In a first round all established Political Groups have the possibility to speak in the order based on the number of members affiliated to their Group. In the case of two or more Political Groups having the same number of members, the order of members speaking on behalf of these groups will be established on the basis of the membership of groups in the last year before this situation has occurred.
      2. A rotation between the Political Groups will be ensured for the opening of each debate. This rotation will be started anew at each Part-session.
      3. After the first round, the d’Hondt system will be applied taking also into account the other criteria mentioned hereafter.
      4. The order of speakers will be governed by the d’Hondt system based on the same criteria as those used for the distribution of chairmanships in Assembly committees.
      5. A maximum of two speakers from the same national delegation (even if belonging to a different Political Group) shall follow each other on the list. This does not apply to members speaking on behalf of Political Groups, to Rapporteurs and to the end of the list of speakers when no alternation is possible.
      6. If a member’s name appears amongst the first 10 speakers after the first round for more than one debate, the member shall appear further down the list the other times, unless he/she has been unable to speak in the debate.
      7. During one part-session, members shall be entitled to enter their name on the register for a maximum of five debates only, indicating an order of priority and shall be allowed to address the Assembly during one Part-session not more than three times. This does not apply to Rapporteurs, committee chairpersons as part of their function and to members speaking on behalf of Political Groups.
      8. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 14, the first half of a list of speakers shall not include more than 50% of the members of a national delegation.
      9. In the case of a debate on a report particularly relevant to a member country, a special guest, observer or partner for democracy country, the list shall be drawn up in such a way as to allow for politically balanced contributions from the countries concerned.
      10. The ten members who, during the previous Assembly part-session, have participated in the highest number of votes taken in plenary shall be moved up three positions on the lists of speakers on which they have been placed.
      11. For the establishment of the d’Hondt calculation for the order of speakers, Non Registered members will be treated like a Political Group and inserted accordingly in the list.
      12. Members of special guest, observer and partner for democracy delegations shall follow on the list of speakers each time (with the exception of the first round) after a member of the smallest Political Group has taken the floor.
      13. If a speaker whose name is on the list is prevented from taking the floor during the debate, and he/she has notified the Chair before he/she has been called, the first on the list of subsequent speakers from the same Group will be moved up in his/her place.
      14. The drawing up of the final list for a debate shall be the responsibility of the President of the Assembly. The occupant of the Chair shall take responsibility for any changes in the list which become necessary during the debate. The final list of speakers may not include more members of a delegation than the number of seats held by that delegation in the Assembly.

      iv. - Speaking time

      1. Speakers registered for a debate shall have three minutes' speaking time.
      2. Rapporteurs shall have a total of thirteen minutes to present the report and to reply to the debate.
      Rapporteurs may, after the first round of speakers on behalf of the political groups, request the floor for a speaking time of up to four minutes to reply, which time shall be deducted from the time of reply at the end of the debate.
      3. Rapporteurs for opinion and rapporteurs of the Bureau ad hoc committees shall have the same speaking time to present their opinions as the speakers registered for the debate concerned.
      4. For the chairpersons of committees submitting a report, the time for reply shall be three minutes.
      5. For statements concerning an amendment or a procedural motion, thirty seconds.

      v. - Order No. 316

      (adopted on 23 January 1971, Doc. 2858) on addresses by guest speakers at plenary sittings of the Assembly See
also Rules 62 , 63 , 64  and 65  of
the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, the Special Rules on OECD debates, 
				{P: EN_CEGFCGBA}
			 below, Statutory Resolution
(93) 26 and the guidelines for questions to guest speakers, 
				{P: EN_CEGJJCJB}
			 below.
      The Assembly,
      1. Considering that the time available for debates in plenary sitting is strictly limited and that the number of addresses by guest speakers at such sittings has increased considerably;
      2. Considering also that its debates must be conducted on the basis of the best available information, and that such information can be provided by representatives of national governments and international organisations;
      3. Considering that it must preserve its function as an international parliamentary forum,
      4. Instructs the Bureau, in discharging its duties under Rule 16 (now Rule 27 ) of the Rules of Procedure in matters relating to the preparation of the agenda (and the order of business) for Assembly sessions, to observe the following principles:
      a. Under Rule 50.1 (now Rule 57.1. ) of the Rules of Procedure, any member of the government of a member state has the right of access to the Assembly and the right to speak; this also applies to the Index Secretary General of the Council of Europe; Since January
2000 the Secretary General submits to the Assembly at its January
part-session a report on the state of the Council of Europe. A question
time with the Secretary General, limited to half an hour, has been
on the agenda of each part-session since April 2015.
      b. Without prejudice to Order No. 299 (1970) on the participation of parliamentarians from non-member countries in debates on development co-operation, exchanges of views during sessions with delegations from parliamentary and inter-parliamentary assemblies of non-member states must remain restricted to one a year, the position of parliamentary observers being governed as hitherto by Rule 55 (now Rule 63 ) of the Rules of Procedure;
      c. The proper place for meetings with officials and experts is in the committees, which organise for that purpose hearings, symposia and round tables, the results of which are stated in the committees’ reports to the Assembly;
      d. If, nonetheless, as an exception, the Bureau decides to invite someone who is neither a Minister nor a member of parliament to address the Assembly, such an invitation must be approved by the Standing Committee; it shall be strictly personal and the guest speaker must be informed of the nature and the desired length of his address.

      vi. - Guidelines for questions to guest speakers See Resolution 1658 (2009).

      A. Questions to the Chairperson-in-office of the Committee of Ministers (Rule 61.2. of the Rules of Procedure)
      I. Oral questions
      1. In order to enable members of the Assembly to put their questions to the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers and to hear the replies, the presentation of the report on the activities of the Committee of Ministers may not exceed one-third of the total time allotted for the communication from the Committee of Ministers.
      2. Representatives or substitutes wishing to put an oral question to the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers must enter their names on the appropriate register within the prescribed time (see “Additional provisions relating to Assembly debates” - ii. List of speakers, paragraph 5). When they enter their names on the register, they will be asked to state the subject of their question.
      3. If there is sufficient time, the President of the Assembly may authorise the author of a question to the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers to ask a supplementary question following the latter’s answer.
      4. Each political group may appoint a spokesperson to put a question to the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers.
      II. Written questions
      5. Representatives or substitutes wishing to put a written question to the Chairperson of the Committee of Ministers must enter their names on the appropriate register and submit the text of the question at least one week before the opening of the part-session.
      6. Written questions on the same subject or related subjects may receive a joint answer.
      B. Questions to other guest speakers
      7. Representatives and substitutes may put written questions to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe for oral answer. They must enter their names on the appropriate register and submit the text of the question at least one week before the opening of the part-session. Written questions on the same subject or related subjects may receive a joint answer. This exercise requires the consent of the Secretary General.
      8. Representatives or substitutes may put spontaneous questions to guest speakers when this is provided for in the agenda of the part-session or authorised by the President of the Assembly during a sitting. Questions may be restricted to political groups’ spokespersons. No supplementary question may be asked.
      C. Criteria applicable to questions
      9. The time allowed for the presentation of all questions or supplementary questions by their author shall be limited to thirty seconds.
      10. The President of the Assembly shall decide whether questions are in order and determine the order in which questions are called. See
also the guidelines approved by the Bureau on 20 June 2011 on the
order of speakers for questions to guest speakers (document AS/Bur
(2011) 46. The President could decide that, following the representatives
of the five political groups, the first half of a list of speakers
for questions to a guest speaker would be taken in the chronological
order of their registration, subject to there being only one speaker
per national delegation.
      11. To assess whether a question is in order, the following considerations shall be taken into account:
      — the question must be of general interest and not relate to strictly personal matters;
      — the question shall be formulated clearly and concisely and be restricted to the elements which are absolutely essential for an understanding of the question;
      — the question shall be interrogatory in form and contain only one request;
      — the question shall not contain any personal accusation against third parties mentioned by name, or any insulting or defamatory remarks;
      — a question to the Chairperson-in-office of the Committee of Ministers must fall within the competence of the Organisation and the sphere of responsibility of the Committee of Ministers.
      12. Oral answers shall be published in the report of the sitting. Written answers shall be published as an official Assembly document distributed before the opening of the sitting at which the communication from the Committee of Ministers is to be presented.

      vii. - Protection against attacks on a person's honour and reputation (Rule 22.6 of the Rules of Procedure) - right of reply See Resolution
1854 (2011). On 21 January 2013, the Bureau of the Assembly decided
that the right-to-reply procedure provided for in Resolution 1854
(2011) concerning response to defamatory statements made in plenary
sittings shall apply mutatis mutandis to statements
made during meetings of the Bureau or of committees.

      1. Any member of the Assembly who has been named or referred to directly and considers that his or her reputation has been adversely affected by a statement made in the course of a debate by another member may ask the President of the Assembly the authorisation to take the floor for not more than two minutes at the end of the debate. The President has the discretion to decide on how to respond to such a request. He or she may ask the person who made the statement to provide an explanation.
      2. Any person who has been named or referred to directly and considers that his or her reputation has been adversely affected by a statement made in the course of a debate by a member of the Assembly may submit a written request to the President of the Assembly for an appropriate response to be included in the official report.
      3. The written request shall be reasoned, make reference to the impugned statement in the report and shall not contain any vexatious or offensive wording; it shall be submitted within three months of the date of the sitting during which the statement at issue was made.
      4. The President shall examine the request and decide:
      — either to include in the report a note in respect of the impugned statement along the following model: "By letter dated …, [person's name] disagrees with the assertion/statement appearing in this report, on the ground that …";
      — or not to include such a note.
      5. This provision shall not apply if the words spoken have been struck from the report in accordance with Rule 22.6. .

      viii. - Conduct of members of the Parliamentary Assembly during Assembly debates (Rule 22 of the Rules of Procedure) See Resolution
1965 (2013).

      1. Pursuant to Rules 20.1. and 22 of the Rules of Procedure, the President of the Assembly maintains order and decorum and ensures that debates are conducted in a civil and orderly manner, in conformity with the rules and practices in force.
      2. Members of the Parliamentary Assembly shall behave in a courteous, polite and respectful manner towards each other and towards the President of the Assembly or any other person who is presiding. They shall refrain from any action that may disrupt the proceedings. This provision shall apply mutatis mutandis to meetings of the Bureau and of committees.
      3. With regard to Assembly members' discipline and observance of the rules of conduct, paragraphs 18 to 27 of the code of conduct for members of the Parliamentary Assembly shall apply.