Rules Committee adopts report on the decision-making process concerning credentials and voting

In a draft resolution adopted today in Paris, the Committee on Rules of Procedure of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) welcomes the Committee of Ministers' support for the Assembly's proposal to "set up, in addition to existing procedures, a joint reaction procedure [...] in order to strengthen the Organisation's capacity to react more effectively in situations where a member State violates its statutory obligations or does not respect the standards, fundamental principles and values upheld by the Council of Europe," underlining its commitment to make this proposal operational as soon as possible.

Taking into consideration the decision of the Committee of Ministers taken in Helsinki on 17 May and the exceptional context which led to it, the committee proposes a derogation from the PACE Rules of Procedure in order to be able to invite the parliaments of member States which are not represented by a delegation to the Assembly - Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Russian Federation - to present their credentials during the June 2019 part-session. It is proposed that the credentials thus transmitted be examined at the sitting immediately following their transmission.

In the draft resolution adopted, the committee also proposes to supplement its Rules of Procedure to clarify that in the context of a challenge to or reconsideration of credentials, members’ rights to vote, to speak and to be represented in the Assembly and its bodies shall not be suspended or withdrawn. Referring to its Recommendation 2153 (2019) and the Committee of Ministers' decision of 17 May last, the committee recalls that this clarification ensures respect for member States’ right and obligation to be represented and to participate in both statutory bodies of the Council of Europe.

Finally, the committee proposes to further examine the question of supplementing its Rules of Procedure with regard to introducing a procedure for challenging the credentials of individual members of a national delegation on substantial grounds.

This draft resolution, contained in a report by Petra De Sutter (Belgium, SOC), is scheduled for debate at the Assembly's plenary session in Strasbourg on Monday 24 June.