Doc. 10488

31 March 2005

Guidelines for the status of the opposition in a democratic parliament

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr Gross and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       The Parliamentary Assembly underlines that the promotion of pluralist democracy which includes involving the civil society and monitoring the state of democracy is one of the main objectives of the Council of Europe’s action.

2.       It also underlines that the right to political criticism and to organize a political opposition is essential for political democracy.

3.       The opposition in democratic parliaments is the salt of democracy. It has important functions of criticism and oversight of the governmental action.

4.       Rights and resources are major aspects of the opposition’s ability to fulfill its tasks. However, in this respect there are major differences in the various European States. This was one of the findings of the Seminar on the role of the opposition in a democratic parliament, which was organised by the Committee on Rules of Procedure and Immunities on 10 December 2004 in Stockholm.

5.       Most of the participants at the Seminar considered it useful if in the Council of Europe guidelines for a status of the opposition were prepared.

6.       The Assembly therefore resolves to ask its competent committees to prepare such guidelines.

Signed (see overleaf)

Signed 1:

GROSS, Andreas, Switzerland, SOC

BRASSEUR, Anne, Luxembourg, LDR

CEBECİ, Erol Aslan, Turkey, EPP/CD

ČEKUOLIS, Jonas, Lithuania, LDR

EINARSSON, Mats, Sweden, UEL

FEDOROV, Valeriy, Russia, EDG

HOLOVATY, Serhiy, Ukraine, LDR


MONSEN, Per Erik, Norway, EDG

MULAS, Giuseppe, Italy, EDG

SAMOILOVSKA-CVETANOVA, Ganka, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", EPP/CD

SCHIEDER, Peter, Austria, SOC

VAN OVERMEIRE, Karim, Belgium, NR

WILSHIRE, David, United Kingdom, EDG

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group