Parliamentary Assembly
Assemblée
parlementaire

Doc. 10892
11 April 2006

Memorandum of understanding between the Council of Europe and the European Union

Report
Political Affairs Committee
Rapporteur: Mr Konstantin Kosachev, Russian Federation, European Democrat Group


Summary

In the Action Plan of the Third Summit of the Council of Europe, the Heads of State and Government agreed on guidelines on relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union. On the basis of these guidelines, it was decided to draft a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions “to create a new framework of enhanced co-operation and political dialogue”.

In addition, Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg Prime Minister, was asked “to prepare, in his personal capacity, a report on the relationship between the Council of Europe and the European Union, on the basis of the decisions taken at the Summit and taking into account the importance of the human dimension of European construction".

Mr Juncker presented his report to the Assembly on 11 April 2006. This report provides an innovative approach, encouraging proposals and valuable political guidance for efficient co-operation between the two institutions.

In this respect, it is particularly recommended to the Committee of Ministers to take full account of Prime Minister Juncker’s report in preparing the memorandum of understanding and to formally consult the Assembly before concluding the memorandum of understanding, in light of the obvious need to bring Europe closer to its citizens.

A.       Draft Recommendation

1.       The Parliamentary Assembly attaches great importance to relations between the Council of Europe and other institutions. It supports in particular the intensification of co-operation and political dialogue with the European Union.

2.       Furthermore, the Assembly has consistently played a leading role in the reflection on the relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union. It is therefore essential for the Assembly to make its voice heard in this debate and to contribute with all the wealth and weight of its experience.

3.       The Assembly recalls that immediately after the Third Council of Europe Summit of Heads of State and Government, it welcomed the decision to “create a new framework for enhanced co-operation and interaction between the Council of Europe and the European Union in areas of common concern, in particular, human rights, democracy and the rule of law”.

4.       In the Action Plan of the Summit, the Heads of State and Government agreed on Guidelines on the relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union. These Guidelines call for an enhanced partnership to promote the common objective of a Europe without new dividing lines. On the basis of these Guidelines, it was agreed to draft a memorandum of understanding between the Council of Europe and the European Union.

5.       The Assembly already welcomed the decision taken at the Third Summit to entrust Mr Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, with the preparation of a report, in his personal capacity, on the relationship between the Council of Europe and the European Union. The Assembly has consistently offered its full support to Mr Juncker’s mission. As a contribution to Mr Juncker's report, the President of the Assembly prepared a position paper on the relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union, which was endorsed by the Bureau.

6.       Mr Juncker presented his report to the Assembly on 11 April 2006. The Assembly considers that it provides an innovative approach, encouraging proposals and valuable political guidance for efficient co-operation between the two institutions.

7.       As regards its co-operation with the European Parliament, the Assembly declares its readiness to develop activities by creating, if necessary, joint bodies and encourages its committees to enhance their contacts with the relevant committees of the European Parliament.

8.       The Assembly notes that a preliminary draft memorandum of understanding is already under consideration by the Committee of Ministers.

9.       The Assembly recommends to the Committee of Ministers to:

9.1.       take full account of Prime Minister Juncker’s report in preparing the memorandum of understanding;

9.2.       consult formally the Assembly before concluding the memorandum of understanding, in light of the obvious need to bring Europe closer to its citizens;

9.3.       propose to the Council of the European Union to:

9.4.       pending the consultation of the Assembly, agree with and propose to the European Union to include the following proposals in the memorandum of understanding:

10.       Finally, the Assembly considers that the Council of Europe and the European Union should commit themselves to review their memorandum of understanding within five years after the date of signature in order to assess its effectiveness and to take into account developments in the fields of common interest.

B.       Explanatory memorandum by Mr Kosachev

I.       Introduction

1.       The institutional relations between the Council of Europe and the European Community are governed by a number of texts, in particular, exchanges of letters between the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the President of the European Commission and joint declarations, the most recent of which is dated 3 April 2001. The validity of the many co-operation mechanisms already set up between our two institutions is now proven, but we must go further, combine and co-ordinate our efforts more effectively, improve our results and develop the necessary institutional facilities.

2.       In the Declaration adopted at the close of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, that took place in Warsaw on 16 and 17 May 2005, it was decided, among other things, “to create a new framework for enhanced co-operation and interaction between the Council of Europe and the European Union in areas of common concern, in particular, human rights, democracy and the rule of law”.

3.       Moreover, in the Third Summit Action Plan, the Heads of State and Government agreed on guidelines on the relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union, which call for an enhanced partnership between the two institutions in pursuit of the common objective of a Europe without new dividing lines.

4.       On the basis of these guidelines, it was decided to draft a memorandum of understanding between the Council of Europe and the European Union “to create a new framework of enhanced co-operation and political dialogue”. The view was taken that the focus should be put on how the European Union member states and the European Union itself could make better use of available Council of Europe instruments, institutions and mechanisms, and on how all Council of Europe members could benefit from closer links with the European Union.

5.       In addition, Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg Prime Minister, was asked “to prepare, in his personal capacity, a report on the relationship between the Council of Europe and the European Union, on the basis of the decisions taken at the Summit and taking into account the importance of the human dimension of European construction".

6.       In its Recommendation 1712 (2005) on “follow-up to the Third Summit”, the Assembly welcomes this decision, expressing the hope that the report will provide a roadmap for efficient co-operation between the two institutions and offering its full support to Mr Juncker in his task. In order to contribute to Mr Juncker’s work, the Bureau, at its meeting on 27 January 2006, endorsed a position paper prepared by the President of the Assembly on relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union. Mr Juncker was also invited to address the Standing Committee on 17 March 2006 to inform it of the principles underpinning his report before it was officially presented on 11 April 2006.

7.       In late 2005, the United Kingdom Permanent Representation, on behalf of the British Presidency of the European Union, forwarded a “draft memorandum of understanding on the strengthening of co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union” to the Romanian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. The draft was discussed in the Committee of Ministers and a consolidated document (CM-SUIVI3 (2006) 8) was prepared under the authority of the Romanian Chairmanship. Based on the initial European Union text, this document takes account of written amendments received from several member states and the contribution from the Council of Europe Secretary General. It serves as a working basis for the work in progress of the CM-SUIVI3 on the subject.

8.       As the Assembly had not been consulted, the President wrote to the Chair of the Committee of Ministers asking him to officially forward the draft text to the Parliamentary Assembly, indicating that the memorandum of understanding should not be finalised until Mr Juncker had presented his report.

9.       In connection with this, the conclusions of the quadripartite meeting of the Council of Europe and the European Union on 15 March 2006 can only be welcomed; given that the view was taken that work on the memorandum of understanding should draw on Mr Juncker’s political vision of relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union. According to the conclusions, Mr Juncker’s report will "undoubtedly bring an important contribution to the reflection on the partnership between the two organisations, and the Memorandum of understanding that is being negotiated will have to take account of it".

10.       Furthermore, I would like to insist on the fact that in view of the obvious need to bring Europe closer to its citizens, the document should not be adopted without prior formal consultation of the parliamentary institutions of the European Union and the Council of Europe.

11.       The Assembly has always been at the forefront of work on relations between the Council of Europe and the European Community, thanks to its various resolutions and recommendations on the subject. It is therefore only right that the Assembly should express its views in discussions on the matter, providing the benefit of its authority and its wealth of experience.

12.       The purpose of this report is to put forward, at this stage, before formal consultation takes place, a number of proposals that the Assembly would like to be taken into consideration in the final document.

II.       Taking systematic account of the work of Council of Europe bodies in the European Union action in the corresponding fields

13.       The Council of Europe has undeniable experience and unique expertise in the fields of its core activities, namely democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It also has a considerable acquis in cultural, educational, youth and social cohesion fields.

14.       As all the European Union member states are members of the Council of Europe, it would seem self-evident that the European Union should make the best possible use of this experience and expertise. However, reality teaches us that it is not taking place in a systematic way.

15.       It would therefore seem advisable to ensure that the work of Council of Europe bodies such as the Venice Commission, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the Group of States against Corruption, the European Committee against Racism and Intolerance, the Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice and the European Committee of Social Rights and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights are systematically taken into account in the European Union's action in the relevant areas.

16.       In addition, the development of joint European Commission/Council of Europe programmes is an important means of pursuing shared objectives in areas that are a priority for both institutions by promoting European standards for the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The added value and potential of such co-operation are particularly obvious in the case of joint schemes to modernise European judicial and criminal law systems, assist in combating corruption and money laundering and train professionals to apply the relevant European rules effectively. It is desirable that the memorandum of understanding should reflect this.

III.       Accession of the European Community/European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

17.       In the guidelines for relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union, the Heads of State and Government acknowledged the importance of early accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights. This essential step must remain an immediate objective for both the Council of Europe and the European Union, regardless of events surrounding ratification of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.

18.       European Union accession to the ECHR, once it obtains a legal personality, it would avert the risk of divergence between the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and that of the Court of Justice of the European Communities. It would make it possible to allow everyone under the jurisdiction of a European Union member state to submit a direct petition to the Strasbourg court and thus make acts and decisions covered by the European Union legal system, like those covered by national legal systems, subject to supervision in respect of their compatibility with the provisions of the ECHR.

IV.       Accession of the European Community/European Union to other Council of Europe conventions

19.       Quite apart from the ECHR, many Council of Europe conventions contribute to the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice, an objective common to the Council of Europe and the European Union. Despite the similarity of the two institutions' remits, however, the Council’s conventions elicit only a modicum of interest on the part of the European Union.

20.       In order to encourage the establishment of a common European legal area, the European Community should be invited to accede to all the Council of Europe conventions open to it. It should be encouraged to adopt those Council of Europe conventions that fall within the scope of European Union law, for they contribute to the unification of law Europe-wide and it would undermine that unification if the European Union did not recognise the rules adopted at the Council of Europe as minimum legal standards.

21.       In addition, in light of the experience of the process of drafting the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, it is necessary to review existing and future arrangements for negotiating draft legal instruments in order to achieve the goal common to both institutions, namely a common legal area that fully respects and promotes fundamental rights for all.

22.       With regard to the general issue of European Union accession to Council of Europe conventions, problems have arisen in the past with the “disconnection clause”. To avoid their recurring, the term “modulation clause” could be used to reflect the fact that member states of the European Union are not exempted from, but may modulate the way they give effect to, certain obligations set out in a Council of Europe convention. This simply means that they will abide by the convention mainly or partly through the exercise of European Union competence. Should there be inconsistencies between European Union law and a specific provision of a Council of Europe convention that cannot easily be removed, use would have to be made of the normal mechanism of entering reservations.

23.       The wording of these modulation clauses should be reviewed to avoid giving the impression that member states of the European Union are trying to shirk their responsibilities under the convention in question.

V.       Strengthening the European Union’s institutional presence at the Council of Europe

24.       For several years, the meetings and activities of the Committee of Ministers, rapporteur groups and any other working party convened by it have been open to the European Commission at the invitation of competent Council of Europe authorities.  The Commission should take advantage of this opportunity and systematically attend the meetings to which it is invited.

25.       However, in order to ensure a proper institutional link between the Council of Europe and the European Union, the latter should foresee the opening of a permanent office of the European Commission in Strasbourg.

26.       Moreover, in the past the question of the European Union, once it obtains a legal personality, acceding to the Council of Europe as such has been raised. However, due in particular to the problems relating to the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union, this is an unlikely prospect for the near future.

VI.       Incorporation of Council of Europe standards and values into the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

27.       At the Third Summit, the Heads of State and Government bore witness to the unity of a Europe without dividing lines based on the values embodied in the Statute of the Council of Europe, namely democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Care should therefore be taken not to create new barriers, for, in geostrategic, cultural and institutional terms, Europe extends beyond the 25 member states of the European Union. The European Union must therefore be asked to take account of the fact that the Council of Europe is an institution enabling those countries that will remain outside the European Union to take part in the grand design for Europe, so as to avoid creating new dividing lines.

28.       The European Union will thus be able to obtain real benefits from better use of the Council of Europe’s acquis when it comes to applying the European Neighbourhood Policy. The ENP covers 15 states, five of which are Council of Europe members. Moreover, the Israeli Parliament has observer status with the Parliamentary Assembly. Although not covered by the ENP, the Russian Federation will be associated with certain co-operation programmes in the context of the strategic partnership between Russia and the European Union.

29.       The Assembly has made it clear that it considers that the ENP should incorporate the standards and values of the Council of Europe and use its expertise in its core areas of excellence. A lack of co-ordination would not only lead to overlapping activities but, worse still, would mean there was a risk of sending out inconsistent political messages to the countries concerned, and in particular those that have taken specific undertakings as Council of Europe members.

30.       The Council of Europe has been capable for a long time of assisting countries that have undertaken to set up sustainable democratic systems. This assistance entails devising national strategies, determining the measures to be taken, drafting legislation, setting deadlines for accession to international legal instruments, applying monitoring procedures and carrying out programmes designed to consolidate democracy and the rule of law and ensure respect for human rights.

31.       If the undertaking by Europe's leaders to ensure the complementarity of European organisations is not to remain a dead letter, the Council of Europe and the European Union must stand by their political resolve to ensure that the Council of Europe’s values and standards are fully recognised in ENP action plans. In addition, the Council of Europe’s specialised expertise, monitoring procedures and know-how in matters of assistance should be widely drawn on for the purposes of applying the ENP.

32.       In this connection, the conclusions of the quadripartite meeting on 15 March 2006 should be welcomed, in that they call for joint reflection in future before programmes are adopted, to provide expertise for their preparation and implementation and for the purposes of follow-up. The participants agreed that this joint approach should be introduced as soon as possible so that initial results could be obtained in 2007. They considered that regular consultations involving the countries concerned and representatives of the Council of Europe and the European Union could also be arranged to take stock of progress achieved and look ahead.

VII.       Using the Council of Europe as a platform for intercultural dialogue

33.       The Council of Europe has recently, in Faro, in October 2005, created a strategy, which is at the same time realistic and ambitious, for the development of intercultural dialogue within European societies and between Europe and its neighbouring regions. Co-operation agreements have also been established with UNESCO, ALESCO, and the Ana Lindh Foundation. Work has also begun on the preparation of a white paper on intercultural dialogue. The European Union is set to become involved with the implementation of this strategy and the preparation of the white paper in view of the fact that the year 2008 may become the European Year for Intercultural Dialogue.

34.       It is also encouraging to find that other parts of the world see the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as a model. Co-operation agreements were recently entered into with the Pan-African Parliament and the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace, which wants to transform itself into an Asian Parliamentary Assembly. The Assembly’s role outside Europe has also been enhanced through the presence, since 1956, of an observer delegation from the Israeli Knesset. In addition, the Canadian and Mexican parliaments are involved in the Assembly as observers. Moreover, its annual debate on the OECD brings parliamentarians from OECD member states to Strasbourg, where they are involved in discussions on an equal footing.

35.       In view of its membership and its experience in dealing with major international issues, it seems obvious that the Assembly has a vocation as a forum for intercultural dialogue. This is borne out in practice by the fact that the Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Mr Ihsanoglu, addressed the Assembly at the October part-session 2005 and took part in a very interesting debate. The Assembly has, moreover, officially asked for observer status with the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly and has already attended its meetings on an ad hoc basis.

36.       The Assembly also invited the Culture Ministers of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to its January 2003 part-session on the occasion of a debate on cultural co-operation between Europe and the south Mediterranean countries. At its April 2004 part-session, a co-operation agreement to promote parliamentary democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights in Kazakhstan has been signed with the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

VIII.       Consolidation of relations between the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament

37.       With regard to relations between the Assembly and the European Parliament, regular meetings take place between the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament and the Presidential Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly, just as there are contacts between their respective committees and rapporteurs, but the Assembly and the European Parliament have not signed a co-operation agreement.

38.       Two joint meetings of the European Parliament and the Assembly were held in 2002 and 2003. Quite apart from the themes chosen (“The development of Europe as an area of freedom, security and justice” and “Building one Europe”), these meetings took on a symbolic importance in that they belied the image frequently conjured up of two institutions working side by side but all too rarely together. With this in mind, consideration could be given to holding one joint session a year.

39.       In addition, at the January 2006 part-session, an exchange of views took place between Mr Joseph Daul, Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament’s Committees, and the Chairs of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly committees. Further to this exchange of views, Mr Daul suggested that a co-operation theme be chosen every year for each European Parliament committee. The practice of mutual invitations to rapporteurs of other committees should become systematic. In the agreement entered into between our two institutions, the European Parliament and the Assembly should therefore also agree to establish more systematic co-operation arrangements.

40.       Moreover, in its Resolution 1491 (2006), the Assembly decided to include a new rule in its Rules of Procedure, on co-operation with the European Parliament, which refers to a similar provision appearing in the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament and which reads as follows: “The Bureau of the Assembly shall, in agreement with the relevant organ of the European Parliament (Conference of Presidents), decide the arrangements for co-operation of both institutions. On the basis of these arrangements, the Assembly’s bodies, particularly the committees, may co-operate with their counterparts of the European Parliament in fields of mutual interest.”

41.       Lastly, the European Parliament could be invited to continue and improve co-operation with the Assembly at various levels (political groups, bureaux, committees) on the basis of recognition for shared values and interests. With this in mind, consideration could be given to appointing a joint EP-PACE committee. Its members could meet regularly and, to this end, set up special parliamentary bodies within which they could meet, discuss the various issues and co-operate directly. These bodies could examine initiatives, exchange information and encourage co-operation in order, where possible, to prevent overlapping and avoid wasting time, effort and other resources, and take initiatives in a number of European countries.

IX.       Parliamentary dimension of the quadripartite meetings between the Council of Europe and the European Union

42.       The existing co-ordination arrangement consisting of “quadripartite” meetings (President of the Council, Chair of the Committee of Ministers, President of the Commission and Secretary General of the Council of Europe) does not have a parliamentary dimension. In view of the growing distance between the European institutions and Europe’s citizens, it is essential to include such a dimension.

43.       The Assembly has therefore suggested, on several occasions, that in future the President of the European Parliament and its own President should both be invited to these meetings. The European Parliament has said it is in favour of such an arrangement. A similar set-up already exists for co-operation between the Council of Europe and the OSCE: at the last two meetings, the 2+2 membership (President/Chair and Secretaries General) was extended to 3+3, to include the Presidents of the two Parliamentary Assemblies.

X.       Revision of the memorandum of understanding

44.       There needs to be provision for adapting the memorandum of understanding to new institutional developments in Europe. For that reason, I endorse the Council of Europe Secretary General’s proposal that provision be made for a procedure for revising the memorandum of understanding within five years of its signature.

XI.       Conclusions

45.       Geographical enlargement (including the long-term prospects) and the extension of the range of activities and powers of the European Union have major implications for the European institutional architecture. The memorandum of understanding should express a determination to preserve and enhance the Council of Europe’s unique position, in view of its excellence and unrivalled machinery in the area of human rights protection and promotion.

46.       The Council of Europe and the European Union have the same ultimate goal: that of forging a democratic, stable and prosperous Europe, and their respective actions are now part of an overall European strategy for establishing a vast area of democratic security and social solidarity, which would be strengthened by the consolidation and intensification of co-operation between the two institutions.

47.       Europe will always be larger than the European Union and will always include a number of countries that are not members of the European Union. It is therefore important, in view of the role and specific features of the Council of Europe, to make practical arrangements for institutionalised relations based on complementarity and co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Union.

48.       Such co-operation should ensure that the two institutions are properly informed about each other’s work, so that advantage can be taken of the experience and initiatives of each institution. This will make their work more effective, improve co-ordination of their initiatives and avoid, where possible, duplication of effort.

49.       There are many ways and means of making better use of the expertise and potential of the Council of Europe. What is needed is merely the political will to do so and a long-term vision of the Europe's future.

* * *

Reporting Committee: Political Affairs Committee.

Reference to Committee: Ref. 3163, 23.01.06

Draft Recommendation unanimously adopted by the Committee on 11 April 2006

Members of the Committee : Mr Abdülkadir Ateş (Chairman), Mr Konstantion Kosachev (Vice-Chairman), Mr Zsolt Németh (Vice-Chairman), Mr Giorgi Bokeria (Vice-Chairman), Mrs. Birgir Ármannsson,  Mr Giuseppe Arzilli, Mr Claudio Azzolini, Mr Miroslav Beneš, Mr Radu-Mircea Berceanu, Mr Gerardo Bianco, Mr Alexandër Biberaj, Mr Luc Van den Brande, Ms Beáta Brestenká, Ms Anna Čurdová, Mr Noel Davern, Mr Dumitru Diacov, Mr Michel Dreyfus-Schmidt, Mr Adri Duivesteijn, Ms Josette Durrieu, Mr Mikko Elo, Mr Joan Albert Farré Santuré, Mr Per-Kristian Foss, Mr Jean-Charles Gardetto, Mr Charles Goerens, Mr Daniel Goulet, Mr Andreas Gross, Mr Jean-Pol Henry, Mr Joachim Hörster, Mr Renzo Innocenti, Mr Ivan Ivanovski, Mr Tadeusz Iwiński (alternate: Mr Andrzej Grzyb), Mr Elmir Jahić (alternate: Mr Sead Avdić), Mr Ljubiša Jovašević, Mr Ivan Kalezić, Mr Oleksandr Karpov, Mr Oskars Kastēns, Mr Yuriy Kostenko, Ms Darja Lavtižar-Bebler, Mr Göran Lindblad, Mr Younal Loutfi, Mr Mikhail Margelov, Mr Tomasz Markowski, Mr Dick Marty, Mr Frano Matušić, Mr Murat Mercan, Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, Mr Marko Mihkelson, Ms Nadezhda Mikhailova (alternate: Mr Ivan Ivanov), Mr Mirzazade (alternate: Ms Gultakin Hajiyeva), Ms Joāo Bosco Mota Amaral, Ms Natalia Narochnitskaya (alternate: Mr Ilyas Umakhanov) , Ms Carina Ohlsson, Mr Boris Oliynyk, Mr Theodoros Pangalos, Ms Elsa Papadimitriou, Mr Christos Pourgourides, Mr Gordon Prentice (alternate: Baroness Knight), Mr Gabino Puche, Mr Lluís Maria de Puig (alternate: Ms Maria Aburto), Mr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, Lord Russell-Johnston, Mr Peter Schieder, Mr Ingo Schmitt, Ms Juana Serna (alternate: Mr Pedro Agramunt), Mr Adrian Severin, Ms Hanne Severinsen, Mr Samad Seyidov, Mr Leonid Slutsky, Mr Michael Spindelegger, Mr Rainder Steenblock, Mr Zoltán Szabó, Baroness Taylor of Bolton (alternate: Lord Tomlinson), Mr Mehmet Tekelioğlu (alternate: Mr Emin Bilgić), Mr Tigran Torosyan, Mr José Vera Jardim, Ms Biruté Vesaité, Mr Varujan Vosganian, Mr David Wilshire, Mr Bart van Winsen, Mr Wolgang Wodarg, Ms Renate Wohlwend, Mr Marco Zacchera, Mr Krzysztof Zaremba.

Ex-officio: MM. Mátyás Eörsi, Mats Einarsson,

N.B. : The names of the members who took part in the meeting are printed in bold

Head of the Secretariat : Mr Perin

Secretaries to the Committee: Mrs Nachilo, Mr Chevtchenko, Mrs Sirtori-Milner