20 September 1993

Doc. 6926


Interim Reply to Recommendation 1212 (1993)

on the adoption of a revised Statute of the Council of Europe

(adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 September 1993

at the 497th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

1.       The Committee of Ministers has carefully examined Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1212 (1993) on the adoption of a revised Statute of the Council of Europe.

2.       The Committee of Ministers, at its 92nd session (14 May 1993), examined the agenda for the Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Vienna on 8 and 9 October 1993 and agreed to include on it an item entitled 'The role of the Council of Europe in the new Europe - Political and institutional aspects'. It considered that, under this item, the Heads of State and Government might consider:

      "-       the Council of Europe's tasks and place in relation to other organisations and institutions, in particular the European Community and the CSCE;

      -       strengthening democratic security in Europe, taking into consideration in particular cultural co-operation, transfrontier and regional co-operation, and strengthening local democracy;

      -       the enlargement and strengthening of the Council of Europe - membership, structures, methods, resources.".

3.       In addition, at this same 92nd session, the Committee of Ministers adopted, after consulting the Assembly on them, three Statutory Resolutions concerning respectively:

      -       the creation of observer status with the Council of Europe;

      -       the majorities required for Committee of Ministers decisions in order to reduce the number of cases where unanimity is required;

      -       the functioning of Partial Agreements, allowing a restricted number of member States to carry out a series of activities, and the creation of Enlarged Agreements making possible the participation of non-member States in such activities.

      The Committee of Ministers considers that these Resolutions should make it possible to deal with some gaps in the Council of Europe's institutional functioning.

      In addition, the Deputies are currently examining another draft Statutory Resolution on the reform of the Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE), particularly in the light of both CLRAE Resolution 242 (1993) on the Statutory Improvement of the CLRAE and Enhancement of the Participation of Regions and Towns, and Opinion No 173 of the Parliamentary Assembly.

      The Committee of Ministers will not fail to consult the Assembly about any draft Statutory Resolution which may be prepared in the future.

4.       The Committee of Ministers is aware of the fact that the Assembly wishes a draft revised Statute of the Council of Europe to be adopted on the occasion of the Summit of Heads of State and Government in Vienna.

      As stated at the meeting of the Joint Committee held in Malta on 25 March 1993, the Committee of Ministers is not opposed in principle to a revision of the Statute, but considers that any such revision could only be effected, if necessary, in the light of the results of the Vienna Summit and of the political orientations which will emerge from the Summit.

      The Committee of Ministers will therefore return to this question in the light of the orientations given by the Summit of Heads of State and Government.