Doc. 8568
5 October 1999

Standards for the political handling of dealings concerning property after World War II

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr van der Linden and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only

the members who have signed it

      The Assembly,

1.       Notes the fact that the Council of Europe, in keeping with its Statue, has the aim of achieving the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

2.       Is firmly convinced that the right to property is a key element in the functioning of all democratic societies governed by the rule of law;

3.       Notes the importance attributed to the effective protection of property by Article 1 of the first Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

4.       Takes the view that as a result of the reform processes triggered in central and east European countries at the beginning of the 1990s and the reunification of Germany it will be necessary to develop international law and principles in the realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in addition to existing conventional and national protection of property;

5.       Urgently calls for a political review of the standards for handling dealings with properties after World War II and for the development of national and international law on protection of property;

6.       Takes into account that many countries from central and eastern Europe tried after 1989 to settle the problems resulting from property issues in different ways and considers, with a view to the expanding European legal area, that the elaboration of some European standards would be useful;

7.       Considers that the relevant bodies of the Assembly, after consultation with the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) should issue a comprehensive position statement in particular on the following topics:

-       expropriations carried out on national and foreign territory, taking into account the legislation then in force;

-       compensation standards for individual and group expropriations as well as for social-policy-related expropriations; financial implications for national budgets and economies; existing budgetary resources and objectives for economic modernisation;

-       lawful/unlawful expropriation and compensation or restitution; categories of those who might benefit thereof;

-       limitation and forfeiture in international law and in connection with wrongful acts perpetrated under international law, taking into account the need for legal security; restitutio in integrum or by equivalent; effects on acquisitions of good faith;

-       procedures for restitution or compensation, timing, legal proofs, institutions for implementation.

Signed1 :

van der Linden, Netherlands, EPP/CD

Anton, Moldova, UEL

Atkinson, United Kingdom, EDG

Bauer, Austria, NR

Bloetzer, Switzerland, EPP/CD

Bühler, Germany, EPP/CD

Buwitt, Germany, EPP/CD

Clerfayt, Belgium, LDR

Columberg, Switzerland, EPP/CD

Fehr, Switzerland, LDR

Gelderblom-Lankhout, Netherlands, LDR

Gjellerod, Denmark, SOC

Hegyi, Hungary, SOC

Jurgens, Netherlands, SOC

König, Austria, EPP/CD

Lintner, Germany, EPP/CD

Lopez Henares, Spain, EPP/CD

Maass, Germany, EPP/CD

Mignon, France, EDG

Nastase, Romania, SOC

Poptodorova, Bulgaria, SOC

Seiler, Switzerland, LDR

Solonari, Moldova, SOC

Stanoiu, Romania, SOC

Timmermans, Netherlands, SOC

Zierer, Germany, EPP/CD


SOC: Socialist Group

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

EDG: European Democratic Group

LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

NR: not registered in a group