* observation of referendum or elections.

Abbreviations: “PA” for “Parliamentary Assembly” and “CM” for “Committee of Ministers”.

Secretaries to the committee: Mr Ausems, Mr Mezei, Ms Clamer and Ms Trevisan.

1        Doc. 8057, Progress of the Assembly’s monitoring procedures (1997-1998), Rapporteur: Mr Guido de Marco (Malta, EPP/CD).

2        Doc. 8359, Progress report of the Monitoring Committee (1998-1999), Rapporteur: Mr Jordi Sole Tura (Spain, SOC).

3        Doc. 8734, Progress report of the Monitoring Committee (1999-2000), Rapporteur: Mr Juris Sinka (Latvia, EDG).

4        See the Monitoring Committee’s previous progress report (Doc. 8734) and the progress report of the Bureau of the Assembly (Doc. 8689 and add.) adopted by the Assembly on 3 April 2000.

5        See Recommendations 1338 (1997) on the Czech Republic and 1339 (1997) on Lithuania, and Resolutions 1117 (1997) on Estonia, 1123 (1997) on Romania, 1196 (1999) on Slovakia, 1211 (2000) on Bulgaria and 1213 (2000) on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

6        See Doc. 8935 addendum.

7        Since the procedure was initiated, eight “themes” have been considered: freedom of expression and information; functioning and protection of democratic institutions; functioning of judicial systems; local democracy; capital punishment; police and security forces; effectiveness of judicial remedies; non-discrimination, particularly combating intolerance and racism.

8        On 10 May 2001 the Committee authorized its co-rapporteurs on Armenia and Azerbaijan to make a fact-finding visit to these countries on, respectively, 9 - 12 July and 13 - 18 July. This decision appeared in the synopsis of the meeting, communicated on 14 May to the permanent representations in Strasbourg. At its meeting on 8 June 2001, the Committee was informed that the Monitoring Group of the Committee of Ministers had decided to make a fact-finding visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan in the week of 2 – 7 July 2001, to monitor the democratic developments of these countries in the light of the exchanges of letters of October 2000 between the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers and the respective Ministers for Foreign Affairs in which the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan confirm their undertaking to meet all commitments reflected in §13 of Opinion N° 221 (2000) of the Parliamentary Assembly. In order to avoid what several members qualified as “a clear and immediate overlap of activities”, the Monitoring Committee decided to postpone the visits of the co-rapporteurs to a later date.

9        “The two exercises are, in essence, quite different. On the one hand we have a political dialogue between governments in the tradition of the intergovernmental co-operation set out in the Statute of the Council of Europe. On the other hand, we have a parliamentary control mechanism monitoring the democratization process of two new member countries. The subjects of enquiry and the people interviewed might be the same, but the procedure, the method and the nature of the dialogue are fundamentally different and reinforce each other”. See document AS (2001)CR 21, pages 11 – 13..

10 Recommendations 1338 (1997) on the Czech Republic and 1339 (1997) on Lithuania; Resolutions 1196 (1999) on Slovakia, 1211 (2000) on Bulgaria, 1213 (2000) on "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and 1223 (2000) on Croatia.

11 "[…] the Assembly considers the current monitoring procedure […] as closed. It will pursue its dialogue with the […] authorities on the issues referred to in paragraph [ ..], or any other issues arising from the obligations of […] as a member state of the Council of Europe, with a view to reopening procedure in accordance with Resolution 1115 (1997), if further clarification or enhanced co-operation should seem desirable."

12 See Progress report of the Bureau of the Assembly, Doc.8689 and add., adopted by the Assembly on 3 April 2000.

13 To seek formally the opinion of former co-rapporteurs who have left the committee might lead to disturbance of the political equilibrium in the committee and impose undue burden on these former co-rapporteurs.