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Honouring of obligations and commitments by member states of the Council of Europe

Order 508 (1995)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 26 April 1995 (12th Sitting) (see Doc. 7277, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Columberg;Doc. 7292, opinion of the Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries, rapporteur: Mr Seitlinger; and Doc. 7294, opinion of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, rapporteur: Lord Finsberg). Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 April 1995 (12th Sitting).
1. The Assembly, in Order No. 488 (1993), instructed its Political Affairs Committee and Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights "to monitor closely the honouring of commitments entered into by the authorities of new member states and to report to the Bureau at regular six-monthly intervals until all undertakings have been honoured".
2. In Order No. 485 (1993) the Assembly instructed its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights "to report to it when problems arise on the situation of human rights in member states, including their compliance with judgments by the European Court of Human Rights".
3. In Resolution 1031 (1994) the Assembly observed "that all member states of the Council of Europe are required to respect their obligations under the Statute, the European Convention on Human Rights and all other conventions to which they are parties. In addition to these obligations, the authorities of certain states which have become members since the adoption in May 1989 of Resolution 917 (1989) on a special guest status with the Parliamentary Assembly freely entered into specific commitments on issues related to the basic principles of the Council of Europe during the examination of their request for membership by the Assembly. The main commitments concerned are explicitly referred to in the relevant opinions adopted by the Assembly."
4. The Assembly considered in the same resolution that "persistent failure to honour commitments freely entered into will have consequences [...]. For this purpose, the Assembly could use the relevant provisions of the Council of Europe's Statute and of its own Rules of Procedure".
5. Taking also into account the declaration on compliance with commitments accepted by member states of the Council of Europe, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 November 1994, the Assembly seeks to strengthen its own monitoring procedure, established in 1993.
6. The Assembly therefore instructs its Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights (for report) and its Political Affairs Committee (for opinion) to continue monitoring closely the honouring of obligations and commitments in all member states concerned. The Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries will also be asked for an opinion with regard to the member states which previously enjoyed special guest status. To start the procedure, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights must take such a decision, in accordance with normal committee procedure.
7. Countries which are members should honour Recommendation 1201 (1993); candidates for full membership should, on their accession, commit themselves to do likewise. The honouring of this recommendation will also be followed as part of the monitoring process.
8. The committees should work in close co-operation. They may report direct to the Assembly. Their reports should concern one single country and include a draft resolution in which clear proposals are made for the improvement of the situation in the country under consideration.
9. The Assembly may sanction persistent failure to honour commitments, and lack of co-operation in its monitoring process, by the non-ratification of the credentials of a national parliamentary delegation at the beginning of its next ordinary session, in accordance with Rule 6 of the Rules of Procedure.
10. Should the country continue not to respect its commitments, the Assembly may address a recommendation to the Committee of Ministers requesting it to take the appropriate action provided for in Article 8 of the Statute of the Council of Europe.
11. This order supersedes Order No. 488 (1993) and Resolution 1031 (1994).