Considering that the Committee of Ministers, in complete agreement with the Recommendation 30 of 26th August, 1950, has acknowledged the particularly urgent nature of the refugees problem,
Considering that this problem is closely linked with the more general one of manpower and emigration,
Having taken note of the Draft International Convention drawn up by the Special Committee on Refugees establishing a European Refugees Office,
Approves the aim and general principles of this Draft Convention, appended hereto,
Notes with satisfaction the decision of the Committee of Ministers to instruct the Secretary-General to convene a preliminary meeting of experts in the near future for the study of measures calculated to resolve the problem of refugees and of surplus population,
Requests that the Draft International Convention prepared by the Special Committee on Refugees be submitted to the meeting in question,
Requests furthermore, that the attention of the experts be especially drawn both to articles 1, 2 and 3 of that draft and to the specifically European aspect of the problem under consideration,
Requests also that, bearing in mind the results obtained by various international bodies whose competence extends to questions concerning refugees and manpower, the Committee of Experts should enable the Secretariat-General to lay down a joint European policy on migration, in general, and that of refugees, in particular, prior to the meeting of the General Conference on Migration of the I. L. O. which is to open at Naples in October ;
Requests finally that the Report of the Secretary-General on the proceedings of the meeting of experts be communicated to the Assembly and to the Special Committee on Refugees,
Draft Convention for the creation of a European Office for Refugees
The Member Governments of the Council of Europe......
There shall be set up a European Office for Refugees
Its functions and powers are set out in the provisions below.
As used in the present Convention, the term « Refugee » shall be understood to mean any person who, as a result of the political events of the two World Wars, is without established residence of his choice, having left his domicile under duress or under threat of violence owing to his political opinions, religion, nationality or racial origin.
The European Office for Refugees shall have the task of assisting, without any distinction or discrimination whatsoever, the re-settlement of European Refugees in accordance with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948 and of the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950.
For this purpose it shall have powers to ;
The European Office may also assume any other international tasks entrusted to it by a joint decision of the representatives of the High Contracting Powers in the Consultative Assembly and of their representatives on the Committee of Ministers.
The European Office for Refugees shall comprise :
The Administrative Council shall be composed of seven members appointed by the representatives of the H. C. P. on the Committee of Ministers and of seven other members appointed by the representatives of the H. C. P. in the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe. There may only be one member of the nationality of any one H. C. P.
The Director-General shall sit on the Administrative Council in an advisory capacity. Any Government concerned, being a member of the Council of Europe, which has no representative of its nationality with a seat on the Administrative Council, may appoint to the Council a Commissioner, who shall take part in the deliberations of the Council in an advisory capacity.
The mandate of the Administrative Council shall be of one year's duration. Its members shall be eligible for re-election. The composition of the Council shall be renewable in part according to a system to be decided by the representatives of the H. C. P. on the Committee of Ministers and in the Consultative Assembly.
The Administrative Council shall determine the general policy of the Office, supervise the administration of the Director-General, receive periodic reports from him, approve the administrative budget of the Office and make any recommendations it may consider desirable for the achievement of the aims of the Office.
For the Resolutions of the Administrative Council, on matters other than questions of procedure, a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast shall be required. For decisions on questions of procedure only a simple majority of the votes cast shall be required.
The Administrative Council shall draw up its own Rules of Procedure, which shall necessarily include any provision submitted for this purpose by the representatives of the H. C. P. on the Committee of Ministers or in the Consultative Assembly.
The decisions of the representatives of the H. C. P. on the Committee of Ministers and in the Consultative Assembly shall be taken in accordance with the regulations for procedure and voting laid down in their respective Rules of Procedure.
Recommendations of the Administrative Council shall be submitted to the Consultative Assembly. After such debate as may be held in the Assembly the representatives of the H. C. F. in the Assembly shall formulate their observations, which shall be submitted, together with the recommendation of the Administrative Council, to the representatives of the H. C. P. on the Committee of Ministers, who shall implement them to the extent they consider proper after such discussion as may be held within that Committee.
The Administrative Council shall each year submit reports to the Committee of Ministers and to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Reports of the Director-General shall be appended to them.
The Director-General shall be appointed by a concurrent decision of the representatives of the H. C. P. in the Consultative Assembly and of their representatives on the Committee of Ministers, on the proposal of the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. The appointment shall be for five years, and the term of office is renewable.
The Director-General shall prepare the administrative budget of the Office, shall ensure its implementation and shall furnish any administrative assistance requested by the organs of the Council of Europe.
The Director-General shall represent the European Office in relations with Governments and International Organisations, shall ensure the implementation of the general policy and the particular decisions of the Administrative Council, shall sign administrative contracts on behalf of the Office and shall act in a liaison capacity with the Council of Europe.
The Director-General together with the staff shall form part of the Secretariat of the Council of Europe. The rules concerning independence, the privileges and immunities and the Administrative Regulations — Staff Rules of the Council of Europe shall be applicable to them as members of its Secretariat.
Funds shall be provided by the contributions or grants by Governments, by gifts of private individuals, and by loans. The contributions of the H. C. P. shall be apportioned in accordance with the scheme drawn up by the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, with the assent of the Governments concerned.
Gifts shall be accepted by the Director-General with the approval of the Administrative Council of the Office.
Proposals for loans shall be drawn up by the Director-General and shall be submitted, with the observations of the Administrative Council and the recommendation of the representatives of the H. C. P. in the Consultative Assembly, to the representatives of the H. C. P. on the Committee of Ministers. The latter shall authorise the Director-General to sign contracts with the parties concerned.
The approval of any item of expenditure shall not become final until after a decision has been taken, in accordance with the above provisions, for the acquisition of funds to meet such expenses.
The Office shall have its seat at Strasbourg. It may be transferred to any other place by decision of the Administrative Council.
The Office and the members of the Administrative Council shall enjoy, on the territory of the H. C. P., the immunities and privileges necessary for the exercise of their functions.
The Office shall possess the legal personality and the power to contract for, to acquire and to dispose of moveable and immoveable property, to go to law, to borrow or to guarantee loans and to undertake any other executive activity required for the fulfilment of its functions.
The Office, its goods and possessions, wherever they are situated and whoever is in possession of them, shall enjoy immunity from jurisdiction except insofar as the Administrative Council has expressly waived this right. It cannot, however, be waived with respect to measures of enforcement, unless, in connection with operations of a commercial character, the Administrative Council has waived the privilege by a special decision.
The premises and the buildings of the Office are inviolable. Its goods and possessions, wherever they are situated and whoever is in possession of them, shall be exempt from any form of search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of administrative or judicial constraint.
The archives of the Office and, in general, all documents belonging to it or in its possession shall be inviolable, wherever they may be.
(referring to currency questions.)
The Office, its goods, income and other possessions shall be exempt,
Any litigation between the Office and private individuals, in the matter of fittings, works or the purchase of real estate effected on the Council's behalf, shall be submitted to an Administrative Tribunal, the composition of which shall be determined by a Regulation of the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and approved by the Committee of Ministers.