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The election process for the Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Resolution 1665 (2009)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Assembly debate on 29 April 2009 (15th Sitting) (see Doc. 11877, report of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, rapporteur: Mr Greenway). Text adopted by the Assembly on 29 April 2009 (15th Sitting).
Thesaurus
1. The term of office of the current Secretary General of the Council of Europe will come to an end on 31 August 2009. In October 2008, the process for the election of the (new) Secretary General was initiated.
2. The Parliamentary Assembly considers that, during this election process, several issues have arisen which seriously affect it:
2.1 the addition, in May 2007, by the Committee of Ministers, without prior consultation with the Assembly, of new provisions concerning the qualifications of the candidates for this post;
2.2 the possibility of shortlisting candidates;
2.3 the adoption by the Ministers’ Deputies on 23 April 2009 of a draft resolution restricting the number of candidates which appears to pre-empt the possibility of genuine consultation of the Assembly in the Joint Committee on 29 April 2009.
3. In addition, the Assembly notes the lack of a female candidate.
4. The Assembly considers that any shortlisting of candidates would limit its right to choose between the candidates.
5. The Assembly also considers that the decision taken by the Committee of Ministers at its 117th session, in May 2007, was not incorporated into the Council of Europe’s Regulations relating to the appointment of the Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and Secretary General of the Assembly, and therefore should not be relied upon by the Committee of Ministers without the formal agreement of the Assembly.
6. Therefore, the Assembly considers that, in order to ensure the legitimacy of the new Secretary General of the Council of Europe:
6.1 the Ministers’ Deputies should review their proposals (draft resolution) of 23 April 2009 concerning transmission to the Assembly of the candidates for the post of Secretary General of the Council of Europe;
6.2 the Committee of Ministers, at its ministerial session on 12 May 2009, should adopt a resolution on the election of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe with a view to forwarding to the Assembly a list which will allow the Assembly to choose among the four existing candidates.
7. In future, the Committee of Ministers should ask member states to consider putting forward a female candidate.
8. The Assembly also considers that the Committee of Ministers should re-establish a genuine dialogue with it in order to ensure a proper institutional balance and a more efficient functioning of the Council of Europe based on a spirit of co-operation.
9. Finally, the Assembly believes that the regulations governing the election of the three senior officials of the Council of Europe, which have existed largely unamended for over half a century, are no longer fully satisfactory and calls on the Bureau to instruct the relevant committee to submit to the Bureau any possible changes to these regulations.
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