The election process for the Secretary General of the Council of Europe
- Parliamentary 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).
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.
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.
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.