Promoting parliamentary diplomacy
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting
on behalf of the Assembly, on 12 November 2010 (see Doc. 12428, report
of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Mota Amaral).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly considers
parliamentary diplomacy as a complementary tool to traditional diplomacy.
Participation of parliamentarians in external affairs is today a
crucial aspect of international co-operation and of the development
of democracy, both in Europe and worldwide.
2. National parliaments are entitled to approve international
treaties before their formal ratification. But the power of parliaments
and parliamentarians should not be limited to that formal phase
of international relations. To be effective, the involvement of
parliamentarians needs a greater exchange of information and clearer
co-ordination with national governments.
3. Recent experience shows that parliamentarians are being asked
to monitor and participate in the activity of international institutions,
thus reinvigorating the strength of their democratic action and
enhancing public support.
4. Parliamentary diplomacy and its methods often achieve results
that are hard to achieve through other conventional channels. Constant
contacts with parliaments abroad help to share experience between members
of parliament and, furthermore, foster understanding between political
elites in the countries concerned. They also help to establish and
build up trusting relationships between individuals.
5. The Assembly recognises that dialogue and co-operation among
parliamentarians, which are the very essence of parliamentary diplomacy,
make a positive contribution to easing inter-state tensions and
finding feasible solutions to complex problems, namely those in
the field of human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule
Without becoming diplomats themselves, parliamentarians should
play a greater role in order to:
political pluralism and democratic parliamentary standards at home
and around the world;
6.2 familiarise themselves with transnational issues and the
work of international organisations;
6.3 contribute, in synergy with other actors, to the achievement
of results in various situations, such as the prevention and/or
resolution of conflicts, the improvement of human rights standards
in a certain region or country, the reduction of poverty and the
prevention of climate change through ecological balance.
The Assembly therefore invites:
national parliaments to:
7.1.1 encourage the
role of speakers of parliament in foreign relations, in particular
as regards the promotion or the consolidation of democratic parliamentary
7.1.2 encourage the establishment of parliamentary friendship
and similar groups among national parliaments, in order to promote
the exchange of good practice, in particular in the parliamentary
and political field;
7.2 the parliaments of the member states of the Council of
Europe to ensure the pluralistic composition, in political and gender
terms, of friendship groups, parliamentary delegations carrying
out official visits abroad and delegations taking part in international
fora, assemblies or networks;
other parliamentary assemblies or networks to:
7.3.1 promote the establishment or the further consolidation
of international networks or associations of parliamentarians;
7.3.2 promote themselves as models for other regional or international
parliamentary assemblies, in particular by recommending that membership
is made dependent on the pluralistic composition of delegations
and that the possibility of challenging credentials be introduced;
7.3.3 advocate a stronger position for parliamentary bodies
in the institutional framework of the organisation to which they
7.3.4 promote joint initiatives.
As regards its own work, the Assembly decides to:
8.1 ask the national delegations
to the Assembly to commit themselves to working for the implementation
of, and the follow-up to Assembly resolutions;
8.2 put more emphasis on activities aimed at following up
and implementing its resolutions and recommendations;
8.3 demonstrate increased determination in addressing sensitive
issues, such as potential conflictual situations between member
states or within member states;
8.4 propose its good offices as a facilitator of dialogue
or a mediator in specific conflict situations.
9. Furthermore, the Assembly recommends that national governments
involve parliamentary representatives more extensively in their
relations with the United Nations and other international institutions, and
more generally in the international decision-making process.