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Follow-up to the reform of the Council of Europe

Recommendation 1951 (2011)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 25 January 2011 (4th Sitting) (see Doc. 12458, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Mignon; and Doc. 12487, opinion of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, rapporteur: Mr Chope). Text adopted by the Assembly on 25 January 2011 (4th Sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirms its commitment to a politically relevant and effective Council of Europe as a natural guarantor of “soft security” in a Europe based on the fundamental values and principles of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. It supports the reform started by the Secretary General, which is intended to revitalise the Council of Europe and make it more political, more flexible and more geared to the needs of Europeans.
2. In a spirit of a strengthened dialogue between the two statutory organs of the Council of Europe, the Assembly is keen to share with the Committee of Ministers the ideas, concerns and proposals contained in its Resolution 1783 (2011) on follow-up to the reform of the Council of Europe. In this context, it urges the Committee of Ministers, inter alia, to:
2.1 engage in joint discussion with the Assembly on the need to hold a Council of Europe summit to give the Organisation fresh political impetus, make its member states more responsible towards it and, if need be, redefine its current role;
2.2 give thought to the proposals on a grouping together of the structures which support monitoring mechanisms and on the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities contained in its Resolution 1783 (2011);
2.3 ensure that there is, within the Council of Europe, synergy between decision makers, citizens and civil society;
2.4 take account of its previous proposals with a view to the setting up of a “Strasbourg democracy forum”, as a generic structure grouping together the various relevant activities on this subject, so as to consolidate and make more visible the Council of Europe’s democracy pillar;
2.5 increase the scope of the Council of Europe conferences of specialised ministers and strengthen their link with and impact on the Organisation’s day-to-day activities;
2.6 examine the idea of organising sessions of the Committee of Ministers at the level of specialised ministers;
2.7 consider the possibility for the specialised ministries to contribute to the financing of certain Council of Europe activities in exchange for some of the Committee of Ministers’ powers being delegated to them, notably with regard to the choice of priorities for the Council of Europe’s intergovernmental activities, as proposed in Committee of Ministers Resolution (89) 40 on the future role of the Council of Europe in European construction;
2.8 call on member states to reinvest in the Organisation’s activities the savings achieved on its functioning thanks to reform, in order to help member states to implement reforms and comply with their commitments and obligations.