The role of parliaments in the consolidation and development of social rights in Europe
- Parliamentary Assembly
debate on 23 June 2011 (25th Sitting) (see Doc. 12632, report of the Social,
Health and Family Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mrs Ohlsson; and Doc. 12658, opinion of
the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional
Affairs, rapporteur: Sir Alan Meale). Text adopted by the Assembly
on 23 June 2011 (25th Sitting).
The Parliamentary Assembly, with
reference to its Resolution
on the role of parliaments in the consolidation
and development of social rights in Europe and Recommendation 1958 (2011)
monitoring of commitments concerning social rights, invites the Committee
of Ministers to take steps to ensure rapid progress with regard
to the signature, ratification and implementation of the European
Social Charter (revised) (ETS No. 163) and its protocols. In particular,
the Assembly calls on the four countries which have not yet ratified
the Protocol amending the European Social Charter (ETS No. 142,
“Turin Protocol”) – namely Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and the
United Kingdom – to do so as soon as possible and, regarding the
election of the members of the European Committee of Social Rights
by the Assembly, to ensure, in the absence of rapid progress, that
the Assembly can fully discharge its appointed function in the Charter’s monitoring
machinery by adopting a unanimous decision to that effect.
2. The Assembly calls on the Committee of Ministers to draft
a new protocol to the revised European Social Charter on the right
to health, including the right to a healthy environment.
The Assembly recalls the importance of involving parliaments
in the early stages of the preparation of international treaties.
With a view to improving parliamentary oversight of international
institutions and agreements reached at international level, the
Committee of Ministers is called on to:
3.1 ensure that national governments submit early drafts of
forthcoming agreements to parliament for comment;
continue to involve the Assembly in the process of drafting
new conventions at different levels, from representation on the
drafting committee to the timely submission of the draft text for
opinion to the Assembly, and reconsider the possibility of introducing
co-decision making on such texts in line with Recommendation 1763 (2006)
institutional balance at the Council of Europe;
3.3 continue to ensure participation of the Assembly at the
ministerial conferences and other high-level events organised by
the Council of Europe on a regular basis in the field of social
rights, social cohesion, public health, etc.
4. In the light of recent trends in the areas of social cohesion
and public health policies in member states, the Assembly calls
on the Committee of Ministers to ensure that the Council of Europe
remains present in these policy fields by maintaining strong intergovernmental
and standard-setting activities despite the ongoing reform process
within the Organisation.