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The impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the Council of Europe

Recommendation 1982 (2011)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Assembly debate on 5 October 2011 (33rd Sitting) (see Doc. 12713, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Ms Lundgren; Doc. 12743, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Omtzigt; Doc. 12741, opinion of the Committee on Culture, Science and Education, rapporteur: Mr Flego; and Doc. 12746, opinion of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Mr Mendes Bota). Text adopted by the Assembly on 5 October 2011 (33rd Sitting).
Thesaurus
1 The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution 1836 (2011) on the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the Council of Europe, notes that the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty has opened up new opportunities for a reinforced partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Union, based on their respective acquis and comparative advantages.
2 In the Assembly’s view, such a partnership should aim to ensure coherence between the pan-European project promoted by the Council of Europe and the integration process initiated by the European Union, and ultimately lead to a common space for human rights protection across the continent, in the interest of all people in Europe.
3 While welcoming the steps already taken in the right direction, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
3.1 further consolidate the recently reinforced partnership between the two organisations, building on the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding, on the opportunities created by the Lisbon Treaty and on the perspectives opened up by the ongoing reform of the Council of Europe;
3.2 ensure that regular policy co-ordination between the Council of Europe and the European Union is further developed at all levels, including through the Council of Europe Liaison Office in Brussels and the European Union delegation to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg;
3.3 strengthen the role of the Council of Europe as “the guardian for human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Europe” and, in so doing, promote this fundamental role in its relations with the institutions of the European Union.
4 For the purpose of building acommon space for human rights protection at the pan-European level and ensuring coherence of standards and the monitoring of their implementation throughout the continent, the Assembly asks the Committee of Ministers to:
4.1 take all measures necessary to ensure the rapid conclusion of the accession agreement of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights (ETS No. 5), its endorsement and entry into force;
4.2 promote and facilitate European Union accession to other key Council of Europe conventions, monitoring mechanisms and bodies, in particular through the ongoing review of Council of Europe conventions, while preserving the essence of each convention system and without prejudicing the effective functioning of each mechanism and body;
4.3 co-ordinate action with the European Union in the areas of migration and asylum and jointly ensure appropriate follow-up to the high-level meeting on Roma issues organised by the Council of Europe in October 2010;
4.4 promote coherence of normative activities within the two organisations, in particular through prior consultations at as early a stage as possible and at a high political level, in addition to inter-secretariat information sharing at operational level;
4.5 develop appropriate synergies between Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms and bodies and any new evaluation mechanisms to be set up by the European Union.
5 The Assembly further notes that the Lisbon Treaty, as well as recent events throughout the southern Mediterranean, have created new opportunities for co-operation between the two organisations in the context of a revised European Union European Neighbourhood Policy and a new Council of Europe policy towards neighbouring regions that proposes a demand-driven co-operation with the countries concerned, of which an important element is the partnership for democracy status created by the Assembly for parliaments in these regions.
6 Building, inter alia, on these opportunities, the Assembly asks the Committee of Ministers to enhancethe Council of Europe’s expertise and standard-setting and advisory role in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy, in particular to the extent that this policy applies to countries which are either Council of Europe member states or belong to its neighbourhood.
7 Welcoming recent positive examples, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers further develop joint actions and joint programmes with the European Union and seek, in this context, a broader and more stable financial partnership with the European Union which would allow for increased strategic co-operation and joint long-term planning.
8 The Assembly asks the Committee of Ministers to promote a better understanding and visibility of the reinforced partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Union in the present post-Lisbon Treaty period and raise public awareness about the need to further consolidate such a partnership in the interest of all people in Europe.
9 The Assembly believes that the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the ongoing reshaping of the European architecture give fresh topicality to the perspective of European Union accession to the Council of Europe Statute (ETS No. 1), already recommended in 2006 by the Juncker report, “Council of Europe – European Union: ‘a sole ambition for the European continent’”, and thus invites the Committee of Ministers to give further consideration to this question.
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