AS/Pol (2011) 37rev, 20
Political Affairs Committee
Evaluation of Partnership for Democracy,
Memorandum prepared by the Secretariat upon instructions from the
1 Rule 60.2 on the conditions to be met by a parliament
requesting the status of partner for democracy refers to “aspirations”
and “intentions” of the said parliament, a number of “commitments”
that it has to undertake, as well as the “obligation” to inform
the Assembly regularly on the state of progress in implementing Council
of Europe principles.
2 In its resolutions granting the status to the parliament of
Morocco and to the Palestinian National Council, the Assembly added
further recommendations on a number of specific issues, which it
considered to be important for strengthening democracy, human rights
and the rule of law. The Assembly also resolved to review, no later
than two years from the adoption of these resolutions, the state
of progress achieved in implementing both the (political) commitments
undertaken by the parliament concerned, as well as in carrying forward
the specific recommendations on the issues mentioned in the respective
3 It is clear that the status is not an award for something
accomplished but an incentive to accomplish something. It sets the
rules for a continued dialogue between the parliament concerned
and the Assembly.
4 Rule 60.7 says that “decisions on granting, suspending or
withdrawing partner for democracy status shall be taken by a resolution
of the Assembly following a report by the Political Affairs Committee”.
Also, the new terms of reference of the Committee on Political Affairs
and Democracy, to enter into force as of 23 January 2011, foresee
that the Committee shall consider “questions relating to the state
of democracy and the functioning and development of democratic institutions
in […] the states whose parliaments enjoy […] partner for democracy
status”. The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and the
Committee on Equality and Non Discrimination may be seized for opinion
on the matter in line with their new terms of reference.
5 It is therefore clear that, when granting the status of partner
for democracy to a parliament, the Assembly, through its Political
Affairs Committee, has the obligation to follow the state of progress
achieved by the parliament concerned in implementing both the commitments
it has undertaken and the specific recommendations which the Assembly
may have addressed to it. It is considered that two years is a reasonable period
in which to review such progress.
6 The Political Affairs Committee should thus appoint a rapporteur
to follow this progress and to prepare a report in time for an Assembly
debate two years after the granting of the status. The report should
also include an assessment of the respective benefits and commitments
of the partnership.
7 On the basis of such a report, the Assembly should decide
to maintain, to suspend or to withdraw the partner for democracy
status. It may also decide to extend the revision period in case
some of the commitments have not been fulfilled or some recommendations
have not been implemented.
8 It is advisable that the rapporteur is appointed not later
than 6 months after the granting of the status.
9 The rapporteur on the evaluation of the partnership for democracy
in respect of a parliament which enjoys such status with the Assembly
should follow the situation in the country concerned on a regular
basis, maintain the dialogue with its parliament and keep the Committee
informed as appropriate.
10 In cases requiring urgent action prior to the appointment
of the rapporteur on the evaluation of the partnership for democracy,
the Chairperson of the Committee or the (former) rapporteur who
prepared the report on the request for the status could perform
the above-mentioned tasks.