Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

Follow-up by the Committee of Ministers to the work of the Parliamentary Assembly

Recommendation 1999 (2012)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 26 April 2012 (17th Sitting) (see Doc. 12887, report of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, rapporteur: Mr Holovaty). Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 April 2012 (17th Sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirms its commitment to the powers conferred on it by the Statute of the Council of Europe, which it has been able to develop since the Organisation was founded and which it intends to exercise fully by pursuing its mission as effectively as possible with regard to the expectations of the European citizens whom it represents. In order to achieve this end, the Assembly is equally committed to maintaining and expanding constructive co-operation with the Committee of Ministers. The Assembly’s initiatives are vital to the Organisation, but they cannot become reality without the support of the Committee of Ministers.
2. Furthermore, better interaction between the two statutory organs would make it possible to avoid fragmentation and the duplication of work and thus address the main concerns of Council of Europe reform, namely the optimisation and rationalisation of resources. It would also make the Organisation’s external action more effective. Enhancing dialogue between the two statutory organs and co-ordinating their activities and positions are vital to the reform’s success.
3. The Assembly welcomes the fresh political boost given to inter-institutional relations under the Slovenian Chairmanship, and later the Swiss Chairmanship, of the Committee of Ministers. The adoption in 2009 of the document “Enhanced dialogue between the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers” marked a new stage in inter-institutional dialogue. The proposals made in this document, supplemented by the measures suggested by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in his 2010 report “Enhanced dialogue and co-operation between the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers”, are in the process of being implemented. The Assembly reaffirms its commitment to continuing to work for a closer relationship with the Committee of Ministers and better mutual understanding.
4. In order to promote genuine, substantive and continuous dialogue, strengthen co-operation between the two statutory organs and increase institutional synergies which raise the profile of the Organisation, the Assembly undertakes to introduce a number of practices set out in Resolution 1880 (2012) on follow-up by the Committee of Ministers to the work of the Parliamentary Assembly. At the same time, it recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
4.1 enhance the process of consulting the Assembly:
4.1.1 as regards new draft legal instruments, by institutionalising a formal procedure for consulting the Assembly, establishing, among other things, a specific timetable and setting a period of at least three months before the date of adoption of a draft instrument by the Committee of Ministers to ask the Assembly for a statutory opinion, as well as by undertaking to inform the Assembly in writing of the follow-up to the amendments contained in the statutory opinion;
4.1.2 as regards the setting of priorities for the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, by asking the relevant members of the Committee of Ministers to involve their national delegations to the Assembly by consulting them beforehand on the setting of those priorities;
4.2 undertake to actively examine the Assembly’s recommendations in depth and in detail, provide practical follow-up and give an early and substantial reply within a period of no more than six months;
4.3 with regard to written questions from Assembly members, set a six-month time limit for replies and, if the Ministers’ Deputies are unable to reach agreement, instruct the Chair of the Ministers’ Deputies to notify the President of the Parliamentary Assembly in writing;
4.4 encourage the chairs of rapporteur groups and working parties as well as thematic co-ordinators to maintain and develop regular working relationships with the Assembly’s committee chairs, rapporteurs and general rapporteurs operating in the relevant areas;
4.5 increase its involvement in the work of the Joint Committee in order to promote open and constructive dialogue so that a common position can be reached on issues of importance for the functioning of the Organisation and enhancement of the Council of Europe’s external action.
5. Lastly, the Assembly considers that implementation of the above measures should be jointly evaluated by the Assembly and the Committee of Ministers at regular intervals in an appropriate framework.