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Respect for ethics and transparency in the election of the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Motion for a recommendation | Doc. 13485 | 08 April 2014

Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Miloš ALIGRUDIĆ, Serbia, EDG ; Mr Jean-Charles ALLAVENA, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Brian BINLEY, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Sílvia Eloïsa BONET PEROT, Andorra, SOC ; Mr Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA, Spain, SOC ; Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Ms Aleksandra DJUROVIĆ, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Bernd FABRITIUS, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Doris FIALA, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Axel E. FISCHER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Bernard FOURNIER, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Ms Béatrice FRESKO-ROLFO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Giuseppe GALATI, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Dzhema GROZDANOVA, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Mr Jacques LEGENDRE, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Meritxell MATEU PI, Andorra, ALDE ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr José MENDES BOTA, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Claude MIGNON, France, EPP/CD ; Mr João Bosco MOTA AMARAL, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Andrea RIGONI, Italy, ALDE ; Mr René ROUQUET, France, SOC ; Ms Lorella STEFANELLI, San Marino, EPP/CD ; Ms Chiora TAKTAKISHVILI, Georgia, ALDE ; Lord John E. TOMLINSON, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Volker ULLRICH, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Johann WADEPHUL, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Karl-Georg WELLMANN, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Marie-Jo ZIMMERMANN, France, EPP/CD

The Parliamentary Assembly notes first the lack of rules ensuring the equality of candidates when the Secretary General in office is standing for re-election. These rules would be aimed at avoiding the distortions resulting from use of the means available to the latter in the exercise of his mandate for electoral purposes, unlike the current practice in many countries. The Assembly has regularly denounced, in its election observation role, the abusive use of administrative resources by the incumbent.

Second, the recent election procedure showed that the uncertainty as to the exact meaning of a “similar status” office according to the Juncker criteria was prejudicial. As uncertainty exists over their meaning, the most abusive interpretations can be justified and the outgoing president of the Assembly can be eliminated with the determination to take over an assembly which refutes by its very existence a purely technocratic vision of the organisation.

Third, one could question the total lack of transparency of the deliberations of the Committee of Ministers on this matter, related to the voting by secret ballot.

These elections should not give rise to any suspicion.

The Parliamentary Assembly recommends to the Committee of Ministers to:

  • start, in co-operation with the Parliamentary Assembly, to give consideration to the introduction of minimal rules of ethics applying to the Secretary General and to the Deputy Secretary General when they stand for re-election.
  • clarify the meaning of the words ‘similar office’, without any ostracism on principle with regard to anyone, but taking account of the purpose of these criteria, to have good candidates at the helm of the Organisation;
  • consider the repeal of voting by secret bulletin at the Committee of Ministers for the election of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General.