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The allocation of seats in the Parliamentary Assembly with respect to Turkey

Resolution 2058 (2015)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 22 May 2015 (see Doc. 13782, report of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, rapporteur: Mr Andreas Gross).See also Recommendation 2072 (2015).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly recalls that the allocation of seats in the Assembly between Council of Europe member States, as set out in Article 26 of the Statute of the Council of Europe (ETS No. 1), is based solely on the criterion of States’ populations, which was established in the travaux préparatoires on the Statute in 1949. It notes that the allocation of seats in the Assembly has not been adjusted since 1977 and that the Statute has only been amended in connection with new accessions to the Organisation.
2. The Assembly further notes that, since then, Turkey has seen the highest population growth in Europe and now has Europe’s third-largest population. It therefore believes that the representation of the Turkish Parliament in the Assembly is clearly too low and that, given recent population statistics, it is entirely justified and fair to grant the legitimate request made by the Turkish parliamentary delegation to increase the number of seats allocated to the Turkish national delegation in the Assembly.
3. The Assembly also supports the request made by the Turkish parliamentary delegation to introduce Turkish as a working language in the Assembly. However, in view of the major implications of this measure for the Assembly’s budget, it believes that it cannot meet the financial cost involved, estimated at €700 000 a year, without being allocated corresponding additional appropriations in the ordinary budget of the Council of Europe.
4. The Assembly underlines the clear stance it took in Resolution 2046 (2015) on the expenditure of the Parliamentary Assembly for the biennium 2016-2017 and in Opinion 288 (2015) on the budget and priorities of the Council of Europe for the biennium 2016-2017, in which it welcomes the Turkish Government’s decision to support the strengthening of the Council of Europe’s capacities and resources by offering to become a major contributor to the Organisation’s budgets from 1 January 2016. It therefore makes the introduction of Turkish as a working language in the Assembly dependent on a decision by the Committee of Ministers to approve the request by Turkey to become a major contributor to the Council of Europe’s budgets, without any counterbalancing exercise, and to allocate it in the biennial budget for 2016-2017 – and in subsequent budgets – the necessary corresponding financial allocations.
5. Accordingly, in view of the above and subject to a future decision by the Committee of Ministers to amend the Statute of the Council of Europe and increase to 18 the number of seats allocated to the Turkish national delegation, the Assembly resolves to amend its Rules of Procedure as follows:
5.1 with regard to the membership of committees:
5.1.1 replace the first two paragraphs in Rule 44.2 with the following two paragraphs:
“France, Germany, Italy, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the United Kingdom shall have four seats in each of the first six committees.
Poland, Romania, Spain and Ukraine shall have three seats in each of the first six committees”;
5.1.2 in Rule 44.1, for the first seven Assembly committees, replace “84 seats” with “85 seats” (Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons, Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination) and “89 seats” with “90 seats” (Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee));
5.1.3 in Rule 44.3 (appointment of members of the Monitoring Committee), replace “84 of the 89 members” with “85 of the 90 members”;
5.1.4 in Rule 49.3 (number of standing sub-committees per committee), replace “A committee of 84 or 89 seats may not appoint more than three standing sub-committees” with “A committee of 85 or 90 seats may not appoint more than three standing sub-committees;
5.1.5 in the complementary texts, amend the number of seats allocated to the committees in the Assembly committees’ specific terms of reference;
5.2 with regard to the vice-presidents of the Assembly and the granting of a permanent vice-presidency of the Assembly to the Turkish delegation, amend the system for allocating seats on the Bureau for Assembly Vice-Presidents (Appendix to Resolution 1379 (2004)), as follows:
5.2.1 “group I: delegations with eighteen seats in the Assembly (France, Germany, Italy, Russian Federation, Turkey, United Kingdom) will have six seats in the Bureau every ordinary session;
5.2.2 group II: delegations with between twelve and seventeen seats in the Assembly (Poland, Spain, Ukraine) will have two seats in the Bureau every ordinary session”;
5.3 with regard to recognition of Turkish as a working language, replace Rule 28.3 with the following: “The working languages in the Assembly shall be German, Italian, Russian and Turkish.”
6. The Assembly resolves that the amendments to the Rules of Procedure set out in this resolution will enter into force:
6.1 following the actual amendment of the Statute of the Council of Europe, subject to the decision by the Committee of Ministers and the procedure provided for in Article 41.d of the Statute, in the case of the amendments mentioned in paragraphs 5.1 and 5.2;
6.2 from the opening of the 2016 ordinary session, in the case of the amendment mentioned in paragraph 5.3, subject to a decision by the Committee of Ministers to allocate the Assembly the essential budgetary appropriations to offset the additional expenditure arising from the decision to introduce Turkish as a working language in the Assembly.
7. In addition, the Assembly invites the enlarged Parliamentary Assembly, in connection with the next report on the activities of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) scheduled for the fourth part-session of 2015, to consider the issue of increasing the number of seats for the Turkish delegation and adopting the necessary amendments to its rules of procedure.
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