The Council of Europe consists of smaller and bigger States which are represented on the basis of a principle of equality.
However, there are strong indications that, in smaller member States, the oligarchic power can have an influence on the judicial system, the media, the elections and basic principles of democracy.
This influence on politics can also be expressed in legal pressure and intimidation against anyone who opposes this drift of the structures of democratic control, including parliamentarians. It is of great importance to guarantee the separation of powers in all Council of Europe member States. Microstates are however more vulnerable to undue influence and therefore it is important to guarantee the trias politica, in order to prevent the concentration of unchecked power and to provide for checks and balances.
Growing evidence points out that the danger of undue influence of financial capital in governmental structures and on public decision making is evolving, particularly in small States like Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Luxembourg and San Marino. The Parliamentary Assembly should investigate whether – and, if so, to what extent – oligarchic power influences States or part of governmental structures and how this can harm democracy and manipulate the separation of powers.