Strasbourg, 21.05.2010 - The Assembly elected the Council of Europe’s new Secretary General, Thorbjorn Jagland, by a significant majority, with a clear mandate to pursue reform, and should now aim to assist him in implementing the institutional improvements he envisages, the Assembly said today.
Given the current difficulties, 2011 must therefore be regarded as a year of transition, the parliamentarians believe. For this reason, the Assembly endorses the Secretary General’s request that it cut its expenditure by about 2 per cent compared to last year, to cope with the current budget deficits in the context of the “zero real growth” fixed by the member states.
The report prepared by Erol Aslan Cebeci (Assembly should remain vigilant regarding the choices and priorities proposed by the Secretary General and approved by the Committee of Ministers. In addition to its core activities, parliamentary assistance programmes will continue to be a priority for the Assembly. Modernising the Assembly’s debating chamber with “video-wall” screens, an updated voting system, cameras for webcasting and better lighting will also be necessary.