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Call for Fourth Summit and harmonised rules for member states’ participation in the Organisation’s statutory bodies

PACE today unanimously called for a Fourth Council of Europe Summit to preserve and further strengthen the pan-European project in a Europe which has profoundly changed since the last Summit 12 years ago.

Such a Summit of Heads of State and Government should define, at the highest political level, the role to be played by the Council of Europe in the overall European political architecture and address outstanding challenges in its relations with the European Union, the Assembly stressed in a resolution and recommendation based on a report by Michele Nicoletti (Italy, SOC).

As part of the preparatory work, the two statutory organs, PACE and the Committee of Ministers, while fully preserving their autonomy, should engage in a procedure aimed at harmonising jointly their rules governing participation and representation of member States in their midst.

On Thursday 12 October, the Joint Committee will discuss the creation of an ad hoc working group which, as proposed by the Assembly, “could carry out this common reflection”.

“There is currently an inconsistency in the composition of the two statutory organs, [as] for three consecutive years the Russian Federation has participated in the activities and been represented in the Committee of Ministers […] only”, PACE stressed in the resolution. The Assembly concluded that the overall situation in the Organisation is today counter-productive particularly as it adversely affects its overall impact as a guardian of human rights and democracy throughout the continent.