In the event of a challenge to the credentials of a national delegation, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) may not question the right of Assembly members to take part in the election of senior Council of Europe officials.
This is underlined by the Committee on Rules of Procedure in an opinion adopted today, recalling that, as they stand, the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure do not contradict, in any of their provisions, either the Statute of the Council of Europe or the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the application or interpretation of the Rules shall not conflict with the letter or spirit of statutory or contractual provisions.
Indeed, the rights of participation or representation in the activities of the Assembly and its bodies which may be subject to deprivation or suspension are not listed in the Rules of Procedure, but in an opinion which the Committee on Rules of Procedure approved in 2014, and which aims to provide a framework for the Assembly's decision when it decides on a challenge to credentials.
Finally, the committee recalls that only members of the Assembly, belonging to delegations whose credentials have been duly ratified by the Assembly, may take part in the election of senior officials of the Council of Europe.
This opinion on the sanctions list is in response to a 22 November request from the Bureau of the Assembly and has immediate effect.