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Committee sets out detail of a “complementary joint procedure” when a state violates its obligations

PACE’s Political Affairs Committee has approved the basic principles and steps involved in a “complementary joint procedure” between the Council of Europe’s two statutory bodies – the Assembly and the Committee of Ministers – in response to a serious violation by a member State of its statutory obligations.

In a draft resolution based on a report by Frank Schwabe (Germany, SOC), the committee said the procedure, in which the Secretary General of the Council of Europe also participates, should be “credible, predictable, reactive and reversible”.

The committee agreed to the mechanism by which the procedure could be initiated by either of the two statutory organs or the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the steps that would take place once the procedure had been initiated.

This would include a joint high-level mission to the member State in question, the development of a “Roadmap” of actions to be taken, and – in cases where the situation does not improve and a serious violation continues to exist – a final decision by the Committee of Ministers based on Article 8 of the Council of Europe Statute, which foresees the suspension of a member State’s rights of representation and a request by the Committee of Ministers to withdraw from the Organisation.

The Assembly is due to debate the report in January.