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New procedure for selecting which Council of Europe states should face 'periodic review'

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PACE's Monitoring Committee has decided that it will select the order of countries for "periodic review" on substantive grounds based on findings by the Assembly and other Council of Europe monitoring bodies, as well as "questions raised by members of the committee, international and national civil society and the media".

In a decision made today, the committee said it would aim to select between two and three countries every year for "periodic review", depending on its expected workload and available resources.

Under the new selection procedure, the committee's Chair will prepare a shortlist of at least five member States based on the new criteria, and the committee will vote individually on each one - with the countries receiving the most votes included on a final list. This list would then be confirmed by the committee in a separate vote.

"Periodic review" is an assessment of whether a state is fulfilling its obligation to uphold the Council of Europe's human rights and democratic standards, and applies to all member States that are not under a full monitoring procedure or engaged in “post-monitoring dialogue”.

Currently, 33 of the Council of Europe's 47 member States fall into this category, with the rest subject to more frequent assessments in greater depth via the full monitoring procedure (11 states) or "post-monitoring dialogue" (3 states).