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Committee of Ministers Adopted Texts

● Decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers
● European Treaties/Conventions
● Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to member states
● Replies from the Committee of Ministers
● Resolutions


Decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers

Decisions include any texts adopted at meetings of the Committee of Ministers. The Committee of Ministers meeting at Deputy level ("the Deputies") is empowered to deal with all matters within the competence of the Committee of Ministers and to take decisions on its behalf. Decisions taken by the Deputies have the same force and effect as decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers meeting at the level of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs. The Deputies do not, however, take decisions on any matter which, in the view of one or more of them, should by reason of its political importance be dealt with by the Committee of Ministers meeting at ministerial level.

European Treaties/Conventions

Under Article 15.a of the Statute, the Committee of Ministers shall consider the action required to further the aim of the Council of Europe, including the conclusion of conventions or agreements and the adoption by governments of a common policy with regard to particular matters.

Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers to member states

Article 15.b of the Statute, provides for the Committee of Ministers to make recommendations to member states on matters for which the Committee has agreed "a common policy".

Under Article 20 of the Statute, adoption of a recommendation requires:
- a unanimous vote of all representatives present;
- a majority of those entitled to vote.

However, at their 519 bis meeting (November 1994) the Ministers' Deputies decided to make their voting procedure more flexible and made a "Gentleman's agreement" not to apply the unanimity rule to recommendations.

Recommendations are not binding on member States.

Since 1993 the Committee has also adopted recommendations in accordance with its role in the implementation of the European Social Charter (Article 29 of the Social Charter).

The Statute permits the Committee of Ministers to ask member governments "to inform it of the action taken by them" in regard to recommendations (Article 15.b). In 1987, at their 405th meeting, the Ministers' Deputies adopted a message to the intergovernmental committees (steering committees and committees of experts), urging them to improve their monitoring of the implementation of recommendations and resolutions.

As from 1 January 2001, explanatory memoranda, which are drawn up under the Secretariat's responsibility to make Council of Europe conventions and recommendations easier to understand, are declassified at the same time as the conventions and recommendations they accompany.

Replies from the Committee of Ministers

Parliamentary Assembly Recommendations contain proposals addressed to the Committee of Ministers, the implementation of which is within the competence of governments.

The Rules of Procedure of the Assembly (Rule 58 - Questions to the Committee of Ministers") provide that “58.1. Representatives and substitutes may at any time address to the Committee of Ministers, or to its Chairperson-in-office, written questions bearing on matters within the competence of the Committee of Ministers. The President of the Assembly shall decide whether those questions are in order and shall transmit them to the Committee of Ministers.”

Parliamentary Assembly recommendations and written questions should receive a reply from the Committee of Ministers within 6 months whenever possible.

A recommendation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is a proposal by the Congress addressed to the Committee of Ministers and/or the Parliamentary Assembly and/or European and international institutions and organisations.

Resolutions

Administrative decisions taken by the Committee of Ministers sometimes take the form of resolutions. Recommendations adopted before 1979 were issued in the "Resolutions" series of texts adopted.

In accordance with Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights as amended by Protocol No. 11, the Committee of Ministers supervises the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. The Committee of Ministers' essential function is to ensure that member states comply with the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. The Committee completes each case by adopting a final resolution. In some cases, interim resolutions may prove appropriate.