Conventions of the Council of Europe must be distinguished from Partial Agreements which are not international treaties but merely a particular form of co-operation within the Organisation. Partial Agreements allow member States of the Council of Europe to abstain from participating in a certain activity advocated by other member States. From a statutory point of view, a partial agreement remains an activity of the Organisation in the same way as other programme activities, except that a partial agreement has its own budget and working methods which are determined solely by the members of the partial agreement.

According to a Resolution adopted by the Committee of Ministers at its 9th Session, on 2 August 1951, and Statutory Resolution (93)28 on partial and enlarged agreements, two conditions have to be met in order to set up a partial agreement:

  • an authorisation by the Committee of Ministers for the establishment of a partial agreement; and
  • a resolution setting up the partial agreement which contains the agreement's statute and is adopted only by those States that wish to do so

In the case of the setting up of a new partial and enlarged agreement, and for existing partial and enlarged agreements, the criteria set in Resolution(96)36 , as amended by Resolution CM/Res(2010)2 on 5 May 2010, should also be observed.

See also the Practical modalities governing accessions to and withdrawals from Partial, Enlarged Partial and Enlarged Agreements, adopted by the Committee of Ministers at its 1175th meeting, on 3 July 2013.