17 May 2019

129th Session of the Committee of Ministers
(Helsinki, 17 May 2019)


2. A shared responsibility for democratic security in Europe

Ensuring respect for rights and obligations, principles, standards and values



The Committee of Ministers,

Expressing its appreciation of the unique contribution of the Council of Europe to human rights, democracy and the rule of law over the last 70 years, and committed to take necessary measures to enable it to effectively fulfil its mandate;

Having regard to the aim of the Council of Europe, which is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress – as defined in Article 1 of the Organisation’s Statute;

Reaffirming its commitments to the norms and principles of international law, including as mentioned in the UN Charter and the CSCE Final Act, to the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes, the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member States within their internationally recognised borders, which are interrelated in their interpretation and application;

Reaffirming that every member State of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and collaborate sincerely and effectively in the realisation of the aim of the Organisation;

Considering that the Council of Europe is an important platform for dialogue and co-operation bringing together 47 European countries, which truly provides it with a unique pan-European perspective:

1.         recalled that all member States shall be entitled to participate on an equal basis in the two statutory organs of the Council of Europe, as long as Articles 7, 8 or 9 of the Statute have not been applied;

2.         recalled that one of the fundamental obligations of member States is to pay their obligatory contributions to the Ordinary Budget, as provided by Article 38 of the Statute;

3.         took into consideration Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 2153 (2019) on the “Role and mission of the Parliamentary Assembly: main challenges for the future”;

4.         having regard to the importance of the elections of the Secretary General and of judges to the European Court of Human Rights, would welcome that delegations of all member States take part in the next June part-Session of the Parliamentary Assembly;

5.         welcomed that the enhanced dialogue between the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly has recently significantly intensified at different levels and in different formats, and encouraged continuing this dialogue in an efficient and transparent manner;

6.         noted the urgent need to develop synergies and provide for co-ordinated action by the two statutory organs, in recognition of their respective mandates, in order to strengthen the Organisation’s ability to react more effectively in situations where a member State violates its statutory obligations or does not respect the standards, fundamental principles and values upheld by the Council of Europe;

7.         building upon the Declaration on compliance with commitments accepted by member States of the Council of Europe, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 November 1994 at its 95th Session, and in conformity with each organ’s statutory mandate:

-               instructed its Deputies to develop – in co-operation with the Parliamentary Assembly – a clearly defined complementary procedure, which could be initiated by either the Parliamentary Assembly, the Committee of Ministers or the Secretary General, and in which all three of them would participate;

-               agreed further that such a co-ordinated response, carried out in a constructive manner, encouraging member States, through dialogue and co-operation, to take all appropriate measures to conform with the principles of the Statute, will include a number of concrete and well-defined steps, with a strict time frame fixed for each step by common agreement of the three parties, and may ultimately lead to a decision to act under Articles 8 or 9 of the Statute, which lies with the Committee of Ministers;

8.         stressed that it is a primary responsibility of any member State having violated statutory obligations to take steps toward solving the situation;

9.            called for a stronger and more structured co-ordination between the monitoring activities of the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretary General, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as of the various specialised monitoring and advisory bodies and mechanisms of the Organisation, without prejudice to their independence.