Strasbourg, 12 October 2007                                                              AP/CAT (2007) 32[1]

                                                                                                            Or. E.







Article 1

Composition and Powers of the Permanent Correspondents

1.         The responsibilities and composition of the Committee of Permanent Correspondents are governed by Resolution (87) 2 on the prevention of, protection against, and organisation of relief in major natural and technological disasters, "EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement", (hereinafter referred to as "the Agreement").

Article 2


1.         The Committee of Permanent Correspondents (hereinafter referred to as "The Committee") shall meet at least twice during the interval between ministerial meetings.  The date of each meeting shall as a rule be fixed during the previous meeting.  Any Permanent Correspondent may request that the Committee hold another meeting not provided for by the Committee.  His/her request is addressed to the Executive Secretary who shall inform all Permanent Correspondents.  The request is considered as accepted if two thirds of the Permanent Correspondents inform the Executive Secretary of their agreement.

2.         Meetings shall be held at Strasbourg unless the Committee decides otherwise by a simple majority.  The Committee meetings shall be convened by letter of the Executive Secretary at least four weeks before the fixed date.

3.         When a meeting of the Committee has been arranged in accordance with the provisions of this Article, any request for postponement shall be made at least fifteen days before the date fixed for the opening of the meeting; a decision to postpone the meeting shall be regarded as taken if two-thirds of the Members inform the Executive Secretary of their agreement at least seven days before the date originally fixed.  A decision to advance the date of the meeting shall be regarded as taken only if all the Members inform the Executive Secretary of their agreement at least fifteen days before the new date which has been proposed.

Article 3


1.         The draft agenda for the meetings of the Committee shall be prepared by the Executive Secretary on the basis of the decisions taken by the Committee at its previous meeting and in conformity with the instructions of the Chair of the Committee.

2.         Each Permanent Correspondent has the right to request the inclusion of a question in the draft agenda six weeks before the meeting.

3.         The Agenda shall be adopted at the beginning of each meeting.  Any supplementary items may be added only if the Committee so decides.  Decisions about the Agenda shall be taken by a simple majority of the Permanent Correspondents who are present.

Article 4


1.         The Chair and the Vice-Chairs of the Committee shall be elected by a two-thirds majority of members, at first ballot, and by a simple majority, at the second ballot.  The term of office of the Chair and Vice-Chairs shall be one year and may be renewed once.  If the candidates to the post of Chair and each post of Vice-Chair  respectively are two or more, they shall be elected by secret ballot.

2.         The Chair shall conduct proceedings and sum up the conclusions whenever he thinks necessary.  He/she may call to order a speaker who departs from the subject under discussion or from the Committee's terms of reference.  He/she shall retain the right to speak and to vote in his/her capacity as a member of the Committee.

3.         A Vice-Chair shall replace the Chair if the latter is absent or otherwise unable to take the Chair.  If the Chair and Vice-Chairs are absent, the Chair shall be taken by a member of the Committee appointed by the Committee. 

Article 5


            The Committee shall not deliberate and decide with full effect unless two-thirds of its members are present.

Article 6


1.         The adoption of a Recommendation to the Governments shall require a unanimous vote cast and a majority of the Permanent Correspondents entitled to sit on the Committee.

2.         All other decisions shall require a two-third majority of the votes cast and a majority of the Permanent Correspondents entitled to sit on the Committee.

3.         However, procedure and administrative matters shall require a simple majority of the members who are present.

4.         Where the question arises as to which of the preceding paragraphs shall be applicable to a given question, the Committee shall decide by a two-third majority of the votes cast whether a matter is procedural or administrative in nature.

5.         Where unanimity is required, a Permanent Correspondent may, if the text is adopted, record his abstention - which may be accompanied by an explanatory statement - or approve the adoption of the text but reserve the right of his government to comply with it or not.

6.         Each Permanent Correspondent shall have one vote.


Article 7

Proposals and amendments

1.         Any proposal must be submitted in writing if a Committee member so requests.  In that case it shall not be discussed until it has been circulated.

2.         Where a number of proposals relate to the same subject, they shall be put to the vote in the order in which they were submitted.  In case of doubt, the Chair shall decide.

3.         Where a proposal is the subject of an amendment, the amendment shall be put to the vote first.  Where two or more amendments to the same proposal are presented, the Committee shall vote first on whichever departs furthest in substance from the original proposal.  It shall then vote on the next furthest removed from the original proposal, and so on until all the amendments have been put to the vote.  However, where the acceptance of one amendment necessarily entails rejection of another, the latter shall not be put to the vote.  The final vote shall then be taken on the proposal as amended or not amended.  In case of doubt as to the order of priority, the Chair shall decide.

4.         Parts of a proposal or amendment may be put to the vote separately.

5.         In the case of proposals with financial implications, the most costly shall be put to the vote first.

6.         Procedural motions shall take precedence over all other proposals or motions except points of order.  They shall be put to the vote in the following order:

            (a)        suspension of the sitting;

            (b)        adjournment of discussion on the item in hand;

            (c)        postponement of a decision on the substance of a proposal until a specified date.

7.         When a decision has been taken it shall only be re-examined if a member of the Committee so requests, and if this request receives a two-thirds majority of the votes cast.

Article 7 bis


1.                  The Committee shall set up a Bureau, whose members shall be the Chair, the two Vice-Chairs and the previous Chair.

2.                  The Bureau shall meet at the request of the Chair.  It shall be responsible for taking administrative and organisational decisions between meetings.  The Secretariat will distribute the meeting reports to Committee members.

Article 8


1.         The Secretary General shall provide the Committee with the necessary staff, including the Executive Secretary, as well as with the administrative and other services it may require.

2.         The Secretary General or his/her representative may at any time make an oral or written statement on any subject under discussion.

3.         The Committee may direct the Executive Secretary to prepare a report on any question relevant to the Committee's work.

4.         The Executive Secretary shall be responsible for preparing and circulating all documents to be examined by the Committee.  He/she shall, in particular, prepare the reports on the Committee's meeting to be submitted to the Committee for adoption at the end of the meeting. Between two meetings of the Committee, the Executive Secretary shall be responsible, in particular, for the implementation of the decisions of the Committee and, in concert with the Chair, shall take any other measure necessary to the implementation of the Work Programme of the Agreement.

5.         The Executive Secretary informs periodically the Committee of the decisions and other measures taken within the Council of Europe which present an interest for the Agreement.

6.         The Executive Secretary shall prepare in concert with the Chair an annual activity report.  This report shall be submitted to the Committee for approval before transmission to the Committee of Ministers.

7.         The Executive Secretary represents the Agreement to the other international organisations within the limits of his responsibilities.

Article 9

Meetings at ministerial level

            These Rules of Procedure may also be applied to the meetings of the Group at ministerial level provided that the Group decides to do so.

Article 10

Sub-Committees and Experts' Groups

1.         The Committee shall decide the composition and terms of reference of Sub-Committees and Experts' Groups to which it gives special tasks.

2.         The Executive Secretary shall send to the appointed experts, at least one month before the meeting, the draft agenda and any working documents.

Article 11

Specialised Centres[2] of the European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement


1.         A Centre for studies or a research institution operating in Europe or the Mediterranean may be included in the network of Specialised Centres providing that :

a.         the objectives and activities of a Specialised Centre are in line with certain aims of the Agreement and will contribute to the implementation of some of the objectives of its Medium Term Plan and to its annual programme of activities;

b.         the Centre has the necessary scientific expertise and sound administrative practices able to ensure the efficient implementation of its technical activities in the field covered by the Agreement;

c.         the Centre has an international projection in its programmes and activities, in the composition of its ruling bodies and in its target audiences;

d.         the Centre has the support and recognition from the government in which it is established;

e.         the Centre agrees to the following practices:

                                    i.          to send annually to the Committee the part of its programme of activities relevant to the Agreement

ii.         to ensure appropriate collaboration with the other Specialised Centres of the network

iii.        to ensure a regular external scientific assessment of its activities to be provided to the Agreement

iv.        to ensure that training courses, workshops or seminars funded by the Agreement comprise a significant number of participants from other European and Mediterranean States

v.         to ensure appropriate collaboration with the Permanent Correspondent of its country (for Centres in member States of the Agreement).

2.         The Committee, upon examination of a request by a Centre, may decide to allocate the label of  Specialised Centre for a probationary period of two years.  The Centre will acquire a permanent status at the end of the two years unless a third of the member States of the Agreement present objections.

3.         The Committee may, at any time, withdraw the label of Specialised Centre of the Agreement, on the basis of an audit prepared by independent experts concluding that the Specialised Centre no longer meets the requirements set out in paragraph 1 above.  The Committee may also withdraw the label of Specialised Centre of the Agreement on the proposal of the Executive Secretary in exceptional circumstances if the Centre has ceased its activities or in the case of very serious mismanagement of the funds allocated by the Agreement.

4.         Any decision of the Committee to allocate or to withdraw the label of Specialised Centre of the Agreement shall require the majority indicated in Article 6, paragraph 2 of these Rules of Procedure.

5.         The Committee may decide to organise periodical audits by independent experts on the operating of the Specialised Centres.

Article 12


1.         The Committee, on the basis of proposals submitted by the Permanent Correspondents, shall appoint the consultants requested to carry out studies or fulfil other tasks in relation with the Work Programme of the Agreement.  It shall specify the terms of reference of such consultants.

2.         The Executive Secretary may, in the fulfilment of his tasks, use consultants selected by him/her.  If appropriate, he/she may consult the Permanent Correspondents in order to draw up a list of experts.

3.         The Executive Secretary shall appoint, in concert with the Chair and following the request of a member State, one or several experts able to assist this State in case of major hazards avoiding any overlapping with other international organisations.

Article 13


1.         The Committee may grant the Agreement’s patronage to national and international events which comply with its aims.

2.         The Committee shall adopt the list of meetings of other organisations to which it requests the Council of Europe to give a contribution (rooms, interpretation, translations, publication of documents, etc.) and decide on the financial implication of such a contribution.

Article 14


1.         The Committee may, by the majority indicated in paragraph 2 of Article 6, propose to the Committee of Ministers that the observer status be given to a non-member State of the Council of Europe.

1.bis.    The Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Spatial Planning (CEMAT), will be invited to be represented by observers at the meetings of the Committee.

2.         The Committee may, by a unanimous vote, decide to admit to its meetings representatives of international organisations or observers.  It can also admit to part of its meetings representatives of national organisations, prominent in the fields of activity of the Agreement or organise hearings for their intention.

Article 15


1.         The preliminary budget of the Agreement shall be prepared, on the basis of the instructions of the Committee, by the Executive Secretary.

2.         The Committee shall approve, by the majority indicated in paragraph 2 of Article 6, the draft budget it submits to the Secretary General for transmission to the Committee of Ministers.

Article 16

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure

            These Rules of Procedure may be amended by the majority indicated in paragraph 2 of Article 6.





            The "Audit" Sub-Committee shall have the following terms of reference:

-           to present annually to the Committee of Permanent Correspondents a report determining whether the results of the approved programmes carried out by the Centres of the Agreement are compatible with the objectives of the Agreement set by the medium-term plan and to examine the management of the Centres and monitor whether the funds allocated by the Agreement are properly used;

-           to consider whether to grant (or retain) the label of European or Associate Euro-Mediterranean Centre to the Specialised Centres of the Agreement.


For each audit, the following method shall be used:

            1.1       Description of the organisation of  the Centre:

                        . statutes 

                        . structure

                        . staff

                        . premises

                        . equipment

                        . accounts

                        . budget

            1.2       Presentation of activities conducted and assessment of whether the results attained are consonant with the medium-term plan.

            1.3       Presentation of activities planned for the year in progress and assessment of whether they match the medium-term plan.

            1.4       Assessment of the real impact of the contribution of the Agreement (budgetary, networking, etc.).

            1.5       The audits shall be carried out by the members of the Sub-Committee, where necessary in conjunction with independent experts chosen by reason of their qualifications.

2.         COMPOSITION

            The Sub-Committee shall consist of three experts appointed for a renewable term of three years.  The Executive Secretary shall participate in the meetings of the Sub-Committee.



            The terms of reference of the "Programme" Sub-Committee shall be to present to the Committee of Permanent Correspondents an assessment report on whether the programme proposals submitted by the various Specialised Centres of the Agreement accord with the priorities defined in the Agreement's medium-term plan.  This report shall be accompanied by a proposal for the breakdown of the planned appropriation in the budget of the following year.

            The Centres must present the material required for the examination and evaluation by the date determined in the "Programme" Sub-Committee and notified by the Executive Secretariat so that the Sub-Committee can present its report to the plenary committee in April of the current year.

2.         COMPOSITION

            The six members of the "Programme" Sub-Committee shall be appointed by the Committee of Permanent Correspondents for a renewable term of three years. The Executive Secretary shall participate in the meetings of the Sub-Committee.




1.                              Name of Committee

Bureau of the Committee of the Permanent Correspondents of the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement.

2.               Type of Committee


3.               Source of Terms of Reference

Committee of the Permanent Correspondents.

4.               Terms of Reference

Under the guidance and instructions of the Committee of the Permanent Correspondents, the Bureau of the Committee shall have the following tasks:


a.                   to prepare the meetings of the Committee

b.                  to examine questions entrusted to it by the Committee

c.                   to take administrative and organisational decisions between meetings of the Committee.

5.               Membership

The Chair of the Committee, the two Vice-Chairs and the previous Chair.

6.               Structures and working methods

The Bureau shall meet at the request of the Chair.

7.               Duration




1.      CRSTRA Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Research in Arid Zones (Biskra, Algeria)

2.      EMHISEC – The European Major Hazards Interregional Scientific and Educational Centre (Yerevan, Armenia)

3.      ECMHT - European Centre on Training and Information of Local and Regional Authorities and Population in the Field of Natural and Technological Disasters (Baku, Azerbaijan)

4.      ISPU - Higher Institute of Emergency Planning (Florival, Belgium)

5.      CSLT -  European Centre for School Level Training in Risk Prevention (Sofia, Bulgaria)

6.      BE-SAFE-NET - European Centre for Disaster Awareness with the use of the Internet (Nicosia, Cyprus)

7.      ECILS - European Centre on  the Vulnerability of Industrial and Lifeline Systems (Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)

8.      EMSC - European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (Bruyères-le-Châtel, France)      

9.      CERG - European Centre for Seismic and Geomorphological Hazards (Strasbourg, France)       

10.  CETICA-  Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Technologies of Information and Communications Applied to Risk Management (Draguignan, France)

11.  GHHD -  European Centre on Geodynamical Risks of High Dams (Tbilisi, Georgia)

12.  ECPFE - European Centre on Prevention and Forecasting of Earthquakes (Athens, Greece)

13.  ECFF- European Centre on Forest Fires (Athens, Greece)

14.  CUEBC - European University Centre for the Cultural Heritage (Ravello, Italy)

15.  ECGS - European Centre for Geodynamics and Seismology (Walferdange, Luxemburg)

16.  ICoD - Euro-Mediterranean  Centre on Insular Coastal Dynamics (Valletta, Malta)

17.  ECMNR – European Centre for Mitigation of Natural Risks (Chisinau, Moldova)

18.  CEPRIS - Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Evaluation and Prevention of Seismic Risk (Rabat, Morocco)

19.  CERU - European Centre on Urban Risks (Lisbon, Portugal)

20.  ECBR- European Centre for Rehabilitation of Buildings (Bucharest, Romania)

21.  ECNTRM- European Centre of New Technologies for the Management of Natural and Technological Major Hazards (Moscow, Russian Federation)

22.  CEMEC - European Centre for Disaster Medicine (San-Marino)

23.  CEISE - European Centre for Social Research  in Emergency Situations (Madrid, Spain)

24.  AFEM -  European Natural Disasters Training Centre (Ankara, Turkey)

25.  TESEC -  European Centre of  Technological Safety,  (Kiev, Ukraine)

26.  GFMC – The Global Fire Monitoring Centre (Freiburg, Germany)

[1] Cancels and replaces former documents :

AP/CAT (2005) 38 rev.

AP/CAT (1997) 1 rev.2

[2] See list in appendix 3