Comparative Table of Parliamentary TA Institutions
COUNCIL OF EUROPE - THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
Work Procedures and Methods
THE ASSEMBLY´S PLENARY DEBATES
The annual sessions of the
Assembly are divided into four part-sessions, each lasting for about a
week at the end of January, April, June and the beginning of October.
The agenda for each part-session features debates on European and world
events, and on key matters requiring action at European level. The
Assembly´s plenary debates are held in public and they are conducted
according to the principles commonly observed in national parliaments.
ADOPTION OF TEXTS
The Assembly can adopt three different types of texts: recommendations, resolutions and opinions.
Recommendations contain proposals addressed to the Committee of
Ministers, the implementation of which is within the competence of
Resolutions embody decisions by the Assembly on questions, which it
is empowered to put into effect or expressions of view for which it
alone is responsible. Most often, they include proposals addressed to
national legislatures and European or international institutions.
The Assembly mostly expresses opinions on questions or texts
presented by the Committee of Ministers (such as the admission of new
member states to the Council of Europe, draft conventions, or the
budget of the Organisation).
A two-thirds majority is required for questions such as a
recommendation or an opinion to the Committee of Ministers or the
adoption of urgent procedure. In respect of a resolution and any other
decision, a majority of the votes cast is required.
Recommendations, resolutions and opinions are published in a
provisional edition after their adoption. A final version is published
after each part-session in the official languages (English and French).
Committees meet most frequently either in
Strasbourg or Paris, possibly in Brussels when a joint meeting with a
body of the European Parliament is envisaged. Committee discussions are
generally held in camera, but the committee is free to admit anybody to
its meeting whom it wishes.
Although committees deal in particular with reports, they have
great freedom to discuss any matter within their competence when they
agree to do so. They organise hearings, colloquies or conferences on
particular subjects, the findings of which can then be used for the
preparation of reports to the Assembly.
DRAFTING OF REPORTS
In general, a motion for a recommendation
or resolution generates reports. This motion has to be tabled by at
least twenty representatives or substitutes belonging to at least five
national delegations. It is then referred to a committee for report and
possibly to other committees for opinion. The main committee then
appoints a rapporteur who drafts a report, into two parts:
the operational draft resolution, recommendation or opinion and
the explanatory memorandum.
Both parts are discussed in committee, but only the operational
part is voted on. When a report has been adopted in the committee it is
tabled for discussion by the Assembly either at a part-session or at a
meeting of the Standing Committee.