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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • NEWS 2006-2010

  • 12 May 2009

    Ministers for Foreign Affairs, among them Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland, Radosław Sikorski, as well as other representatives of the 47 Council of Europe Member States met in Madrid on 12 May 2009 at the 119th ministerial session of the Committee of Ministers of the CoE.

    The meeting was opened by the Spanish Minister and Chair of the Committee of Ministers, Miguel Angel Moratinos, HRH the Prince of the Asturias and the Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis.

    A Declaration to mark the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe, reaffirming and updating the policy objectives set at the Warsaw Summit of Heads of State and Government held in May 2005, was adopted by the Ministers on that occasion.

    The Ministers also decided to transmit to the Parliamentary Assembly for appointment to the post of Secretary General, with effect 1 September 2009, the candidatures of  Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz and Thorbjørn Jagland, respectively sponsored by the governments of Poland and Norway.

    The agenda of the ministerial session included also the adoption of a Declaration on making gender equality a reality     

    The Ministers discussed the state of democracy in Belarus, the only European state that is not a Council of Europe member, and the conflict in Georgia.

    They adopted Protocol No. 14bis to the European Convention on Human Rights, which will increase the European Court of Human Rights' short-term capacity to process applications. The new Protocol will allow, pending entry into force of Protocol No. 14, the immediate and provisional application of two procedural elements of Protocol No. 14 with respect to those states that express their consent:

    • a single judge will be able to reject plainly inadmissible applications, whereas now this requires a decision by a committee of three judges.
    • the competence of three-judge committees will be extended to declare applications admissible and decide on their merits in well-founded and repetitive cases, where there already is a well-established case law of the Court. Currently, these cases are handled by chambers of seven judges.

    Protocol No.14 bis will be opened for signature on 27 May and it will need the ratification by three states to enter into force. Its provisions shall apply to applications pending before the Court against each of the States for which the Protocol has entered into force. Member states may provisionally apply the provisions before entry into force, if they so wish.

    The application of Protocol 14bis, though not providing a definitive answer to the Court´s problems, is estimated to increase the efficiency of the Court by 20-25%.

    In the margins of the Ministerial Session, a Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention adopted an agreement by consensus by virtue of which states may individually consent, on a provisional basis, to the direct application of the two above-mentioned procedural elements of Protocol 14 to the complaints filed against them. This agreement is complementary to Protocol No. 14bis since it opens a second legal avenue towards achieving the same result (see the Statement by the Committee of Ministers on the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights).  

    At the close of the session, Slovenia took over from Spain as Chair of the Committee of Ministers for the next six months.

     

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