Leo Platvoet

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Progress of the Assemblyís Monitoring Procedure

Plenary Session PACE 29 June 2006

The UEL thinks itís good to develop an overall mechanism for monitoring all the memberstates on their commitment to the principles of the Council of Europe. Itís clear that sinds the enlargement of the Council of Europe with the new memberstates from Mid- and East Europe, and the monitoring procedure these new members met, the discussion of double standards got and gest an new dimension. Itís not true that only in the new memberstates human rights and democratic principles are offended. Itís not black and white. Also the older memberstates, including the founding mothers, have much to improve. Itís a bit strange that as an observer during elections we discuss that itís necessary to have a proper identification procedure of the voters, while in my own country this is not the case at all. And much more examples are to be given. The report mr Funda has prepared is an important report because the UEL see it as a first step to an overall monitoringprocedure of all the memberstates. The report we are now discussing consists of an collection of assessments of CoE-bodies, presented country by country. To make it more fruitfull and  effective we have to consider a mechanism in which memberstates feel the pressure to take adequate measures which are asked for.

First of all we can use the mechanism that is used for the countries who are under the normal monitoringprocedure, such as a period for respond, inviting the national delegation to the committeemeeting, holding a conference in the country itself and so on. But thatís not enough.

What is necessary is that there is also a political overall-assessment of the results of each country, a roadmap to improvement and a considering of sanctions if in serious matters nothing improves. And of course itís necessary that the national parliament of the country involved takes the matter seriously and debates the report in their own parliament. The source of this involvement is of course the national delegation in this Assemblee, who should take part in this debate. This report can be the first step to an annual, or bi-annual, report on the State of Human Rights and Democracy within Europa. Not half an Europe of 25 countries, but whole Europe of 46-48 countries. I agree strongly with the president of this assembly that such a report should belong to the hard core bussiness of the CoE.

And itís just a minor problem which committee should be responsible for the making of such a report. If you look at the Addendum in which the 11 countries are analyzed itís clear that in most of them still much have to be done. Thatís why itís important to have a follow-up and to use this monitoringmechanisme as a tool, not to punish or to shame, but as a fruitful instrument to improve the quality of democracy and human rights in Europa.