Parliamentary Assembly

Recommendation 1696 (2005)1

Plans to set up a fundamental rights agency of the European Union

1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1427 (2005) on the plans to set up a fundamental rights agency of the European Union.

2. The Assembly accordingly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

i. ensure that – particularly in the context of the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe – the pre-eminent role of the Council of Europe in the European institutional architecture in matters concerning the promotion and protection of human rights is reaffirmed and that the foundations are laid for a stronger, more structured and better defined relationship with the European Union (EU) which:

a. recognises, on the one hand, the role of the Council of Europe as an institutional framework for external supervision of compliance with human rights as set out in its instruments, also in relation to the EU; and, on the other hand, its role as a framework for pan-European co-operation, particularly in matters concerning human rights, democracy and the rule of law;

b. anchors the EU more firmly to Council of Europe structures and instruments in these matters, bearing in mind the increased relevance of the work of the Council of Europe to the activities of the EU as a result of the expansion of the areas of competence of the European Community/EU;

ii. draw the attention of the EU to the need, when drawing up the mandate for the agency and defining its organisational structures and modus operandi, to avoid any duplication with the Council of Europe and its mechanisms operating in the human rights field, as set out in more detail in the above-mentioned resolution.

1. Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 18 March 2005 (see Doc. 10449, report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr McNamara).