Council of Europe – Secretary general (CoE-SG)
“The Secretary General is elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for a period of five years. […] The Secretary General is entrusted with the responsibility of meeting the aim for which the Council of Europe was set up in London on 5 May 1949, namely to achieve greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress.” (CoE-SG Website, http://www.coe.int/t/secretarygeneral/sg/Role_en.asp, accessed on 25 August 2008)
Council of Europe Committee of Ministers (CM); governments and other political institutions of countries of concern, the media.
Council of Europe funds.
Scope of reporting:
Thematic focus: Human rights (particularly as comprised in the European Convention for Human Rights); democracy, international justice, rule of law (including crime issues such as corruption, money laundering and trafficking).
Reports updating previous reports may not be based on fact-finding missions, but draw information from the local CoE office or the country’s representation to the CoE (see for example CoE: Serbia: Compliance with obligations and commitments and implementation of the post-accession co-operation programme 2nd report: Update on developments November 2006 – June 2007, https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1156985&Site=CM&BackColorInternet=9999CC&BackColorIntranet=FFBB55&BackColorLogged=FFAC75, accessed on 25 August 2008). The reports on a country’s compliance with commitments and obligations usually contain chapters on its situation of democracy, issues of rule of law and human rights and its other commitments. Reports published by the CoE-SG include recommendations for the government of the country in question.
The CoE-SG occasionally runs election observation missions conducted by CoE core teams mandated by the SG. Final reports issued after the end of an election process contain conclusions and recommendations. They cover a period of several months and give account of the country’s political background, institutional and legal framework, administration of the election, political campaigning, the participation of minorities and women, observations made on the election day, the counting procedure and the results (CoE: Final Report: Council of Europe Election Observation Mission V in Kosovo (CEEOM V), 28 March 2008, http://www.coe.int/t/dc/press/news/CEEOM_kosovo_%20EN.pdf, accessed on 25 August 2008; see also other recent election observation reports issued by the SG available at http://www.coe.int/T/CM/System/WCDsearch.asp?ShowRes=yes&Language=lanEnglish&Keyword=SG/Inf&ShowCrit=yes&ShowFullTextSearch=yes&ShowDocTypeBox=no&ShowEntityBox=no&ShowEventBox=yes&ShowGeoBox=yes&ShowLanguageBox=no&ShowThemeBox=no&ShowSectorBox=no&ShowSecto#, accessed on 25 August 2008).
Reports are issued in irregular intervals. An exception are the Reports from the Council of Europe Field Offices and Other Outposts, which were issued on a monthly basis (in the second half of the month covering the previous month) by the CoE-SG until late 2005. Since January 2006, they have been issued by the CoE Director General for Political Affairs (DGPA).
English, most of the reports are also available in French.
Navigation of website:
A list of documents issued by the SG can be accessed via the item Information documents presented to the Committee of Minister on the left-hand menu bar on the CoE-SG homepage. A search engine at the bottom of the list allows searching by Reference/Keyword, Search Period and Subject (country or event).