Statute of the EPP/CCE group
The Group of European People's Party
at the Congress of the Council of Europe
The European People's Party (EPP), one of the most important transnational parties in Europe, belongs to the political family of the centre, the roots of which are deeply anchored in the history and civilisation of the European continent. It brings together more than sixty member, associate and observer parties.
Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the European People's Party Group in the Congress participates in the Council of Europe’s activity, resting on the principle of the rule of law and on the values of human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly local freedoms.
We choose to act together as European People's Party Group in the context of the Congress of the Council of Europe, keeping in mind the experiences that we have shared over the course of history to better respond to the challenges of the future, particularly to maintain and develop relations of mutual respect between our states and their local and regional authorities.
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is historically the first European assembly of local and regional authorities. With delegations of elected local and regional representatives from the current forty-seven member states of the Council of Europe, it is, along with the European Union Committee of the Regions, the most representative European public institution of our member states local and regional authorities.
Through their activities at the Congress of the Council of Europe and in their own communities, the members of the European People's Party Group in the Congress undertake in particular to defend and consolidate freedom and democracy, human rights, peace, solidarity, social cohesion, and above all, local and regional democracy and autonomy of our local and regional authorities throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
The members of the European People's Party Group in the Congress defend freedom of expression and information, free circulation of ideas and religious tolerance. Basing themselves, in particular, on the European Charter of Local Self-Government, which the Congress is responsible for overseeing in all signatory countries, members work in order to guarantee respect for the values of subsidiarity and local autonomy. They consider the adoption and implementation of the Charter as constitutive elements of democracy. They also support the Reference Framework for Regional Democracy of the Council of Europe as endorsed by the Committee of Ministers in 2011.
The members of the European People's Party Group in the Congress consider that the Congress of the Council of Europe is a privileged political, legal and logistic framework for the promotion of the aforementioned values working closely with all of the Council of Europe’s instances and their statutory institutions, as well as any other institutions that respect these values.
B. OBJECTIVES, NAME, HEADQUARTERS
Article 1. – Objectives
The purpose of the European People's Party Group in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (Congress) is to advance European cooperation in a democratic and social manner. This cooperation will be based on individual freedom, derived from the concept of Christian responsibility, and on the principles and values of moral law.
Article 2. – Name
The group bears the name of European People's Party Group in the Congress, EPP/CCE in abbreviated form, and is designated by the expression " EPP/CCE " in the articles that follow.
Article 3. – Seat
The EPP/CCE's seat is at the seat of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities in Strasbourg.
Article 4. – Members
- All members of the Congress being members of a member party, associated member party or observer party of the European People's Party (EPP) become members of the EPP/CCE, unless they explicitly disconnect themselves from the EPP/CCE or if they affiliate with another political group in the Congress
- Members of the Congress not being members of a member party, of an associated member party or of an observer party of the European People's Party (EPP) who would like to be admitted to the EPP/CCE and are willing to fulfil their mandate in the Congress in accordance with the values indicated in Article 1, may become members of the EPP/CCE upon approval by the majority of the members of the Plenary Assembly in its next meeting after reception of the corresponding letter by the President..
- Suspension or exclusion of a member is decided by the Plenary Assembly by a majority of the votes cast under proposal duly grounded of the Presidency or of a minimum of ten members from seven different national delegations.
- Membership of the EPP/CCE ends:
- by the loss of the mandate in the Congress;
- by disaffiliation of an EPP’s Full member-party;
- by disaffiliation of an EPP’s Associate member-party;
- by disaffiliation of an EPP’s Observer party;
- by the end of the membership of the national party within the EPP;
- by the member’s own decision, communicated to the President in writing;
- by exclusion by the Plenary Assembly,
- by affiliation with another group of the Congress.
5) EPP/CCE members may not simultaneously be members of other political groups of the Congress. They must not be members of groups that are members of other political groups in the Congress either.
D. STATUTORY INSTITUTIONS
Article 5. – Statutory institutions
The statutory institutions of the EPP/CCE are:
- The Plenary Assembly
- The Bureau
- The Presidency
Article 6. – The Plenary Assembly
The Plenary Assembly is made up of all the members of the EPP/CCE. It meets at the president’s convening, at least twice a year during each plenary session of the Congress; an extraordinary meeting can be held at the request of the Presidency or of a quarter of its members.
Article 7. – Responsibilities of the Plenary Assembly
- Resolutions are valid if the Plenary Assembly has been properly convened, namely by letter, fax or e-mail and at least two weeks ahead of the date of the meeting, except in an emergency and if the majority of Presidency’s members are present. If a quorum has not been achieved half an hour after the appointed time of the meeting, the Plenary Assembly may handle business as if it has, but will deal only with genuinely urgent matters that cannot be adjourned to the next meeting.
- Under Presidency´s proposals, the Plenary Assembly approves any form of cooperation with other political groups within the Congress and other European institutions.
- The Plenary Assembly:
- elects by secret ballot the President for a two year renewable mandate. The candidate who receives the majority of valid votes in the first round is elected. If none of the candidates receive a majority of valid votes in the first round, a second round will take place with the two candidates who obtained the most votes in the first. If the two candidates obtain the same number of votes, one last round will take place. If the majority of valid votes is not obtained, decision is drawn by lot;
- elects by secret ballot the two auditors for a two year renewable mandate. If several candidates have been designated for a post, the candidate who obtains the most votes cast is declared winner. If for several posts a higher number of candidatures has been presented, the candidates who have obtained the most votes cast are declared winners;
- elects by secret ballot for a two year term mandate the EPP/CCE candidates for Congress posts, in particular for the Presidency of the Congress, the Presidency of the Chambers, the Vice-presidency of the Congress and the Presidency of the Statutory Committees. If several candidates have been designated for a post, the candidate who obtains the most votes cast is declared winner. If for several posts a higher number of candidatures has been presented, the candidates who have obtained the most votes cast are declared winners;
- votes on the EPP/CCE 's annual budget during the autumn session of the Congress and the end-of-year statement during the spring session. It examines the reports of the treasurer and the opinions of the auditors;
- approves the EPP/CCE 's Statute and decides on proposed modifications by a simple majority of the votes cast. A decision to dissolve the EPP/CCE requires a three-quarter majority of votes;
- decides on the nomination of Honorary Presidents to the EPP/CCE under proposal of the Presidency.
- discharges the members of the Bureau and the secretary-general;
- clarifies and decides on all non-explicit issues and situations resulting from this statute.
Article 8. – The Bureau
- The Bureau is made up by the Presidency and by a representative of each national delegation not represented within the Presidency. It meets during each plenary session of the Congress.
- The Bureau approves recommendations to the Plenary Assembly and to the Presidency in all political, organizational and financial matters. The Bureau submits – after confirmation - the draft budget and the draft end–of –year statement to the Plenary Assembly for approval.
- The Bureau decides on the conclusion and the dissolution of eventual recruitment contracts of additional secretariat staff under proposal of the Presidency;
- The Bureau constitutes a quorum if it has been properly convened, namely by letter, fax or e-mail and at least one week ahead of the date of the meeting and if the majority of Presidency’s members are present.
If a quorum has not been achieved half an hour after the appointed time of the meeting, the Bureau may handle business as if it has, but will deal only with genuinely urgent matters that cannot be adjourned to the next meeting.
- Bureau meetings are held in English language, if possible in French and in other languages too.
Article 9. – The Presidency
- The Presidency is made up by the president and the EPP/CCE members in the Bureau of the Congress (vice-presidents).
- The Presidency is responsible for all political, organisational and financial matters regarding the EPP/CCE.
- All members of the Presidency must be elected members of the Congress.
- The Presidency decides among its members on the vice-presidents to substitute the president in due cases.
- The Presidency elects from its midst the treasurer. The treasurer is responsible for drawing up the budget and the end-of-year statement, managing the finances in agreement with the president.
- The Presidency may vest members of the EPP/CCE with particular tasks.
- The Presidency exceptionally can take particular decisions in the event of an emergency. The Plenary Assembly can override the decisions taken by a two third majority of votes cast in its next session.
- Presidency meetings are held in English language, if possible in French and in other languages too.
Article 10. – Responsibilities of the Presidency
- The Presidency directs the EPP/CCE.
- The Presidency meets at the convening of the president in the context of each Bureau meeting of the Congress. It adopts its internal regulation. The Presidency’s resolutions are valid if it has been properly convened, namely by letter, fax or e-mail and at least one week ahead of the date of the meeting, and if the majority of its members is present.
- The Presidency:
- prepares the sessions of the Congress Bureau and best coordinates its current work;
- submits the budget and the end-of-year statement to the Bureau;
- prepares the decisions of the Bureau and the Plenary Assembly in all political, administrative and financial matters;
- nominates the secretary-general on the President´s proposal ;
- proposes to the Bureau the conclusion and the dissolution of eventual recruitment contracts of additional secretariat staff;
- oversees the work of the secretary-general of the group.
Article 11. – The President:
- must be a member of a Full member-party or an Associate member-party of EPP;
- represents the EPP/CCE in all legal matters and external relations, in particular with the Congress, the EPP groups in the Committee of the Regions (CoR) or in other institutions and the EPP;
- proposes the agenda, convenes and directs the meetings of the Presidency, the Bureau and the Plenary Assembly;
- proposes to the Presidency the candidate for the post of secretary-general of the group;
Article 12. – The secretariat
- The secretariat is directed by a secretary-general of the group.
- The secretary-general of the group is appointed by the Presidency on a President´s proposal.
- He takes care of day-to-day matters and monitors the implementation of decisions of the Presidency, the Bureau and the Plenary Assembly, in close contact with the President.
- He can participate in all meetings and owes respect to the confidentiality of discussions and voting.
E. BUDGET AND END-OF-YEAR STATEMENT
Article 13. – Budget and end-of-year statement
- Before the beginning of each financial year, the Presidency presents a draft budget to the Bureau to confirmation and submission to the Plenary Assembly for approval.
- At the end of each financial year, the Presidency presents a draft end-of-year statement to the Bureau to confirmation and submission to the Plenary Assembly for approval.
- The auditors cannot be part of the Presidency. They examine the accounts and draft a report to be submitted to the Plenary Assembly for vote.
F. PROCEDURAL ARRANGEMENTS
Article 14. – Procedures
- Unless otherwise specified, decisions are adopted by a simple majority of votes cast. In the event of equality of votes, the president has the right to exercise his casting vote.
- Voting rights are personal. Voting by proxy is not permitted.
- At any voting procedure there must be a check of the voters and a list of those entitled to vote. If one third of the assembly asks for secret vote the President has to provide for voting by use of a ballot box.
- Abstentions and null votes are not taken into account in calculating the majority.