Secretary General of the Council of Europe
|Secretary General of the Council of Europe|
|Appointer||Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe|
|Term length||Five years|
|Inaugural holder||Jacques Camille Paris|
|Deputy||Maud de Boer-Buquicchio|
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe (French: Secrétaire général du Conseil de l'Europe) is appointed by the Parliamentary Assembly on the recommendation of the Committee of Ministers for a period of five years. He or she 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 Member States for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress.
Although the Secretary General's powers are not clearly defined, in practice the holder has overall responsibility for the strategic management of the Council of Europe’s work programme and budget and oversees the day-to-day running of the Organisation and Secretariat.
|Nationality||Secretary||Took office||Left office|
|Norway||Thorbjørn Jagland||1 October|
|United Kingdom||Terry Davis||1 September||31 August|
|Austria||Walter Schwimmer||1 September||31 August|
|Sweden||Daniel Tarschys||1 June||1 September|
|France||Catherine Lalumière||1 June||31 May|
|Spain||Marcelino Oreja Aguirre||1 October||1 June|
|Austria||Franz Karasek||1 October||1 October|
|West Germany||Georg Kahn-Ackermann||17 September||17 September|
|Austria||Lujo Tončić-Sorinj||16 September||16 September|
|United Kingdom||Peter Smithers||16 March||15 September|
|Italy||Lodovico Benvenuti||19 September||15 March|
|France||Léon Marchal||21 September||24 September|
|France||Jacques Camille Paris||11 August||17 July|
Controversy around 2009 election
On May 12, 2009 the Committee of Ministers informed the Parliamentary Assembly that there would be only two candidates for the post of Secretary General: Thorbjørn Jagland (former Prime Minister of Norway) and Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz (former Prime Minister of Poland), thus rejecting a Belgian appeal to add two more people to the list of the candidates. Coincidentally, both candidates were Prime Ministers at the same time (1996-1997) and both are social democrats. On June 23, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly decided to postpone the election at least until its September session, thus leaving the chair empty from 1 September 2009.
The Parliamentary Assembly was angered by the decision of the Committee of Ministers to remove two of the four candidates from the shortlist: Belgian senator Luc Van den Brande and Hungarian parliamentarian Matyas Eorsi, who are both members of the Parliamentary Assembly. On 11 September 2009, reporting on the election controversy, Le Monde reported that the future Secretary General would inherit an institution that was in crisis.
- Judith Crosbie (June 23, 2009). "Council of Europe defers secretary-general vote". EuropeanVoice.com. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- Smyth, Jamie (2009-05-12). "Council to battle Russia on Protocol 14". Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- Smolar, Piotr (2009-09-11). "Le futur secrétaire général du Conseil de l'Europe héritera d'une institution en crise". Le Monde. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
- "THORBJORN JAGLAND ELECTED SECRETARY GENERAL OF COUNCIL OF EUROPE". panorama.am. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2009-10-02.
- The Council of Europe Secretary General