EU-UKRAINE CIVIL SOCIETY PLATFORM
RULES OF PROCEDURE
Adopted by the members of the European Economic and Social Committee and the representatives of Ukrainian civil society at their inaugural meeting on 16 April 2015
Rule 1 – Composition and membership
1. An EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform (CSP) shall be established by virtue of the provisions of Article 469, Title VII, of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The CSP “shall consist of members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the one hand, and representatives of civil society on the side of Ukraine, on the other, as a forum [for] them to meet and exchange views”.
2. The CSP shall be made up of fifteen representatives of each of the sides representing three sectors – trade unions, employers and other civil society organizations. In the mid-term, the CSP will consider proposal to reach such a composition on each side which reflects a balance between these three sectors.
3. On the EU side, it shall be made up of nine members of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), elected by its competent bodies, plus a maximum of six representatives of major European organisations representing civil society, as permanent observers. The EESC may adjust the proportion of members and observers from the European side as it deems necessary, subject to a maximum of fifteen members.
4. On the Ukrainian side, it shall be made up of nine members of trade unions, employers and other civil society organisations – three members from each sector delegated by its competent bodies according to their own procedures, plus six chairpersons of the Thematic Working Groups (arranged in accordance to the Association Agreement structure), selected by the General Assembly. Among the members selected by the General Assembly there should be at least one representative of each of the three sectors.
5. Each side (including respective sectors) shall elect its representatives in an independent manner, based on openness, transparency and democratic principles, according to its internal procedures. Should, for a particular sector, procedures to appoint its delegates be regulated by national law, such procedures are also applied.
6. Members of the CSP may, if they wish so, be represented by alternates from the same organisation. They shall inform the co-chairs and secretariat of the name of their alternate prior to the relevant meeting.
7. Each side may develop its separate Rules of Procedure, regulating its election procedures, methods of work and other internal issues, as it deems necessary, provided that they do not contradict the Rules of Procedure of the CSP.
Rule 2 – Objectives and remit
1. The CSP is a joint EU-Ukraine civil society consultative body under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. It shall be responsible for representing and conveying to the signatories of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and to the joint bodies established by the Agreement the joint positions and interests of the organisations represented there in in respect of all matters covered by the Agreement.
2. The CSP, in its capacity as a consultative body, shall respond to consultations submitted by the Association Council or the Association Committee set up under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The CSP shall also submit recommendations drawn up on its own initiative.
3. Under Article 470 of the Association Agreement, the CSP shall act as an advisory body to other joint bodies established by the Agreement, such as the Parliamentary Association Committee. Both the Parliamentary Association Committee and Association Committee shall organize regular contacts with the CSP “in order to obtain [its] views on how to attain the objectives of [the Association] Agreement”.
4. The CSP may express its views on its areas of competence in the form of recommendations, opinions, statements, reports, assessments, position papers, letters or any other similar means it considers appropriate.
Rule 3 – Other participants
1. In addition to members and permanent observers, other civil society organisations, experts and representatives of European or international institutions may be invited to participate in meetings depending on the subjects to be discussed at each meeting.
2. The list of invited participants shall be agreed by the two co-chairs before each meeting.
3. Unless otherwise decided, invited participants shall bear their own costs of participation in meetings of the CSP.
Rule 4 – Experts
1. Members of the CSP may call on the services of experts in the preparation of their work. The expenses of such experts shall be borne by the side requesting their contribution.
Rule 5 – Co-chairs
1. Each side of the CSP shall appoint a co-chair democratically elected from among its members.
2. The co-chairs shall prepare, coordinate and organise the work of the CSP, as regards both meetings of the CSP and the work between meetings, and shall co-chair the meetings.
3. On Ukrainian side, co-chairs will be rotated each 10 months to represent all three sectors consecutively during each mandate of the Platform.
Rule 6 – Secretariat
1. Each side of the CSP shall be assisted by a secretariat. In the case of the EESC, this task shall be performed by the staff of the secretariat of the Section for External Relations. In the case of Ukraine, the secretariat shall be provided by the Ukrainian side.
2. The secretariat of the joint meetings of the CSP shall be provided in each case by the secretariat of the side hosting the meeting.
3. The main task of the secretariats shall be providing assistance to members and co-chairs of the CSP, publicising the CSP’s decisions, managing the logistics of the meetings, ensuring permanent contact between the two parties and liaising with the joint bodies of the Agreement and with the political authorities of the parties.
Rule 7 – Frequency of meetings
1. The CSP shall meet twice a year, alternating between the EU (at the EESC headquarters in Brussels) and Ukraine. The frequency of meetings may be revised, if necessary.
Rule 8 – Duration of term of office
1. The term of office of CSP members and permanent observers shall be renewed every two and a half years, coinciding with the renewal of the term of office of EESC members. The Ukrainian members of CSP should not be elected for more than two consecutive terms (five years totally).
2. Members and permanent observers of the CSP may ask to be replaced on an ongoing basis by another representative of their organisation if they so wish.
3. In the case of a place of a member or permanent observer falling vacant or of repeated absence of a member or permanent observer for which no justification is provided the co-chair may, after consulting the other members, propose measures for the place to be filled by a replacement, provided he/she belongs to the same sector.
Rule 9 – Quorum
1. The requisite quorum shall be deemed to exist when at least eight of the members and permanent observers of each side are present, provided that there is at least one member from each sector for each side present.
2. The co-chairs shall verify the quorumat the beginning of the meeting and announce, if applicable, the validity of the quorum, regardless of absences which may subsequently occur.
3. If there is no quorum, the co-chairsmay agree to proceed with the meeting, provided that there is at least one representative present from each sector on both sides.
Rule 10 – Working method
1. The EESC and Ukrainian sides shall agree on the topics on which views are to be expressed, either on their own initiative or at the request of the joint bodies established by the Association Agreement.
2. The co-chairs, following consultation of the members, shall decide on the topics for the next meeting, in accordance with a jointly agreed order of priorities.
3. The items on the agenda shall be the subject of reports drawn up by each side. Each side may decide to assign the report to a rapporteur working alone or to a working group. In the latter case the working group shall appoint a rapporteur to present the report at the meeting.
4. The reports thus prepared shall be presented and discussed during the meetings. The authorities of both signatories of the Association Agreement and the representatives of the joint bodies established by the Agreement may be invited to participate and contribute to the discussions.
5. The secretariat of the CSP meeting shall propose, during these meetings, to draft common recommendations on the basis of the reports and of the discussions, for approval by the CSP. Once the recommendations are approved, the secretariat shall forward them to the joint bodies established by the Agreement, the authorities of the signatories of the Association Agreement and any other addressees that the CSP considers appropriate.
Rule 11 – Deliberations
1. Each side of the CSP shall make all necessary efforts to adopt its decision by consensus of its members and permanent observers present in the CSP meeting in such a manner that the decision shall reflect, in a balanced manner, positions of various sectors of civil society, including those of employers, trade unions and other civil society organizations.
2. The CSP shall adopt its decisions by consensus of its members from both sides.
3. In the absence of consensus, the co-chairs can propose that the divergent positions be forwarded to the Association Council, if both sides agree to this.
Rule 12 – Public nature of decisions
1. Unless otherwise decided by the CSP, its meetings shall be open, on the conditions provided for by Rule 3 of these Rules of Procedure, and all decisions and recommendations of the CSP shall be public.
2. The secretariat of the CSP meetings hall be responsible for distributing the documents adopted, in accordance with arrangements to be decided.
3. In the case of the EESC, public decisions shall appear on the web page of the Section for External Relations.
Rule 13 – Agendas
1. Draft agendas for meetings shall be drawn up by the co-chairs, taking account of proposals from the members and permanent observers of the CSP.
2. The draft agenda for each meeting shall be sent to CSP full members and permanent observers in time for comments.
3. The draft agenda shall be adopted by members at the start of each meeting.
Rule 14 – Language arrangements
1. The working languages of the CSP, both oral and written, shall be Ukrainian and one or more official languages of the EU, including the language of the co-chair on the EESC side, and at least one of the working languages of the EU.
2. The co-chair on the EESC side, after consulting the secretariat, shall decide on the arrangements for interpreting into languages at meetings of the CSP in time for the necessary logistical preparations to be made.
3. The authors of the documents forming part of the work of the CSP shall submit their texts to the secretariat in time for translation in accordance with the rules and time limits in force at the EESC.
Rule 15 – Financial provisions
1. Each side shall bear the expenditure necessary for the participation of its members in the meeting of the CSP, as regards travel and subsistence expenses, and mission and meeting expenses of the members of the secretariat.
2. The EESC shall bear the costs of translation of CSP documents into the official languages of the EU, as deemed necessary for the proper performance of the work of its members.
3. The EESC may bear the cost of the translation of CSP documents into Ukrainian, if so requested by the Ukrainian co-chair.
4. The EESC shall bear all costs of interpreting (interpreters and technical equipment) for meetings held at its head quarters, including interpreting into Ukrainian. The Ukrainian side shall bear all costs of interpreting into Ukrainian and a European working language when meetings are held in Ukraine. The EESC may request interpreting into other languages, in which case it shall bear the costs incurred.
5. Other expenses arising from the organisation of the meetings shall be borne by the side hosting the meeting.
Rule 16 – Revision of the Rules of Procedure
1. These Rules of Procedure may be amended at the request of either the Ukrainian or the EU side.
2. The necessary proposals for this purpose shall be drawn up by the co-chairs, with the assistance of the secretariat.
3. The modifications to the Rules of Procedure shall be adopted by consensus of the members of the CSP.
4. These Rules of Procedure will be reviewed at the end of the second mandate (in 2017) in order to assess the need to review the composition and membership of the CSP, as established under Rule 1 of these Rules of Procedure.
Rule 17 – Transitory provisions
1. Rule 1 shall be applied starting from November 7, 2015.
2. Until November 7, 2015 the Ukrainian side shall be made up of twenty six representatives.