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Council Of Europe: Costs Of Russian Accession

Volume 569: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1996

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the estimated cost to the Council of Europe of (a) the accession of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe and (b) the ratification by the Russian Federation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The provisional direct cost, as estimated by the Council of Europe Secretariat, is (a) 2.5 million French francs and (b) 1 million French francs for 1996. But these figures arc standard costings for acceding states. Russia will, however, additionally contribute about 31 million French francs to the Ordinary (General) Budget in 1996, which will more than offset these initial estimated costs. Future years will be the subject of budget negotiations between all member states.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What is the estimated cost to the United Kingdom of (a) the accession of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe and (b) the ratification by the Russian Federation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In cash terms, we cannot estimate the cost to the United Kingdom. However, in 1996, we shall contribute 15.58 per cent. of the Ordinary (General) Budget of the Council of Europe, which also finances the costs of the Human Rights institutions.

asked Her Majesty's Government:How it is proposed to cover any increase in expenditure incurred by the European Commission and the European Court of Human Rights as a result of the ratification by the Russian Federation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

It is too early to say. We do not expect Russian ratification of the ECHR to have a noticeable effect on expenditure by the Human Rights institutions initially. But Russia is expected to contribute about 31 million French francs to the Ordinary (General) Budget of the Council of Europe in 1996, which should help to cover any additional costs that might accrue this year. Future years will be the subject of budget negotiations between all member states. But we shall continue to look to the Council of Europe to prioritise its activities before considering any increases to the budget.