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Convention-Rules

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ESA COUNCILRULES OF PROCEDURE


I. Composition


II. Chairmanship
of the Council



III. Bureau of the Council



IV. Meetings



V. Functions of the Chairman
and and Conduct of Business
VI. Languages


VII. Minutes



VIII. Observers



IX. Subordinate Bodies




X. Final Provisions

I. COMPOSITION

Rule 1

  1. The Council is composed of representatives of Member States of the Agency. It shall meet either at delegate level or at ministerial level.

  2. Each Member State may be represented in principle by not more than two delegates. Participation as a delegate will be subject to production of credentials issued by the competent national authority. A delegate shall continue to hold the position until such time as the Director General is notified of the termination of his appointment.

Rule 2

Each Member State may nominate in writing alternates of delegates. The alternates shall continue to hold the position until such time as the Director General is notified of the termination of their appointment.

Rule 3

The delegates  may be accompanied by advisers. The names and professions of advisers shall be notified to the Director General before they take part in the work of any meeting of the Council.

Rule 4

At the beginning of a meeting, the Director General shall circulate a list of participants based on information received from the Member States in accordance with Rules 1, 2 and 3 above.


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II. CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE COUNCIL

Rule 5

  1. The Council shall elect from among its members for two years a Chairman and two Vice-chairmen, who may be re-elected once for a further year. The terms of office of the Chairman and of his Vice-chairmen shall begin on 1 July of the year of the election.

  2. If the Chairman is unable to fulfil his functions, a Vice-Chairman shall take the Chair in his stead.

  3. If the Chairman is unable to call upon one of the Vice-chairmen, the senior, or, in the case of equal seniority, the elder of the Vice-chairmen shall take the Chair.

  4. The provisions of paragraph 3 of this Rule shall also apply in the event of resignation or decease of the Chairman. In such case the Vice-Chairman shall act as Chairman until the end of the term of office of the original Chairman, unless the Council decides to appoint a new Chairman.

  5. A Vice-chairman acting as Chairman shall have the same powers and duties as the Chairman.

Rule 6

  1. The Chairman shall conduct the discussions of the Council. He shall not have the capacity of a delegate of a Member State. In the exercise of his functions he remains under the authority of the Council.

  2. The Member State of which a delegate exercises the functions of Chairman shall appoint a delegate in his stead for the duration of his functions as Chairman.

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III. BUREAU OF THE COUNCIL

Rule 7

The Chairman shall be assisted by a Bureau consisting of himself and one authorised representative per Member State of the Agency. Each representative may be accompanied by an adviser. The names of these representatives and advisers shall be notified to the Director General before they attend any
meeting of the Bureau. When questions on the Council's agenda concern a subordinate body of the Council or another Committee, the Chairman of the Council may also invite the Chairman of the said subordinate body or Committee to attend the Bureau meeting. He may likewise invite to the meeting the Vice-Chairmen of the Council.

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IV. MEETINGS

Rule 8

  1. The Council shall meet as and when required and at least twice a year. The meetings shall be held at the Agency's Headquarters, unless the Council decides otherwise.

  2. The Council shall at each meeting determine the date of its next meeting. When necessary the Chairman may, in agreement with the Director General, alter the date fixed for a meeting.

  3. The Chairman may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council, either on his own initiative or on a joint request from at least three Member States.

  4. Meetings of the Council shall not be held in public unless otherwise decided by the Council.

  5. To deal with matters of particular confidentiality, the Council shall meet in restricted meeting.

Rule 9

  1. After consultation with the Chairman, the Director General shall prepare a draft agenda which shall be circulated to Member States not later than a fortnight before each meeting. This draft agenda shall comprise, in particular, matters which at a previous meeting the Council has decided to include, any matter whose insertion a delegation may have requested either during a previous meeting or in a letter addressed to the Director General not later than three weeks before the meeting, matters proposed by the subordinate bodies or the other committees of the Agency and matters that the Director General may deem it necessary to submit to the Council. Documents concerning matters on the draft agenda must be circulated to Member States not later than a fortnight before each meeting.

  2. The draft agenda referred to in paragraph 1 above shall be discussed and adopted by the Council, after any necessary modifications, immediately after the opening of the meeting. Other items may be added to the draft agenda but a decision may be taken on them only if all delegations agree.

  3. In the case of an extraordinary meeting, a detailed description of the items to be discussed shall be circulated with the notice convening the meeting; all documents concerning the meeting shall be circulated at least ten days before the date of the extraordinary meeting.

Rule 10

  1. When the Council meets at ministerial level, the draft agenda shall be drawn up by the Director General, after consultation with the Chairman of the Council and with the minister who chaired the previous ministerial meeting. The other provisions of Rule 9 above are applicable mutatis mutandis.

  2. When the Council meets at ministerial level, it shall elect a Chairman for the duration of the meeting. The provisions of Section V of these Rules relating to the functions of the Chairman and the conduct of business shall be applicable mutatis mutandis throughout the meeting.

  3. A ministerial meeting shall formally be convened by the minister who chaired the previous ministerial meeting.

Rule 11

  1. The Director General shall be Secretary of the Council; he may designate a member of the staff of the Agency to exercise this function in his stead.

  2. The Director General and the staff members of the Agency designated by him shall attend the meetings of the Council unless the Council decides otherwise. The Director General, or a staff member designated by him as his representative, may submit to the Council, orally or in writing, statements on any matter before it.

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V. FUNCTIONS OF THE CHAIRMAN AND CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

Rule 12

The Chairman shall, subject to the provisions of these Rules, control the proceedings of the Council and maintain order during its meetings. He shall declare the opening and closing of each meeting, direct the discussions and, if necessary, sum them up, ensure observance of these Rules, accord or
withdraw the right to speak, decide points of order, put proposals to the vote and announce decisions. He may propose adjournment or closure of the debate, or adjournment or suspension of a meeting. He shall ascertain before each vote that a quorum is present.

Rule 13

No one shall take the floor in the Council without first having obtained the Chairman's authorisation. Subject to the provisions of Rule 14, the Chairman shall call upon the speakers in the order in which they have asked to speak. The Chairman may call to order a speaker whose remarks have no bearing
on the subject at issue.

Rule 14

  1. During the meeting, a delegate may move a point of order. The Chairman shall give an immediate ruling on this motion. Any delegate may appeal against the Chairman's ruling, in which case the appeal shall be debated and put to the vote. Unless the appeal is upheld by a majority of delegations present and voting, the Chairman's ruling shall stand. Delegates speaking on a point of order may not deal with the substance of the point at issue.

  2. Priority over all other propositions or motions shall be given, in the following order, to motions for :

(a) suspending the sitting,
(b) closing the sitting,
(c) adjourning the question under discussion,
(d) closure of the debate on the question under discussion.

Rule 15

Any proposal in its final form shall be put to the vote. It shall be submitted to the meeting in writing if a delegate so requests. In such case the Chairman shall not put the proposal to the meeting until delegates so desiring are in possession of the text of the proposal.

Rule 16

  1. Whenever an amendment to a proposal is moved, the amendment shall be put to the vote first. If two or more amendments are moved the Council shall vote first on the one which the Chairman rules to be in substance farthest from the original proposal. Where adoption of one amendment necessarily implies rejection of another amendment, the latter shall not be put to the vote.

  2. Any delegate may request that parts of an amendment be put to the vote separately. If this request meets with objection, the motion to split the amendment shall be put to the vote.

  3. If a delegation so requests, the Council shall then vote on the final amended proposal.

  4. Where two or more proposals are moved in respect of one and the same matter, these proposals shall, unless the Council decides otherwise, be put to the vote in the order in which they were moved. After each vote the Council may decide whether or not to vote on the next proposal.

Rule 17

  1. Each Member State shall have one vote in the Council except:
(a) on questions concerning exclusively an accepted optional programme in which it does not take part, unless all other participating States decide otherwise;
(b) where the amount of its arrears of contributions to the Agency in respect of all activities and programmes in which it participates exceeds the assessed amount of its contributions for the current financial year; the Member State may be authorised to vote if a two-thirds majority of all Member States considers that the non-payment of contributions is due to circumstances beyond its control;
(c) on questions relating exclusively to an optional programme in which its participates, if the amount of arrears of its contributions to that programme exceeds the assessed amount of its contributions to that programme for the current financial year; the Member State may, however, be authorised to vote if a two-thirds majority of all participating States considers that the non-payment of contributions is due to circumstances beyond its control;
(d) on questions relating specifically to rights or obligations of ELDO, if the Member State is not a Member of ELDO.
  1. A non-member State may have a vote where provided in any arrangement concluded between it and the Agency.

Rule 18

  1. The presence of delegates from a majority of Member States shall be necessary to constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Council. On questions relating exclusively to an optional programme a quorum shall be constituted by the presence of a majority of participating Member States. On questions relating to rights or obligations of ELDO a quorum shall be constituted by the presence of a majority of ELDO Member States.

  2. The Council shall vote under the majority conditions provided for in the relevant Conventions and their annexes.

  3. Delegates shall normally vote by a show of hands, except that any delegate may request a roll call, which shall then be taken in the French alphabetical order of the names of the Member States, beginning with the delegation that requested the roll call. In order to determine unanimity or the majorities stipulated, account shall not be taken of a Member State not having the right to vote. When a decision is to be taken by a simple majority of Member States represented and voting, an abstention shall not count as a vote.

  4. The result of all votes shall be included in the minutes referred to in Rule 21.

Rule 19

Once a proposal has been accepted or rejected by the Council, it shall not be permissible to request reexamination within a period of twelve months, except with the consent of the same majority as was necessary for the original decision. After such a period, reexamination may be proposed by any Member State or by the Director General.

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VI. LANGUAGES

Rule 20

The use of languages in the meetings of the Council, as in other committees of the Agency, is governed by the provisions of Resolution No.8 attached to the Final Act of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries for the establishment of a European Space Agency (...).

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VII. MINUTES

Rule 21

1. After each meeting of the Council the Director General shall prepare draft summary minutes giving the substance of the discussions and recording the conclusions reached.
2. The draft minutes shall be circulated as soon as possible after the end of the meeting.
3. Proposals for amendments to the draft minutes shall be sent by delegations to the Director General in writing within three weeks after the date of their communication. Proposed amendments shall be circulated to Member States before the following meeting of the Council. Exceptionally, if all other delegations agree, oral amendments may be proposed by a delegation.
4. (a) Where a decision is challenged by one or more delegations and, on reference to the tape recording, the decision is found to have been wrongly reported and there is no difference of opinion between delegations on the point, a corrigendum to the draft minutes shall be issued
(b) Where the record of what was decided is borne out by the tape recording of the discussion but the delegation(s) maintain position, the Chairman of the Council shall, in consultation with the delegation(s) concerned, formulate the decision, which shall then hold good until the following meeting of the Council. This procedure shall not, however, be applied to decisions requiring special majority votes, which shall be dealt with under (c) below.
(c) Where a tape recording of the decision is not available or is for any reason unclear, and in all cases of decisions special majority votes, the matter shall be referred to the next meeting of the Council
5. At the beginning of each meeting the draft minutes of the previous meeting, after consideration of any amendments submitted, shall be approved by the Council.

Rule 22

The Council shall decide upon press releases concerning its proceeding and conclusions.


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VIII. OBSERVERS

Rule 23

  1. The Council may, by unanimous decision grant observer status to Governments of non-member States and international organisations. This status includes the right to be represented in meetings of the Council.

  2. International organisations, institutions of Member and non-member States, as well as individual experts may, with the agreement of all delegations, be invited to be represented in a meeting of the Council or in the discussion of individual items on the agenda of a Council meeting.

  3. Attendance under paragraphs 1 and 2 shall in no way convey the right to vote.

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IX. SUBORDINATE BODIES

Rule 24

  1. The Council may establish such subordinate bodies as may be necessary for the purposes of the Agency.

  2. The establishment and terms of reference of such bodies, and the cases in which they have powers of decision, shall be determined by the Council by a two-thirds majority of all Member States.

  3. The chairman or expert-rapporteur of a committee or working group who is not a delegate shall be invited to attend meetings of the Council and participate in its discussions without the right to vote when business relating to the work of his committee or working group, or to any documentation connected therewith, is before the Council.

X. FINAL PROVISIONS

Rule 25

The present Rules of Procedure may be amended by a decision of the Council.

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