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What is the Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism?

The Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism (ECM) provides expertise within the Council of Europe system to respond to requests for legislative expertise and policy advice on strengthening justice, fighting economic crime and combating discrimination, as well as freedom of expression and the media, and constitutional issues falling within the mandate of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (known as the Venice Commission). This is done in full respect of the independence and functioning specificities of the Council of Europe monitoring mechanisms and provides a key support to accession processes to the EU. If there are Horizontal Facility actions in the field of interest in respective Beneficiary, the request for an expert opinion can be accommodated directly by those actions.


Who can make a request for an expert opinion under the ECM?

Ministers (and other members of the government), the speaker of parliament, heads of parliamentary committees, Ombudsperson institutions or independent state institutions of the Beneficiary concerned (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Türkiye) can make a request for an expert opinion under the ECM.

Furthermore, specifically for issues which fall within the area of competence of the Venice Commission, the European Union as well as Council of Europe organs (i.e. the Secretary General, Committee of Ministers, Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities) can also submit requests for ECM assistance.

In addition, requests for amicus curiae briefs by the Venice Commission can also be made by constitutional courts.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.