Quick Response Mechanism (QRM)
Introduced by the South Programme V, the QRM is a tool designed for the provision of legislative expertise to support priority reforms in areas of Council of Europe expertise based on requests received from partner authorities in the Southern Mediterranean region.
Through the QRM, the Council of Europe will be able to address ad-hoc bilateral requests by partner authorities for legislative review to support reforms in thematic areas of the programme, including:
- Areas of expertise of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission): democratic institutions and fundamental rights; elections, referendums and political parties; constitutional and ordinary justice;
- Areas of expertise of any other relevant Council of Europe expert advisory body, such as in the area of combating corruption, money laundering and financing of terrorism, cybercrime, trafficking in human beings, counterfeiting of medical products, protection of personal data, freedom of expression and promotion of pluralist media, justice efficiency, combating violence against women and children.
The expertise is aimed at ensuring the harmonisation of national legislation with relevant international standards. It can be provided at different stages of drafting and adopting legislative texts at national level, including to contribute towards:
- starting of the drafting process of legal texts in a given thematic area;
- ensuring the compatibility of an existing draft legislation or a legal text with relevant international standards before its formal adoption;
- amending an already adopted legislation or a legal text to ensure its compatibility with relevant international standards.
Upon reception of a request in writing by competent national authorities, the South Programme V coordination team will facilitate the identification of relevant Council of Europe expert bodies and the follow-up of the request, including by informing the national authorities and the European Union of the process.
Council of Europe conventions and standards are recognised as a key reference for the promotion of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. They form the legal acquis of the Council of Europe, and of the whole European continent, as they are also an essential part of the Organisation’s instruments used to harmonise national laws at the pan-European level and beyond. Out of more than 200 conventions, around 150 of them are open for accession by non-member States of the Organisation which is a key asset of this legal acquis.