Kazakhstan Invited to Join the Venice Commission

Nov 11. MFA

Kazakhstan Invited to Join the Venice CommissionOn November 9, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg invited Kazakhstan to join the Venice Commission.

This followed Kazakhstan’s application submitted by the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerzhan Kazykhanov to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland during his visit to Astana on October 11.

The membership in the Commission will give an additional impetus to a greater cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Council of Europe. It will also serve as a catalyst for the country’s further enhancement of effective public administration based on the principles and standards of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. For Kazakhstan to become a full member of the Venice Commission the country now has to fulfill internal legal procedures and then submit an instrument of accession to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Kazakhstan has been cooperating with the Council of Europe and its institutions since 1997. Previously as an observer-country at the Venice Commission, Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council and other law enforcement bodies have been actively interacting with the Commission seeking its expert and methodological assistance in the process of reforming legal institutions of Kazakhstan.

In 2007, the cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Venice Commission resulted in a report on the issues of transforming and developing the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner of Kazakhstan, and in 2009 in the form of an expert report on the Customs Union based on the analysis of national legislation.

The new membership will also provide a platform for a constant exchange of information and opinions on urgent issues of constitutional control execution during conferences, round tables, seminars, periodicals, etc.

The Venice Commission is an advisory body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts in the field of constitutional law. It was created in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin wall, at a time of urgent need for constitutional assistance in Central and Eastern Europe. Initially conceived as a tool for emergency constitutional engineering, the Venice Commission has become an internationally recognized independent legal think-tank. Today it contributes to the dissemination of the European constitutional heritage, based on the continent’s fundamental legal values while continuing to provide “constitutional first-aid” to individual states. The Commission has 58 full members.