Structure of the Parliamentary Assembly
- The GUAM Parliamentary Assembly (Assembly) consists of members of the parliamentary delegations of the Member States of the Yalta GUUAM Charter of June 7, 2001 and the Declaration on the Establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly of September 23, 2004.
- The structure of the Assembly may be changed by the decision of the Assembly if there is a corresponding application of the Parliament of the GUAM Member State.
Tasks and objectives of the Assembly
- The Assembly contributes to the improvement of the legislative framework for the development of trade, economic, cultural and political cooperation between the GUAM countries including the implementation of decisions adopted at the Meetings of the GUAM Heads of State.
- The Assembly promotes the strengthening and development of democratic institutions in the GUUAM countries.
- The Assembly furthers the development of the GUAM cooperation with the international and regional organizations.
- The Assembly consists of the members of national parliaments. In case of the termination of membership in the national parliament, their membership in the Assembly shall terminate upon the election or appointment of a successor or in the absence of such election or appointment for a period not exceeding six months.
- The members of the Assembly are delegated by national parliaments. The list of national parliamentary delegations, signed by the chairpersons of national parliaments, is sent annually to the Chairing State no later than 15th days before the start of the regular session of the Assembly.
- The structure of national parliamentary delegations is formed from at least 6th representatives (1).
- The credentials of the Assembly members shall be established on the basis of official documents or notifications submitted by their national parliaments.
Organs of Assembly
The working bodies of the Assembly are the Bureau of the Assembly and the Committees of the Assembly.
Chairman of the Assembly
- The Chairman of the Assembly is the head of the parliamentary delegation of the Chairing State in the GUAM.
- The duties of the Chairman include: preside at the meetings of the Assembly; lead the debate; ensure observance of the Rules of Procedure; maintain the order; call on speakers; close the debates; ascertain whether a quorum exists; put questions to the vote and announce the results of votes; perform the similar duties in the Bureau; forward issues to the relevant committees and act as the main representative of the Assembly.
Bureau of the Assembly
- The Bureau of the Assembly (Bureau) consists of the heads of national parliamentary delegations.
- If the head of the delegation of the chairing state is absent, the deputy head of the delegation of the chairing state takes his / her place and can preside at the meeting with the same rights.
- The Bureau is responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the Assembly.
The Bureau shall determine the draft agenda and the venue of the sessions of the Assembly, as well as the publicity of the Assembly’s meetings.
- The representation of all national parliamentary delegations is the quorum of the Bureau.
- The Bureau shall take decisions by consensus.
- The Bureau meets once a year. On the proposal of the Chairman or at least two national parliamentary delegations, extraordinary meetings can be held.
- As a rule, meetings of the Bureau of the Assembly are held in the Chairing State. The costs associated with the meeting of the Bureau are borne by the host country.
- Unless the Bureau decides otherwise, its meetings shall be held in public.
Sessions of the Assembly
- The Assembly meets once a year.
- The quorum of the meeting of the Assembly is achieved on condition that all national parliamentary delegations are present.
- At the beginning of each session, the Assembly adopts the agenda.
- Meetings of the Assembly shall be open, except when the members of the Assembly adopt a different decision.
- Each national parliamentary delegation has one vote.
- The decisions of the Assembly shall be taken by consensus.
- The decisions of the Assembly shall be made in the form of:
- recommendations to the Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the GUUAM Member States;
- directives to the working bodies of the Assembly.
- The meetings of the Assembly are attended by the Secretary General and the staff of the GUAM Secretariat.
Agenda of the Assembly Session
- The draft agenda of the annual session of the Assembly, prepared by the Bureau, is provided three weeks before the start of the session to the GUAM Secretariat for transmission to national parliamentary delegations. The final agenda is adopted by the Assembly.
- The agenda of each annual session of the Assembly shall include consideration of the committees’ reports.
- The Rapporteur of each committee shall submit a report on the main issue, accompanied by a draft resolution of the Assembly, three weeks before the start of the annual session of the Assembly to the GUAM Secretariat. The GUAM Secretariat sends these documents to all national parliamentary delegations.
Right to speak
- The Chairman shall give the floor to the members of the Assembly.
- With the exception of the Chairman and the Rapporteur of the Committee, members of the Assembly wishing to address the general debate shall put their names on the list drawn up for this purpose before each meeting. In all cases, the Chairman determines the order in which members of the Assembly will be given the floor.
- The speech of the speaker within the adopted regulations can not be interrupted. However, with the permission of the Chairman, the speaker may interrupt his speech in order to enable another member of the Assembly to ask him a question on the substance of his speech. Speeches in accordance with this procedure should be brief.
- If the speaker does not speak in substance, the Chairman calls him to order. If the speaker has been called to order twice during the same debate, the Chairman may interrupt the speech for the third time.
- The speaker on the issue under consideration is given the opportunity to make an additional speech.
- The Chairman may decide to authorize a member of the Assembly to make a personal statement. There is no debate on this application.
- If the Chairman does not decide on the allocation of additional time, no member of the Assembly may speak for more than seven minutes or more than two minutes on a point of order.
Committees of the Assembly
1 (2) (3). The Assembly includes four committees:
(1) Committee on Legal Affairs;
(2) Committee on Trade and Economic Issues;
(3) Committee on Political Affairs and Regional Security;
(4) Committee on Science, Culture, Education and Sports.
- The structure of the committees is approved by the Bureau. The members of the committees are proposed by the national delegations taking into account the balanced structure of the committees. Each national parliamentary delegation has two representatives in each committee. In the absence of any member of the committee, his / her seat may be occupied by another member of the same national delegation. However, no member of the delegation can have more than one vote.
- The committees elect a chairman, deputy chairman and rapporteur for the next year at the end of the meeting of the Committee at each session of the Assembly. Information on candidates must be submitted in writing before the final meeting of the Committee. Committees officials are elected by a majority vote. If none of the candidates receives a majority of votes, a second ballot shall be held against the two candidates who obtained the largest number of votes in the first ballot. With the equal distribution of votes, the Chairman of the Assembly has the decisive vote.
The method of voting is determined by the members of the Assembly by consensus.
In the case of the nomination of only one candidate for the position, he/she is declared elected by acclamation.
- If a seat on the committee becomes vacant as a result of the person who ceases to be a member of the Assembly, it may be temporarily occupied by a member of the national delegation to which the seat is allocated, this member being appointed by the head of the delegation.
- Committees can discuss any issues of the GUAM activities that fall within their competence.
- The committees shall consider all matters referred to them in accordance with a decision taken by the Assembly or the Bureau.
- The Committees discuss the reports submitted by keynote speakers and take decisions on draft resolutions.
Procedure of the committees’ work
- The meeting of the Committee shall be convened by its Chairman.
- Members of the committee vote by raising their hands, if not less than half of the members of the committee do not require a roll-call. A roll-call vote is taken in the order of the Russian alphabet.
- The Committee may work if one-third of its members are present but the election or vote on the report as a whole is valid only if the majority of the committee members are present.
- The chairman of the committee can take part in the discussion and can vote but he has no decisive vote.
- Unless the Committee decides otherwise, its meetings shall be held in public.
- At the meeting of the committee, a person who is not a member of the committee may be heard as an expert. If the committee agrees, such a person may participate in the discussion at the discretion of the Chairman.
- A protocol is drawing up for each committee’s meeting.
Reports of committees
- The committees elect a rapporteur who is responsible for preparing a report for the committee and submitting a corresponding draft resolution. The Committee discusses the report and adopts a resolution for approval by the Assembly. The final report of the committee includes the main text.
- The Assembly shall vote only on the main text. It should be presented in the form of a draft declaration based on resolutions adopted by the committees.
Languages of the Assembly
The official languages of the Assembly are English and Russian.
Reports on meetings of the Assembly, the Bureau and Committees containing information on participants and taken decisions are kept in the GUAM Secretariat. National delegations receive the copies of reports.
Mutual relations of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly with other GUAM Bodies
- The relationship between the GUAM PA and other GUAM bodies is based on the provisions of the Yalta GUUAM Charter of June 7, 2001.
- The GUAM PA in cooperation with other GUAM bodies may organize joint activities with the view of further development of cooperation within the GUAM.
- At the invitation of other GUAM bodies, representatives of the GUAM PA may take part in their meetings and exchange information. At the invitation of the Assembly, representatives of other GUAM bodies may participate in open sessions of the Assembly.
- By the decision of the Assembly, the observer status in the Assembly may be granted to the parliaments of the states having the observer status in the GUAM.
- The observer status in the Assembly may be granted to international and regional organizations on the basis of consensus of all national parliamentary delegations.
- The authorized representatives of observers may attend meetings of the Assembly, have the right to speak but have no voting rights.
Representatives of parliaments, governments of other countries, international organizations and business circles may attend the meetings of the Assembly at the invitation of the Chairman of the Assembly subject to agreement with national parliamentary delegations.
Amendment of the Rules of Procedure
- Each national parliamentary delegation may initiate a proposal to amend and supplement these Rules of Procedure.
- The Chairman of the Assembly submits the proposal on introducing amendments and additions to the Rules of Procedure for consideration by the Bureau.
- Amendments and additions to the Rules of Procedure approved by the Bureau are adopted at the meeting of the Assembly by the consensus of national parliamentary delegations.
(1) Resolution of the GUAM PA on amending the Rules of Procedure of the GUUAM Parliamentary Assembly of December 20, 2012 (in Russian).
(2) Resolution of the GUAM PA on amending the Rules of Procedure of the GUUAM Parliamentary Assembly of November 9, 2009 (in Russian).
(3) Resolution of the GUAM PA on amending the Rules of Procedure of the GUUAM Parliamentary Assembly of December 15, 2016 (in Russian).