COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
by the Committee of Ministers on 30 September 2004
at the 898th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (hereinafter referred to as "the Framework Convention");
Having regard to Resolution (97) 10 of 17 September 1997 setting out rules adopted by the Committee of Ministers on the monitoring arrangements under Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention;
Having regard to the voting rule adopted in the context of adopting Resolution (97) 10;
Having regard to the instrument of ratification submitted by Spain on 1 February 1999;
Recalling that the Government of Spain transmitted its state report in respect of the first monitoring cycle under the Framework Convention on 19 December 2000;
Whereas the Advisory Committee’s opinion on the implementation of the Framework Convention by Spain was adopted on 27 November 2003 and then transmitted to the Permanent Representative of Spain and communicated to the Permanent Representatives of all member states as document CM(2004)6;
Whereas the Government of Spain submitted its written comments on the opinion of the Advisory Committee, these written comments having been communicated to the Permanent Representatives of all member states as an addendum to document CM(2004)6, dated 25 May 2004;
Having examined the Advisory Committee’s opinion and the written comments of the Government of Spain;
Having also taken note of comments by other governments,
1. Adopts the following conclusions concerning the implementation of the Framework Convention by Spain:
- In Spain, the promotion of cultural identities and diversity is facilitated by the high degree of decentralisation and broad powers exercised by the Autonomous Communities in many relevant fields. While the Roma are not officially recognised as a national minority in Spain, it is noted with satisfaction that they are entitled to the protection of the Framework Convention;
- Bearing in mind the detailed explanations given by the Spanish Government in its written comments, including with respect to the personal scope of application of the Framework Convention, further consideration, in consultation with those concerned, needs to be given by the government to its policy for implementing the principles set out in the Framework Convention;
- The efforts of the Spanish authorities to improve the situation of the Roma, in the framework of the Governmental Roma Development Programme, are welcomed. Nevertheless, considerable socio-economic differences persist between a large number of Roma and the rest of the population, as well as cases of marginalisation and social exclusion;
- Special attention should be given to promoting Roma culture, language and traditions, in order to facilitate a better integration and participation of Roma in Spanish society. More appropriate measures should be devised and implemented in co-operation with the persons concerned, to promote the full and effective equality of Roma in such fields as employment, health, housing, access to public services and education;
- Spanish society is characterised by a general climate of tolerance. It should be noted however that attitudes of rejection or hostility as well as incidents of discrimination appear on occasion towards Roma and other vulnerable groups. Further preventive measures, awareness raising measures and appropriate sanctions are indispensable to fight this phenomenon more effectively.
2. Recommends that Spain take appropriate account of the conclusions set out in section 1 above, together with the various comments in the Advisory Committee’s opinion.
3. Invites the Government of Spain, in accordance with Resolution (97) 10:
a. to continue the dialogue in progress with the Advisory Committee;
b. to keep the Advisory Committee regularly informed of the measures it has taken in response to the conclusions and recommendations set out in section 1 and 2 above.
 In the context of adopting Resolution (97) 10 on 17 September 1997, the Committee of Ministers also adopted the following rule: “Decisions pursuant to Articles 24.1 and 25.2 of the Framework Convention shall be considered to be adopted if two-thirds of the representatives of the Contracting parties casting a vote, including a majority of the representatives of the Contracting parties entitled to sit on the Committee of Ministers, vote in favour”.