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The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Europe, ) is an
international organisation ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international affairs. It was established in 1947 and is published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the ...
founded in the wake of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
to uphold
human rights Human rights are Morality, moral principles or Norm (social), normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, and Leif Wenar, 13 December 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyHuman Rights Retrieved 14 August 2014 for ...
,
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polit ...

democracy
and the
rule of law The rule of law is defined in the ''Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal of the , published by (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a compreh ...
in
Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both and , and is bordered by the to the ...

Europe
. Founded in 1949, it has 47 member states, with a population of approximately 820 million, and operates with an annual budget of approximately 500 million
euro The euro (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an , , or . Symbols allow people to go beyond what is n or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different s and s. Al ...

euro
s. The organisation is distinct from the 27-nation
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
(EU), although it is sometimes confused with it, partly because the EU has adopted the original
European Flag
European Flag
which was created by the Council of Europe in 1955, as well as the European Anthem. No country has ever joined the EU without first belonging to the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe is an official
United Nations Observer The United Nations General Assembly has granted observer status to international organizations, entities, and non-member Sovereign state, states, to enable them to participate in the work of the United Nations General Assembly, though with limitati ...
. The Council of Europe cannot make binding laws, but it does have the power to enforce select international agreements reached by European states on various topics. The best known body of the Council of Europe is the
European Court of Human Rights European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European Court of Human Rights
, which enforces the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
. The council's two statutory bodies are the Committee of Ministers, comprising the foreign ministers of each member state, and the Parliamentary Assembly, composed of members of the national parliaments of each member state. The
Commissioner for Human Rights The Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent and impartial non-judicial institution established in 1999 by the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, to promote awareness of and respect for human rights in the council's 47 member states. The ...
is an independent institution within the Council of Europe, mandated to promote awareness of and respect for human rights in the member states. The
Secretary General Secretary is a title often used in organizations to indicate a person having a certain amount of authority, Power (social and political), power, or importance in the organization. Secretaries announce important events and communicate to the organi ...
heads the secretariat of the organisation. Other major CoE bodies include the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and the
European Audiovisual Observatory The European Audiovisual Observatory (french: italic=no, Observatoire européen de l’audiovisuel, german: italic=no, Europäische Audiovisuelle Informationsstelle) is a public service organisation, part of the Council of Europe The Council o ...
. The headquarters of the Council of Europe are in
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label=Bas Rhin Alsatian dialect, Alsatian, Strossburi , gsw, label=Haut Rhin Alsatian dialect, Alsatian, Strossburig ) is the Prefectures in France, prefecture and largest city of the Grand Est Re ...

Strasbourg
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
.
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
and
French
French
are its two
official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciar ...

official language
s. The Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly, and the
Congress of the Council of Europe The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is the pan-European political assembly representing local and regional authorities from the forty-seven member states of the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Eur ...
also use
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
,
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...

Italian
, and
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
for some of their work.


History


Founding

In a speech in 1929, French Foreign Minister
Aristide Briand Aristide Pierre Henri Briand (; 28 March 18627 March 1932) was a French statesman who served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France during the French Third Republic. He is mainly remembered for his focus on international issues and reconciliatio ...

Aristide Briand
floated the idea of an organisation which would gather European nations together in a "federal union" to resolve common problems. But it was Britain's wartime leader Sir
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, Winston Churchill in the Second World War, during the Second World War, ...

Winston Churchill
who first publicly suggested the creation of a "Council of Europe" in a BBC radio broadcast on 21 March 1943, while the Second World War was still raging. In his own words, he tried to "peer through the mists of the future to the end of the war", and think about how to re-build and maintain peace on a shattered continent. Given that Europe had been at the origin of two world wars, the creation of such a body would be, he suggested, "a stupendous business". He returned to the idea during a well-known speech at the
University of Zurich The University of Zurich (UZH, german: Universität Zürich) is a located in the city of , . It is the largest university in Switzerland, with its 28,000 enrolled students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing s of , , which go back to ...

University of Zurich
on 19 September 1946,, including audio extracts Including full transcript throwing the full weight of his considerable post-war prestige behind it. But there were many other statesmen and politicians across the continent, many of them members of the
European Movement The European Movement International is a lobbying association that coordinates the efforts of associations and national councils with the goal of promoting European integration, and disseminating information about it. History The origins of the ...
, who were quietly working towards the creation of the council. Some regarded it as a guarantee that the horrors of war could never again be visited on the continent, others came to see it as a "club of democracies", built around a set of common values that could stand as a bulwark against totalitarian states belonging to the
Eastern Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist states of Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Southeast Asia under the influence of the Soviet Union and its ideology ...
. Others again saw it as a nascent "United States of Europe", the resonant phrase that Churchill had reached for at Zurich in 1946. The future structure of the Council of Europe was discussed at the
Congress of Europe The Hague Congress or the Congress of Europe, considered by many as the first federal moment of the European history, was held in The Hague The Hague (; nl, Den Haag or ) is a List of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and Municipali ...
which brought together several hundred leading politicians, government representatives and members of civil society in
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a List of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality on the western coast of the Netherlands on the North Sea. It is the administrative and royal capital ...

The Hague
,
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, in 1948. There were two competing schools of thought: some favoured a classical international organisation with representatives of governments, while others preferred a political forum with parliamentarians. Both approaches were finally combined through the creation of a Committee of Ministers (in which governments were represented) and a Consultative Assembly (in which parliaments were represented), the two main bodies mentioned in the Statute of the Council of Europe. This dual intergovernmental and inter-parliamentary structure was later copied for the
European Communities The European Communities (EC), sometimes referred to as the European Community, were three international organizations that were governed by the same set of institutions Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, ...
,
North Atlantic Treaty Organization The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 European and North American countries. Th ...
and the
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the world's largest security-oriented . Its mandate includes issues such as , promotion of , , and fair elections. It employs around 3,460 people, mostly in its field operations ...
. The Council of Europe was signed into existence on 5 May 1949 by the Treaty of London, the organisation's founding Statute which set out the three basic values that should guide its work: democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It was signed in London on that day by ten states:
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
,
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
, the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
,
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, though
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Turkey
and
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...

Greece
joined three months later. On 10 August 1949, 100 members of the council's Consultative Assembly, parliamentarians drawn from the twelve member nations, met in Strasbourg for its first plenary session, held over 18 sittings and lasting nearly a month. They debated how to reconcile and reconstruct a continent still reeling from war, yet already facing a new East–West divide, launched the concept of a trans-national court to protect the basic human rights of every citizen, and took the first steps in a process that would eventually lead to the creation of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
. In August 1949,
Paul-Henri Spaak Paul-Henri Charles Spaak (25 January 1899 – 31 July 1972) was an influential Belgian Socialist politician, diplomat and statesman. Along with Robert Schuman Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Robert Schuman (; 29 June 18864 September 1963) was a Luxe ...
resigned as Belgium's Foreign Minister in order to be elected as the first President of the Assembly. Behind the scenes, he too had been quietly working towards the creation of the council, and played a key role in steering its early work. However, in December 1951, after nearly three years in the role, Spaak resigned in disappointment after the Assembly rejected proposals for a "European political authority". Convinced that the Council of Europe was never going to be in a position to achieve his long-term goal of a unified Europe, he soon tried again in a new and more promising format, based this time on economic integration, becoming one of the founders of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
.


Early years

There was huge enthusiasm for the Council of Europe in its early years, as its pioneers set about drafting what was to become the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
, a charter of individual rights which - it was hoped - no member government could ever again violate. They drew, in part, on the tenets of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six p ...
, signed only a few months earlier in Paris. But crucially, where the Universal Declaration was essentially aspirational, the European Convention from the beginning featured an enforcement mechanism - an international Court - which was to adjudicate on alleged violations of its articles and hold governments to account, a dramatic leap forward for international justice. Today, this is the
European Court of Human Rights European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European Court of Human Rights
, whose rulings are binding on 47 European nations, the most far-reaching system of international justice anywhere in the world. One of the council's first acts was to welcome
West Germany West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification through the accession of East Germany on 3 October 19 ...
into its fold on 2 May 1951, setting a pattern of post-war reconciliation that was to become a hallmark of the council, and beginning a long process of "enlargement" which was to see the organisation grow from its original ten founding member states to the 47 nations that make up the Council of Europe today. Iceland had already joined in 1950, followed in 1956 by Austria, Cyprus in 1961, Switzerland in 1963 and Malta in 1965.


Historic speeches at the Council of Europe

In 2018 an archive of all speeches made to the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Image:PACE logo 75ppi.png, The emblem of the PACE The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is the parliamentary arm of the Council of Europe, a 47-nation international organisation dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy ...
by heads of state or government since the Council of Europe's creation in 1949 appeared online, the fruit of a two-year project entitled "Voices of Europe". At the time of its launch, the archive comprised 263 speeches delivered over a 70-year period by some 216 Presidents, Prime Ministers, monarchs and religious leaders from 45 countries - though it continues to expand, as new speeches are added every few months. Some very early speeches by individuals considered to be "founding figures" of the European institutions, even if they were not heads of state or government at the time, are also included (such as Sir
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, Winston Churchill in the Second World War, during the Second World War, ...

Winston Churchill
or
Robert Schuman Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Robert Schuman (; 29 June 18864 September 1963) was a Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=n ...
). Addresses by eight monarchs appear in the list (such as King
Juan Carlos I of Spain Juan Carlos I (;, * ca, Joan Carles I, * gl, Xoán Carlos I, Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón, born 5 January 1938) is a member of the Spanish royal family who reigned as King of Spain from November 1975 until his ...
, King
Albert II of Belgium german: Albert Felix Humbert Theodor Christian Eugen Maria , house = Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands ...

Albert II of Belgium
and Grand Duke
Henri of Luxembourg Henri (french: Henri Albert Gabriel Félix Marie Guillaume, ; born 16 April 1955) is List of monarchs of Luxembourg, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, reigning since 7 October 2000. He is the eldest son of Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Grand Duke Jean ...

Henri of Luxembourg
) as well as the speeches given by religious figures (such as
Pope John Paul II Pope John Paul II ( la, Ioannes Paulus II; it, Giovanni Paolo II; pl, Jan Paweł II; born Karol Józef Wojtyła ; 18 May 19202 April 2005) was the head of the and sovereign of the from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was elected by ...

Pope John Paul II
, and
Pope Francis Pope Francis ( la, Franciscus; it, Francesco; es, link=, Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3&nb ...

Pope Francis
) and several leaders from countries in the Middle East and North Africa (such as
Shimon Peres Shimon Peres (; he, שמעון פרס ; born Szymon Perski; 2 August 1923 – 28 September 2016) was an Israeli politician who served as the List of Presidents of Israel, ninth President of Israel from 2007 to 2014 and as the eighth Prime Minis ...

Shimon Peres
,
Yasser Arafat Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini ( , ; ar, محمد ياسر عبد الرحمن عبد الرؤوف عرفات القدوة الحسيني; 4 / 24 August 1929 – 11 November 2004), popularly known as Yass ...

Yasser Arafat
,
Hosni Mubarak Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak, (4 May 1928 – 25 February 2020) was an Egyptian military and political leader who served as the fourth president of Egypt from 1981 to 2011. Before he entered politics, Mubarak was a career officer in the ...
,
Léopold Sédar Senghor Léopold Sédar Senghor (; ; 9 October 1906 – 20 December 2001) was a Senegalese poet, politician and cultural theorist who, for two decades, served as the first president of Senegal (1960–80). Ideologically an African socialism, African ...

Léopold Sédar Senghor
or King
Hussein of Jordan Hussein bin Talal ( ar, الحسين بن طلال, ''Al-Ḥusayn ibn Ṭalāl''; 14 November 1935 – 7 February 1999) was King of Jordan The King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is Jordan's head of state A head of state (or ch ...
). The full text of the speeches is given in both English and French, regardless of the original language used. The archive is searchable by country, by name, and chronologically.


Aims and achievements

Article 1(a) of the Statute states that "The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress." Membership is open to all European states who seek harmony, cooperation, good governance and human rights, accepting the principle of the rule of law and are able and willing to guarantee democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms. Whereas the member states of the European Union transfer part of their national legislative and executive powers to the
European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, responsibility for the governance of a State (polity), state. The executive executes a ...

European Commission
and the
European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of three legislative branches of the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated tot ...

European Parliament
, Council of Europe member states maintain their sovereignty but commit themselves through conventions/treaties (
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
) and co-operate on the basis of common values and common political decisions. Those conventions and decisions are developed by the member states working together at the Council of Europe. Both organisations function as concentric circles around the common foundations for European co-operation and harmony, with the Council of Europe being the geographically wider circle. The European Union could be seen as the smaller circle with a much higher level of integration through the transfer of powers from the national to the EU level. "The Council of Europe and the European Union: different roles, shared values." Council of Europe conventions/treaties are also open for signature to non-member states, thus facilitating equal co-operation with countries outside Europe. The Council of Europe's most famous achievement is the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
, which was adopted in 1950 following a report by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, and followed on from the United Nations '
Universal Declaration of Human Rights The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six p ...
' (UDHR). The Convention created the
European Court of Human Rights European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European Court of Human Rights
in Strasbourg. The Court supervises compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights and thus functions as the highest European court. It is to this court that Europeans can bring cases if they believe that a member country has violated their fundamental rights and freedoms. The various activities and achievements of the Council of Europe can be found in detail on its official website. The Council of Europe works in the following areas: * Protection of the
rule of law The rule of law is defined in the ''Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal of the , published by (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a compreh ...

rule of law
and fostering legal co-operation through some 200 conventions and other treaties, including such leading instruments as the Convention on Cybercrime, the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, Conventions against Corruption and Organised Crime, the
Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings#REDIRECT Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move ...
, and the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. * CODEXTER, designed to co-ordinate counter-terrorism measures * The European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ) * Protection of
human rights Human rights are moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
, notably through: ** the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
** the
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment or shortly Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) is the anti-torture committee of the Council of Europe. Founded to enforce the Europea ...
** the
European Commission against Racism and IntoleranceEuropean Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) is the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE) (french: Conseil de l'Europe, CdE) is an international organization, international organisation founded in the wake of World War II to ...
** the
Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings#REDIRECT Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move ...
** the
Convention for the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data#REDIRECT Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data {{R from move ...
** the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse ** The
Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, is a International human rights instruments, human rights treaty of the Council of Europe against ...
. ** social rights under the
European Social Charter 300px, Members of the 1961 Charter in light green; members of the Revised Charter in dark green; non-member states of the Council of Europe in grey The European Social Charter is a Council of Europe treaty A treaty is a formal legally bindi ...
** linguistic rights under the
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) is a European treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law ...
** minority rights under the
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) is a multilateral treaty of the Council of Europe aimed at protecting the minority rights, rights of minorities. It came into effect in 1998 and by 2009 it had been ratif ...
** Media freedom under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the
European Convention on Transfrontier Television European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convent ...
* Protection of
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polit ...

democracy
through parliamentary scrutiny and
election monitoring Election monitoring involves the observation of an election by one or more independent parties, typically from another country or from a non-governmental organization (NGO). The monitoring parties aim primarily to assess the conduct of an electio ...
by its Parliamentary Assembly as well as assistance in democratic reforms, in particular by the
Venice Commission The Venice Commission, officially European Commission for Democracy through Law, is an advisory body of the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE) (french: Conseil de l'Europe, CdE) is an international organization, international organis ...
. * Promotion of cultural co-operation and diversity under the Council of Europe's Cultural Convention of 1954 and several conventions on the protection of cultural heritage as well as through its Centre for Modern Languages in
Graz Graz ( , ; sl, Gradec) is the capital city of the Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that ...

Graz
,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
, and its North-South Centre in
Lisbon Lisbon (; pt, Lisboa ) is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Grande Lisboa, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's admin ...

Lisbon
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
. * Promotion of the right to education under Article 2 of the first Protocol to the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
and several conventions on the recognition of university studies and diplomas (see also
Bologna Process The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications. The process has created the European Higher Education Area ...
and
Lisbon Recognition Convention The Lisbon Recognition Convention, officially the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, is an international convention of the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE) (french: C ...
). * Promotion of fair sport through the Anti-Doping Convention * Promotion of European youth exchanges and co-operation through European Youth Centres in
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label=Bas Rhin Alsatian dialect, Alsatian, Strossburi , gsw, label=Haut Rhin Alsatian dialect, Alsatian, Strossburig ) is the Prefectures in France, prefecture and largest city of the Grand Est Re ...

Strasbourg
and
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
. * Promotion of the quality of medicines throughout Europe by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and its
European Pharmacopoeia The ''European Pharmacopoeia'' (''Pharmacopoeia Europaea'', ''Ph. Eur.'') is a major regional pharmacopoeia which provides common quality standards throughout the pharmaceutical industry in Europe Europe is a continent A continent ...
. *Support for intercultural integration through the Intercultural Cities (ICC) program. This program offers information and advice for local authorities on the integration of minorities and the prevention of discrimination.


Institutions

The institutions of the Council of Europe are: * The
Secretary General Secretary is a title often used in organizations to indicate a person having a certain amount of authority, Power (social and political), power, or importance in the organization. Secretaries announce important events and communicate to the organi ...
, who is elected for a term of five years by the Parliamentary Assembly and heads the Secretariat of the Council of Europe. Thorbjørn Jagland, the former Prime Minister of Norway, was elected Secretary General of the Council of Europe on 29 September 2009. In June 2014, he became the first Secretary General to be re-elected, commencing his second term in office on 1 October 2014. * The Committee of Ministers, comprising the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of all 47 member states who are represented by their Ministers Deputies, Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors accredited to the Council of Europe. Committee of Ministers' presidencies are held in alphabetical order for six months following the English alphabet:
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Turkey
11/2010-05/2011, Ukraine 05/2011-11/2011, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
11/2011-05/2012, Albania 05/2012-11/2012, Andorra 11/2012-05/2013, Armenia 05/2013-11/2013,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
11/2013-05/2014, and so on. * The Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), which comprises national parliamentarians from all member states. Adopting resolutions and recommendations to governments, the Assembly holds a dialogue with its governmental counterpart, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers, and is often regarded as the "motor" of the organisation. The national parliamentary delegations to the Assembly must reflect the political spectrum of their national parliament, i.e. comprise government and opposition parties. The Assembly appoints members as rapporteurs with the mandate to prepare parliamentary reports on specific subjects. The British MP Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe was rapporteur for the drafting of the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
. Dick Marty's reports on secret CIA detentions and rendition flights in Europe became quite famous in 2006 and 2007. Other Assembly reports were instrumental in, for example, the abolition of the death penalty in Europe, highlighting the political and human rights situation in Chechnya, identifying who was responsible for disappeared persons in Belarus, chronicling threats to freedom of expression in the media and many other subjects. * The
Congress of the Council of Europe The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities is the pan-European political assembly representing local and regional authorities from the forty-seven member states of the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE; french: Conseil de l'Eur ...
(Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe), which was created in 1994 and comprises political representatives from local and regional authorities in all member states. The most influential instruments of the Council of Europe in this field are the European Charter of Local Self-Government of 1985 and the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Co-operation between Territorial Communities or Authorities of 1980. * The
European Court of Human Rights European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European Court of Human Rights
, created under the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
of 1950, is composed of a judge from each member state elected for a single, non-renewable term of nine years by the Parliamentary Assembly and is headed by the elected President of the Court. The current President of the Court is Guido Raimondi from Italy. Under the recent Protocol No. 14 to the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
, the Court's case-processing was reformed and streamlined. Ratification of Protocol No. 14 was delayed by Russia for a number of years, but won support to be passed in January 2010. * The
Commissioner for Human Rights The Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent and impartial non-judicial institution established in 1999 by the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, to promote awareness of and respect for human rights in the council's 47 member states. The ...
is elected by the Parliamentary Assembly for a non-renewable term of six years since the creation of this position in 1999. Since April 2018, this position has been held by Dunja Mijatović from Bosnia and Herzegovina. * The Conference of INGOs. NGOs can participate in the INGOs Conference of the Council of Europe. Since the [Resolution (2003)8] adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 19 November 2003, they are given a "participatory status". * The Joint Council on Youth of the Council of Europe. The European Steering Committee (CDEJ) on Youth and the Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ) of the Council of Europe form together the Joint Council on Youth (CMJ). The CDEJ brings together representatives of ministries or bodies responsible for youth matters from the 50 States Parties to the European Cultural Convention. The CDEJ fosters co-operation between governments in the youth sector and provides a framework for comparing national youth policies, exchanging best practices and drafting standard-setting texts. The Advisory Council on Youth comprises 30 representatives of non-governmental youth organisations and networks. It provides opinions and input from youth NGOs on all youth sector activities and ensures that young people are involved in the council's other activities. * Information Offices of the Council of Europe in many member states. The CoE system also includes a number of semi-autonomous structures known as "Partial Agreements", some of which are also open to non-member states: * The Council of Europe Development Bank in Paris * The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines with its
European Pharmacopoeia The ''European Pharmacopoeia'' (''Pharmacopoeia Europaea'', ''Ph. Eur.'') is a major regional pharmacopoeia which provides common quality standards throughout the pharmaceutical industry in Europe Europe is a continent A continent ...
* The
European Audiovisual Observatory The European Audiovisual Observatory (french: italic=no, Observatoire européen de l’audiovisuel, german: italic=no, Europäische Audiovisuelle Informationsstelle) is a public service organisation, part of the Council of Europe The Council o ...
* The European Support Fund ''Eurimages'' for the co-production and distribution of films * The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes, which awards the certification "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" to transnational networks promoting European heritage and intercultural dialogue (Luxembourg) * The Pompidou Group – Cooperation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs * The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the
Venice Commission The Venice Commission, officially European Commission for Democracy through Law, is an advisory body of the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE) (french: Conseil de l'Europe, CdE) is an international organization, international organis ...
* The Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) * The European and Mediterranean EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement, Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) which is a platform for co-operation between European and Southern Mediterranean countries in the field of major natural and technological disasters. * The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport, which is open to accession by states and sport associations. * The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe in
Lisbon Lisbon (; pt, Lisboa ) is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Grande Lisboa, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's admin ...

Lisbon
(Portugal) * The Centre for Modern Languages is in
Graz Graz ( , ; sl, Gradec) is the capital city of the Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that ...

Graz
(Austria)


Headquarters and buildings

The seat of the Council of Europe is in
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label=Bas Rhin Alsatian dialect, Alsatian, Strossburi , gsw, label=Haut Rhin Alsatian dialect, Alsatian, Strossburig ) is the Prefectures in France, prefecture and largest city of the Grand Est Re ...

Strasbourg
, France. First meetings were held in Strasbourg's University of Strasbourg, University Palace in 1949, but the Council of Europe soon moved into its own buildings. The Council of Europe's eight main buildings are situated in the ''Quartier européen'', an area in the northeast of Strasbourg spread over the three districts of Le Wacken, La Robertsau and Quartier de l'Orangerie, where are also located the four buildings of the seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the Arte headquarters and the seat of the International Institute of Human Rights. Building in the area started in 1949 with the predecessor of the Palais de l'Europe, the House of Europe (demolished in 1977), and came to a provisional end in 2007 with the opening of the New General Office Building, later named "Agora", in 2008. The Palais de l'Europe (Palace of Europe) and the Art Nouveau Villa Schutzenberger (seat of the
European Audiovisual Observatory The European Audiovisual Observatory (french: italic=no, Observatoire européen de l’audiovisuel, german: italic=no, Europäische Audiovisuelle Informationsstelle) is a public service organisation, part of the Council of Europe The Council o ...
) are in the Orangerie district, and the
European Court of Human Rights European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European Court of Human Rights
, the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and the Agora Building are in the Robertsau district. The Agora building has been voted "best international business center real estate project of 2007" on 13 March 2008, at the MIPIM 2008. The European Youth Centre is located in the Wacken district. Besides its headquarters in Strasbourg, the Council of Europe is also present in other cities and countries. The Council of Europe Development Bank has its seat in Paris, the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe is established in
Lisbon Lisbon (; pt, Lisboa ) is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Grande Lisboa, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's admin ...

Lisbon
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
, and the Centre for Modern Languages is in
Graz Graz ( , ; sl, Gradec) is the capital city of the Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that ...

Graz
,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
. There are European Youth Centres in
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
, and in Strasbourg. The European Wergeland Centre, a new Resource Centre on education for intercultural dialogue, human rights and democratic citizenship, operated in cooperation with the Norwegian Government, opened in Oslo,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
, in February 2009. The Council of Europe has offices in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia (country), Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine; information offices in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine; and a projects office in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Turkey
. All these offices are establishments of the Council of Europe and they share its juridical personality with privileges and immunities.


Member states, observers, partners

The Council of Europe was founded on 5 May 1949 by
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
,
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
,
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
,
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
,
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
,
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
.
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2021; Athens is its largest and capital city, followed ...

Greece
joined three months later, and Iceland,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Turkey
and
West Germany West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification through the accession of East Germany on 3 October 19 ...
the next year. It now has 47 member states, with Montenegro being the latest to join. Article 4 of the Statute of the Council of Europe, Council of Europe Statute specifies that membership is open to any "European" State. This has been interpreted liberally from the beginning, when Turkey was admitted, to include Geography of Europe#Countries bordering or spanning another continent, transcontinental states (such as Georgia and Azerbaijan) and states that are geographically Asian but socio-politically European (such as Armenia and Cyprus). Nearly all List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe, European states have acceded to the Council of Europe, with the exceptions of Belarus (Human rights in Belarus, human rights concerns including capital punishment in Belarus, active use of the death penalty), Kazakhstan (Human rights in Kazakhstan, human rights concerns), and the Vatican City (the independent state ruled by the Holy See), as well as some of the territories List of states with limited recognition, with limited recognition. Besides the status as a full member, the Council of Europe has established Member states of the Council of Europe#Observers, other instruments for cooperation and participation of non-member states: observer, applicant, special guest, and partner for democracy.


Co-operation


Non-member states

The Council of Europe works mainly through conventions. By drafting conventions or international treaties, common legal standards are set for its member states. However, several conventions have also been opened for signature to non-member states. Important examples are the Convention on Cybercrime (signed for example, by Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States), the
Lisbon Recognition Convention The Lisbon Recognition Convention, officially the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, is an international convention of the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE) (french: C ...
on the recognition of study periods and degrees (signed for example, by Australia, Belarus, Canada, the Holy See, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, New Zealand and the United States), the Anti-Doping (sport), doping Convention (signed, for example, by Australia, Belarus, Canada and Tunisia) and the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (signed for example, by Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal as well as the European Community). Non-member states also participate in several partial agreements, such as the
Venice Commission The Venice Commission, officially European Commission for Democracy through Law, is an advisory body of the Council of Europe The Council of Europe (CoE) (french: Conseil de l'Europe, CdE) is an international organization, international organis ...
, the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), the
European Pharmacopoeia The ''European Pharmacopoeia'' (''Pharmacopoeia Europaea'', ''Ph. Eur.'') is a major regional pharmacopoeia which provides common quality standards throughout the pharmaceutical industry in Europe Europe is a continent A continent ...
Commission and the North-South Centre. Invitations to sign and ratify relevant conventions of the Council of Europe on a case-by-case basis are sent to three groups of non-member entities: * Non-European states: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Syria, Tajikistan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uruguay, Venezuela and the observers Canada, Israel, Japan, Mexico, United States. * European states: Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Belarus and the observer Vatican City. * the European Community and later the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
after its legal personality was established by the ratification of the EU's Lisbon Treaty.


European Union

The Council of Europe is not to be confused with the Council of the European Union (the "Council of Ministers") or the European Council. These belong to the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
, which is separate from the Council of Europe, although they have shared the same European flag and anthem since the 1980s since they both work for European integration. Nor is the Council of Europe to be confused with the European Union itself. The Council of Europe is an entirely separate body from the European Union. It is not controlled by it. Cooperation between the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
and the Council of Europe has recently been reinforced, notably on culture and education as well as on the international enforcement of justice and Human Rights. The European Union is expected to accede to the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
(the convention). There are also concerns about consistency in case law – the European Court of Justice (the EU's court in
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked ...

Luxembourg
) is treating the convention as part of the legal system of all Member state of the European Union, EU member states in order to prevent conflict between its judgements and those of the
European Court of Human Rights European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...

European Court of Human Rights
(the court in
Strasbourg Strasbourg (, , ; german: Straßburg ; gsw, label=Bas Rhin Alsatian dialect, Alsatian, Strossburi , gsw, label=Haut Rhin Alsatian dialect, Alsatian, Strossburig ) is the Prefectures in France, prefecture and largest city of the Grand Est Re ...

Strasbourg
interpreting the convention). Protocol No. 14 of the convention is designed to allow the EU to accede to it and the EU Treaty of Lisbon contains a protocol binding the EU to join. The EU would thus be subject to its human rights law and external monitoring as its member states currently are.


Schools of Political Studies

The Council of Europe Schools of political studies were established to train future generations of political, economic, social and cultural leaders in countries in transition. With the participation of national and international experts, they run annual series of seminars and conferences on topics such as European integration, democracy, human rights, the rule of law and globalisation. The first School of Political Studies was created in Moscow in 1992. Since then, 20 other schools have been set up along the same lines and now form an Association; a genuine network now covering the whole of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, as well as some countries in the Southern Mediterranean region. The Council of Europe Schools of political studies is part of the Education Department which is part of the Directorate of Democratic Participation within the Directorate General of Democracy ("DGII") of the Council of Europe.


United Nations

The beginning of co-operation between the CoE and the UN started with the agreement signed by the Secretariats of these institutions on 15 December 1951. On 17 October 1989, the United Nations General Assembly, General Assembly of the United Nations approved a resolution on granting observer status to the Council of Europe which was proposed by several member states of the CoE. Currently, the Council of Europe holds United Nations General Assembly observers, observer status with the United Nations and is regularly represented in the UN General Assembly. It has organised the regional UN conferences against racism and on women and co-operates with the United Nations at many levels, in particular in the areas of human rights, minorities, migration and counter-terrorism. In November 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus Resolution (A/Res/71/17) on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe whereby it acknowledged the contribution of Council of Europe to the protection and strengthening of human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law, welcomed the ongoing co-operation in a variety of fields.


Non-governmental organisations

Non-governmental organisations (Non-governmental organization, NGOs) can participate in the INGOs Conference of the Council of Europe and become observers to inter-governmental committees of experts. The Council of Europe drafted the European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organisations in 1986, which sets the legal basis for the existence and work of NGOs in Europe. Article 11 of the
European Convention on Human Rights The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR; formally the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by t ...
protects the right to freedom of association, which is also a fundamental norm for NGOs. The rules for Consultative Status for INGOs appended to the resolution (93)38 "On relation between the Council of Europe and international nongovernmental organizations, non-governmental organisations", adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 18 October 1993 at the 500th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies. On 19 November 2003, the Committee of Ministers changed the consultative status into a participatory status, "considering that it is indispensable that the rules governing the relations between the Council of Europe and NGOs evolve to reflect the active participation of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) in the Organisation's policy and work programme".


Others

On 30 May 2018, the Council of Europe signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Association football, football confederation UEFA. The Council of Europe also signed an agreement with FIFA in which the two agreed to strengthen future cooperation in areas of common interests. The deal which included cooperation between member states in the sport of football and safety and security at football matches was finalized in October 2018.


Characteristics


Privileges and immunities

The General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe grants the organisation certain privileges and immunities.General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The working conditions of staff are governed by the council's staff regulations, which are public. Salaries and emoluments paid by the Council of Europe to its officials are tax-exempt on the basis of Article 18 of the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe.


Symbol and anthem

The Council of Europe created, and has since 1955 used as its official symbol, the with 12 golden stars arranged in a circle on a blue background. Its musical anthem since 1972, the "European Anthem", is based on the "Ode to Joy" theme from Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven), ninth symphony. On 5 May 1964, the 15th anniversary of its founding, the Council of Europe established 5 May as Europe Day. The wide private and public use of the European Flag is encouraged to symbolise a European dimension. To avoid confusion with the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of that are located primarily in . The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. has been established through a standardised that apply in ...

European Union
which subsequently adopted the same flag in the 1980s, as well as other European institutions, the Council of Europe often uses a modified version with a lower-case "e" surrounding the stars which are referred to as the "Council of Europe Logo".


Criticism and controversies

The Council of Europe has been accused of institutional corruption and of not having any meaningful purpose, being superfluous in its aims to other pan-European bodies, including the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In 2013 ''The Economist'' agreed, saying that the "Council of Europe's credibility is on the line". Both Human Rights Watch and the European Stability Initiative have called on the Council of Europe to undertake concrete actions to show that it is willing and able to return to its "original mission to protect and ensure human rights". Issues have been raised regarding Azerbaijan's relationship to the Council of Europe, including allegations that Azerbaijan has, over a sustained period, provided bribes to Council members to vote down criticism of the authoritarian rule of the Ilham Aliyev, Aliyev regime and support motions advantageous to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan joined the Council of Europe in 2001. Since September 2014 Human Rights Watch said that "Azerbaijan's systematic crackdown on human rights defenders and other perceived government critics shows sheer contempt for its commitments to the Council of Europe". In 2017 Council member and Italian politician Luca Volontè was accused by Italian prosecutors of receiving over 2.3 million euros in bribes in exchange for working for Azerbaijan in the parliamentary assembly, and that in 2013 he played a key role in orchestrating the defeat of a highly critical report on the abuse of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. The money was paid to Volontè in monthly instalments of 100,000 euros, starting in 2013, via four anonymous offshore companies. The payments stopped in 2014 when Volontè's bank reported them as suspicious transactions to the Milan prosecutor's office. Arif Mammadov (ambassador), Arif Mammadov, former head of the Azerbaijan representation at the Council of Europe, has stated that Azerbaijan's delegation at the council had 25 million dollars available to "bribe members of the delegations and Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, PACE generally". From 2014, Russia's voting rights were temporarily suspended by the Council due to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation from Ukraine. In response, Russia withheld its annual membership dues in the amount of 33 million euros, placing the institution under financial strain. Russia claimed that its suspension by the council was unfair, and demanded the restoration of voting rights. European Council secretary-general Thorbjørn Jagland organized a special committee to find a compromise with Russia in early 2018, a move that was criticized as giving in to alleged Russian pressure by Council members and academic observers, especially if voting sanctions were lifted. In May 2019, Russia's voting rights were restored after members of the human rights watchdog reached agreement to resolve dispute and the overwhelming majority of the Council voted in favour of the restoration.


See also

* CAHDI * Common European Framework of Reference for Languages * Conference of Specialised Ministers * Council of Europe Archives * The Europe Prize * European Anti-fraud Office * Film Award of the Council of Europe * Moneyval * International organisations in Europe, and co-ordinated organisations * List of Council of Europe treaties * List of linguistic rights in European constitutions * North–South Centre of the Council of Europe


References


Further reading

* * Dinan, Desmond. ''Europe Recast: A History of European Union'' (2nd ed. 2004)
excerpt
the excerpt covers the historiography * Gillingham, John. ''Coal, Steel, and the Rebirth of Europe, 1945–1955: The Germans and French from Ruhr Conflict to Economic Community'' (Cambridge UP, 2004). * * Kopf, Susanne. ''Debating the European Union Transnationally: Wikipedians' Construction of the EU on a Wikipedia Talk Page (2001–2015)''. (PhD dissertation Lancaster University, 2018)
online
* Moravcsik, Andrew. ''The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht'' (Cornell UP, 1998). . . * Stone, Dan. ''Goodbye to All That?: The Story of Europe Since 1945'' (Oxford UP, 2014). *


External links

*

Paris, 2 September 1949 {{DEFAULTSORT:Council of Europe Council of Europe, 1949 establishments in England Councils International organizations based in Europe International organizations based in France Organizations based in Strasbourg Organizations established in 1949 Politics of Europe United Nations General Assembly observers