Flag of the Council of Europe (CoE)

Council of Europe (CoE)
  • Acronym: CoE
  • Type: Intergovernmental Organization
  • Membership: 47 member states, 6 observer states
  • Establishment: Established on 5 May 1949
  • Official Language(s): English, French
  • Headquarters: Strasbourg, France

The Council of Europe (CoE) is a leading human rights organization whose mission is to uphold human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Europe. It seeks to achieve greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realizing the ideals and principles which are their common heritage.

Council of Europe History

The Council of Europe was established in the aftermath of World War II to foster peace, democracy, and cooperation in Europe. The founding treaty, the Statute of the Council of Europe, was signed in London on 5 May 1949 by ten states. It was the first step in a process that would lead to the creation of a broad and dynamic community of nations dedicated to the promotion of shared values and common initiatives.

Council of Europe Structure

The Council of Europe’s main decision-making bodies are the Committee of Ministers, composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of each member state, and the Parliamentary Assembly, composed of members of the national parliaments of the member states. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities ensures that the voices of local and regional authorities are heard. The European Court of Human Rights is an independent judiciary body established to enforce the European Convention on Human Rights.

Council of Europe Membership

Membership in the Council of Europe is open to all European countries which accept the principle of the rule of law and guarantee fundamental human rights and freedoms to their citizens. The organization currently has 47 member states, covering virtually the entire European continent.

Council of Europe Objectives

Human Rights Protection

The CoE is committed to protecting human rights, as embodied in the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights oversees the implementation of the Convention in the member states.

Democratic Development

The Council of Europe promotes the development of democratic institutions and practices. It offers expertise and initiatives to strengthen the democratic processes in member states.

Rule of Law

The CoE is dedicated to upholding the rule of law in Europe. It supports legal reforms and provides a platform for the development of international legal standards and cooperation.

Cultural Cooperation

The Council of Europe fosters cultural cooperation and diversity. It supports cultural activities and initiatives that promote mutual understanding and appreciation among the peoples of Europe.

Council of Europe Funding

The Council of Europe is funded by contributions from its member states. The budget of the CoE is used to finance its activities, including the operation of its secretariat, its monitoring bodies, and its various projects and programs.

Council of Europe Projects

European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights, located in Strasbourg, France, is an international court set up to protect individuals from human rights violations. It hears cases related to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Venice Commission

The Venice Commission provides legal advice to its member states and, in particular, helps states wishing to bring their legal and institutional structures in line with European standards and international experience in the fields of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

North-South Centre

The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe in Lisbon (European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity) empowers individuals and organizations to engage in and promote mutual understanding, global interdependence, and solidarity.

Council of Europe Members

Member States

Observer States

The Council of Europe stands as a pillar of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Europe. Its comprehensive approach to fostering social and political stability through a wide array of initiatives and conventions continues to contribute significantly to the advancement of the European continent and the protection of its citizens.

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