Council of Europe (CE)

Conseil de l'Europe (CE)
Consejo de Europa

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1949-05-05 London UK


Established on signature of Statute of the Council of Europe by government representatives of Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Initiative was taken by the 5 governments signatory, 17 Mar 1948, to the Brussels Treaty Organization -- Organisation du Traité de Bruxelles, chiefly as a result of a Congress of Europe -- Congrès de l'Europe, May 1948, The Hague (Netherlands), and following the proposals developed by a non-governmental organization, the European Movement. The Statute lays down that every member of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Since the events of 1989 the Council of Europe has been the pre-eminent European organization for the intergovernmental and parliamentary cooperation, capable of welcoming on an equal footing and in permanent structures the new democracies of Europe. Currently, membership of the Council of Europe has expanded to 47 states. The latest accessions are Hungary on 6 Nov 1990, Poland on 26 Nov 1991, Bulgaria on 7 May 1992, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia on 14 May 1993, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on 30 Jun 1993, Romania on 7 Oct 1993, Andorra on 10 Nov 1994, Latvia on 10 Feb 1995, Albania and Moldova on 13 Jul 1995, Ukraine and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 9 Nov 1995, Russian Federation on 28 Feb 1996, Croatia on 6 Nov 1996, Georgia on 27 Apr 1999, Armenia and Azerbaijan on 25 Jan 2001, Bosnia-Herzegovina on 24 Apr 2002, Serbia-Montenegro on 3 Apr 2003 (currently only Serbia), Monaco on 5 Oct 2004, Montenegro on 11 May 2007. Russian Federation ceased to be a member, 16 Mar 2022, following invasion of Ukraine, Feb 2022. Action Plan adopted by 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of Member States, 16-17 May 2005, Warsaw (Poland), sets-up strategic priorities of the organization.


Strengthen human rights, democracy and the rule of law throughout the continent and beyond; advocate freedom of expression and of the media, freedom of assembly, equality, and the protection of minorities; help member states fight corruption and terrorism and undertake necessary judicial reforms.


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Based at the 'Palais de l'Europe' in Strasbourg (France).

- E-XE8838 - Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is the decision-making body and is made up of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of each Member State or their permanent diplomatic representatives. It decides CE policy and approves budget and programme of activities.

- F-XE8849 - Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) consists of 318 members of parliament from all Member States. It elects Secretary General, Human Righs Commissioner and judges to European Court of Human Rights. It provides a democratic forum for debate and monitors elections with its committees playing an important role in examining current issues.

- F-XE1645 - Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is composed of 2 chambers - Chamber of Local Authorities and Chamber of Regions - and 3 Committees. It comprises 636 elected representatives representing over 200,000 local and regional authorities. It is responsible for strengthening local and regional democracy.

- F-XF0438 - European Court of Human Rights, set up 1959, is the permanent judicial body which guarantees for all Europeans the rights safeguarded by T-XT5002 - Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Current structure brought into being by T-XT9402 - Protocol no 11 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Court is open to states as well as to individuals regardless of nationality.

- The Human Rights Commissioner, elected by the Parliamentary Assembly, is an independent and impartial non-judicial institution aiming to promote awareness of and respect for human rights in Member States.

- International Secretariat, serves various bodies and directorates and headed by Secretary General (5-year term), who is responsible for strategic planning and direction of the Council's work programme and budget, and leads and represents the Organization. Directorates (8): Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law; Directorate General Democracy; Directorate of External Relations; Directorate of Policy Planning; Directorate of Legal Advice and Public International Law; Treaty Office; Directorate of Internal Oversight; Office of the Directorate General of Programmes.

- Offices and Programme Offices in: Ankara (Turkey); Baku (Azerbaijan); Belgrade (Serbia); Bucharest (Romania); Chisinau (Moldova); Kiev (Ukraine); Moscow (Russia); Podgorica (Montenegro); Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina); Skopje (North Macedonia); Tbilisi (Georgia); Tirana (Albania); Venice (Italy); Yerevan (Armenia). Offices outside Member States: Pristina (Kosovo); Rabat (Morocco); Tunis (Tunisia). Liaison Offices: Brussels (Belgium) - in charge of liaison with the European Union; Geneva (Switzerland) - Permanent Delegation to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva; Vienna (Austria) - in charge of liaison with the OSCE, UN Office and other international organizations in Vienna; Warsaw (Poland) - in charge of liaison with other international organizations or instititions in Warsaw, particularly OSCE/ODIHR. Office in Paris (France).

- Partial Agreements:

-'Partial Agreements': F-XF0445 - Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB): E-XE7159 - European Pharmacopoeia Commission; European Card for Substantially Handicapped Persons - not instituted; F-XF1447 - Open Partial Agreement on the Prevention of, Protection against and Organization of Relief in Major Natural and Technological Disasters (EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement); F-XF0932 - Cultural support fund of the Council of Europe (EURIMAGES).

-'Enlarged Partial Agreements': E-XE2000 - Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (Pompidou Group); E-XE3001 - European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity (North-South Centre); F-XF1527 - Partial Agreement on Youth Mobility Through the Youth Card; F-XF2493 - European Audiovisual Observatory; E-XE2052 - European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML); F-XM3416 - Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS); F-XM4295 - Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes.

-'Enlarged Agreements': E-XE1426 - European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission); E-XE4422 - Group of States Against Corruption.

Instrumental in setting up: K-XF2678 - Pan-European Ecological Network (PEEN).


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Consultative Status

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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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