THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE AT A GLANCE

Council of Europe

Council of Europe (COE)
Council of Europe

Background

According to historyaah, the Council of Europe is an independent organization based in Strasbourg. The organization must not be confused with the “European Council” (heads of state and government of the EU member states). The Council of Europe was founded on May 5, 1949. The official languages ​​are French and English.

The Council of Europe has its seat in the Europa-Palais in Strasbourg (France). Again, please do not confuse this with the European Parliament of the EU, which meets in the immediate vicinity.

Goals

Consolidation of the unity of the continent and protection of the dignity of the citizens in Europe. The Council of Europe sees itself as the guardian of European fundamental rights, in particular those of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Members (47) For
members see graphic and tabular overview at the bottom of the page.

Candidate for accession (1)
Belarus. The Parliamentary Assembly continues to examine the country’s membership application.

States with observer status (6)
Vatican City, Israel, Japan, Canada, Mexico, USA

Comment

Today almost all the states of Europe, or the European states of Eurasia, with a total of around 800 million, are united under the umbrella of the Council of Europe in an area that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The last “white spots” are currently Belarus (nomen est omen), Kosovo and the northern part of Cyprus (all outlined in red in the graphic). With the admission of Russia (1996) and the three Caucasian states Georgia (1999) as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan (both 2001) the Black Sea area was enclosed. At the same time, the area covered by the Council of Europe now extends far beyond the actual European continent.

In plain language: the membership of Russia means that the Europe of the Council of Europe extends to the Pacific; So Europe has a common border with North Korea, China, Mongolia etc. Does that make sense to you? Would you be prepared to defend “Europe” on the East Asian Russian-Chinese border river Amur if necessary?

The Council of Europe tries to address the growing concerns of European citizens on issues such as children’s rights, drug abuse, racism and intolerance, protection of minorities, bioethics and improving educational opportunities for young people. In short, the Council of Europe sees itself as Europe’s democratic conscience.

The inclusion of states in which democracy, human rights and the rule of law are – to put it mildly – still in need of improvement, makes the lofty goals of the Council of Europe appear in a somewhat diffuse light – unless the membership of these states is seen as an obligation and an incentive to improve the situation Understood.

Table of
members of the Council of Europe (47)

Albania
Andorra
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Belgium
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Denmark
Germany
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Greece
Great Britain
Ireland
Iceland
Italy
Croatia
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
North Macedonia
Moldova
Monaco
Montenegro
Netherlands
Norway
Austria
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
San Marino
Sweden
Switzerland
Slovakia
Serbia
Slovenia
Spain
Czech Republic
Turkey
Ukraine
Hungary
Cyprus

Notes: Montenegro became the youngest and 47th member of the Council of Europe on May 11, 2007. The official name of the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYR Macedonia)” has been North Macedonia since 2019.

Council of Europe