About the Council of Europe

«The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members...»
Article 1 - Statute of the Council of Europe

Origins and mission

Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe, seeks to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other reference texts on the protection of individuals.

Member States

The Council of Europe has a genuine pan-European dimension: 47 member countries, 1 applicant country: Belarus; Belarus ' special guest status has been suspended due to its lack of respect for human rights and democratic principles.


5 observer countries: the Holy See, the United States, Canada, Japan, Mexico.


  • to protect human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law;
  • to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity
  • to find common solutions to the challenges facing European society: such as discrimination against minorities, xenophobia, intolerance, bioethics and cloning, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, organised crime and corruption, cybercrime, violence against children;
  • to consolidate democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative and constitutional reform.

The current Council of Europe's political mandate was defined by the third Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Warsaw in May 2005.

The European Social Charter guarantees social and economic human rights. It was adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996. The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) is the body responsible for monitoring compliance in the states party to the Charter.