Statute of the Council of Europe

Series Title
Series Details Number 1
Publication Date 1949
ISSN 0070-105X
Content Type


The Council of Europe has been created after the Second World War in order 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. Any European State may become a member of the Council of Europe as far as it accepts the principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

This aim shall be pursued through the two organs of the Council – the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly – by discussion of questions of common concern and by agreements and common action in economic, social, cultural, scientific, legal and administrative matters and in the maintenance and further realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Committee of Ministers is the organ which acts on behalf of the Council of Europe. Each member shall be entitled to one representative on the Committee of Ministers, the Minister for Foreign Affairs or its Representative. On the recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly or on its own initiative, the Committee of Ministers shall consider the action required to further the aim of the Council of Europe, including the conclusion of conventions or agreements.

The Parliamentary Assembly is the deliberative organ of the Council of Europe. It shall debate matters within its competence under this Statute and present its conclusions, in the form of recommendations, to the Committee of Ministers. Each member State is represented by a delegation from its national parliament. The number of seats for each member State is given in the Statute of the Council of Europe (Article 26).

Both these organs are served by a Secretariat directed by the Secretary General.

Moreover, the Statute provides for the financing of the Council, grants to the Representatives the immunities and privileges necessary for the fulfilment of their functions, set up the seat of the Organisation in Strasbourg and that the official languages of the Council of Europe are English and French. The Statute includes the amendments provided for by the ETS nos. 6, 7, 8 and 11.

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