Who we are

Who we are

The Council of Europe is the continent’s leading human rights organisation. It includes 47 member states, 28 of which are members of the European Union. All Council of Europe member states have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The European Court of Human Rights oversees the implementation of the Convention in the member states. Individuals can bring complaints of human rights violations to the Strasbourg Court once all possibilities of appeal have been exhausted in the member state concerned. The European Union is preparing to sign the European Convention on Human Rights, creating a common European legal space for over 820 million citizens.

Headquarters and offices
The Council of Europe has its headquarters in Strasbourg, France. It employs 2 200 people, and maintains external and liaison offices to other international organisations. The European Youth Centres in Strasbourg and Budapest offer training for young people in democracy and human rights issues.

Welcome to the Council of Europe

The tour will give you an insight into the work of members of parliament, diplomats, experts and other representatives from members states who come to the Palais de l’Europe to work together and to find common solutions to today’s major problems.

What you will see there

- The entrance hall of the Palais de l’Europe with its imposing staircase designed by French architect Henry Bernard in 1977 “to affirm by its solid external form that unity is strength … necessary for the free confrontation of ideas”.
- At the heart of the building is the Assembly Chamber, the democratic voice of Europe and its countries and regions. It is here that politicians from all over Europe meet in the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.

Types of visit available

The Council of Europe Visitors’ Service organises guided tours and study programmes adapted to each group. There are two types of visit offered:

Guided tours

Tours are designed mainly for visitors wanting more general information on the Council of Europe:
- introduction to the Council of Europe;
- an explanatory video;
- a visit to the Chamber of the Parliamentary Assembly;
- discussion on the role of the Council of Europe;
- visits conducted in English/ French/ German;
- duration: approximately 1 hour.

Guided tours are suspended during Parliamentary Assembly plenary sessions, but groups of visitors have the chance to follow debates in the Assembly Chamber. (Dates of the 4 sessions are available on the Parliamentary Assembly website)

Study programmes

Tours are tailored to the needs and interests of the groups (teachers, lawyers, university students, etc.):
- visit to the Chamber of the Parliamentary Assembly;
- lecture on the political role of the Council ofEurope;
- a lecture focusing on specific areas of the Council of Europe’s work can also be offered, upon request;
- lectures can be given in any one of the languages of the member states;
- duration: approximately 2 to 3 hours.

What to do?

All visits must be booked in advance.Guided tours and study programmes are organised for groups of at least 15 people.

Visits are free of charge

The Palais de l’Europe is open to visitors Monday to Friday, except on French national holidays. Visitors must bring some form of identification with them for security reasons. Wheelchair access is available.

To book your visit and for more information, please contact the Visitors’ Service:

Visitors’ Service
Directorate of Communication
Council of Europe, F-67075 STRASBOURG Cedex
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 20 29
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 27 54
E-mail: visites@coe.int