How we work ?
This is the Council’s decision-making body and is made up of the ministers of foreign affairs of each member state or their permanent diplomatic representatives in Strasbourg. The Committee of Ministers decides Council of Europe policy and approves its budget and programme of activities.
This is the deliberative body and the driving force of the Council of Europe. The Assembly has initiated many international treaties, helping to create a Europe-wide system of legislation. Its members are appointed by the national parliaments of each member state.
The Congress is the voice of Europe’s 200 000 regions and municipalities and provides a forum where elected representatives can discuss common problems, pool their experiences and develop policies. It works to strengthen democracy and improve services at local and regional level.
This is the permanent judicial body which garantees for all Europeans the rights safeguarded by the European Convention on Human Rights. It is open to states and individuals regardless of nationality. The 47 member states of the Council of Europe are parties to the Convention.
The Commissioner is an independent body responsible for promoting education, awareness and respect for human rights in member states. The Commissioner plays an essentially preventive role.
The Conference includes some 400 international Non Governmental Organisations (INGOs). It provides vital links between politicians and the public and brings the voice of civil society to the Council. The Council’s work benefi ts extensively from the INGOs’ expertise and their outreach to European citizens.
The Secretary General is elected by the Parliamentary Assembly for a five-year term at the head of the Organisation. He is responsible for the strategic planning and direction of the Council’s work programme and budget and oversees the day-to-day management of the Organisation.
The Deputy Secretary General is also elected for a five-year term by the Parliamentary Assembly, in an election separate to the one held for the Secretary General.
Coming from all 47 member states, over 2,000 permanent staff work mainly in Strasbourg, France, but also in other offices throughout Europe, joined by temporary employees.
In 2013: 243.970.300 €
English and French are the Council of Europe's two official languages. German, Italian and Russian are also working languages. Various documents are also published in other European languages.