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Numerous dignitaries of all nationalities and beliefs have been the honoured guests of the Council of Europe. These men and women, often instrumental in the implementation of political, social and cultural initiatives, illustrate the dynamism and values which, since the 1950s, have governed the work of the Council of Europe


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Heinrich von Brentano [1904 - 1964]

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany

14 January 1953

quote 1The first European institution to pave the way for the creation of a European Political Authorityquote 2

His speech:

Mr. President, the Council of Europe has played a prominent part in the development of the work whose conclusions I now have the honour of putting before you. It was the first European institution to pave the way for the creation of a European Political Authority. As far back as its First Session in August-September, 1949, the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe declared unanimously that the aim of the Council of Europe was the establishment of a European Political Authority with limited functions but real powers.

From the outset, therefore the Consultative Assembly sought to amend the Statute of the Council of Europe. Its discussions on the need for constitutional changes did not represent a mere splitting of hairs but were a serious attempt to find a formula for a genuine union – and meant continuous investigation of the political possibilities existing in this field.