Council of Europe

An international organisation in Strasbourg which comprises 47 countries of Europe. It was set up to promote democracy and protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe.

 

 European Council

Institution of the European Union, consisting of the heads of state or government from the member states together with the President of the European Commission, for the purpose of planning Union policy.

 

 European Union (EU)

The EU currently has 28 members that have delegated some of their sovereignty so that decisions on specific matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level. No country has ever joined the EU without first belonging to the Council of Europe.

 Parliamentary Assembly

The deliberative body of the Council of Europe, composed of 318 representatives (and the same number of substitutes) appointed by the 47 member states' national parliaments.

 

 European Parliament

The parliamentary body of the European Union which comprises 766 European Members of Parliament of the 28 European Union countries, elected by universal suffrage.

 European Court of Human Rights

Based in Strasbourg, this is the only truly judicial organ established by the European Convention on Human Rights. It is composed of one Judge for each State party to the Convention and ensures, in the last instance, that contracting states observe their obligations under the Convention. Since November 1998, the Court has operated on a full-time basis.

 

 International Court of Justice

Judicial body of the United Nations, which is based in The Hague.

 

 Court of Justice of the European Union

Based in Luxembourg and ensures compliance with the law in the interpretation and application of the European Treaties of the European Union.

European Convention on Human Rights

Council of Europe treaty securing civil and political rights.  The European Court of Human Rights oversees the implementation of the Convention. Its judgments are binding on the countries concerned.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Adopted by the United Nations in 1948 in order to strengthen the protection of human rights at international level.

Charter of Fundamental Rights

European Union text on human rights and fundamental freedoms, adopted in 2000.