Financial governance

Since 2012 the Council of Europe has adopted a biennial Programme and Budget.

Where does the money come from?

The Budget is mainly funded by member States' contributions. National contributions are based on a formula which takes into account population and Gross Domestic Product. The major contributors (France, Germany, Italy, Russian Federation and United Kingdom) all pay the same rate for the ordinary budget, providing nearly 57% of the total.
States may also make voluntary contributions to support the Council of Europe's programme of work.
Joint programmes with the European Union allow the Organisation to enhance its impact and its operational capacity.

What is the money used for?

The money is used to implement the Programme, which is structured around three thematic pillars: Human Rights (including the European Court of Human Rights), Rule of Law and Democracy, with an additional support pillar covering governing bodies, general services and other common expenditure lines. The Programme and Budget for 2014-2015 comprises 31 operational programmes, covering the intergovernmental sector, the institutions, the partial agreements and the independent mechanisms.

"In the Programme and Budget 2014-2015, we continue to focus our efforts on three operational pillars: human rights, democracy and the rule of law. […]We take very seriously our commitment to the member states and the European people. We also consider it our significant responsibility to manage our resources wisely, and so we are constantly evolving to create a more focused, flexible and efficient organisation. We are successfully reducing bureaucracy, modernising our procedures and evaluating our methods for cost effectiveness."
(Thorbjørn Jagland Secretary General)

How is the programme and budget adopted?

The Programme and Budget is proposed by the Secretary General and approved by the Committee of Ministers. The programme is approved for two years (with a second year budget on a provisional basis).

Share of funding 

Ordinary Budget by Pillar

Key figures

TOTAL 2015 Budgets:

€373 million

Ordinary Budget:

€245 million

Partial Agreements & other:

€128 million

- Joint Programmes with the European Union:

Target: €30 million

- Voluntary contributions:

Target: €30 million

- 47 member States
- 13 enlarged/partial agreements
- More than 2500 staff members essentially based in Strasbourg

- External presence: 9 field offices, 6 programme offices and 4 liaison offices

The Organisation's accounts and financial management undergo independent auditing by an external auditor (2008-2013: Cour des comptes, France – 2014-2019: NIK, Poland). The Financial Statements are IPSAS compliant and have received an unqualified opinion since 2007.

Results Based Budgeting has been chosen as a programming and budgeting methodology to measure organisational performance and increase accountability