On 29 September 2009, the Parliamentary Assembly elected Thorbjørn Jagland as Secretary General of the Organisation for a five-year term. He was re-elected for a second term on 26 June 2014.
In the first round of the election, Thorbjørn Jagland obtained 156 votes (an absolute majority) out of 245 votes cast.
The former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway, Thorbjørn Jagland, aged 63, was also the President of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) and the leader of the Norwegian Labour Party. He is currently the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize.
His second term of office as Secretary General will start on 1 October 2014.
The Secretary General is elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for a period of five years.
The Secretary General is entrusted with the responsibility of meeting the aim for which the Council of Europe was set up in London on 5 May 1949, namely to achieve greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress.
The Secretary General has the overall responsibility for the strategic management of the Council of Europe’s work programme and budget and oversees the day-to-day running of the Organisation and Secretariat.