Europe's Democratic Conscience
The parliamentarians who make up PACE come from the national parliaments of the Organisation's 47 member states. They meet four times a year to discuss topical issues and ask European governments to take initiatives and report back. These parliamentarians speak for the 800 million Europeans who elected them. They broach the issues of their choice, and the governments of European countries – which are represented at the Council of Europe by the Committee of Ministers – are obliged to respond. They are Greater Europe's democratic conscience.
A Melting Pot of Ideas
Since 1949, PACE, which is sometimes said to be the driving force of the Council of Europe, has been behind many of the Organisation's major initiatives (the European Convention on Human Rights, for instance). It must be consulted about all international treaties drawn up at the Council of Europe. It elects the judges of the European Court of Human Rights and the Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe and its own Secretary General.
The texts adopted by PACE – recommendations, resolutions and opinions – serve as guidelines for the Committee of Ministers, national governments, parliaments and political parties. Eventually, through legislation and practice, these texts influence and improve Europeans' lives.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe regularly adopts reports on the monitoring of Georgia's obligations and commitments as a member state. Georgia is represented in the Parliamentary Assembly by a delegation of 5 representatives and 5 substitutes.
Did you know?
The Council of Europe is a separate organisation from the 28-member EU. No country has joined the EU without first joining the Council of Europe.