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[Last update: 6 December 2011]

Administrative files – Private Office of the Secretary General


Reference code:



Private Office of the Secretary General

Dates of creation of material:

1949 –

Level of description:

Sub-fonds of the Administrative files


255 meters, files numbered C 1 to C 1876 (at 20 January 2011)


Cave 9 : T1-T2, T9, T11, T12

Name of creator:

Private Office of the Secretary General

Administrative History:

The Private Office assists the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General in all activities related to their function. The Secretary General is responsible for organising and staffing the Private Office.

The Secretary General is the head of the Secretariat of the Council of Europe. He is appointed for a period of five years by the Parliamentary Assembly which takes a vote from the shortlist recommended by the Committee of Ministers.

The responsibility of the Secretary General includes drawing up the draft intergovernmental programme and draft budget submitted annually for adoption by the Committee of Ministers.

Whereas the Private Office primarily serves as secretariat to the Secretary General and Deputy, it was, throughout its existence, also in charge of various other organisational functions. Thus it temporarily included the Interpretation and Translation Service, the Archives, Documents and Mail Offices, as well as the Protocol.

Archival history:

The sub-fonds began life under the Archivist Mr Bishop in autumn 1979, when the Archives received the first files of the Private Office, covering the period 1949-1978. A few files in the series come from the Mail Office (files C 685-696) and Protocol (C 697-701).
Before Mr Bishop arrived, some of the Private Office archive material (such as the files of the first three secretary generals) had been sorted into files in the archival fonds "Thematic files".

1. Covers activities of the secretary generals and deputy secretary generals.

Files of secretary generals:

- Smithers (1964-1969): C 78; C 263; C 264; C 270; C 322-C 325; C 836
- Toncic-Sorinj (1969-1974): C 836
- Kahn-Ackermann (1974-1979): C 604–C 627
- Karasek (1979-1984): C 836; C 866–880; C 882–905; C 1641–C 1678
- Oreja Aguirre (1984-1989): C 906–C 932 (C 926-C 932 missing); C 1694-C 1703
- Lalumière (1989-1994): C 836; C 1361-1491
- Tarschys (1994-1999): C 945-974; C 1361-1491
- Schwimmer (1999-2004): C°1807 à C°1865

Files of deputy secretary generals:

- Modinos (1962-1968): C 836
- Adinolfi (1978-1993): C 933-C 944
- Leuprecht (1993-1997): C°1739-C°1806

2. Also includes files on various Council of Europe activities, meetings of directors etc.

Conditions governing access:

Public after 30 years from date of publication

Finding aids:

- Inventory (1949-1990), established by the Council of Europe Archives;

- WebCAT, the online catalogue of the Archives.

Date of description:

Compiled on 12/09/2003, updated on 21/1/2011.