So far the Council of Europe has held three summits of Heads of State and Government of all its member states. The first took place in Vienna in 1993, following the fall of Berlin wall and the development of new democracies in central and eastern Europe. It confirmed the Council’s policy of openness and enlargement and also launched the reform of the European Convention on Human Rights to make it more effective. The second was held in Strasbourg in 1997 to give new impetus to human rights protection; the summit decided to appoint a Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner.

The third Summit was held in Warsaw in May 2005. Leaders of the then 46 member states redefined the Organisation’s priorities by adopting a declaration and an action plan aimed to strengthen the Council’s key mission to safeguard and promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Third Summit (16 - 17 May 2005, Warsaw)

The Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, which took place in Warsaw on 16-17 May, concluded its work by adopting a political declaration and an Action Plan laying down the principal tasks of the Council of Europe in the coming years.


Second Summit (10 - 11 October 1997, Strasbourg)

Strasbourg Summit logoDuring the Second Summit in Strasbourg in October 1997, the Heads of State and Government adopted an action plan to strengthen the Council of Europe's work in four areas: democracy and human rights, social cohesion, the security of citizens and democratic values and cultural diversity.


First Summit (8 - 9 October 1993, Vienna)

Vienna Summit logoThe Council of Europe's Vienna Summit in October 1993 set out new political aims. The Heads of State and Government cast the Council of Europe as the guardian of democratic security - founded on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Democratic security is an essential complement to military security, and is a pre-requisite for the continent's stability and peace.