At their 4th Summit held in Reykjavik on 16-17 May 2023, Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe committed to strengthening the role of the Council of Europe in the European multilateral architecture and in global governance by enhancing its external dimension, through, inter alia, a new engagement based on its core values with democracies in the world and its southern neighbourhood”.

“We will in particular strengthen our dialogue with our observer States, with which the Council of Europe and its member States share a set of fundamental values and common principles. We will also promote increased ratification of Council of Europe conventions that are open to non-member States through targeted universalization campaigns, to advance compliance with the Organisation’s ambitious standards beyond European borders. Through the active contribution of the observer States, our outreach can be further extended to non-member countries.”

Reykjavík Declaration - United around our values

Relations and contacts with observer states (Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico and United States of America) cover almost the whole spectrum of the Council of Europe’s activities.  

Through these contacts, a mutually beneficial exchange of experiences and good practices takes place, in particular in the intergovernmental sector of activities.  Relations with observer states represent a precious outreach opportunity for the Council of Europe and contribute to broadening the impact of its standards and activities.