The Council of Europe’s policy towards other international organisations and institutions is guided by decisions of the member States.

The Declaration and the Action Plan adopted at the Third Council of Europe Summit in Warsaw in May 2005 addressed the role of the Council of Europe on the European scene by defining its core objectives. The Heads of State and Government declared their determination “to ensure complementarity of the Council of Europe and other organisations involved in building a democratic and secure Europe” with clear focus on relations with the European Union, the OSCE and the United Nations.

On 20 October 2010, the Committee of Ministers  adopted Rule No. 1318 of 20 October 2010 on Guidelines for concluding agreements between the Council of Europe and other international intergovernmental organisations or public international entities.

At present, the Council of Europe has relations with around 100 international organisations/international bodies. Most of these relations are guided by general co-operation agreements and/or various sectorial agreements with respective entities. 

In addition, the Council of Europe maintains ad hoc contacts and relations with some international organisations active in the areas of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Amongst all these international organisations, the EU, the OSCE and the UN remain Council of Europe key partners. In addition to the EU, the OSCE and the UN, about 40 international organisations participate in the work of some of the Council of Europe intergovernmental committees.

On 21 May 2021 in Hamburg, the Committee of Ministers decided that ”Practical co-operation between the Council of Europe and, in particular, the European Union, the OSCE and the United Nations, as well as other international organisations, needs to be further enhanced and the contribution of the Council of Europe to the relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) be emphasized.” (para. 11, CM/Del/Dec(2021)131/2a, 131st Session of the Committee of Ministers (Hamburg (videoconference), 21 May 2021) - 2. A shared responsibility for democratic security in Europe - a. The Strategic Framework of the Council of Europe and forthcoming activities;

The Committee of Ministers also “took note of the proposals set out in document CM(2021)71 to strengthen relations between the Council of Europe and other international organisations, including in the context of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and invited its Deputies and the Secretary General to implement them” (“forthcoming activities of the Council of Europe”, Para. 7. CM/Del/Dec(2021)131/2a, 131st Session of the Committee of Ministers (Hamburg (videoconference), 21 May 2021) - 2. A shared responsibility for democratic security in Europe - a. The Strategic Framework of the Council of Europe and forthcoming activities;

The DPAER assumes the primary responsibility for cooperation with other international organisations and for CoE Offices in charge of liaison with other international organisations or institutions (in Brussels, Geneva, Vienna and Warsaw).

For further information on institutionalised relations between the Council of Europe and other International Organisations please see:

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