Description of the Collection



Reference Code: FrSbCOE

Title: Referenced Documents of the Council of Europe

Creation Date: 1949 –

Description Level: Sub-fonds

Extent: 920 metres (on 2 October 2009)

Location: Council of Europe.



Name of Creator: Council of Europe

Administrative History
The collection of referenced documents was established in 1949, the year the Council of Europe was created. At first the Documents Office was in charge of the collection. In 1984 and 1985,  responsibility for official documents was gradually transferred to Central Archives.



Official Council of Europe documents, including adopted texts, which were/are generally printed with a logo, an official reference and a year of publication.

Files are organised by year, then by administrative entity. Currently these entities are: the Private Office of the Secretary General; the Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers; the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly; the Secretariat of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities; the Directorate of Communications; the Directorate of External Relations; the Directorate General of Social Cohesion; the Directorate General of Education, Culture and Heritage, Youth and Sport; the Directorate General of Democracy and Political Affairs; the Directorate of Legal Advice and Public International Law; the Directorate of Strategic Planning; the Directorate of Internal Audit; the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs.

The main categories of referenced documents are: adopted texts; working documents; committee documents; debates; decisions; agendas and orders of business; expert reports; lists of participants; synopses; minutes and meeting reports.

Although the documents are mainly in English and French, the two official languages of the Council of Europe, the collection also contains some documents in other languages.



Conditions Governing Access
Access to the documents of the Committee of Ministers and its subordinate bodies is governed by the provisions of Resolution (2001)6. The resolution identifies three declassification periods for these documents:

  • 1 year for documents classified restricted;
  • 10 years for documents classified confidential;
  • 30 years for documents classified secret.

Documents issued with no access classification are public by default.

Access to documents of other Council of Europe entities is sometimes governed by specific rules adopted by those entities.

Finding Aids
Digitised card catalogue (1949-1990) drawn up by Central Archives. To search in the digitised card catalogue, access WebCAT, enter your search term, then choose 'Card catalogue archives' in the library field before clicking on Search.




The names and code numbers of the Directorates have changed since the Organisation was created.



Date of Description: Compiled on 22/05/2008, updated on 10 January 2020.