In conformity with its mandate, the Directorate of Political Affairs and External Relations (DPAER) covers Council of Europe’s member states as well as the Organisation’s external relations, which cover relations with non-European States - first and foremost the Observer states - and international organisations.
DPAER is responsible for providing the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General, the Committee of Ministers and other Organisation’s bodies as well as the Major Administrative Entities (MAE) with advice and proposals for political and co-operation priorities as well as for relevant action. In line with the decisions of the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General, the DPAER deals with and co-ordinates internally positions on sensitive issues.
DPAER is responsible within the Organisation for the implementation of a series of Confidence Building Measures (CBM's) for addressing the consequences of post- or frozen conflicts situations.
DPAER also provides policy planning support through conceptual and strategic analyses about relevant political and societal developments in Europe and beyond in order to enhance the Organisation’s ability to anticipate major trends and challenges facing member states and to offer coherent short- and long-term responses.
Concerning external relations, DPAER is responsible for the identification of relevant political developments affecting, on the one hand relations with non-European States, including Observer States and partners in the Council of Europe neighbouring regions, and, on the other hand, Council of Europe institutional and political relations with other international organisations and institutions, in particular the EU, OSCE and UN. DPAER provides advice and proposals to promote co-operation and partnerships and increase synergies and enhance external visibility.
DPAER also assumes the responsibility for Council of Europe Offices in charge of liaison with other international organisations or institutions, in Brussels, Geneva, Vienna and Warsaw.