“The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission, is the Council of Europe's independent advisory body on constitutional matters. It provides legal advice and prepares general texts in the following main areas: functioning of democratic institutions and protection of fundamental rights; elections, referendums and political parties, and constitutional justice.

Set up by 18 Member states of the Council of Europe in 1990 it has since subsequently played a decisive role in the adoption and implementation of constitutions in line with Europe’s constitutional heritage. In 2021, it has 62 full members and 10 other entities formally associated with its work." 

Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission

The members of the Venice Commisssion are independent experts. The Commission holds four plenary sessions a year in Venice, working mainly in three fields: constitutional assistance, constitutional justice and election and referendum issues. It has extended its expertise also beyond Europe.



Simona Granata-Menghini
Director and Secretary

“The Commission's primary mandate is to provide constitutional and legal assistance to States, mainly, but not exclusively, those which participate in its activities. Such assistance takes the form of opinions prepared by the Commission at the request not only of States, but also of organs of the Council of Europe. The Commission has thus made an often crucial contribution to the development of constitutional law, mainly, although not exclusively, in the new democracies of central and eastern Europe.

The aim of the assistance given by the Venice Commission is to provide a thorough, precise, detailed and objective analysis not only of compatibility with European and international standards, but also of the practicality and viability of the solutions envisaged by the States concerned. The Commission reaches its conclusions after extensive dialogue with the authorities, the opposition, state institutions, relevant stakeholders including civil society. The Commission’s recommendations and suggestions are largely based on common European experience in this sphere.

The Commission also prepares general reports and guidelines which identify and develop standards in specific, topical fields. These reports have contributed to defining and updating Council of Europe standards."


 Revised Statute of the Venice Commission


We promote, protect and develop human rights and justice through standard setting, monitoring and co-operation