Council of Europe is founded in 1949.

  • 47 member countries, including 22 countries from Central and Eastern Europe
  • Has the application for another country (Belarus)
  • Was given observer status in the following countries: the Holy See, the United States of America, Canada, Japan and Mexico
  • Is distinct from the European Union, which consists of 27 countries, but none of them have joined the Union without being a member of the Council of Europe,
  • It has its headquarters in Strasbourg in northeastern France (Alsace region)
     

How does it work?

The Committee of Ministers is composed of the 47 Foreign Ministers or their deputies based in Strasbourg (ambassadors / permanent representatives) who make decisions on behalf of the Organization.
Web site: http://www.coe.int/t/cm/Home_en.asp

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which has 636 members (318 representatives and 318 substitutes) from the 47 national parliaments. The current president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Jean-Claude Mignon (France, Union for a Popular Movement).
Web site: http://www.assembly.coe.int/nw/Home-EN.asp

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, which consists of the House / Chamber of Local Authorities and the Chamber of Regions. President Herwig van Staa (Austria, EPP / CD); Jean-Claude Frécon (France, SOC) - President of the Chamber of Local Authorities; Nataliya Romanova (Ukraine, ILDG) - President of the Chamber of Regions.
Web site: http://www.coe.int/t/congress/default_en.asp

General Secretariat, which has 1,800 employees and is headed by Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General (Labour Party, Norway).
Web site: www.coe.int

The European Court of Human Rights is an international court based in Strasbourg. The number of judges equal to the number of member states of the Council of Europe, which have ratified the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter: European Convention). The judges of the European Court of Human Rights act independently and do not represent any country. In dealing with petitions, the Court shall cooperate with the Secretariat, which mainly consists of lawyers from member countries. They are also completely independent from their countries and do not represent the petitioner nor the country.
Web site: http://www.echr.coe.int/Pages/home.aspx?p=home

Commissioner for Human Rights is an independent institution of the Council of Europe with a mandate to promote human rights and respect for the 47 member countries. Current Commissioner Nils Muižnieks from Lithuania.
Web site: http://www.coe.int/web/commissioner

The Conference of INGOs - One of the biggest challenges currently facing the organization is to strengthen non-governmental organizations and civil society in the Member States and the development of participatory democracy at the Pan-European basis. Cooperation programs rely on non-governmental organizations and focused on democratic reform.
Web site: http://www.coe.int/t/ngo/default_en.asp