On this day May 5, 1949

The Treaty of London establishes the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as the first European institution working for European integration.

Council of Europe

Council of Europe

The treaty was signed on May 5, 1949, and create the Council of Europe. The original signatories were Belgium, Denmark, France, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom. It is currently referred to as the Statute of the Council of Europe.

The Council of Europe is the oldest international organisation working towards European integration, having been founded in 1949. It has a particular emphasis on legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation. It has 47 member states with some 800 million citizens.

Its statutory institutions are the Committee of Ministers comprising the foreign ministers of each member state, the Parliamentary Assembly composed of MPs from the Parliament of each member state, and the Secretary General heading the secretariat of the Council of Europe.

The most famous conventional bodies of the Council of Europe are the European Court of Human Rights which enforces the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the European Pharmacopoeia Commission which sets the quality standards for pharmaceutical products in Europe. The Council of Europe’s work has resulted in standards, charters and conventions to facilitate cooperation between European countries and further integration.

The seat of the Council of Europe is in Strasbourg, France and English and French are its two official languages. The Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly also work in German, Italian and Russian.


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