The Council of Europe is an international organization of 45 member states in the European region. (It is not to be confused with the Council of the European Union, nor with the European Council.) It was founded on May 5, 1949 by the Treaty of London. Membership is open to all European states which accept the principle of the rule of law and guarantee fundamental human rights and freedoms to their citizens. One of the main successes of the Council was the European Convention on Human Rights in 1950, which serves as the basis for the European Court of Human Rights.

Table of contents
1 Institutions
2 Aims
3 Membership
4 Founding
5 Symbols
6 External links


The institutions of the Council of Europe are:



There are 45 member states today. Upon foundation on
May 5, 1949 there were ten members: Members with later admission dates (sorted by date of admission) :

Monaco has been a candidate for membership since 1998.

Canada, Israel, the Vatican City, Japan, Mexico and the USA have observer status.

See also: Europe, European Union, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe


The Council of Europe was founded following a speech given by Winston Churchill gave at the University of Zurich on September 19, 1946 (text of speech) calling for a "United States of Europe", similar to the United States of America, in the wake of the events of World War II.


The Council of Europe is responsible for the notable European symbols, the flag with 12 golden stars (upward pointing) arranged in a circle on a blue background since 1955, and the anthem based on the Ode to Joy in the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's ninth symphony since 1972. In 1964, it established the anniversary of its founding on 5 May 1949 as Europe Day.

External links