Council of Europe

Council of Europe
an intergovernmental body set up in 1949 to promote European political, economic, social and cultural integration. It is distinct from the European Union. There were originally ten signatory states, including the UK. There are currently 41 member states. The Council's principal work has been in the area of human rights. The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was drawn up under the auspices of the Council. The economic and social counterpart of the Convention on Human Rights, the European Social Charter, was promulgated in 1961. Although lacking an equivalent enforcement mechanism, the European Social Charter is intended to protect the rights of the individual in such areas as employment, social security and discrimination. The Charter also promotes social cohesion and cooperation amongst member states in relation to migration. Considerable discretion is left to member states in the realisation of these rights. Other work of the Council of Europe includes the Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1987) and the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (1997).

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

Council of Europe
Founded on May 5, 1949 by ten countries, the Council of Europe seeks to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights (an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe) and other reference texts on the protection of individuals. The Council of Europe has four primary objectives:
• Protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
• Promoting awareness and encouraging the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity.
• Finding common solutions to the challenges facing European society.
• Consolidating democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative and constitutional reform.
As of June 2010, the Council of Europe has 47 members.
The Council of Europe is distinct from the European Union which is an economic and political union comprising of 27 member states committed to the integration of Europe.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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