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The Governments of the Kingdom of Belgium the Kingdom of
Denmark the French Republic, the Irish Republic, the Italian
Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the
Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden and the
Unit d Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Convinced that the pursuit of peace based upon justice and
international cooperation is vital for the preservation of human
society and civilisation;
Reaffirming their devotion to the spiritual and moral values
which are the common heritage of their peoples and the true source
of individual freedom, political liberty and the rule of law,
principles which form the basis of all genuine democracy;
Believing that, for the maintenance and further realisation of
these ideals and in the interests of economic and social progress,
there is need of a closer unity between all like-minded countries
Considering that, to respond to this need and to the expressed
aspirations of their peoples in this regard, it is necessary
forthwith to create an organisation which will bring European
States into closer association.
Have in consequence decided to set up a Council of Europe
consisting of a Committee of representatives of Governments and of
a Consultative Assembly, and have for this purpose adopted the
Chapter I - Aim of the Council of Europe
a. The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater
unity between its Members for the purpose of safeguarding and
realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage
and facilitating their economic and social progress.
b. This aim shall be pursued through the organs at the Council
by discussion of questions of common concern and by agreements and
common action in economic, social, cultural, scientific, legal and
administrative matters and in the maintenance and further
realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
c. Participation in the Council of Europe shall not affect the
collaboration of its Members in the work of the United Nations and
of other international organisations or unions to which they are
d. Matters relating to National Defence do not fall within the
scope of the Council of Europe.
Chapter II - Membership
The Members of the Council of Europe are the Parties to this
Every Member of the Council of Europe must accept the
principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons
within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms
and collaborate sincerely and effectively in the realisation f the
aim of the Council as specified in Chapter I.
Any European State which is deemed to be able and willing to
fulfil the provisions of Article 3 may be invited to become a
Member of the Council of Europe by the Committee of Ministers. Any
State so invited shall become a Member on the deposit on its behalf
with the Secretary General of an instrument of accession to the
a. In special circumstances, a European country which is
deemed to be able and willing to fulfil the provisions of Article 3
may be invited by the Committee of Ministers to become an Associate
Member of the Council of Europe. Any country so invited shall
become an Associate Member on the deposit on its behalf with the
Secretary General of an instrument accepting the present Statute.
An associate Member shall be entitled to be represented in the
Consultative Assembly only.
b. The expression "Member" in this Statute includes an
Associate Member except when used in connection with representation
on the Committee of Ministers.
Before issuing invitations under Article 4 or 5 above, the
Committee of Ministers shall determine the number of
representatives on the Consultative Assembly to which the proposed
Member shall be entitled and its proportionate financial
Any Member of the Council of Europe may withdraw by formally
notifying the Secretary General of its intention to do so. Such
withdrawal shall take effect at the end of the financial year in
which it is notified, if the notification is given during he first
nine months of that financial year. If the notification is given in
the last three months of the financial year, it shall take effect
at the end of the next financial year.
Any Member of the Council of Europe which has seriously
violated Article 3 may be suspended from its rights of
representation and requested by the Committee of Ministers to
withdraw under Article 7. If such Member does not comply with this
request, the Committee may decide that it has ceased to be a Member
of the Council as from such date as the Committee may determine.
The Committee of Ministers may suspend the right of
representation on the Committee and on the Consultative Assembly of
a Member which has failed to fulfil its financial obligation during
such period as the obligation remains unfulfilled.
Chapter III - General
The organs of the Council of Europe are:
i. the Committee of Ministers;
ii. the Consultative Assembly.
Both these organs shall be served by the Secretariat of the
Council of Europe.
The seat of the Council of Europe is at Strasbourg.
The official languages of the Council of Europe are English
and French. The rules of procedure of the Committee of Ministers
and of the Consultative Assembly shall determine in what
circumstances and under what conditions other languages may be
Chapter IV - Committee of Ministers
The Committee of Ministers is the organ which acts on behalf
of the Council of Europe in accordance with Articles 15 and 16.
Each Member shall be entitled to one representative on the
Committee of Ministers, and each representative shall be entitled
to one vote. Representatives on the Committee shall be the
Ministers for Foreign Affairs. When a Minister for Foreign Affairs
is unable to be present or in other circumstances where it may be
desirable, an alternate may be nominated to act for him, who shall,
whenever possible, be a member of his Government.
a. On the recommendation of the Consultative Assembly or on
its own initiative, the Committee of Ministers shall consider the
action required to further the aim of the Council of Europe,
including the conclusion of conventions or agreements and the
adoption by Governments of a common policy with regard to
particular matters. Its conclusions shall be communicated to
Members by the Secretary General.
b. In appropriate cases, the conclusions of the Committee may
take the form of recommendations to the Governments of Members, and
the Committee may request the Governments of Members to inform it
of the action taken by them with regard to such recommendations.
The Committee of Ministers shall, subject to the provisions of
Articles 24, 28, 30, 32, 33 and 35, relating to the powers of the
Consultative Assembly, decide with binding effect all matters
relating to the internal organisation and arrangements of the
Council of Europe. For this purpose the Committee of Ministers
shall adopt such financial and administrative regulations as may be
The Committee of Ministers may set up advisory and technical
committees or commissions for such specific purposes as it may deem
The Committee of Ministers shall adopt its rules of procedure,
which shall determine amongst other things:
i. the quorum;
ii. the method of appointment and term of office of its
iii. the procedure for the admission of items to its agenda,
including the giving of notice of proposals for resolutions;
iv. the notifications required for the nomination of
alternates under Article 14.
At each session of the Consultative Assembly the Committee of
Minister shall furnish the Assembly with statements of its
activities, accompanied by appropriate documentation.
a. Resolutions of the Committee of Ministers relating to the
following important matters, namely:
i. recommendations under Article 15.b;
ii. questions under Article 19;
iii. questions under Article 21.a.i and b;
iv. questions under Article 33;
v. recommendations for the amendment of Articles 1.d, 7, 15,
20 and 22;
vi. any other question which the Committee may, by a
resolution passed under d below, decide should be subject to a
unanimous vote on account of its importance require the unanimous
vote of the representatives casting a vote, and of a majority of
the representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
b. Questions arising under the rules of procedure or under the
financial and administrative regulations may be decided by a simple
majority vote of the representatives entitled to sit on the
c. Resolutions of the Committee under Articles 4 and 5 require
a two-thirds majority of all the Representatives entitled to sit on
d. All other resolutions of the Committee, including the
adoption of the Budget, of rules of procedure and of financial and
administrative regulations, recommendations for the amendment of
articles of this Statute, other than those mentioned in paragraph
a.v above, and deciding in case of doubt which paragraph of this
Article applies, require a two-thirds majority of the
representatives casting a vote and of a majority of the
representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
a. Unless the Committee decides otherwise, meetings of the
Committee of Ministers shall be held:
i. in private, and
ii. at the seat of the Council.
b. The Committee shall determine what information shall be
published regarding the conclusions and discussions of a meeting
held in private.
c. The Committee shall meet before and during the beginning of
every session of the Consultative Assembly and at such other times
as it may decide.
Chapter V - Consultative Assembly
The Consultative Assembly is the deliberative organ of the
Council of Europe. It shall debate matters within its competence
under this Statute and present its conclusions, in the form of
recommendations, to the Committee of Ministers.
ARTICLE 23 *
a. The Consultative Assembly may discuss and make
recommendations upon any matter within the aim and scope of the
Council of Europe as defined in Chapter I. It shall also discuss
and may make recommendations upon any matter referred to it by the
Committee of Ministers with a request for its opinion.
b. The Assembly shall draw up its Agenda in accordance with
the provisions of paragraph a above. In so doing, it shall have
regard to the work of other European intergovernmental
organisations to which some or all of the Members of the Council
c. The President of the Assembly shall decide, in case of
doubt, whether any question raised in the course of the Session is
within the Agenda of the Assembly.
The Consultative Assembly may, with due regard to the
provisions of Article 38.d, establish committees or commissions to
consider and report to it on any matter which falls within its
competence under Article 23, to examine and prepare questions on i
s agenda and to advise on all matters of procedure.
ARTICLE 25 **
a. The Consultative Assembly shall consist of representatives
of each Member, elected by its parliament from among the members
thereof, or appointed from among the members of that parliament, in
such manner as it shall decide, subject, however, to the right of
each Member Government to make any additional appointments
necessary when the parliament is not in session and has not laid
down the procedure to be followed in that case. Each representative
must be a national of the Member whom he represents. but shall not
at the same time be a member of the Committee of Ministers.
The term of office of Representatives thus appointed will date
from the opening of the Ordinary Session following their
appointment; it will expire at the opening of the next Ordinary
Session or of a later Ordinary Session, except that, in the event
of elections to their Parliaments having taken place, Members shall
be entitled to make new appointments.
If a Member fills vacancies due to death or resignation, or
proceeds to make new appointments as a result of elections to its
Parliament, the term of office of the new Representatives shall
date from the first Sitting of the Assembly following their
b. No Representative shall be deprived of his position as such
during a session of the Assembly without the agreement of the
c. Each Representative may have a substitute who may, in the
absence of the Representative, sit, speak and vote in his place.
The provisions of paragraph a above apply to the appointment of
ARTICLE 26 ***
Members shall be entitled to the number of Representatives
Germany (Federal Republic) 18
San Marino 2
United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern
ARTICLE 27 ****
The conditions under which the Committee of Ministers
collectively may be represented in the debates of the Consultative
Assembly, or individual representatives on the Committee or their
alternates may address the Assembly, shall be determined by such
rules of procedure on this subject as may be drawn up by the
Committee after consultation with the Assembly.
a. The Consultative Assembly shall adopt its rules of
procedure and shall elect from its members its President, who shall
remain in office until the next Ordinary Session.
b. The President shall control the proceedings but shall not
take part in the debate or vote. The substitute of the
Representative who is president may sit, speak and vote in his
c. The rules of procedure shall determine inter alia:
i. the quorum;
ii. the manner of the election and terms of office of the
President and other officers;
iii. the manner in which the agenda shall be drawn up and be
communicated to Representatives;
iv. the time and manner in which the names of Representatives
and their substitutes shall be notified.
Subject to the provisions of Article 30, all resolutions of
the Consultative Assembly, including resolutions:
i. embodying recommendations to the Committee of Ministers;
ii. proposing to the Committee matters for discussion in the
iii. establishing committees or commissions;
iv. determining the date of commencement of its sessions;
v. determining what majority is required for resolutions in
cases not covered by i to iv above or determining cases of doubt as
to what majority is required, shall require a two-thirds majority
of the Representatives casting a vote.
On matters relating to its internal procedure, which includes
the election of officers, the nomination of persons to serve on
committees and commissions and the adoption of rules of procedure,
resolutions of the Consultative Assembly shall be carried by such
majorities as the Assembly may determine in accordance with Article
Debates on proposals to be made to the Committee of Ministers
that a matter should be placed on the Agenda of the Consultative
Assembly shall be confined to an indication of the proposed
subject - matter and the reasons for and against its inclusion in
The Consultative Assembly shall meet in ordinary session once
a year, the date and duration of which shall be determined by the
Assembly so as to avoid as far as possible overlapping with
parliamentary sessions of Members and with sessions of the General
Assembly of the United Nations. In no circumstances shall the
duration of an ordinary session exceed one month unless both the
Assembly and the Committee of Ministers concur.
Ordinary sessions of the Consultative Assembly shall be held
at the seat of the Council unless both the Assembly and the
Committee of Ministers concur that the session should be held
ARTICLE 34 *****
The Consultative Assembly may be convened in extraordinary
session, upon the initiative either of the Committee of Ministers
or of the President of the Assembly after agreement between them,
such agreement also to determine the date and place of the session.
Unless the Consultative Assembly decides otherwise, its
debates shall be conducted in public.
Chapter VI - Secretariat
a. The Secretariat shall consist of a Secretary General, a
Deputy Secretary General and such other staff as may be required.
b. The Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General shall be
appointed by the Consultative Assembly on the recommendation of the
Committee of Ministers.
c. The remaining staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed
by the Secretary General, in accordance with the administrative
d. No member of the Secretariat shall hold any salaried office
from any Government or be a member of the Consultative Assembly or
of any national legislature or engage in any occupation
incompatible with his duties.
e. Every member of the staff of the Secretariat shall make a
solemn declaration affirming that his duty is to the Council of
Europe and that he will perform his duties conscientiously,
uninfluenced by any national considerations, and that he will not
seek or receive instructions in connection with the performance of
his duties from any Government or any authority external to the
Council and will refrain from any action which might reflect on his
position as an international official responsible only to the
Council. In the case of the Secretary General and the Deputy
Secretary General this declaration shall be: made before the
Committee, and in the case of all other members of the staff,
before the Secretary General.
f. Every Member shall respect the exclusively international
character of the responsibilities of the Secretary General and the
staff of the Secretariat and not seek to influence them in the
discharge of their responsibilities.
a. The Secretariat shall be located at the seat of the
b. The Secretary General is responsible to the Committee of
Ministers for the work of the Secretariat. Amongst other things, he
shall, subject to Article 38.d, provide such secretariat and other
assistance as the Consultative Assembly may require.
Chapter VII - Finance
ARTICLE 38 ******
a. Each Member shall bear the expenses of its own
representation in the Committee of Ministers and in the
b. The expenses of the Secretariat and all other common
expenses shall be shared between all Members in such proportions as
shall be determined by the Committee on the basis of the population
The contributions of an Associate Member shall be determined
by the Committee.
c. In accordance with the financial regulations, the budget of
the Council shall be submitted annually by the Secretary General
for adoption by the Committee.
d. The Secretary General shall refer to the Committee requests
from the Assembly which involve expenditure exceeding the amount
already allocated in the Budget for the Assembly and its
e. The Secretary General shall also submit to the Committee at
Ministers an estimate of the expenditure to which the
implementation of each of the recommendations printed to the
Committee would give rise. Any resolution the implementation of
which requires additional expenditure shall not be considered as
adopted by the Committee of Ministers unless the Committee has also
approved the corresponding estimates for such additional
The Secretary General shall each year notify the Government of
each Member of the amount of its contribution, and each Member
shall pay to the Secretary General the amount of its contribution,
which shall be deemed to be due on the date of its notification,
not later than six months after that date.
Chapter VIII - Privileges and Immunities
a. The Council of Europe, representatives of Members and the
Secretariat shall enjoy in the territories of its Members such
privileges and immunities as are reasonably necessary for the
fulfilment of their functions. These immunities shall include
immunity for all Representatives to the Consultative Assembly from
arrest and legal proceedings in the territories of all Members, in
respect of words spoken and votes cast in the debates of the
Assembly or its committees or commissions.
b. The Members undertake as soon as possible to enter into
agreement for the purpose of fulfilling the provisions of paragraph
a above. For this purpose the Committee of Ministers shall
recommend to the Governments of Members the acceptance of an
Agreement defining the privileges and immunities to be granted in
the territories of all Members. In addition a special Agreement
shall be concluded with the Government of the French Republic
defining the privileges and immunities which the Council shall
enjoy at its seat.
Chapter IX - Amendments
a. Proposals for the amendment of this Statute may be made in
the Committee of Ministers or, in the conditions provided for in
Article 23, in the Consultative Assembly.
b. The Committee shall recommend and cause to be embodied in a
Protocol those amendments which it considers to be desirable.
c. An amending Protocol shall come into force when it has been
signed and ratified on behalf of two- thirds of the Members.
d. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraphs
of this Article, amendments to Articles 23-35, 38 and 39 which have
been approved by the Committee and by the Assembly, shall come into
force on the date of the certificate of the Secretary General,
transmitted to the Governments of Members, certifying that they
have been so approved. This paragraph shall not operate until the
conclusion of the second ordinary session of the Assembly.
Chapter X - Final Provisions
a. This Statute shall be ratified. Ratifications shall be
deposited with the Government of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland.
b. The present Statute shall come into force as soon as seven
instruments of ratification have been deposited. The Government of
the United Kingdom shall transmit to all signatory Governments a
certificate declaring that the Statute has entered into force and
giving the names of the Members of the Council of Europe on that
c. Thereafter each other signatory shall become a party to
this Statute as from the date of the deposit of its instrument of
ratification. In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly
authorised thereto, have signed the present Statute. Done at
London, this 5th day of May 1949, in English and French, both texts
being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall remain
deposited in the archives of the Government of the United Kingdom
which shall transmit certified copies to the other signatory
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* As amended in May, 1951.
** First sentence of paragraph a as amended in May, 1951 - The
last two sub-paragraphs of paragraph a were added in May, 1953 -
First sub-paragraph of paragraph a amended in October, 1970.
*** As amended in December 1951, in May l958, in November 1961,
in May 1963, in May 1965, in February 1971, in December 1974, in
October 1976, in January 1918, in November 1978, in November 1988
and in May 1989.
**** As amended in May 1951.
***** As amended in May, 1951.
****** Paragraph e of Article 38 was added in May, 1951.