​Imagen de la sede del Consejo de Europa en Estrasburgo, Francia. FOTO COUNCIL OF EUROPE.
History and Activity of the Council of Europe
The Council of Europe was set up after the Second World War with the aim of becoming the custodian of democratic values on the continent. One of the main drivers behind the institution at the time was the then British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Nowadays it carries on this work and has become the leading authority in Europe on this issue.

Its main priority is the defence of civil and political rights, although it also concerns itself with defending social and economic rights as contained in the European Social Charter.


The Council of Europe was founded on 5 May 1949 following the signing of its founding charter – the Treaty of London – by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Shortly after, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Norway and Sweden also signed up.


One of the first measures taken by the newly-created organisation was the drafting, in 1950, of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. This text enacted, in a binding legal instrument, the rights established two years earlier in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1953, the convention came into force and since then it has been a key element of the organisation’s action.


The polarisation suffered around the world in the mid-20th Century as a result of the Cold War limited, in practice, the actions of the Council of Europe to Western Europe, where citizens lived under democratic regimes.


The growing democratisation that Europe has undergone in recent decades has translated into almost all of the countries on the continent signing up to the highest institution in terms of human and political rights. These new members joined up in two waves: the countries of Southern Europe (Spain, Greece and Portugal) in the 70s and, as from 1989, those in the east, behind the former Iron Curtain. The last State to join was Montenegro in 2007. Belarus, the only country that is not a member, has presented its candidature for membership, which has not been accepted to date.

Twitter@SpainMFA

  • 29 Jul @SpainMFA * The Government of Spain is deeply saddened by the death of Cardinal Jaime Ortega and expresses its condolences to h… https://t.co/jJdVf7qY9a
  • 29 Jul @SpainMFA * The components contributed by #Spain to @NASA's #Mars2020 mission have already been integrated in the #Rover! The… https://t.co/QyAvBWpjRv
  • 26 Jul @SpainMFA * A spectacular mural by the Australian urban artist of Spanish descent #Rone, called "Sarah", decorates part of the… https://t.co/iduoRne5Ov
  • 26 Jul @SpainMFA * @EmbajadaEspAust @CasaReal The @EmbajadaEspAust hosts works from the exhibition “From #Atapuerca to #Uluru” by… https://t.co/ha6vLQHk9p
  • 26 Jul @SpainMFA * Today we are introducing our first Embassy of the Month: 🇪🇸🇦🇺 The @EmbajadaEspAust! 🎂 #Spain's Embassy in… https://t.co/1L3m8wMxp0
  • 26 Jul @SpainMFA * @AECID_es @EmbEspSenegal The results of the workshop are now showcased in the exhibition "The parliament of #women"… https://t.co/ehWVBKIL7q
  • 26 Jul @SpainMFA * As part of the #cooperation programme #ACERCA, the @AECID_es has recently organized a photography workshop in… https://t.co/ERggCvnhh5
  • 26 Jul @SpainMFA * RT @EmbSpainAddis: Women for Africa Foundation @MujeresxAfrica is launching its 5th call for the "Science by Women" program fellowships, ai…
  • 26 Jul @SpainMFA * 🇹🇳 Spain is deeply saddened by the death of the President of the Republic of #Tunisia, Béji Caïd Essebsi, and sends… https://t.co/gV6iCLuiOu
  • 26 Jul @SpainMFA * 🇸🇴 Spain expresses its vehement condemnation of the suicide bomb attack on the office of the Mayor of #Mogadishu an… https://t.co/d1298nSXnA
  • 25 Jul @SpainMFA * 4️⃣ Spanish cities are candidates to join the @UNESCO Creative Cities Network: #Orihuela, #Valladolid, #Lucena and… https://t.co/Sbi69ROC8t
  • 25 Jul @SpainMFA * 🎞️ The Spanish films "#Madre", by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, and "#Zumiriki", by Oskar Alegria, and the Spanish-Chilean co-… https://t.co/Cyeah2V03U
  • 25 Jul @SpainMFA * Happy Day of #Galicia and happy Saint James' Day, patron saint of this beautiful land of pilgrimage, nature and cul… https://t.co/agig7Em7ZO
  • 25 Jul @SpainMFA * Congratulations to #Bilbao, one of the finalists of the 2019 #iCapitalAwards 🇪🇺! ➡️ https://t.co/FOJxArSnnr 🌆💡 Thi… https://t.co/xYSdnbgqcG
  • 25 Jul @SpainMFA * RT @Moedas: Congratulations to the winner of the 1000th @ERC_Research Proof of Concept grant – 🇪🇸 based engineer M. González-Herráez! For t…

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