​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.

 

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Twitter@SpainMFA

  • 14 Oct @SpainMFA * The @fundacionyuste has awarded #AngelaMerkel with the 14th Carlos V European Award, in recognition for her commitm… https://t.co/HbUb8l6xxZ
  • 14 Oct @SpainMFA * .@jmalbares: "Congratulations to @InstCervantes for 30 years teaching Spanish, 2nd mother tongue in the world, 3rd… https://t.co/zovQWv9SzB
  • 13 Oct @SpainMFA * RT @jmalbares: Fruitful conversation with @AnnLinde Estrechando lazos entre España y Suecia. 🇪🇸🇸🇪
  • 13 Oct @SpainMFA * Minister @jmalbares heads the Spanish delegation at the #Malmö International Forum on #Holocaust Remembrance and Co… https://t.co/HRTOf5EUIS
  • 11 Oct @SpainMFA * In New Zealand, Australia and Japan it's already October 12. We wish a happy National Day to all Spaniards abroad t… https://t.co/bjDDrnSkHn
  • 06 Oct @SpainMFA * .@jmalbares has met with @SecBlinken in Paris to discuss bilateral and global strategic issues. "#Spain and the… https://t.co/1OIm84m3kh
  • 05 Oct @SpainMFA * In the margins of the Ministerial Meeting of the @OECD, FM @jmalbares met with John Kerry (@ClimateEnvoy), US Speci… https://t.co/oc5AP8ZJAo
  • 04 Oct @SpainMFA * .@jmalbares has accompanied His Majesty the King for the first time as Minister of @SpainMFA at the presentation of… https://t.co/z4KYxbwVwe
  • 02 Oct @SpainMFA * Travelling to the #UnitedKingdom? Remember that, since October 1st, British authorities require #passports to Spa… https://t.co/l8gRcdPYYN
  • 01 Oct @SpainMFA * FM @jmalbares met with the #EU ambassadors on the occasion of the Slovenian Presidency. "We are going to work toge… https://t.co/dJ2b1ru0KJ
  • 01 Oct @SpainMFA * Yesterday FM @jmalbares met in #Algiers with the President of #Algeria @TebbouneAmadjid, the Minister of Foreign Af… https://t.co/rgKgjG8k0M
  • 30 Sep @SpainMFA * Travelling to the #UnitedKingdom? Remember that, as of tomorrow October 1st, British authorities will require… https://t.co/Lt2unlIaFd
  • 30 Sep @SpainMFA * They then visited the exhibition "Treasures from Romania: the Dacian and Roman roots" at the @MANArqueologico with… https://t.co/0DQIha9j8T
  • 30 Sep @SpainMFA * Minister @jmalbares has met with his Romanian counterpart @BogdanAurescu to discuss bilateral, European and global… https://t.co/Y4o97o8aAW
  • 24 Sep @SpainMFA * .@jmalbares concluded his agenda in New York meeting with @PMaurerICRC. They discussed Torrejón's hub in the… https://t.co/f6mUrVM3Wc
 

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