​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

  • 21 Feb @SpainMFA * The Government of #Spain expresses its condolences and solidarity to the families of the 67 people who lost their l… https://t.co/e5lbjFyqeC
  • 21 Feb @SpainMFA * Minister @JosepBorrellF held a meeting with @JMVivancoHRW, Executive Director of @hrw Americas Division, to address… https://t.co/VvA11zth1y
  • 21 Feb @SpainMFA * Today is International #MotherLanguageDay! 2019 has also been declared by the @UN as the Int. Year of… https://t.co/J4DFy7r7zV
  • 20 Feb @SpainMFA * RT @MichelBarnier: EU27 consultations. Today in #Madrid for constructive meetings with President @sanchezcastejon MFA @JosepBorrellF & SoS…
  • 20 Feb @SpainMFA * 🇪🇺Minister @JosepBorrellF welcomed #EU #Brexit Chief Negotiator ⁦@MichelBarnier⁩ yesterday in #Madrid and reiterate… https://t.co/yJPVE5oIEV
  • 20 Feb @SpainMFA * 🇮🇳🇪🇸 Minister @JosepBorrellF held a meeting with the External Affairs Minister of #India @SushmaSwaraj, to whom he… https://t.co/gAg7SEmbhO
  • 18 Feb @SpainMFA * RT @AngelLosadaEU: Je condamne fermement le meurtre du Père Antonio Cesar Fernandez et des douaniers burkinabés. Mes condoléances à la cong…
  • 18 Feb @SpainMFA * 🇧🇫 The Spanish Government condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the murder of the Spanish Salesian priest Anto… https://t.co/coCYkHskH3
  • 18 Feb @SpainMFA * #Spain's FM @JosepBorrellF is in #Brussels today to take part in the Foreign Affairs Council (#FAC) to address issu… https://t.co/cGbtOREDcb
  • 18 Feb @SpainMFA * RT @UN_OCT: During their high-level visit to #Spain, @UN_OCT Voronkov & @UN_CTED Coninsx delivered a lecture @esc_espana about the multilat…
  • 16 Feb @SpainMFA * #MSC2019: @JosepBorrellF participates in the #Munich Security Conference, a key forum on international security tha… https://t.co/QYtTYn5pCt
  • 15 Feb @SpainMFA * #Spain offers ongoing support to the efforts taken by the @UN_OCT in their pursuit towards world peace and stabilit… https://t.co/09VyMZk7m2
  • 15 Feb @SpainMFA * USG @UN_OCT Voronkov also took a working lunch with #Spain's State Secretary for Foreign Affairs @SEAEXValenzuela,… https://t.co/zCuGGw2ick
  • 15 Feb @SpainMFA * Minister @JosepBorrellF and USG @UN_OCT Voronkov held a meeting in which they addressed the importance of the role… https://t.co/zt2qOClOCb
  • 15 Feb @SpainMFA * USG @UN_OCT Vladimir Voronkov, #CTC Chair Amb. Gustavo Meza-Cuadra and ASG & ED @UN_CTED Michèle Coninsx have under… https://t.co/qaqyuEpMIx

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