​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

  • 10 Dec @SpainMFA * RT @EmbEspNoruega: 🏆2018 Nobel Peace Prize awarded today in #Oslo to @NadiaMuradBasee and @DenisMukwege in a very moving ceremony.👏 Congrat…
  • 10 Dec @SpainMFA * RT @AbigailUNWomen: Great energizing meeting with Gabriel Ferrero of Spain’s MAEUEC to continue discussing mutual priorities. We appreciate…
  • 10 Dec @SpainMFA * Today we celebrate #HumanRightsDay, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the #UDHR. As a member of the @UN Human… https://t.co/82p5Ra3lon
  • 07 Dec @SpainMFA * RT @matteopugliese: Grateful to 🇪🇸 Spanish Foreign Minister @JosepBorrellF for speaking at our event during the #OSCEMC18. I appreciate his…
  • 07 Dec @SpainMFA * RT @JosepBorrellF: In #Milan, in an event organized in the margins of @OSCE Ministerial Council, about the role young people play in the pr…
  • 07 Dec @SpainMFA * Today at the @OSCE Ministerial Council, FM @JosepBorrellF: ✅Reiterated #Spain's firm position on the need to respec… https://t.co/h3lKEhCFsJ
  • 07 Dec @SpainMFA * 🇹🇷🇪🇸 In the margins of the @NATO #ForMin, Spanish FM @JosepBorrellF met with his Turkish counterpart… https://t.co/mVxxl6fDw9
  • 07 Dec @SpainMFA * At the @NATO #ForMin in #Brussels, #Spain's FM @JosepBorrellF and the other allied ministers held a meeting with th… https://t.co/5BcbQHtocO
  • 07 Dec @SpainMFA * RT @unicefchief: Important discussion with the Permanent Representative of Spain, Ambassador Augustin Santos, on the need for protection an…
  • 07 Dec @SpainMFA * RT @GlobalSpain: Our democracy is an example for the world. Not only the rankings prove it, but also all those who visit us and see for the…
  • 07 Dec @SpainMFA * @LithuaniaMFA @MAECgob @spain @LinkeviciusL @SAniuliene Ačiū! 😊
  • 07 Dec @SpainMFA * @Embajador_DK Thank you @Embajador_DK! 😊
  • 06 Dec @SpainMFA * Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Spanish Constitution, approved by referendum in 1978. Our Magna Car… https://t.co/tCiQiaLzuB
  • 06 Dec @SpainMFA * Spain is one of Europe's nations with the highest standards of solidarity, and the world's leader in organ donation… https://t.co/SbCq2A5XeP
  • 06 Dec @SpainMFA * 🇪🇺 The Spanish Constitution was essential for Spain's entry into the European Union. Four decades later, we are fu… https://t.co/WpxldjdfHW

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