Firma de las actas de adhesión de España al Consejo de Europa, en 1977, por el entonces ministro de Asuntos Exteriores, Marcelino Oreja, y el secretario general del Consejo de Europa, Georg Kahn-Ackermann.
Spain’s priorities in the Council of Europe
Spain maintains its commitment to the Council of Europe, the pan-European body whose foundations are based on the rule of law. Its main priorities include greater effectiveness of the European Court of Human Rights and support for the process to reform the organisation undertaken by its Secretary-General, Thorbjørn Jagland.

35 years after joining up on 24 November 1977, Spain maintains its commitment to the Council of Europe, with headquarters in Strasbourg, as the sole pan-European organisation comprised of 47 States: the other 27 Member States of the EU, plus all other European countries, except Belarus, and Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.


Spain views the Council of Europe as a legal space with minimum shared guarantees, without dividing lines, based on three pillars: the defence of human rights, pluralistic democracy and the prevalence of law, including the fight against the discrimination of minorities, xenophobia, organised crime and terrorism.

The decision-making body of the Council of Europe is the Committee of Ministers, comprised of the foreign affairs ministers and, on their behalf, the permanent representatives of the Member States. It approves the conventions that national authorities must sign and ratify, and recommendations, as guidelines to follow on such diverse issues as the protection of minors on the Internet and equality at a political level. To date, Spain has ratified 122 European conventions  and signed another nine. Another 79 conventions have been neither signed nor ratified.

 
The Committee of Ministers, whose rotating presidency operates on a six-monthly basis, was chaired by Spain between November 2008 and May 2009, and also employs a monitoring and cooperation mechanism.


The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is represented by national Members of Parliament (12 members and 12 substitutes in the case of Spain, who adopt resolutions for the States and make recommendations to the Committee of Ministers, as well as overseeing compliance with the commitments undertaken by certain States.


The European Court of Human Rights is known as “the jewel of the crown” of the Council of Europe. Backed by the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950, the genuine acquis of the Council, it exams the claims lodged by individuals against States, as well as claims by one State against another, and hands down rulings on whether or not there are violations of human rights.


The Committee of Ministers oversees the enforcement of rulings by Member States.


The Council, known as the “conscience of Europe”, has been negotiating, since 2010, the membership of the European Union of the European Convention on Human Rights, with the aim of EU law not remaining outside of the control of the court in Strasbourg.


Over recent years, Spain has expressed its concern at the future of the Strasbourg court, faced with the possibility of dying from its own success. For that reason, Spain supports the Brighton Declaration of 2012, which seeks greater effectiveness from the court (which refuses to admit 90% of all claims), seeks to strengthen the principle of subsidiarity so that national courts can resolve as many cases as possible, and seeks to increase the degree of discretion allowed to national courts.


Spain also expressed its support for the process to reform the Council of Europe implemented by its Secretary-General, Thorbjørn Jagland. It also defends the neighbourhood policy of the Council of Europe, particularly with the southern shore of the Mediterranean, with the aim of exporting the organisation’s values, always upon the initiative of the countries involved and not by imposition.


Other bodies of the Council of Europe that supervise Member States, among them Spain, are the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, and the European Committee of Social Rights, chaired by the Spaniard, Luis Jimena.


Aside from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the Council of Europe has set up, as partial agreements, the Venice Commission, the Group of States against Corruption, the European Pharmacopoeia, the Council of Europe Development Bank, the Pompidou Group (to combat drug abuse), EPAS (sport), the European Audiovisual Observatory and Eurimages.


Spain’s contribution to the Council of Europe – the oldest European integration body on the continent – exceeded 21 million euros in 2012 - 7% of the 300-million euro budget allocated to the organisation. Spain is the sixth-largest contributor to the organisation.

Twitter@SpainMFA

  • 23 Nov @SpainMFA * The sentencing of Ratko Mladić by the @IntlCrimCourt is an important step in the fight against impunity and the pro… https://t.co/vWGPAGY5wU
  • 23 Nov @SpainMFA * This week Spain celebrates the 40th anniversary of its entrance into the Council of Europe @coe! #ForwardTogether https://t.co/EgSH5V5cO1
  • 22 Nov @SpainMFA * The Government of Spain expresses its profound concern in response to reports of degrading and inhumane treatment o… https://t.co/LyDTtftN65
  • 22 Nov @SpainMFA * Spain's position on #Brexit: 🏢 Fully back @EU_Commission ⌛️Orderly withdrawal in stages 👥 Citizens are first prio… https://t.co/IAhkN85OJP
  • 22 Nov @SpainMFA * #EquatorialGuinea 🇬🇶: While fully respecting its sovereignty and institutions, the results of the recent elections… https://t.co/UVz0kEeWZZ
  • 22 Nov @SpainMFA * This week the @UN Communications Group is holding its annual meeting in Madrid at the World Tourism Organization. T… https://t.co/StXIvTvXKj
  • 22 Nov @SpainMFA * RT @JorgeToledoAlb: Spain🇪🇸 and Ireland🇮🇪 are strong partners. Great talk with MoS @HMcEntee at @dfatirl. We remain united -as EU27- to fin…
  • 22 Nov @SpainMFA * RT @JorgeToledoAlb: "Spain and Ireland are showing the path to economic growth for Europe." Glad to start my visit to Ireland with a talk a…
  • 21 Nov @SpainMFA * Spain is pleased by the unanimous adoption of the @UN Security Council resolution on #HumanTrafficking, which it co… https://t.co/anErium8rG
  • 21 Nov @SpainMFA * @GMEJIASANCHEZ Hola Germán, por favor contacta con el Consulado General en Bogotá: cog@bogota@maec.es. Un saludo.
  • 21 Nov @SpainMFA * Spain is committed to promoting and supporting development and security in Central America. Foreign Minister… https://t.co/uPWAkUWIyT
  • 21 Nov @SpainMFA * Foreign Minister @AlfonsoDastisQ: "We congratulate Amsterdam on being chosen as the new #EMA headquarters. Followin… https://t.co/I6SPYBAGep
  • 21 Nov @SpainMFA * The Government of Spain congratulates @UKenyatta on his reelection as President of the Republic of Kenya 🇰🇪 and pra… https://t.co/aO642guN07
  • 21 Nov @SpainMFA * State Secretary for Foreign Affairs @ICastroSEAEX is in Myanmar participating in the #ASEM Asia-Europe Meeting, rei… https://t.co/FmNe5Utbk6
  • 20 Nov @SpainMFA * Today during the visit of Palestine's @president_abbas, Foreign Minister @AlfonsoDastisQ reaffirmed Spain's support… https://t.co/vFSxV4Rgeb

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