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Euro-glossary Monday, 30 April, 2001, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Council of Europe
Council of Europe in Strasbourg
The Council is open to all European countries
The Council of Europe is a body of more than 40 countries that aims to promote democracy and protect human rights.

It is a separate institution from the European Union, but the 15 member states and all the candidate countries are members.

Based in Strasbourg, it was established in 1949 as a discussion forum for all European countries and concentrates mainly on cultural, environmental and ethical issues.

The Council makes recommendations and forms opinions but does not have any legislative power.

It did however found the European Convention on Human Rights and cases relating to the convention can be brought before the European Court of Human Rights.

The convention has had considerable influence over the formation of EU legislation.

The Council has also played an important role in advising the emerging democracies in Eastern Europe on their development.

See also:

13 Mar 01 | Euro-glossary
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