Council of Europe

The Council of Europe (COE) is an international organisation founded in 1949. In French its name is ‘Conseil de l’Europe’ (CdE).

It is most widely known as the guardian of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is enforced by an institution of the CoE – the European Court of Human Rights.

Council of Europe building in Strasbourg
Council of Europe building in Strasbourg

The Council of Europe is NOT an institution of the European Union. In fact, it is in no significant way even related to the institutions of the European Union. The ‘Council of Europe’ should not be confused with such EU institutions as the ‘Council of the European Union‘ and the ‘European Council‘.

It is easy to confuse the Council of Europe with institutions of the European Union because both the EU and the CoE have the same flag, as well as the same anthem that uses Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” melody. To further add to the confusion, the CoE is located in Strasbourg, France, which is also one of the official seats of the European Parliament, an EU institution.





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