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Council of Europe

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Summary Article: Council of Europe from The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia

A loose association now including most of the states of Europe, established in 1949. Membership was originally limited to Western Europe (including Scandinavia), but since the collapse of communism (1991) it has been extended to Central and Eastern Europe, including Russia. The Council’s institutions include a Committee of Ministers and a representative at the parliamentary assembly, whose role is essentially advisory. The Council has furthered European co-operation through a number of international conventions, covering subjects ranging from education and cultural exchanges to transport regulations and the promotion of democratic local government. Its most important achievement has been the signature of the European Convention on Human Rights (drawn up in 1950 as the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms), whose application is supervised and enforced by the European Commission on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights, both based in Strasbourg. The Convention on Human Rights, partly drafted by British lawyers, limits the sovereignty of member states by enabling individual citizens to appeal to the Commission and the Court on matters of human rights. It had 45 members in 2004. Several other nations have observer status.

See also European Convention on Human Rights, human rights.

Major works:
 Member States
 Albania (1995)
 Andorra (1994)
 Armenia (2001)
 Austria (1956)
 Azerbaijan (2001)
 Belgium (1949)
 Bosnia & Herzegovina (2002)
 Bulgaria (1992)
 Croatia (1996)
 Cyprus (1961)
 Czech Republic (1993)
 Denmark (1949)
 Estonia (1993)
 Finland (1989)
 France (1949)
 Georgia (1999)
 Germany (1950)
 Greece (1949)
 Hungary (1990)
 Iceland (1950)
 Ireland (1949)

Italy (1949)
 Latvia (1995)
 Liechtenstein (1978)
 Lithuania (1993)
 Luxembourg (1949)
 Macedonia, Former Yugoslav Republic of (1995)

Malta (1965)
 Moldova (1995)
 Netherlands (1949)
 Norway (1949)
 Poland (1991)
 Portugal (1976)
 Romania (1993)
 Russian Federation (1996)
 San Marino (1988)
 Serbia and Montenegro (2003)
 Slovakia (1993)
 Slovenia (1993)

Spain (1977)
 Sweden (1949)
 Switzerland (1963)
 Turkey (1949)
 Ukraine (1995)
 United Kingdom (1949)

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