(See also, Council of Europe)
Council of Europe:
‘Inter governmental consultative organisation founded in 1949 and located at Strasbourg. Called for famously by Winston Churchill in his Zurich speech of 19 September 1946, the council of Europe was convened after The Hague congress of May 1948. It was expected to be the first real post-war advance in European integration but became the first real setback, dogged by divergent Anglo-French visions of European unity. Its inaugural year, 1949, was also the year when the British government began to base its foreign policy on Anglo-American relations and when the French government began to look towards Europe as the foundations of its policy. Consequently, the Council of Europe of Europe was thought to be little more than a talking shop in its early years as the development of European unity followed the supranational route.
In its modern form, the council has two main roles. First, it continues to provide a forum where representatives of the European Union member states and non-European Union member states are linked together. The growth of the council from its original twelve members in 1949 (Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Turkey) to its current 40 verifies this. Membership of the Council of Europe, due to the required standards of democracy, was regarded as a stepping stone for those former Soviet satellites interested in joining the European Union. The council’s second main role is in the field of human rights, its most substantial and effective work being done in his area. Whilst it is not a law-making body, it does make recommendations to member states and formulates conventions, one of the most celebrated being the 1950 European Convention on *Human Rights’.