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Statute of the Council of Europe
The Statute of the Council of Europe has been
numbered "1" in the European Treaty Series. Amendments and texts of a
statutory character adopted later have been numbered 6, 7, 8 and 11. The
text of the Statute reproduced here incorporates all successive amendments
and is followed by the texts of a statutory character.
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/ Новости /
/ Судебные дела / Европейский
Суд / Изучаем Европейскую Конвенцию
The Governments of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark,
the French Republic, the Irish Republic, the Italian Republic, the Grand
Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of
Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland,
Convinced that the pursuit of peace based upon justice and
international co-operation is vital for the preservation of human
society and civilisation;
Reaffirming their devotion to the spiritual and moral values which
are the common heritage of their peoples and the true source of
individual freedom, political liberty and the rule of law, principles
which form the basis of all genuine democracy;
Believing that, for the maintenance and further realisation of these
ideals and in the interests of economic and social progress, there is a
need of a closer unity between all like-minded countries of Europe;
Considering that, to respond to this need and to the expressed
aspirations of their peoples in this regard, it is necessary forthwith
to create an organisation which will bring European States into closer
Have in consequence decided to set up a Council of Europe consisting
of a committee of representatives of governments and of a consultative
assembly, and have for this purpose adopted the following Statute:
Chapter I – Aim of the Council of Europe
- The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity
between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising
the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and
facilitating their economic and social progress.
- This aim shall be pursued through the organs of the Council by
discussion of questions of common concern and by agreements and
common action in economic, social, cultural, scientific, legal and
administrative matters and in the maintenance and further
realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- Participation in the Council of Europe shall not affect the
collaboration of its members in the work of the United Nations and
of other international organisations or unions to which they are
- Matters relating to national defence do not fall within the
scope of the Council of Europe.
Chapter II – Membership
The members of the Council of Europe are the Parties to this Statute.
Every member of the Council of Europe must accept the principles of
the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its
jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and collaborate
sincerely and effectively in the realisation of the aim of the Council
as specified in Chapter I.
Any European State which is deemed to be able and willing to fulfil
the provisions of Article 3 may be invited to become a member of the
Council of Europe by the Committee of Ministers. Any State so invited
shall become a member on the deposit on its behalf with the Secretary
General of an instrument of accession to the present Statute.
- In special circumstances, a European country which is deemed to
be able and willing to fulfil the provisions of Article 3 may be
invited by the Committee of Ministers to become an associate member
of the Council of Europe. Any country so invited shall become an
associate member on the deposit on its behalf with the Secretary
General of an instrument accepting the present Statute. An associate
member shall be entitled to be represented in the Consultative
- The expression "member" in this Statute includes an associate
member except when used in connexion with representation on the
Committee of Ministers.
Before issuing invitations under Article 4 or 5 above, the Committee
of Ministers shall determine the number of representatives on the
Consultative Assembly to which the proposed member shall be entitled and
its proportionate financial contribution.
Any member of the Council of Europe may withdraw by formally
notifying the Secretary General of its intention to do so. Such
withdrawal shall take effect at the end of the financial year in which
it is notified, if the notification is given during the first nine
months of that financial year. If the notification is given in the last
three months of the financial year, it shall take effect at the end of
the next financial year.
Any member of the Council of Europe which has seriously violated
Article 3 may be suspended from its rights of representation and
requested by the Committee of Ministers to withdraw under Article 7. If
such member does not comply with this request, the Committee may decide
that it has ceased to be a member of the Council as from such date as
the Committee may determine.
The Committee of Ministers may suspend the right of representation on
the Committee and on the Consultative Assembly of a member which has
failed to fulfil its financial obligation during such period as the
obligation remains unfulfilled.
Chapter III – General
The organs of the Council of Europe are:
- the Committee of Ministers;
- the Consultative Assembly.1
Both these organs shall be served by the Secretariat of the Council
The seat of the Council of Europe is at Strasbourg.
The official languages of the Council of Europe are English and
French. The rules of procedure of the Committee of Ministers and of the
Consultative Assembly shall determine in what circumstances and under
what conditions other languages may be used.
Chapter IV – Committee of Ministers
The Committee of Ministers is the organ which acts on behalf of the
Council of Europe in accordance with Articles 15 and 16.
Each member shall be entitled to one representative on the Committee
of Ministers, and each representative shall be entitled to one vote.
Representatives on the Committee shall be the Ministers for Foreign
Affairs. When a Minister for Foreign Affairs is unable to be present or
in other circumstances where it may be desirable, an alternate may be
nominated to act for him, who shall, whenever possible, be a member of
- On the recommendation of the Consultative Assembly or on its own
initiative, the Committee of Ministers shall consider the action
required to further the aim of the Council of Europe, including the
conclusion of conventions or agreements and the adoption by
governments of a common policy with regard to particular matters.
Its conclusions shall be communicated to members by the Secretary
- In appropriate cases, the conclusions of the Committee may take
the form of recommendations to the governments of members, and the
Committee may request the governments of members to inform it of the
action taken by them with regard to such recommendations.
The Committee of Ministers shall, subject to the provisions of
Articles 24, 28, 30, 32, 33 and 35, relating to the powers of the
Consultative Assembly, decide with binding effect all matters relating
to the internal organisation and arrangements of the Council of Europe.
For this purpose the Committee of Ministers shall adopt such financial
and administrative arrangements as may be necessary.
The Committee of Ministers may set up advisory and technical
committees or commissions for such specific purposes as it may deem
The Committee of Ministers shall adopt its rules of procedure, which
shall determine amongst other things:
- the quorum;
- the method of appointment and term of office of its President;
- the procedure for the admission of items to its agenda,
including the giving of notice of proposals for resolutions; and
- the notifications required for the nomination of alternates
under Article 14.
At each session of the Consultative Assembly the Committee of
Ministers shall furnish the Assembly with statements of its activities,
accompanied by appropriate documentation.
- Resolutions of the Committee of Ministers relating to the
following important matters, namely:
- recommendations under Article 15.b;
- questions under Article 19;
- questions under Article 21.a.i and b;
- questions under Article 33;
- recommendations for the amendment of Articles 1.d, 7, 15, 20
and 22; and
- any other question which the Committee may, by a resolution
passed under d below, decide should be subject to a unanimous
vote on account of its importance, require the unanimous vote of
the representatives casting a vote, and of a majority of the
representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
- Questions arising under the rules of procedure or under the
financial and administrative regulations may be decided by a simple
majority vote of the representatives entitled to sit on the
- Resolutions of the Committee under Articles 4 and 5 require a
two-thirds majority of all the representatives entitled to sit on
- All other resolutions of the Committee, including adoption of
the budget, of rules of procedure and of financial and
administrative regulations, recommendations for the amendment of
articles of this Statute, other than those mentioned in paragraph
a.v above, and deciding in case of doubt which paragraph of this
article applies, require a two-thirds majority of the
representatives casting a vote and of a majority of the
representatives entitled to sit on the Committee.
- Unless the Committee decides otherwise, meetings of the
Committee of Ministers shall be held:
- in private, and
- at the seat of the Council.
- The Committee shall determine what information shall be
published regarding the conclusions and discussions of a meeting
held in private.
- The Committee shall meet before and during the beginning of
every session of the Consultative Assembly and at such other times
as it may decide.
Chapter V – Consultative Assembly
The Consultative Assembly is the deliberative organ of the Council of
Europe. It shall debate matters within its competence under this Statute
and present its conclusions, in the form of recommendations, to the
Committee of Ministers.
- The Consultative Assembly may discuss and make recommendations
upon any matter within the aim and scope of the Council of Europe as
defined in Chapter I. It shall also discuss and may make
recommendations upon any matter referred to it by the Committee of
Ministers with a request for its opinion.
- The Assembly shall draw up its agenda in accordance with the
provisions of paragraph a above. In so doing, it shall have regard
to the work of other European intergovernmental organisations to
which some or all of the members of the Council are parties.
- The President of the Assembly shall decide, in case of doubt,
whether any question raised in the course of the session is within
the agenda of the Assembly.
The Consultative Assembly may, with due regard to the provisions of
Article 38.d, establish committees or commissions to consider and report
to it any matter which falls within its competence under Article 23, to
examine and prepare questions on its agenda and to advise on all matters
- The Consultative Assembly shall consist of representatives of
each member, elected by its parliament from among the members
thereof, or appointed from among the members of that parliament, in
such manner as it shall decide, subject, however, to the right of
each member government to make any additional appointments necessary
when the parliament is not in session and has not laid down the
procedure to be followed in that case. Each representative must be a
national of the member whom he represents, but shall not at the same
time be a member of the Committee of Ministers.
The term of office of representatives thus appointed will date from
the opening of the ordinary session following their appointment; it
will expire at the opening of the next ordinary session or of a
later ordinary session, except that, in the event of elections to
their parliaments having taken place, members shall be entitled to
make new appointments.
If a member fills vacancies due to death or resignation, or proceeds
to make new appointments as a result of elections to its parliament,
the term of office of the new representatives shall date from the
first sitting of the Assembly following their appointment.
- No representative shall be deprived of his position as such
during a session of the Assembly without the agreement of the
- Each representative may have a substitute who may, in the
absence of the representative, sit, speak and vote in his place. The
provisions of paragraph a above apply to the appointment of
Members shall be entitled to the number of representatives given
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"
The conditions under which the Committee of Ministers collectively
may be represented in the debates of the Consultative Assembly, or
individual representatives on the Committee or their alternates may
address the Assembly, shall be determined by such rules of procedure on
this subject as may be drawn up by the Committee after consultation with
- The Consultative Assembly shall adopt its rules of procedure and
shall elect from members its President, who shall remain in office
until the next ordinary session.
- The President shall control the proceedings but shall not take
part in the debate or vote. The substitute of the representative who
is President may sit, speak and vote in his place.
- The rules of procedure shall determine inter alia:
- the quorum;
- the manner of the election and terms of office of the
President and other officers;
- the manner in which the agenda shall be drawn up and be
communicated to representatives;
- the time and manner in which the names of representatives
and their substitutes shall be notified.
Subject to the provisions of Article 30, all resolutions of the
Consultative Assembly, including resolutions:
- embodying recommendations to the Committee of Ministers;
- proposing to the Committee matters for discussion in the
- establishing committees or commissions;
- determining the date of commencement of its sessions;
- determining what majority is required for resolutions in cases
not covered by sections i to iv above or determining cases of doubt
as to what majority is required,
shall require a two-thirds majority of the representatives casting a
On matters relating to its internal procedure, which includes the
election of officers, the nomination of persons to serve on committees
and commissions and the adoption of rules of procedure, resolutions of
the Consultative Assembly shall be carried by such majorities as the
Assembly may determine in accordance with Article 29.v.
Debates on proposals to be made to the Committee of Ministers that a
matter should be placed on the agenda of the Consultative Assembly shall
be confined to an indication of the proposed subject-matter and the
reasons for and against its inclusion in the agenda.
The Consultative Assembly shall meet in ordinary session once a year,
the date and duration of which shall be determined by the Assembly so as
to avoid as far as possible overlapping with parliamentary sessions of
members and with sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
In no circumstances shall the duration of an ordinary session exceed one
month unless both the Assembly and the Committee of Ministers concur.
Ordinary sessions of the Consultative Assembly shall be held at the
seat of the Council unless both the Assembly and the Committee of
Ministers concur that the session should be held elsewhere.
The Consultative Assembly may be convened in extraordinary session,
upon the initiative either of the Committee of Ministers or of the
President of the Assembly after agreement between them, such agreement
also to determine the date and place of the session.
Unless the Consultative Assembly decides otherwise, its debates shall
be conducted in public.
Chapter VI – Secretariat
- The Secretariat shall consist of a Secretary General, a Deputy
Secretary General and such other staff as may be required.
- The Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General shall be
appointed by the Consultative Assembly on the recommendation of the
Committee of Ministers.
- The remaining staff of the Secretariat shall be appointed by the
Secretary General, in accordance with the administrative
- No member of the Secretariat shall hold any salaried office from
any government or be a member of the Consultative Assembly or of any
national legislature or engage in any occupation incompatible with
- Every member of the staff of the Secretariat shall make a solemn
declaration affirming that his duty is to the Council of Europe and
that he will perform his duties conscientiously, uninfluenced by any
national considerations, and that he will not seek or receive
instructions in connexion with the performance of his duties from
any government or any authority external to the Council and will
refrain from any action which might reflect on his position as an
international official responsible only to the Council. In the case
of the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General this
declaration shall be made before the Committee, and in the case of
all other members of the staff, before the Secretary General.
- Every member shall respect the exclusively international
character of the responsibilities of the Secretary General and the
staff of the Secretariat and not seek to influence them in the
discharge of their responsibilities.
- The Secretariat shall be located at the seat of the Council.
- The Secretary General is responsible to the Committee of
Ministers for the work of the Secretariat. Amongst other things, he
shall, subject to Article 38.d, provide such secretariat and other
assistance as the Consultative Assembly may require.
Chapter VII – Finance
- Each member shall bear the expenses of its own representation in
the Committee of Ministers and in the Consultative Assembly.
- The expenses of the Secretariat and all other common expenses
shall be shared between all members in such proportions as shall be
determined by the Committee on the basis of the population of
The contributions of an associate member shall be determined by the
- In accordance with the financial regulations, the budget of the
Council shall be submitted annually by the Secretary General for
adoption by the Committee.
- The Secretary General shall refer to the Committee requests from
the Assembly which involve expenditure exceeding the amount already
allocated in the budget for the Assembly and its activities.
- The Secretary General shall also submit to the Committee of
Ministers an estimate of the expenditure to which the implementation
of each of the recommendations presented to the Committee would give
rise. Any resolution the implementation of which requires additional
expenditure shall not be considered as adopted by the Committee of
Ministers unless the Committee has also approved the corresponding
estimates for such additional expenditure.
The Secretary General shall each year notify the government of each
member of the amount of its contribution, and each member shall pay to
the Secretary General the amount of its contribution, which shall be
deemed to be due on the date of its notification, not later than six
months after that date.
Chapter VIII – Privileges and immunities
- The Council of Europe, representatives of members and the
Secretariat shall enjoy in the territories of its members such
privileges and immunities as are reasonably necessary for the
fulfilment of their functions. These immunities shall include
immunity for all representatives to the Consultative Assembly from
arrest and all legal proceedings in the territories of all members,
in respect of words spoken and votes cast in the debates of the
Assembly or its committees or commissions.
- The members undertake as soon as possible to enter into
agreement for the purpose of fulfilling the provisions of paragraph
a above. For this purpose the Committee of Ministers shall recommend
to the governments of members the acceptance of an agreement
defining the privileges and immunities to be granted in the
territories of all members. In addition, a special agreement shall
be concluded with the Government of the French Republic defining the
privileges and immunities which the Council shall enjoy at its seat.
Chapter IX – Amendments
- Proposals for the amendment of this Statute may be made in the
Committee of Ministers or, in the conditions provided for in Article
23, in the Consultative Assembly.
- The Committee shall recommend and cause to be embodied in a
protocol those amendments which it considers to be desirable.
- An amending protocol shall come into force when it has been
signed and ratified on behalf of two-thirds of the members.
- Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraphs of
this article, amendments to Articles 23 to 35, 38 and 39 which have
been approved by the Committee and by the Assembly shall come into
force on the date of the certificate of the Secretary General,
transmitted to the governments of members, certifying that they have
been so approved. This paragraph shall not operate until the
conclusion of the second ordinary session of the Assembly.
Chapter X – Final provisions
- This Statute shall be ratified. Ratifications shall be deposited
with the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
- The present Statute shall come into force as soon as seven
instruments of ratification have been deposited. The Government of
the United Kingdom shall transmit to all signatory governments a
certificate declaring that the Statute has entered into force and
giving the names of the members of the Council of Europe on that
- Thereafter each other signatory shall become a Party to this
Statute as from the date of the deposit of its instrument of
In witness whereof the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto,
have signed the present Statute.
Done at London, this 5th day of May 1949, in English and French,
both texts being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall
remain deposited in the archives of the Government of the United
Kingdom which shall transmit certified copies to the other signatory
(1) In February 1994 the Committee of Ministers decided to use in
future the denomination "Parliamentary Assembly" in all Council of
(2) As amended in May 1951.
(3) First sentence of paragraph a, as amended in May 1951. The last
two sub-paragraphs of paragraph a were added in May 1953; first
sub-paragraph of paragraph a amended in October 1970.
(4) As amended in December 1951, in May 1958, in November 1961, in May
1963, in May 1965, in February 1971, in December 1974, in October 1976,
in January 1978, in November 1978, in November 1988, in May 1989, in
November 1990, in November 1991, in May 1992, in May 1993, in June 1993,
in October 1993, in November 1994, in February 1995, in November 1995,
in February 1996, in November 1996, in April 1999, in January 2001, in
May 2002 and in April 2003.
(5) Paragraph e of Article 38 was added in May 1951.