Council of Europe
The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg (France), now covers virtually the entire European continent, with its 47 member countries. Founded on 5 May 1949 by 10 countries, the Council of Europe seeks to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other reference texts on the protection of individuals.
Member States: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
Although the Council of Europe and the European Union now both share a common flag and an anthem, their roles, functions and aims are quite distinct.
The Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organisation which today has 47 member states. It is concerned primarily with protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The European Union currently has 27 members that have delegated some of their sovereignty so that decisions on specific matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level.
No country has ever joined the European Union (EU) without first belonging to the Council of Europe.