The Council of Europe was founded on the 5th of May 1949 by 10 countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom), which were joined in the same year by Greece and Turkey. The organisation currently has 46 member states. Five countries (Canada, the Holy See, Japan, Mexico and the United States of America) have an observer status with the organisation. The seat of the council of Europe is the Europe Palace (Palais de l'Europe) in Strasbourg, France.
The organisation has activities in a wide range of fields, for example: human rights, media, justice cooperation, inclusive socities, social cohesion, social rights, healthcare, education, culture, cultural heritage, sport, youth, local democracy, transborder cooperation, enviroment issues and regional planning.
- The decision making body of the Council of Europe is the Committee of Ministers, which consists of the foreign ministers of the member states. The Committee of Ministers also has meetings on a weekly basis, where the permanent representatives of the 47 member states represent their foreign ministers.
- The advisory body of the organisation is the Parliamentary Assembly; its members are nominated by the national legislatures of the member states. Hungary has seven members and seven substitutes, the leader of the Hungarian delegation is Zsolt Németh.
- The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities works as an advisory body representing the local and regional self governments of the member states. Similarly to the Parliamentary Assembly Hungary has 7 members and seven substitutes, the delegation is lead by György Illés.
- The Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGO) includes approximately 400 international NGOs, who have participatory status within the Council of Europe.
Further information visit: www.coe.int