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The Council of Europe was established on 5 May 1949 and is today the oldest pan-European international organisation. At present it has 47 Member States that have committed themselves to protecting human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.


Council of Europe’s aims:

  • To protect human rights, democracy and the rule of law;
  • To promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity;
  • To find common solutions to the challenges facing European society (discrimination against minorities, xenophobia, intolerance, environmental protection, bioethics, trafficking in human beings, organised crime, violence against children, etc.);
  • To consolidate democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative, and constitutional reform.

Bodies and institutions of the Council of Europe

  • Committee of Ministers;
  • Parliamentary Assembly (PACE);
  • Congress of Local and Regional Authorities;
  • Secretary General;
  • European Court of Human Rights;
  • Commissioner for Human Rights.

The current Council of Europe's political mandate was defined by the third Summit of Heads of State and Government, held in Warsaw in May 2005.

Member States of the Council of Europe include: 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, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Montenegro was the last to join the Council of Europe on 11 May 2007, whereas Belarus, which applied for membership in 1993, still awaits an invitation to join the Organization. Canada, Japan, Mexico, the Holy See and the United States of America hold observer status in the Committee of Ministers; Israel, Canada, and Mexico have observer status in PACE.

Slovenia applied for full membership of the Council of Europe on 29 January 1992, and was admitted to the Organisation on 14 May 1993. In its opinion on Slovenia’s membership application, PACE imposed no special conditions for its joining the Organisation. Slovenia has become a successful Member State with the acknowledged high level of respect for human and minority rights as well as established democratic institutions and the rule of law.

The Council of Europe plays an important role in drafting the common European legislation in all areas. Thus, more than 200 conventions and agreements have been adopted in over fifty years that provide for establishing regular control mechanisms within the Council of Europe:

1. Political control mechanisms:

2. Legal control mechanisms:

On the Council of Europe’s initiative, an Information and Documentation Centre was opened in Ljubljana in 1997, which became, through the years, the main information point of the Organisation in Slovenia. It organised a number of events within the broader scope of the Organisation’s activity, particularly in the field of the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms; in addition, the Centre provided translations of many documents and conventions of the Council of Europe. The Information Office of the Council of Europe was eventually closed on 31 December 2010. For all information on its operation and documents in the Slovene language, please visit:


Slovenia took over the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers on 12 May 2009, at the 119th Ministerial Session in Madrid, concluding it on 18 November 2009. For an overview of Slovenia’s Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, please visit the website.

Slovenian citizens have the possibility to apply for employment or traineeship at the Council of Europe. The selection of candidates from its Member States is carried out through public tenders. In addition, every citizen of the Republic of Slovenia who has successfully completed at least three years of university study and speaks at least one of the Council of Europe’s official languages (English or French) may apply for a three-month unpaid traineeship. For more information on employment and traineeship, see the website of the Council of Europe.