The Council of Europe

Norway was one of the ten founding members of the Council of Europe, which was created on 5 May 1949. The Council of Europe is the oldest of all the European cooperation organisations. The aim was to achieve greater unity between its members, facilitate social and economic progress and promote adherence to the fundamental principals of democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.

Norway attaches great importance to cooperation in the Council of Europe and will continue to support its further development. In Norway’s view, the Council of Europe plays a crucial role, particularly in the core areas of human rights, the rule of law and good governance. The institution is of great importance in creating stability, preventing conflict and building democracy in our part of the world. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is cooperating with a number of other ministries in Norway and other member states on activities aimed at strengthening the work the Council of Europe is doing in these fields.

Today the Council of Europe has 47 member states, twice as many as in 1989. The member states of the Council of Europe have a combined population of over 800 million. The scope of cooperation has been considerably extended and now covers foreign policy issues, human rights and legal issues, education, culture, media, social cohesion, health protection, environment and landscape protection, childhood and youth, sport, and cross-border municipal and regional cooperation.

Norway chaired the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers in 1989 and 2004. The chairmanship gave Norway a unique opportunity to influence the Council’s agenda. Reform of the European human rights system was among Norway’s top priorities.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs   |   Share on your network   |   print