Council of Europe: Conscience of a Continent

The Council of Europe has become the conscience of the continent. When the ten founding states signed the Treaty of London sixty years ago, each agreed to ‘accept the principles of the rule of law and the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms’. Since then the Council has developed into a pan- European organisation encompassing forty-seven states, all subscribing to the founders’ high ideals. But practice does not always live up to principle in an organisation that reflects deep continental rifts.

The World Today Updated 14 October 2020 Published 1 May 2009 4 minute READ

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