The Council of Europe is the oldest political, pan-European organization, founded in 1949 with an aim to achieve a greater unity between its members. It promotes the respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Its purpose is to foster political stability, economic and social progress in the 47 member states which comprise more than 800 million Europeans. Membership of the Organization is open to all European states which share the same values and accept the principle of the rule of law and are able and willing to guarantee democracy and fundamental human rights and freedoms to their citizens.
The seat of the Council of Europe is in Strasbourg.