French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers
The French Presidency of the Committee of Ministers in 2019 is an opportunity to celebrate and strengthen the ties forged between France and the Council of Europe over the past 70 years.
France has a unique and historic relationship with the Council of Europe. On 5 May 1949, France signed the Treaty of London, becoming one of the Council of Europe’s founding members, along with nine other States (Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom). Robert Schuman, one of the founding fathers of European integration, helped create the organization, as France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Other French figures also contributed to its history, including Catherine Lalumière, Secretary General from 1989 to 1994, who played a decisive role in welcoming Eastern European countries to the Council of Europe.
France is the Council of Europe’s host country. The organization has its headquarters in Strasbourg, at the Palais de l’Europe, a building designed by French architect Henry Bernard and inaugurated in 1977. The European Court of Human Rights is also based in Strasbourg, at the Palais des droits de l’homme.
French has been one of the Council of Europe’s official languages, along with English, since the organization was founded.
France is one of the five main contributors of the Council of Europe. In 2019, it contributed €38.5 million to the organization, in addition to voluntary contributions to specific programs.
France has one of the largest delegations at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, with 18 representatives.
France has always been very involved in the organization’s work. It has ratified 139 texts, making it one of the Member States to have ratified the most.
After ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights in 1974 and recognizing the individual right to appeal in 1981, France has continually adapted its laws in line with the Court’s requirements. Thus, it ensures compliance with the Convention at the national level, and ensures the Court’s judgments are swiftly and comprehensively enforced. France fully supports the Convention system. It recently ratified Protocol 16 – which allows the highest courts of Member States to ask the Court for advisory opinions – ensuring the text entered into force.
For further information : Priorities of France’s Presidency