The Council of Europe – 47 member states*
Visiting the Council of Europe
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, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia“, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
The Council of Europe is a distinct and separate body from the 27-nation European Union (EU), but no country has ever joined the EU without first belonging to the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe works to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law throughout the whole continent. It also develops common solutions to social, cultural and legal challenges in its 47 member states. * State candidate for membership : Belarus (12.3.1993).
Information on visits All visits must be booked in advance. Guided tours and study programmes are organised for groups of at least 15 people.
The Palais de l’Europe is open to visitors Monday to Friday, except on French national holidays. Visitors must bring some form of identification with them for security reasons. Wheelchair access is available.
To book your visit and for more information, please contact the Visitors’ Service: Visitors’ Service Public Relations Council of Europe, F-67075 STRASBOURG Cedex Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 20 29 Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 27 54 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
© Design: Graphic Design Worshop, Council of Europe - August 2007
Visits are free of charge
Welcome to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg … and welcome to the Palais de l’Europe The Palais de l’Europe is the headquarters of the Council of Europe, Europe’s first political institution. The masts bearing the flags of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe are lined up in front of this distinctive building. The European flag, with its circle of 12 golden stars on a blue background, proudly flies on the forecourt of the building. This emblem has also been adopted by the European Union. It is a symbol of European unity. The building is the workplace of part of the Council of Europe Secretariat, which has almost 2 000 staff members from 47 countries, committed to the common goal of achieving a united Europe based on democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
Learn more about this Organisation A visit to the Council of Europe will give you a chance to discover and learn more about the Organisation, from its origins in 1949 to the present day. The tour will give you an insight into the work of members of parliament, diplomats, experts and other representatives from members states who come to the Palais de l’Europe to work together and to find common solutions to today’s major problems.
What you will see there The entrance hall of the Palais de l’Europe with its imposing staircase designed by French architect Henry Bernard in 1977 “to affirm by its solid external form that unity is strength … necessary for the free confrontation of ideas”. The Assembly Chamber, is at its heart, is where political leaders from all member states meet for the sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe – these two bodies represent the voice of Europe, its countries and regions.
Types of visit available The Council of Europe Visitors’ Service organises guided tours and study programmes adapted to each group. There are two types of visit offered:
Guided tours Tours are designed mainly for visitors wanting more general information on the Council of Europe: introduction to the Council of Europe; an explanatory video; a visit to the Chamber of the Parliamentary Assembly; discussion on the role of the Council of Europe; visits conducted in English/ French/ German; duration: approximately 1 hour. Guided tours are suspended during Parliamentary Assembly plenary sessions, but groups of visitors have the chance to follow debates in the Assembly Chamber. (Dates of the 4 sessions are available on the Parliamentary Assembly website http://assembly.coe.int)
Study programmes Tours are tailored to the needs and interests of the groups (teachers, lawyers, university students, etc.): visit to the Chamber of the Parliamentary Assembly; lecture on the political role of the Council of Europe; a lecture focusing on specific areas of the Council of Europe’s work can also be offered, upon request; lectures can be given in any one of the languages of the member states; duration: approximately 2 to 3 hours.