Council Of Europe

Council of Europe

The Council of Europe was founded by ten West European states in 1949, after the Second World War, to support the economical reconstruction and political reconciliation within Europe.

It has no political function, but works in an advisory capacity. Its most significant contribution is in the human rights field. Any European state that accepts the principles of the rule of law and guarantees its citizens the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms can apply to become a member. In 2003 forty-five member states belong to the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe should not be confused with the European Union. The two organisations are quite distinct. The fifteen European Union states, however, are all members of the Council of Europe. The European Commission of Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights work under the aegis of the Council of Europe.

Since its foundation the Council of Europe has sought to keep in touch with public opinion by granting consultative status to over 350 non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Through various consultation arrangements it brings NGOs into intergovernmental activities and encourages dialogue between members of parliament and associations on major social issues.

NGOs contribute to the Council of Europe through their expert knowledge and act as a link to the general European public. In 1980 EFAD obtained official recognition as a Non-Governmental Organisation and belonged to the Health Group because of its specific knowledge in the field of nutrition and dietetics. EFAD was a NGO from 1980 - 2002 and a new application will be submitted.

The Council of Europe has produced the following resolutions and recommendations of relevance to dietitians: