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The book provides a succinct and much needed introduction to the Council of Europe from its foundation through the early conventions on human rights and culture to its expansion into the fields of social affairs, environment and education.
Founded in 1949 within a month of NATO, the Council of Europe was the hub of political debate about integrating Europe after the Second World War. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, it was thrust into the limelight again as the test bed where all newly liberated European states had to prove their democratic credentials. Now it is the political arena in which the closely integrating states of the European Union face the twenty European states still outside the EU. Its European Court of Human Rights hands down judgments which all member states must respect, and its monitoring activities report on conditions concerning democracy, human rights and the rule of law across the whole continent. The Council of Europe has negotiated international agreements against the death penalty, torture, corruption, cybercrime and terrorism. It works for political pluralism, media freedom and fair elections. The treatment for minorities, efficient local government and strengthening non-government organisations are part of its daily agenda. Today the states of Greater Europe come together to discuss their present and their future in the Council of Europe
Providing a wealth of factual information and describing and analysing the key debates within the organization, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars of international organizations, European politics and international relations.