Реферат: Council of Europe

--PAGE_BREAK--Early developments
In the years between 1949 and 1970, eight new countries joined the founder members: in order of accession Greece, Iceland, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Switzerland and Malta. In this period, the organisation gradually developed its structure and its major institutions. Thus, the first public hearing of the European Court of Human Rights took place in 1960. These years also saw the introduction of the first specialized ministerial conferences; by the early 1970s they had been extended to cover a wide range of areas. The first, in 1959, brought together European ministers responsible for social and family affairs. On 18 October 1961, the European Social Charter was signed in Rome: a text which the Council sees as the counterpart of the European Convention on Human Rights in the social domain.

The Charter came into force on 26 February 1965. It sets out 19 rights, including the right to strike and the right to social protection, but does not have such effective machinery as the Human Rights Convention. Nevertheless, it is gradually developing into a common body of social rights that apply right across Europe.

The same era saw the institution of the Council for Cultural Co-operation in 1961, which non-Council of Europe member states were allowed to join from the outset. One example was Finland, which only joined the Council itself 28 years later. Similarly, the European Pharmacopoeia was founded in 1964 and the European Youth Centre in 1967.
Crises strengthen democracy
The Council of Europe's first major political crisis came in 1967 when the Greek colonels overthrew the legally elected government and installed an authoritarian regime which openly contravened the democratic principles defended by the organisation. On 12 December 1969, just a few hours before a decision would have been taken to exclude Greece, the colonels' regime anticipated matters by denouncing the European Convention on Human Rights and withdrawing from the Council of Europe. It did not return until five years later, on 28 November 1974 after the fall of the dictatorship and the restoration of democracy. In the meantime, the Cypriot crisis, which broke out in the summer of 1974 and culminated in the partitioning of the island after Turkish military intervention, represented a fairly negative experience for the Council of Europe, whose discreet efforts to broker a solution, alongside those of the United Nations' Secretary General, were not crowned with success.

A new crisis arose in 1981 when the Parliamentary Assembly withdrew the Turkish parliamentary delegation's right to their seats in response to the military coup d'état a few weeks earlier. The Turkish delegation only resumed its place in 1984 after the holding of free elections.

Greece's return marked the disappearance of the last authoritarian regime in western Europe. Portugal had made its Council of Europe debut on 22 September 1976, two years after its peaceful revolution of April 1974, bringing an end to 48 years of Salazarist dictatorship, while the death of General Franco in 1975 eventually led to Spain's accession on 24 November 1977.

The Council of Europe's permanent role on the European political and institutional scene was sealed on 28 January 1977 with its move from its provisional premises to the Palais de l'Europe, designed by the French architect Bernard.

Liechtenstein's accession on 23 November 1978, San Marino's on 16 November 1988 and Finland's on 5 May 1989 more or less completed the absorption of west European states while the Council of Europe was already laying the foundations for a rapprochement with the countries of central and eastern Europe.

A further, critical stage in the Council of Europe's life started in 1985 with the first movements to introduce democracy to central and eastern Europe. In January of that year Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Chairman of the Committee of Ministers, invited his colleagues to take part in an extraordinary session devoted entirely to East-West relations. This process of reflection, that took account of the trend emerging in Eastern Europe — in Romania and Poland, and in the Soviet Union, where Mikhail Gorbachov had just come to power — gave rise to the notion of a European cultural identity, which became the subject of a resolution in April 1985. Convinced that unity in diversity was the basis of the wealth of Europe's heritage, the Council of Europe noted that their common tradition and European identity did not stop at the boundaries between the various political systems; it stressed, in the light of the CSCE Final Act, the advantage of consolidating cultural co-operation as a means of promoting a lasting understanding between peoples and between governments. The Eastern European countries grasped this outstretched hand with enthusiasm.

Rapprochementhad at last become not only possible but necessary. The Council of Europe was naturally delighted by the process of democratisation set in motion in the East, together with the economic and social reforms introduced in the name of perestroika. It was the Council's role and purpose to support this trend, to help make it irreversible, and to fulfil the expectations of the countries calling upon it for assistance. Not of course by renouncing its principles but, on the contrary, by making them a precondition for any form of co-operation.
An antechamber
This became the Council of Europe's guiding principle, as reflected in the Committee of Ministers' change of course set out in its declaration of 5 May 1989. The new direction represented both an achievement and a first step, and was the outcome of a number of exchanges (the Secretary General's visit to Hungary, then Poland; the visits by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly to Budapest and Warsaw, and the visits to Strasbourg of delegations and experts from the USSR and other East European countries). This new departure gave momentum to a process that was to continue to accelerate, exceeding even the most optimistic expectations.

Eastern European countries were now knocking impatiently at the door of the Council of Europe, that guardian of human rights; the organisation became a kind of antechamber for negotiating the transition from dictatorship and democracy, as had previously been the case with Portugal and Spain.

It is no coincidence that the first address by a Soviet leader to an assembly of Western European parliamentarians should have taken place at the Council of Europe. Mikhail Gorbachov chose this particular chamber — on 6 July 1989 — to put forward a new disarmament proposal (unilateral reduction of short-range nuclear missiles), to promote the idea of a Common European Home (non-use of force, renunciation of the Brezhnev doctrine and maintenance of socialism), and to discuss human rights (albeit without referring to the European Convention!).

The Council of Europe started to open its gates very carefully. In 1989, the Parliamentary Assembly established the very selective special guest status for the national assemblies of countries willing to apply the Helsinki final act and the United Nations Covenant on Human Rights. The status was immediately granted to the assemblies of Hungary, Poland, USSR and Yugoslavia and opened the way to the full accession of the former Soviet bloc countries.

Four months after Mikhail Gorbachov's address the Berlin wall fall on 9 September 1989. This provided the opportunity for the Council of Europe's Secretary General to state, on 23 November, that the Council was the only organisation capable of encompassing all the countries of Europe, once they had adopted democratic rules. This marked the start of the organisation's new political role.
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