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We often see the Council of Europe referred to as "the human rights watchdog". Now it's casually "a human rights watchdog". Like, just another one of all those NGOs... And the final "it charged" sounds a bit like "he said, she said" journalism, "we report and you decide". You know, there are two sides to a debate, etc, bla.

I find this insidious squinting towards debasement of a serious and vital institution of Europe (not EU) every bit as dangerous as creationism.

About the Council of Europe:

Council of Europe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Council of Europe, founded in 1949, is the oldest organisation working for European integration. It is an international organisation with legal personality recognised under public international law and has observer status with the United Nations.

Council of Europe: About Us

Aims
- to protect human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law;
- to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity
- to find common solutions to the challenges facing European society: such as discrimination against minorities, xenophobia, intolerance, bioethics and cloning, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, organised crime and corruption, cybercrime, violence against children;
- to consolidate democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative and constitutional reform.

How it works

The main component parts of the Council of Europe are:
- the Committee of Ministers, the Organisation's decision-making body, composed of the 47 Foreign Ministers or their Strasbourg-based deputies (ambassadors/permanent representatives);
- the Parliamentary Assembly, driving force for European co-operation, grouping 636 members (318 representatives and 318 substitutes) from the 47 national parliaments:
- the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the voice of Europe's regions and municipalities, composed of a Chamber of Local Authorities and a Chamber of Regions;
- the 1800-strong secretariat recruited from member states, headed by a Secretary General, elected by the Parliamentary Assembly.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 at 02:16:11 AM EST
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