The Council of Europe Office in Belgrade
Human Rights, Democracy, Rule of Law
The Council of Europe is an international organization founded in 1949 and headquartered in Strasbourg, France. Based around the European Convention on Human Rights, the aim of the Council is to bond member states together based on democratic principles surrounding human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Europe.
For Serbia, the Council of Europe office is located in Belgrade. The Office’s website started in February 2009.
There was an About section concerning the founding of the Council of Europe, facts and figures associated with the budget and action plans of the Council, and flag, anthem, and logo information.
The front page included the latest news on human rights, democracy, and legal actions and cases. A Library section contained documents on Committee of Ministers, pace, and the Council of Europe. If you wanted to work for the government on this international committee, the Council listed vacancies and job opportunities on the site where one could apply for jobs.
The Council of Europe had multiple institutions under its umbrella, including:
- Committee of Ministers
- Parliamentary Assembly
- Congress of Local and Regional Authority
- Commissioner for Human Rights
- European Court of Human Rights
- Conference of INGOs
The mandates for the Council of Europe Secretariat were listed including the Directorate of Strategic Planning (DSP) and the Directorate of Protocol.
Activities of the organization were discussed such as their work on human rights, education, youth programs, and cultural/heritage programs.
Serbia’s Council, Human Rights and Democracy, Rule of Law
Specific information for the Council of Europe’s involvement in Serbia was also listed such as human rights activity, democratic efforts, and cultural awareness. A foreword by Serbian Foreign Affairs Minister was included.
The Council listed signed and ratified documents by Serbia, as a member state, including conventions and partial agreements like European Commission for Democracy in Law and Agreement establishing the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).
Any information regarding Serbian representatives to the Council of Europe, documents pertaining directly to Serbia or Committee of Ministers was on the site.
Belgrade Regional Human Rights, Democracy, European Integration
The Council of Europe Office in Belgrade had a specific regional section that talked about how the Council’s local efforts were employed and how they performed. The goal of the local office was to promote democratic practices and provide updates on further integration into the Europe’s human rights processes.
Information on specific Belgrade offices, field work, staff member roles and committees, and contact information was listed on the site.
Local efforts by the Office included:
- The Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe 2003-2007
- Advancing equality, tolerance and peace: equal rights and treatment for Roma in SEE 2006-2007
The regional office also promoted collaboration with other Council of Europe offices in surrounding regions such as Bucharest, Tirana, Sofia, Budapest, Skoplje, and Sarajevo.
In June 2016, the Office in Belgrade announced the domain would be shut down and the site information would migrate to www.coe.int/belgrade. They also invited site visitors to like their Facebook page. The domain became inactive at the end of July 2016.