Source description last updated: 29 May 2020

In brief:
The Council of Europe’s Secretary General (CoE-SG), who is elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for a period of five years, is responsible for the strategic management of the CoE’s work programme and budget.

Coverage on
Information documents and reports.

Covered weekly on for countries of priorities A-C.

“The Secretary General is entrusted with the responsibility of meeting the aim for which the Council of Europe was set up in London on 5 May 1949, namely to achieve greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress.” (CoE website: Secretary General, undated)

“The Secretary General has the overall responsibility for the strategic management of the Council of Europe’s work programme and budget and oversees the day-to-day running of the Organisation and Secretariat.” (CoE website: Secretary General, undated)

Council of Europe funds.

Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: The 47 CoE member states (see CoE-website)
Thematic focus: Human rights (particularly as comprised in the European Convention on Human Rights); democracy, international justice, rule of law (including crime issues such as corruption, money laundering and trafficking).

Reports may be based on fact-finding visits carried out by delegations of the Council of Europe, such as the report series on the conflict in Georgia (see for example „Consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia (April – September 2019)“). This report series also incorporates „Secretariat reports on the human rights situation in the areas affected by the conflict in Georgia and the report on the Council of Europe activities in the areas affected by the conflict and its updates.“ (Coe-SG: Consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia (April – September 2019), 6 November 2019, p. 2)

For the fact-finding part, „[a] delegation of the Secretariat carried out a fact-finding visit to Tbilisi on 9-10 September 2019 and had the opportunity to discuss the situation with representatives of the Georgian central government, the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia as well as representatives of international organisations and civil society. (Coe-SG: Consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia (April – September 2019), 6 November 2019, p. 2)

A fact-finding mission to Spain carried out by Abassador Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General, in March 2018 on the situation of refugees and migrants saw meetings with government representatives such as the  „Under Secretary of Interior together with representatives of the Office of Asylum and Refugee (Oficina de Asilo y Refugio, the OAR), the Secretary General of Immigration and Emigration, the Ambassador in Special Mission for Migration Issues as well as the Director for Spanish Citizens Abroad, Migratory and Consular Issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation, representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, prosecutors of the Aliens Chamber, the Ombudsman, the Mayor of Malaga, the Mayor of Valencia, the Vice-President of the Council of the Generalitat Valenciana.“ (CoE-SG: Report of the fact-finding mission by Ambassador Tomáš Boček, Special Representative of the Secretary General on migration and refugees, to Spain, 18-24 March 2018, Meetings and Visits,  3 September 2018)

The reports on a country’s compliance with commitments and obligations usually contain chapters on its situation of democracy, issues of rule of law and human rights and its other commitments. Reports published by the CoE-SG include recommendations for the government of the country in question.

Reports from the Council of Europe field offices and other outposts contain brief information on recent political and legislative developments provided by a number of CoE field presences (see recent reports from the Council of Europe field offices and other outposts available at CoE committee of Ministers website, where reports of the committee‘s rapporteur groups can also be accessed.

Languages of publication:
English, most reports are also available in French.


Further Reading:

European Convention on Human Rights

All links accessed 29 May 2020.