Strasbourg, international capital

Strasbourg is unique among European cities in that it is a provincial city, not a national capital, but is the seat of several international institutions.   Heads of state and heads of government frequently adress these institutions.  Sessions are open to the public.File:Council of Europe logo (2013 revised version).png

The Council of Europe

Founded in 1949 by the Treaty of London.  the Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organization in which member states work to uphold and expand respect for human rights and democracy in Europe.  Currently, all European countries are members, with the exception of the Vatican City and Bielorus.  The principal legal mechanism of the Council of Europe is the European Convention on Human Rights, adopted in 1950.  The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe is comprised of members of parliament of the respective member states.  It meets four times per year in Strasbourg.


The European Parliament

The legislative branch of the European Union has its official seat in Strasbourg.  It is made up of 766 directly elected members of the European parliament from each of the EU member countries.  It meets in Strasbourg once per month.  The rest of the time, the work of the Parliament is conducted in Brussels.


The European Court of Human Rights

The judicial organ of the Council of Europe hears cases of violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.