Founded in Strasbourg in 1949 to unite a continent ravaged by war, the Council of Europe has built a vast area of democratic security that protects 830 million people in 47 countries, from the United Kingdom to Turkey, from the Russian Federation to Portugal and from Iceland to Switzerland. Its core objective is preserving and promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
This book covers 70 years of history, during which Europe has changed profoundly, and – this is something we often forget – changed for the better. Our old continent, which was in ruins after the Second World War, found the energy to rise up out of the ashes. The contributions here go back over the highlights of this common history, from the creation of the European flag to the management of democratic and humanitarian crises, through the enlargement to east European countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Written by individuals who have worked for, or closely with, the Organisation, it paints a vivid picture – combining anecdotes with turning points in history – of what the Council of Europe has stood for since 1949, and of the values which it must continue to champion to keep the European ideal alive in people’s hearts and minds.
The 30 contributions compiled by Denis Huber include accounts by Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Gianni Buquicchio, Bruno Haller, Charles Kohler, Catherine Lalumière, Peter Leuprecht, Alexandre Orlov, Guido Raimondi, Catherine Trautmann, Jacques Warin and Hans Winkler.