The Council of Europe is the oldest European organisation which unifies 47 member states who share common values regarding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The European Court of Human Rights as the most important body of the Council of Europe was established in 1959. The court rules on individual and state applications concerning violations of any of the articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.
On 9.11.1995, then The Republic of Macedonia became the 38th full-fledged member of the Council of Europe.
We chaired the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from May to November 2010. The priorities of our chairmanship were aimed at the following: enhancing the protection of human rights, reinforcing integration with respect for the diversity and promoting youth participation. The Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers was an opportunity for our country to legitimise itself as a promoter of the principles and values siting at the very core of the Organization and to ensure the continuity of the Council of Europe's overall activities.
We are actively participating in the overall operation of the organisation and we regularly fulfil our membership obligations: implementing the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, fulfilling the obligations arising from the post-monitoring dialogue in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, following the recommendations of the Commissioner for Human Rights, following the recommendations of the European Commission for Democracy through Law, known as the Venice Commission, the European Social Charter, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance, Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), Group of States against Corruption, etc.
Since the Republic of Northern Macedonia joined the Council of Europe, the representatives of government institutions have been regularly and actively involved in the work of the Council of Europe's Steering Committee, Ad Hoc Committees and the Committees of Experts, whose meetings are aimed at implementing the Intergovernmental Activity Programme and harmonising the European policies in all areas, except defence.
In 2013, a Council of Europe Program Office was opened in Skopje, whose purpose is to complement the EU programs and projects in the European integration process of the country. In the period 2016-2019, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union was implemented i.e. the Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey in a total amount of 25 million euros. The new programme framework: Horizontal Facility II is currently being implemented from May 2019 to May 2022.