Finland in the Council of Europe

Objectives

The idea behind the Council of Europe is that democratic country which respects the human rights and the rule of law can solve difficult conflicts without descending into a crisis or a war. Council of Europe makes an effort to prevent crisis and develop politically and economically fair society. This is important also for security of Finland as a part of Europe.

Finland is willing to develop the Council of Europe as an organization which closely collaborates with the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The Permanent Representation takes care of Finland’s representation in the Committee of Ministers and its rapporteur groups. Additionally, there is active and extensive co-operation at the level of intergovernmental expert committees, for example in the fields of judiciary, crime, equality, education and culture. Experts are drafting international conventions and recommendations which guide the actions of the Member States.

A day at the representation

The Permanent Representation is led by the ambassador who is assisted by three officials and locally employed personnel. Representation of Finland to the Council of Europe was established in 1989 when Finland became a full member of the Council.

The work of the Representation is governed by the Council’s meeting calendar. The officers of the Representation participate in the weekly meetings of the Committee of Ministers at the deputies’ level and in the rapporteur groups’ work. It is their duty to see to that the viewpoints of Finland are taken into account in the discussions among the 47 Member States. The Committee of Ministers meets at Ministerial level once a year.  Next Ministerial meeting will be in Helsinki in May 2019.

The Representation follows not only the work of the Committee of Ministers but also the work of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities. Another important function is to follow the work of the European Court of Human Rights because the Committee of Ministers is in charge of overseeing that its judgments are executed.