RECOMMENDATION 1247 (1994)[1]

on the enlargement of the Council of Europe


  1. The Council of Europe is an Organisation of sovereign states striving to achieve close co-operation on the basis of democratic constitutions and the European Convention on Human Rights. It is in Europe's interest that its basic values and ideas on human rights permeate neighbouring cultures, but without seeking in any way to question, let alone destroy, those cultures.

  2. Membership of the Council of Europe is in principle open only to states whose national territory lies wholly or partly in Europe and whose culture is closely linked with the European culture. However, traditional and cultural links and adherence to the fundamental values of the Council of Europe might justify a suitable co-operation with other states neighbouring the "geographical" boundaries.

  3. The boundaries of Europe have not yet been comprehensively defined under international law. The Council of Europe therefore should, in principle, base itself on the generally accepted geographical limits of Europe.

  4. Accordingly, within their internationally recognised borders, all member states of the Council of Europe are European: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

  5. The states whose legislative assemblies enjoy special guest status with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe are also considered European, as defined in paragraph 3 above. These states are: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Latvia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

  6. The possibility of membership is open to the republics of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Montenegro and Serbia - which currently have no formal status with the Council of Europe because of their responsibility for the crisis and the United Nations sanctions against them.

  7. The possibility of membership is also open to the Principality of Andorra.

  8. In view of their cultural links with Europe, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia would have the possibility of applying for membership provided they clearly indicate their will to be considered as part of Europe. However, a new iron curtain should not be drawn behind these states as this would run the risk of preventing the spread of the Council of Europe's basic values to other countries. Neighbouring countries of "geographical" Europe should, if they so wish, be viewed as possible candidates for suitable co-operation.

  9. Countries bordering directly on Council of Europe member states should be able to enjoy privileged relations with the Parliamentary Assembly, if they so wish. This applies in particular to the states on the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean.

  10. Even after internationally recognised declarations of sovereignty, any non-European parts of member states which break away from the latter should only be able to apply to participate as observers in the Parliamentary Assembly's work.

  11. Delegations to the Parliamentary Assembly should comprise a minimum of two and a maximum of eighteen members.

  12. The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers define the limits of the enlargement of the Council of Europe taking into account the above-mentioned principles.


[1] Assembly debate on 4 October 1994 (26th Sitting) (see Doc. 7103, report of the Political Affairs Committee, Rapporteur: Mr Reddemann; Doc. 7166, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Rapporteur: Mrs Haller; and Doc. 7148, opinion of the Committee on Relations with European Non-Member Countries, Rapporteur: Mr Atkinson).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 4 October 1994 (26th Sitting).