Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organisation with 47 European Member States. As a regional organisation, it is more in touch with the needs of the European countries and regions than global organisations.
The Council of Europe promotes democracy and human rights (on a local and regional level), cultural diversity, and tolerance in Europe. This also touches on a number of politically sensitive issues, such as language and cultural minorities. Different spheres of intervention in the Council of Europe, such as education, culture, social cohesion, sport and youth, are also priority areas of Flemish policy. Many of the treaties and conventions of the Council of Europe require the agreement of the Federal States.
The Government of Flanders works both directly with the Council of Europe and through Belgian membership. Officials from several Flemish policy areas take part in Council of Europe working groups, committees, conferences and peer reviews. This sometimes comes with financial assistance. Flemish elected representatives and local representatives participate in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe. The Belgian position is taken on the basis of intra-Federal consultation.