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Ireland and the Council of Europe

Overview of Ireland and the Council of Europe

Respect for, and the promotion of, human rights continues to be a cornerstone of Irish foreign policy. Ireland actively works to uphold the Council of Europe values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

The European Convention on Human Rights is central to the work of the Council of Europe and is widely considered to be the cornerstone of human rights protection in Europe. The Convention binds its signatories, of which Ireland is one, to protect specified rights and freedoms.

The European Court of Human Rights hears applications from both individuals and member states on alleged breaches of the Convention. It is of particular importance to Ireland, given the vital role it plays in safeguarding fundamental rights. Ireland has also strongly supported efforts in recent years to reform and improve the working methods of the Court.

Ireland has also ratified a number of other important Council of Europe conventions, and participates in other important monitoring mechanisms of the Council including:

  • The Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
  • The Framework Convention on National Minorities
  • The Group of States against Corruption

The Role of the Irish Mission

Members of the Irish Delegation monitor and actively participate in meetings of the Committee of Ministers’ Deputies and in the work of the Council of Europe’s various rapporteur groups. The Mission acts as a liaison between the Council of Europe and participating States, and the Irish national authorities.