Since 2004 EuroCOP has enjoyed participatory status as an Independent Non-Governmental Organisation (INGO) at the Council of Europe (CoE), which strengthens EuroCOP’s voice in the Council of Europe and enables EuroCOP to have more of an influence in matters related to the organisation’s interests.
EuroCOP takes part in the Conference of INGOs, which occurs four times a year, and is a member of the Human Rights Grouping, which deals with among other the European Social Charter.
The INGO conferences serve as an important forum of exchange and platform from which to further EuroCOP’s work within Europe.
What is the Council of Europe
The Council of Europe was set up on 5th May 1949 by 10 countries as a regional intergovernmental organisation which promotes democracy, human rights and the rule of law throughout the whole of Europe. It has 47 member states and is headquartered in Strasburg, France. All EU member states are members but it is important to note that the CoE is different from the European Union.
EuroCOP’s focus as far as the Council of Europe is concerned is implementing the European Social Charter and The Code of Police Ethics:
The European Social Charter guarantees social and economic human rights and covers a broad range of individual rights for example fair working conditions and equality at the work place. It was adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996.
The implementation of the Social Charter is monitored on an annual basis through national reports.
If a violation against the charter has occurred a collective complaint can be filed. EuroCOP, as a NGO with participatory status at the Council of Europe, is one of the actors that may do so.
Another important reason for EuroCOP to be involved in the Council of Europe is The European Code of Police Ethics adopted in 2001.
The European Code of Police Ethics enshrines the basic principles that should apply to police services in democratic societies governed by the rule of law. It is more than a traditional code of ethics; it provides a general organisational framework for the police, their place in the criminal justice system, their objectives, performance and accountability. Some parts of the text are intended to serve as model provisions for national legislation and codes of conduct as well as principles for ethical policing.