University of Minnesota



Organization: Council of Europe (CoE)


Website and contact information:

Avenue de l’Europe
67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Tel. +33 (0)3 88 41 20 00


Location of headquarters:

Strasbourg, Alsace, France


Year founded:



Mandate and/or mission statement:

Founded in 1949, the Council of Europe seeks to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other reference texts on the protection of individuals.


  1. to protect human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law;
  2. to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity
  3. to find common solutions to the challenges facing European society: such as discrimination against minorities, xenophobia, intolerance, bioethics and cloning, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, organised crime and corruption, cybercrime, violence against children;
  4. to consolidate democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative and constitutional reform.


Relevant programs and projects:


Current head/director (and nationality):

Terry Davis, Secretary-General, UK


Number of Member States and/or Observer States:

46 Member States, 5 Observer States


Operating budget:

 €197.2 million (2007 ordinary budget)


Number and location of missions or field offices (if applicable):


Number of employees:

Permanent staff at the Council of Europe's Secretariat of about 1300


Grades descriptions:

Staff are divided into 4 categories (A, B, C, L). About a third belong to category A (Administrative Officers from beginning-of-career grades A1/A2 to grade A7/Director General) assisted by some 250 staff of upper B grades (B4 to B6) who engage in executive and supervisory duties and by other B grade staff (B1 to B3) carrying out secretarial and clerical tasks. About 70 staff members in category L ensure translation and interpretation services. Category C comprises some 180 staff carrying out technical, manual or other service duties.

Technical staff (grade C1 to C6)

Interpreters (category LI)
Translators (category LT)
Secretarial staff (grade B1 to B3)
Administrative Assistants (grades B4 to B6)
Administrative Officers (grade A1 to A2)


Where does this organization advertise when there are job openings?

Current vacancies


What is the job application process?

Permanent staff in all categories are recruited by competitive examination only. Fixed-term positions are also regularly advertised and filled by a similar procedure.

- Permanent staff are recruited by competitive examination only.
- Two types of competitive examinations exist:
a. general competitions limited to the nationals of one or more under-represented member States;
b. specific competitions open to nationals of all member States or to one or several under-represented states.
- Competitions are advertised on our recruitment website in official Vacancy notices. Please do not submit any unsolicited applications.
- The selection procedure consists of three stages: shortlisting, a written examination and an interview (for more details see recruitment procedures).
- Only those candidates who meet the required standard at each stage will be invited to proceed.
- All applicants receive a written reply (by e-mail or letter), either positive or negative, after each stage of the selection procedure.


Does this organization take volunteers? 



What are the expectations, minimum requirements and application procedures for volunteers in this organization?



Does this organization take interns? 

Yes, through Traineeship Opportunities


What are the expectations, minimum requirements and application procedures for interns in this organization?

Trainees must be nationals of one of the Council of Europe's member states.
- Persons who have completed their higher education or have successfully completed at least three years of university study (six semesters), or
- candidates from national administrations or private firms who wish to find out about, learn more about or specialise in a particular field of the Council of Europe's activities. - They must have performed duties requiring knowledge of university level for at least two years.

- Trainees must have a very good knowledge of one of the Council of Europe's official languages (English and French). A good knowledge of the other is desirable.

- Good drafting ability required.


Traineeship Application procedure

Official dates of traineeships in 2008:

First session : 7 January 2008 – 28 March 2008
Second session: 21 April 2008 – 11 July 2008
Third session: 15 September 2008 – 5 December 2008

The application form for a traineeship can be found here.  Application forms for 2008 should be completed and arrive at the Council of Europe headquarters no later than 15 September 2007.  Completed forms should be sent by e-mail to

or by post to :
Traineeship Office
Directorate of Human Resources
Council of Europe
F – 67075 STRASBOURG Cedex


What are the basic requirements for prospective applicants? 

General requirements
- National of a member State of the Council of Europe.
- Relevant degree, diploma or training (see specific requirements for further details).
- Previous professional experience (see specific requirements for further details).
- Fluency in one of the official languages (English and French). Good knowledge of the second official language required for many posts. Candidates of English or French mother tongue are expected to have a very good knowledge of the other official language. Knowledge of other European languages is considered as an advantage (especially German, Italian, Spanish or Russian).
- Good drafting skills.
- Adaptability to a multicultural and multilingual working environment.
- Ability to work in a team.
- Ability to use modern computer technologies.

Specific requirements:

Administrative Officers (grade A1 to A2)
Candidates must hold a university degree of at least a standard sufficient for entry to the senior category of their national civil service and normally possess relevant professional experience. Appointments are usually made in grade A1 or A2, depending on age and experience.

Administrative Assistants (grades B4 to B6)
External recruitment at this level mainly concerns qualified specialists such as computer assistants, information scientists, laboratory technicians, etc. Candidates must have successfully completed a course of advanced secondary education, possess appropriate professional qualifications and usually have at least two to five years' experience in a relevant field of activity. Though chiefly engaged in executive and supervisory duties, the tasks and responsibilities in this category vary considerably.


Secretarial staff (grade B1 to B3)
English or French mother tongue level, very good knowledge of the other official language of the Council of Europe. For vacancy notices requiring mother tongue level of other European languages, very good knowledge of at least one of the official languages of the Council (English/French) is required.
A full-time secretarial college course diploma (UK), a BTS (France) or equivalent (other countries). Previous secretarial experience of at least one year at the time of recruitment; audio-typing and word processing experience.

Translators (category LT)
English or French mother tongue. Excellent knowledge of the other official language. Good knowledge of at least one other European language (preferably German, Italian, Spanish, Russian or another major East European language). Relevant university degree or training. Considerable translation experience.

Interpreters (category LI)
Perfect knowledge and pronunciation of both English and French, plus a very good knowledge of German, Italian, Spanish or major languages of Central and Eastern Europe. Relevant university degree or training. Professional experience of at least six months in an international organisation.

Technical staff (grade C1 to C6)
Staff in this category is normally recruited locally and relevant competitions are organised as and when required. In recent years, recruitment opportunities to this category have been extremely limited.

Additional requirements applicable to particular posts are described in the relevant Vacancy Notices. See Competency Inventory for more information


Young Lawyers Scheme for the European Court of Human Rights

Only nationals of Council of Europe member States may be considered for recruitment. Applicants must hold a university degree in law, obtained in a Council of Europe member State. Further academic or professional qualifications in law would be an advantage, as would particular expertise and/or experience in the field of human rights protection. In addition, applicants must have a sufficient command of English and/or French to draft legal texts and be familiar with standard professional software programmes.

Check for information on recruitment procedures.


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