The Council of Europe Catching Up! - 30-03-2012

Many ESC members are already thoroughly familiar with the workings of the Council of Europe but for newcomers like me, a visit to this huge and anonymous building was very interesting.
Whilst on the outside, the building gives very little away, the architecture inside was welcoming and pleasant: as you will see in the two photos in the newsletter of the Reception and the Hemi-cycle (debating chamber which seats 1,000 people), the two main public areas have a wooden frame which gives the atmosphere of a huge, over-arching tree which ‘protects’ and embraces everyone underneath.
If you weren’t at the talk, you probably know all the facts about the Council of Europe, so I shan’t regale you with them! I was intrigued by the very pleasing artwork variously around the building which I gather is donated by various member countries. I would love to know the stories behind them, for surely they would not be donated without a story!
A couple of days later, some of us were lucky enough to return to the Palais de l’Europe to see Martyn Symons’ excellent exhibition.
And of course, the line of hunger-striking Kurdish protesters against Abdullah Ocalan’s imprisonment brought to mind the purpose of the Council, to protect human rights, up-hold the law and promote democracy....
Sue Moller