an organization which was established in 1949 to develop greater unity between the countries of Europe, and to encourage democratic government and respect for human rights. It now consists of about 40 European countries, and its members develop policies on education, crime, health, and the environment. Complaints about cruel or unfair treatment can be settled in the Council's court, the European Court of Human Rights. Although it has close connections with the European Union, it is a separate organization.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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