The Council of Europe is peddling a fantasy
When it gathered in Strasbourg on Tuesday* to condemn “the extensive and often virulent attacks on the rights of LGBTI people”, the Council of Europe singled out a small collection of the most inhospitable countries. It contained the usual suspects — Russia, Turkey, Poland, Hungary — but also a more surprising addition: the United Kingdom.
The UK has left the European Union, but we remain a member of the Council of Europe. The CoE is an older and larger organisation — hence the inclusion of Russia and Turkey — and is built around the European Convention on Human Rights. This week’s meeting revealed just how empty some of those human rights have become.
A new ruling on trans rights could erase women completely
The United Kingdom may have left the EU, but we remain members of the entirely separate Council of Europe. The two organisations are easily confused — and no wonder. The similarly named European Council is an EU institution, though I suspect few would be able to distinguish the European Parliament (EU) from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe is the older and larger of the two organisations. Founded in 1949, it now comprises 47 members: every European country with the exception of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kosovo and the Vatican City. On paper, it purports to have three core values: democracy, the rule of law and human rights. But in recent years it has found a new cause: the promotion of gender identity ideology across the continent.