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70th Anniversary Council of Europe

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First Day Cover
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Presentation Pack
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Block of 4
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About 70th Anniversary Council of Europe

The Council of Europe was founded by the Treaty of London on May 5th 1949 and was signed by ten states being; Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It is Europe's oldest political organisation and was set up following the aftermath of the Second World War with a mission to promote peace across Europe. The main responsibility of this Council is to sustain and endorse human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Currently the Council of Europe covers 47 member states and some 820 million people. The official European flag, which consists of twelve yellow stars on a blue background was created in 1955 by the Council of Europe. This was later adopted by the European Union, a separate international organisation.

The Council of Europe cannot make binding laws; however, it has the power to enforce international agreements reached by European states on various subjects. Throughout the years the organisation was involved in numerous activities such as election observation to guarantee democratic and free elections, the abolition of the death penalty across 47-member states, strengthening of several human rights such as gender equality, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, protection of minorities and enforcement of standards in quality of medicine and healthcare. Malta's two stamp issue commemorates the 70th Anniversary from the foundation of the Council of Europe .