The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) brings together democratically elected Members of Parliament from the 47 Member States of the Council of Europe. Using its powers under the founding Statute, the Assembly can:
Though it has no power to pass binding laws, PACE holds a constant dialogue with governments, national parliaments, other international organisations and civil society which ‘set the agenda’. In this way, its texts filter down through law and practice to improve the lives of Europeans.
Through its recommendations, the Assembly demands action on behalf of the 800 million Europeans it represents, and the 47 governments of the Council of Europe represented in the Committee of Ministers are obliged to respond. In practice, the Assembly often acts as the driving force of the Council of Europe by promoting new ideas, setting strategic direction and initiating many of the Council's most important activities.
The Assembly sets its own agenda where it discusses European and international events covering issues related to human rights, democracy, protection of minorities and the rule of law.