- Issue date: 06/04/2009
- Printing Process: Offset
- Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm. (horizontal)
- Sheet effects: 50
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,62 €
- Print run: 460.000
- Dented: 13 3/4
On occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Council of Europe, Correos issues a commemorative stamp depicting the logo of this public institution with the inscription 60 years 2009.
In 1949, ten countries signed the Treaty of London establishing the Council of Europe. In article 1 of its Statute it states its aim to “achieve a greater unity between its members and to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity and to favour its economic and social progress.” 60 years after its foundation, The Council of Europe has a genuine pan-European dimension with 47 members, representing 800 million citizens and 5 observer countries: the Holy See, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Its headquarters are in Strasbourg and its aims are to protect human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law, to promote awareness and encourage the development of Europe's cultural identity and diversity, to find common solutions to the challenges facing European society: such as discrimination against minorities, xenophobia, intolerance, terrorism, trafficking in human beings, organised crime and to consolidate democratic stability in Europe by backing political, legislative and constitutional reform. Spain joined the Council of Europe in 1977. The main landmarks throughout the history of this institution are the accession of Hungary in 1990, the first state from the former Soviet block and the accession of Russia in 1996 which granted the institution with a real European magnitude. The main component parts of the Council of Europe are the Committee of Ministers, the Organisation's decision-making body, composed of the 47 Foreign Ministers or their Strasbourg-based deputies (ambassadors/permanent representatives); the Parliamentary Assembly, driving force for European co-operation, grouping 636 members (318 representatives and 318 substitutes) from the 47 national parliaments: the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, the voice of Europe's regions and municipalities, composed of a Chamber of Local Authorities and a Chamber of Regions; the 1800-strong secretariat recruited from member states, headed by a Secretary General, elected by the Parliamentary Assembly. The European Court of Human Rights is also part of the European Council., and ensures, in the last instance, that contracting states observe their obligations under the Convention. The logo is the Council of Europe's own distinctive sign and was adopted in May 1999. The Council shares the flag, twelve golden stars on a blue background, with the European Union and the prelude to the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th Symphony as the European anthem.