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Difference Between the European Union and Council of Europe

European Union vs Council of Europe

Similar to how the U.N. was organized, in order to ensure a peaceful and more harmonious world, the Council of Europe (CoE) and European Union (EU) are two distinct bodies that were created for Europe and its member nations to prosper. The two have their own set of goals and objectives. Each of these has their own subdivisions that either specializes in various economic atmospheres or upholds certain democratic concepts so as to ensure utmost respect for human rights.

Formally composed with its current name last November 1, 1993, the European Union unifies the 27 states that comprise the continent. This entity has created a set of rules and regulations that must be followed by all members. Most of these rules pertain to economic policies and political standards. To more effectively implement its policies, the EU has been further subdivided into several branches that are classified as either government-controlled or independent. The European Commission and European Parliament are two of the most popular bodies of the EU. Altogether, the EU boasts a total population of about 500 million people and is still growing. Within the member states, certain beneficial laws are being upheld like the omission of the need for passports and also the free movement of goods and services across fellow EU states.

Established in the year 1949, the Council of Europe is a different organization composed of 47 European member states. This entity has a more specific role for the observance of human rights and democracy. Its two primary bodies: European Convention and European Court of Human Rights (based in Strasbourg) help to further the council’s objectives. As such, the CoE stresses the importance of increasing awareness on human rights to its 800 million individual citizens. The only countries not included in this council are: Vatican, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Transnistria, and Kosovo. The last two states have limited recognition.


1.The Council of Europe is more of a cultural institution that is primarily concerned with developing and spreading the awareness on human rights to its members.
2.The European Union is more of a political entity that acts as one unified nation in the bigger world market. It leans more on implementing economic policies.
3.The Council of Europe is composed of 47 member states while the EU is composed of 27.
4.The Council of Europe requires its members to maintain its good standing of democracy and human rights.
5.The European Union requires its members to maintain an exemplary economic performance that will help elevate the status of the entire Union and not drag it down.

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