The Council of Europe was established in Strasbourg in 1949 largely at the instigation of Winston Churchill, with the objective of promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law throughout Europe after the Second World War. It has grown over the years and now covers 47 countries including Russia and the European parts of the former Soviet Union. The Congress, founded in 1994, is the local government section of the Council of Europe.
Cllr Saunders said “I am honoured to have been selected to serve on an international organisation that Britain did so much to found 65 years ago. The Congress has helped to strengthen local democracy in countries which for historical reasons have suffered dictatorship and lack of independence in recent centuries and I am eager to play my part in this ongoing work.”.
The Full Congress meets twice a year in Strasbourg.
Councillor Saunders sits on the Congress as an East Hampshire District Council councillor, but at no expense to the district council or the council tax payer.