The democratic conscience of Greater Europe
The Assembly brings together 324 men and women from the parliaments of the Council of Europe's 47 member states. Though it contains many voices, reflecting political opinion across the continent, its mission is to uphold the shared values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law that are the "common heritage" of the peoples of Europe.
A right of scrutiny
It holds governments to account over their human rights records, and presses states to achieve and maintain democratic standards, both in Europe and – increasingly – in neighbouring regions.
A hotbed of ideas
It is a factory of radical ideas for improving Europe's laws and practices, a "motor" for the Council of Europe and a guardian of the European Convention on Human Rights, which originated in the Assembly.
A forum for debate
It is a forum for sometimes heated debate on key political and social issues facing the continent, helping to head off conflict and encourage reconciliation.
Though its texts are not binding, the Assembly speaks on behalf of 800 million Europeans and the 47 Council of Europe governments must give a collective reply. It is the democratic conscience of Greater Europe.