Working structure

Political groups

In order to develop a non-national European outlook, the formation of political groups in the Parliamentary Assembly has been promoted and from 1964 onwards they were granted certain rights within the Rules of Procedure. At present the Assembly counts five political groups: the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP/CD) ; the Socialist Group (SOC) ; the European Conservatives Group (EC) ; the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) ; the Group of the Unified European Left (UEL). Political Groups have to commit themselves to respect the promotion of the values of the Council of Europe, notably political pluralism, human rights and the rule of law. To form a Group, at least twenty members of at least six different delegations have to decide to do so. Members of the Assembly are entirely free to choose the Group they wish to join. Before deciding they can attend meetings of one or several groups and should not be bound by their national party label but choose the group which best suits their political affinities. The President of the Assembly and the leaders of the groups form the Presidential Committee of the PACE.