Minister for Europe, David Lidington, moved a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday 27 October on the subject of the UK's Chairmanship of the European Council.
Shadow Minster for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Emma Reynolds, responded in the debate on behalf of the Opposition.
Watch and read the views expressed by MPs during the debate on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard.
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg (France), now covers virtually the entire European continent, with its 47 member countries. Founded on 5 May 1949 by 10 countries, the Council of Europe seeks to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human Rights and other reference texts on the protection of individuals.
The UK will take over the chairmanship of the Council of Europe on 7 November 2011. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has published the priorities and objectives of the UK chairmanship of the Council. Further information can be found on the Council of Europe website.
Debates are an opportunity for MPs to discuss government policy, proposed new laws and current issues. It allows MPs to voice the concerns and interests of their constituents.