The Secretary General is elected by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for a period of five years.
The Secretary General is entrusted with the responsibility of meeting the aim for which the Council of Europe was set up in London on 5 May 1949, namely to achieve greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress. Statute of the Council of Europe
The Secretary General has the overall responsibility for the strategic management of the Council of Europe’s work programme and budget and oversees the day-to-day running of the Organisation and Secretariat.
Mr Thorbjørn Jagland is Secretary General of the Council of Europe since 1 October 2009.