In the Council of Europe, ordinary budget resources, i.e. regular, statutory, obligatory budget contributions from member and, in certain circumstances, non-member states have traditionally financed the functioning of the Council’s organs, inter-governmental standard-setting and monitoring work and its administrative infrastructure. Only limited ordinary budget resources have been available for technical cooperation and assistance activities (the very concept of which did not exist prior to 1989), which have, as a result, relied largely on extra-budgetary resources. Therefore the vast majority of cooperation and assistance activities implemented by the Council of Europe were funded by voluntary contributions.
It is to be stressed that voluntary contributions are sought and accepted only for projects approved by the Committee of Ministers within the framework of the Organisation’s Programme of Activities. This ensures that all work and related expenditure, irrespective of source, is focussed on agreed priorities.