On 8 August 1949, Léon Blum, founder of the French Socialist daily newspaper Le Populaire, expresses his enthusiasm following the creation of the Council of Europe, placing particular emphasis on the role that European Socialism will play in the work of the future Assembly.
On 10 August 1949, after having chaired the inaugural sitting of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, Edouard Herriot, oldest member and Honorary President, hands over the chair to the Belgian Paul-Henri Spaak, newly elected President.
On 10 August 1949, the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe meets for the first time in Strasbourg. The following day, the Belgian Socialist delegate and former Foreign Minister, Paul-Henri Spaak, is elected President of the Assembly.
On 10 August 1949, the day of the first session of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, the French daily newspaper Le Figaro emphasises the symbolic value of the institution, whilst also highlighting its limited political influence.
On 12 August 1949, the correspondent for the British weekly magazine The New Statesman and Nation describes the numerous debates surrounding the appointment of the first Vice- President of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe and speculates on the future activities of this Parliamentary Assembly.
On 18 August 1949, the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit expresses its enthusiasm for the establishment of the Council of Europe and emphasises the key role of those who are to comprise the future Consultative Assembly, at the same time stressing the importance of associating Germany with the forthcoming undertaking.
The account of the reasons behind this Draft Recommendation, presented in 1950, indicates the weakness of the Consultative Assembly’s position with regard to the Committee of Ministers and the members’ demands to increase the influence of the institution. The role of defining and consolidating the Assembly’s consultative function is to take priority over the institution’s claim to power of decision.
In his memoirs, Count Richard Coudenhove-Kalergi, founder of the European Parliamentary Union (EPU) in 1947, describes the atmosphere at the opening of the inaugural sitting of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe on 10 August 1949.
In this interview, Gaston Thorn, former Member of the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe and of the Assembly of Western European Union (WEU), refers to the role of these deliberative assemblies in the development of a European spirit and of an awareness of the political, economic and military implications of a united Europe.