​60 years ago, Switzerland joined the Council of Europe. What unites the community of almost 700 million Europeans? High school students ask politicians.

The Council of Europe was founded in May 1949, followed 14 years later, on 6 May 1963, by Switzerland's accession to the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). But why was the Council of Europe founded in the first place? What does membership mean for the Swiss and what concerns will the Council of Europe have in the future?

Students from Denis-de-Rougemont grammar school in Neuchâtel are preparing a visit to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg as part of their history lessons. To this end, they met with members of the Swiss delegation in the parliament building in Bern. Talking to the pupils were: Damien Cottier, President of the delegation and National Councillor from Neuchâtel, Marianne Maret, Councillor of States from Valais, and Niklaus-Samuel Gugger, National Councillor from Zurich. Here is an excerpt from this discussion.