The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) represents the bars and law societies of 31 member countries and 11 further associate and observer countries, and through them around 1 million European lawyers.
The CCBE was founded in 1960, as the ramifications of the European Economic Community on the legal profession started to be seriously considered (see the CCBE’s History). During the decades which followed and through to the present day, the CCBE has been in the forefront of advancing the views of European lawyers and defending the legal principles upon which democracy and the rule of law are based. The CCBE is an international non-profit-making association incorporated in Belgium.
The CCBE is recognised as the voice of the European legal profession by the national bars and law societies on the one hand, and by the EU institutions on the other. It acts as the liaison between the EU and Europe's national bars and law societies. The CCBE has regular institutional contacts with those European Commission officials, and members and staff of the European Parliament, who deal with issues affecting the legal profession . Its current strategy can be found here.
In addition, the CCBE works closely with legal organisations outside Europe.