European umbrella organisation

The Council of Bureaux (COB) is the European umbrella organisation to which the national bureaux of insurance, the guarantee funds, the information centres and the compensation bodies are affiliated. The COB adopts binding provisions such as the Internal Regulations. The COB's secretariat is located in Brussels.


The COB was established in London in 1949. One year later, the COB held its first official assembly in the course of which the format of the Green Card was defined. The Green Card System was introduced on 1 January 1953. In the following years, the organisation focused its attention on internationally harmonising the insurance cover and on optimising the protection of victims of road accidents by means of various agreements. Examples include the London Agreement, the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement and the Protection of Visitors Agreement.

In 1991, the statutes of the COB were adopted. In 1999, the organisation celebrated its 50th anniversary in Oxford. In 2003, the COB issued the Internal Regulations, which replaced the London Agreement and the Multilateral Guarantee Agreement and uniformly regulated cooperation between the National Bureaux of Insurance.

In 2019, the COB completed a major project lasting several years: the reorganisation of the insurance bureaux and guarantee funds of Europe and the Mediterranean countries. The new structures will enable not only the guarantee funds, but also the compensation bodies and the information centres to become members of an association from 2020, in which only the insurance bureaux were previously admitted.


The COB is an international non-profit organisation. The General Assembly is the COB's supreme body. In addition to the President and the Secretary-General, there are various standing committees with various functions.


The General Assembly is composed of all the national bureaux of insurance, the guarantee funds, the information centres and the compensation bodies that are members of the COB.

The Management Committee is the COB's executive. The Management Committee is composed of the President and 10 additional members elected by the General Assembly.

The President chairs the General Assembly and represents the COB externally.

The Secretary-General is responsible for the organisation's operational business.

General Rules Committee
General questions, in particular questions relating to the Green Card.

Specific Rules Committee
In particular responsible for questions relating to the Plates Agreement.

External and internal auditors