PACE To Debate Kosovo’s Application To Join the CoE on April 16 | Beta Briefing

PACE To Debate Kosovo’s Application To Join the CoE on April 16

Source: Beta
News / Politics | 16.04.24 | access_time 12:19

Council of Europe (Photo: Council of Europe/Candice Imbert)

On April 16, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is scheduled to debate the application by Kosovo for membership of the Council of Europe (CoE) as part of its spring session taking place in Strasbourg.

PACE members will vote on the draft Opinion on Kosovo’s application, recommending that Kosovo be invited to become a member of the CoE.

The document, composed by Greek politician Dora Bakoyannis, was adopted by the PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy on March 27. If the PACE adopts the draft Opinion, the CoE Committee of Ministers will give its final say in mid-May.

The draft document, which will be discussed by parliamentarians from the 46 member states of the CoE, states that membership would “catalyze momentum for Kosovo to continue to make progress in strengthening human rights, democracy and the rule of law and address outstanding challenges and matters of concern”, such as the gap between normative standards and their effective implementation, the need to improve the protection of the rights of non-majority communities, and fostering a climate conducive to trust, reconciliation and inclusion.

The committee welcomed as “a major breakthrough” the implementation of the Constitutional Court’s judgment the case of the Visoki Decani monastery. Returning 24 hectares of land to the medieval Serbian monastery was one of the conditions for granting Kosovo membership of the CoE. The other two include the establishment of the Association of Serb-majority municipalities and a revision of controversial expropriations in the Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo, including the property of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

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