Illustration. Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. Photo: EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER

Council of Europe Accepts Kosovo’s Application for Membership

The Council of Europe made the first step to tackle Kosovo’s application for membership in the organization.

The Ministerial Committee of the Council of Europe, which represents the 46 member states, in an extraordinary meeting, with more than two-thirds of the votes on Monday, has taken the decision to consider the request for membership of the Republic of Kosovo.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Donika Gërvalla, said that with this decision an important stage towards full membership is completed.

“For our new state, today’s decision is a historic step, perhaps the most important after our independence,” Gërvalla wrote on Facebook.

Almost a year ago, on May 12, 2022, Kosovo submitted its application for membership to the Council of Europe.

The application of Kosovo to the Council of Europe must first be handled by the Committee of Ministers, and after the assessment of the situation in Kosovo, the last word is given by the Parliamentary Assembly, which consists of the representatives of the member states.

“It is a special moment, it is a great work of the previous delegations and of this delegation. There is still work to be done. However, without any doubt this is the biggest step of Kosovo towards membership in this institution”, wrote Besnik Tahiri, opposition MP from AAK and part of the Kosovo parliamentary delegation in the session of Monday. 

PM Albin Kurti also commented on this vote saying that Kosovo “will be an added value to the Council of Europe”.

“The Council of Europe will add value to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in our country,” Kurti wrote on Facebook.

After this decision, the President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani thanked the allies who voted in favor of Kosovo.

“The Republic of Kosovo’s flag will soon wave proudly amongst fellow members of the Council of Europe,” wrote Osmani on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, declared in Belgrade that his country will vote against Kosovo’s membership in the Council of Europe.

On April 18, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Ivica Dacic, stated that he will work to prevent Kosovo’s membership in the Council of Europe.

There were 33 votes, in favour, 7 against amd 5 abstentions, announced Agron Bajrami, Kosovo Ambassador in Brussels.

Kosovo is the only European country that is still not part of the Council of Europe. 

24/04/2023 - 17:17

24 April 2023 - 17:17

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