Croatia Committed to Protecting Minority Groups

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 1, 2018 – During its chairmanship of the Council of Europe (CoE), Croatia will be committed to an active and leading role in the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić said at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), held in the Croatian parliament on Friday.

“During its chairmanship, Croatia has been committed to an active and leading role in the protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law,” the minister said.

Croatia recognises that the Council of Europe has had a key role in building Europe ever since it was established in 1949, she underscored. For us, the Council of Europe represents the fundamental organisation to set the standards in promoting human rights, democracy and rule of law in Europe, she added. “By applying those standards in our societies, we, the member states, confirm our commitment to our common values,” she underscored.

The Croatian government strongly supports the need for the continuation of the reform of the Council of Europe, an organisation that is also facing huge challenges, she said in her address. “During its chairmanship, Croatia intends to closely cooperate with the Parliamentary Assembly and the secretary-general with regard to defining clear and long-term perspectives and strategies. In that regard, it is very important to achieve a greater unity of member states based on dialogue and mutual cooperation,” she said.

The four main priorities of Croatia’s chairmanship will be the fight against corruption, efficient protection of national minorities and vulnerable groups, decentralisation in the context of strengthening local government, and the protection of cultural heritage and cultural routes, said the minister.

As far as corruption is concerned, the minister said that not one institution or legal body is immune to that negative phenomenon and announced a ministerial conference on the topic of strengthening transparency and responsibility with the aim of preventing corruption to be held on October 15 and 16 in cooperation with the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO).

During its chairmanship, Croatia will hold several conferences on the protection of the rights of minorities and vulnerable groups, including a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, to be held on June 18 and 19 in Strasbourg, Pejčinović Burić added.

She also announced a special conference on the Roma, “From education to employment”, which is scheduled to take place on Brijuni Island on September 25-26.

Croatia took over the chairmanship of the Council of Europe from Denmark on May 18, and this is the first time that it is chairing this pan-European organisation since it joined it in 1996.


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