Foreign Minister Pejčinović Burić Elected Secretary General of Council of Europe

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 27, 2019 – Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić was elected the new Secretary-General of the Council of Europe by secret ballot held in the CoE Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg on Wednesday evening.

Pejčinović Burić will succeed Thornbjorn Jagland, whose second term in this post expires in October. Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister and foreign minister, became the 13th Secretary General of this international organisation in September 2009 and was re-elected in 2014 for the second term.

Pejčinović Burić and Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, were the two nominees shortlisted for the 14th Secretary-General of the Council of Europe earlier this year. Apart from them, the other two candidates in the first round were former Lithuanian premier and lawmaker, Andrius Kubilius as well as a former Greek foreign minister and parliamentary deputy, Dora Bakoyannis. The Committee of Ministers interviewed the four candidates separately in March, before deciding to shortlist the two candidates.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe consists of 324 deputies from national parliaments of the 47 member-states.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday morning that Croatia had done a good job regarding the candidacy of its Foreign and European Affairs Minister Pejčinović Burić for the post of Secretary General of the Council of Europe. He said that Croatia had made a good impression during its six-month chairmanship of this organisation last year. “I think we earned the image of a country that can make a contribution.”

Pejčinović Burić is the second woman in history at the organisation’s helm and the first person from Central and Southeastern Europe to fill this position.

Pejčinović Burić, who became the Croatian foreign minister in June 2017, is a fluent in French, English and Spanish and has passive knowledge of German. The new Secretary General of the CoE, born in 1963, graduated from the Faculty of Economics at Zagreb University in 1985, and attended the College of Europe at Bruges in Belgium and a post-graduate study n Warsaw to earn a master’s degree in European Studies.

Croatia joined the Council of Europe in 1996.

The Council of Europe was established in 1949 as an international organisation whose aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.

The Council of Europe Secretary General-elect, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić, said in Strasbourg on Wednesday that the role of the Council of Europe had never been more important than nowadays and that during her five-year term she would work on the unity as well as on empowering women and sensitive groups in the society.

In her first address upon her election, Pejčinović Burić said that she would advocate dialogue among member-states so as to ensure the accomplishment of the two founding goals of the organisation: peace and prosperity.

In her speech, Pejčinović Burić said that this international organisation was supposed to foster dialogue not only inside its main bodies but also among its member-states.

The Council of Europe was established in 1949 as an international organisation whose aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. It now has the 47 member-states.

Pejčinović Burić is the second women to become the secretary-general of this organisation in its 70-year-long history. In this context, the new secretary general said that her election showed that the Council of Europe “is for gender equality”.

“During my work as the Secretary General, I will pay special attention to all non-discrimination issues, particularly to women and children,” she said adding that it is necessary to strengthen the role of women in the present-day society.

She thanked for the cross-party support in the election process as well as to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković for having proposed and supported her candidature.

More news about Marija Pejčinović Burić can be found in the Politics section.


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