|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||09/11/95, Volume 1, Number 08|
MEMBERSHIP of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe rose to 38 this week with the entry of two new countries: Ukraine and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
A CEREMONY to mark their accession coincided with several meetings in the Alsatian capital of the parliamentary assembly and the presence of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, whose new chairman Danish Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen took over from his Czech colleague Josef Zieleniec.
THE organisation's membership is unlikely to remain static. The Russian Federation, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belarus all have applications on the table, which were examined by the political affairs committee. The Council of Europe is also considering requests from three former Soviet Union republics, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, for special guest status, which could eventually lead to full membership.
THE Council of Europe and the European Commission took a further step in developing their cooperation in the new democracies of the former Soviet Union with the launch of an assistance package for the Ukraine. The programme to boost democratic institutions in the country was signed by European Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek and Council of Europe Secretary General Daniel Tarschys. A similar joint scheme has already been approved for Albania, while a third for Russia is under examination.
THE cooperative venture followed the seventh quadripartite meeting between the Council of Europe and the EU, represented by Spanish European Affairs Minister Carlos Westendorp and European Institutional Affairs Commissioner Marcelino Oreja, in Madrid on 6 November. The meeting aimed to consider ways of developing cooperation, particularly in new areas like judicial and home affairs, between the two organisations as both extend their areas of activities. Representatives voiced their hope that Russia and other candidates would soon be in a position to join the Council of Europe, thus helping Moscow to underpin the process of political reform and respect for human rights.
BOTH organisations agreed that reconstruction programmes for the former Yugoslavia should be “complementary and mutually reinforcing”, based on agreed evaluation of the needs and respecting each contributing partner's special spheres of competence. They also undertook to examine how the Council of Europe could contribute to the objectives of the Euro-Mediterranean conference between the Union and 12 North African and Middle East countries.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Countries / Regions||Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine|