|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||11/01/96, Volume 2, Number 02|
RUSSIA will take another major step on the road to democratic and legal reform within the next two months when it becomes a fully-fledged member of the Strasbourg-based human rights organisation, the Council of Europe.
A formal invitation will be issued once the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly endorses the membership bid in two weeks time. “The likely date of membership at present is either one of the last few days of February or in early March,” Council of Europe Secretary-General Daniel Tarschys said this week.
“It will mean for the first time membership in a European organisation that has a clear ideological profile. The OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) is a very important organisation, but it is really for all European states. Here we have an ideological profile in favour of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. That means involvement in intergovernmental cooperation in a vast array of fields and sharing in a common European enterprise.”
While the Council's attention will inevitably focus on democratic developments and respect for human rights within Russia, Tarschys points out that Moscow may well raise concerns of its own.
Applications to the Council of Europe are also being considered from Belarus, Croatia and Bosnia. In addition, Tarschys says he “anticipates resumed relations with Yugoslavia” and there are moves from the Caucasian states to obtain guest status. The Strasbourg organisation is also continuing to develop cooperation with other countries. The US is expected to become an observer, an interest prompted largely by the Council's activities in Central and Eastern Europe. Japan and Canada may follow suit.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations, Values and Beliefs|
|Countries / Regions||Russia|