Kosovo has officially submitted the application for membership in the Council of Europe.
Such a move has been confirmed through a statement published by Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Donika Gervalla, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“I have just left the meeting with the Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. On behalf of the Republic of Kosovo, we submitted the application for membership ,” Gërvalla pointed out in this regard.
In addition, the Minister said that today marks a new chapter for Kosovo in the Council of Europe.
“Today opens a new chapter for Kosovo in the CoE; today begins the procedure of reviewing our request, which will go through various instances of the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly, and finally, the Ministerial Council.Kosovo deserves to be a member of the Council of Europe,” said Gërvalla.
Kosovo’s government approved the initiative for the country’s membership in the Council of Europe during an extraordinary meeting held earlier today.
The decision obliges the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora to conduct all membership procedures, taking into consideration the legislation in force.
Previously it was announced that the Balkan country would apply for membership in the Council during this month, while yesterday, local media reports said that Kosovo would officially apply today, May 12.
Last month, German journalist Michael Martens said that Kosovo could soon become the youngest member of the Council of Europe.
In addition, Martens said that Kosovo is planning to apply for membership in the Council of Europe once elections in France would be finished, while stressing that such a process could be finalized by 2023.
The Council of Europe, founded in 1949, is the oldest human rights organization that brings together European governments in order to protect rights, democracy as well as the rule of law in Europe, based in Strasbourg, France.
Citizens of Kosovo could have many benefits from the country’s membership in the Council of Europe, including having access to the Court of Human Rights and head to the institution if their rights have been violated by the state of Kosovo or any other Member State of the Council.
The procedures require a CoE member country to propose membership of Kosovo in the Committee of Ministers, and then the Council of Europe Assembly seeks an opinion on whether Kosovo meets the requirements to become an official member.
As for membership, it requires 2/3 of the total votes that Kosovo has, taking into account the countries that have recognized Kosovo as an independent country.
The following countries are members of the Council of Europe: Albania, Armenia, Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Northern Macedonia, Portugal, Poland, Moldova, San Marino, Romania Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.