Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kosovo representatives in PACE

BELGRADE - President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Jean-Claude Mignon said on Tuesday Kosovo's political representatives would be allowed to attend the plenary sessions of the PACE, but without the right to participate, address the meetings or vote.

The PACE has decided to expand the dialogue with representatives of all the political forces elected to the Kosovo parliament, Mignon told the Serbian parliament. However, he said the administrative committee of the PACE would allow Kosovo's elected officials to attend its meetings, except the meetings of the committees on monitoring, legislation and administration, since that would not be possible. 

 They will be able to attend plenary sessions, without the right to participate, address the meetings or vote, Mignon noted. The Council of Europe (CE) is sticking to its neutral policy towards Kosovo in terms of its status, despite the fact that 34 out of the 47 of its members recognize Kosovo's independence, he explained. As a PACE resolution states, all those who live in Kosovo should enjoy the advantages of the rule of law and good administration, like all the others who live in Europe, Mignon said. 

 That is why the PACE used the resolution to call on the CE to allow the Kosovo authorities to be directly involved in its activities and programmes, he remarked. Commenting on the talks between Belgrade and Pristina, Mignon said he was convinced dialogue could bring solutions to the toughest issues if approached with good intentions. The CE supports every country's ambition to join the EU, as well as Serbia's efforts to get the start date for the accession talks, before the end of Ireland's presidency if possible, he noted. The EU expects more progress from Serbia to get the start date, he pointed out, stressing that the CE was willing to help Serbia achieve that. Photo Tanjug, Z. Zestic

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