Strasbourg, 04.09.2013 – At the end of his official visit to Zagreb, PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon congratulated Croatia on its recent accession to the European Union. “It is a great success for your country, but also for the Council of Europe, which was the first European institution to welcome Croatia as a member in 1996,” the President declared.
“Croatia performs an essential role in reinforcing the stability and reconciliation of the region, as well as in the process of regional co-operation. I commend the determination of the Croatian authorities to work closely with the countries of the region to aid their progress on the path of European integration, on the basis of the experience which you have acquired in the EU accession process,” the President added.
The discussions also concerned parliamentary co-operation in the fields of human rights, the rights of minorities, protection of the rights of society’s most vulnerable groups, gender equality and fighting corruption. “On all these issues, it is essential to ensure satisfactory co-operation and complementarity between the EU and the Council of Europe, and I count on the support of the Croatian authorities in that regard,” the President emphasised.
Jean-Claude Mignon especially welcomed Croatia’s signature of the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).“I welcome the fact that ratification of the Istanbul Convention represents a priority for the authorities, and I hope that the ratification process will soon be concluded,” he stressed. In addition, he addressed issues of current concern in international policy, particularly the situation in Syria and in the southern Mediterranean.
During his visit the PACE President met the Speaker of Parliament, the First Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, and members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on European Affairs. He also had talks with the President of the Zagreb Municipal Council and representatives of the Croatian Youth Network.