The Western Balkans is a focus of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly's attention and Croatia has informed it of the situation in the region and it believes the EU must step up its political engagement and show it cares for its stability, Croatia's foreign minister said in Strasbourg on Monday.
Minister Gordan Grlic-Radman attended a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of Croatia’s accession to the Council of Europe where he met with the Secretary-General of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis and European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) President Robert Spano.
“I spoke with the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Secretary-General, Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis, who informed me that the Western Balkans is high on that body’s agenda,” Grlic-Radman told reporters.
According to Grlic-Radman, Croatia is the most competent to discuss the Western Balkans because it shares the same experience and history and has the longest border with countries in the Western Balkans.
“I informed her in detail of the challenges we are facing in all those countries where the situation is quite dramatic,” he said and added that the EU is called to “adopt a more active political approach so that we can send a clear message that we care for the stability, functionality and prosperity of Western Balkan countries.”
He said that Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis commended Croatia, not just for being a responsible member of the CoE but “as a country with a good reputation in international organisations, globally visible for its adopted values, starting from human rights, rule of law, and the fight against corruption and human trafficking.”
Grlic-Radman also said that ECHR President Spano described Croatia as a country that is strongly present and active in accepting ECHR rulings and incorporating them into its legislation.