Written Answers. - Croatian Application to Join Council of Europe.

Ray Burke


107 Mr. R. Burke asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will support the application of Croatia, which is supported by the Government and Opposition parties, to join the Council of Europe. [16698/96]

At its meeting on 1 and 2 July, the Committee of Ministers' Deputies of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution inviting Croatia to become a member of the Council of Europe, subject to a possibility for the decision to be reconsidered, in light of Croatia's performance in relation to a number of areas including: respect for its obligations in relation to the Dayton Peace Agreement including the proper conduct of elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and, demonstration of its willingness to honour other commitments linked to membership, including compliance with the International Criminal Tribunal and co-operation with the Council of Europe on applying the Constitutional Law on Human Rights and Freedoms and the Rights of National and Ethnic Communities or Minorities in the Republic of Croatia.

Ireland and her partners in the European Union are continuing to monitor the progress which Crotia is making towards fulfilling the commitments it has given in connection with its membership application. It is still too early to assess, in particular, the extent to which Croatia has honoured its obligations in relation to facilitating the proper conduct of elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Security Council of the United Nations on 20 September also considered it necessary to call on Croatia to fulfil its obligations towards the International Criminal Tribunal. The EU has therefore not yet arrived at a final view as to whether or not there is a need to seek a reconsideration by the Council of Europe of the decision to invite Croatia to become a member of that organisation.