Unicorn. Photo: ESI

Council of Europe, Kosovo vote and a unicorn

Support Kosovo’s membership in the Council of Europe

Kosovo’s application to become a member of Europe’s oldest Human Rights organisation is a moment of truth for many European countries which have long claimed to support Kosovo’s European aspirations. 

ESI newsletter: Breaking a deadlock – the genius of Ahtisaari – a peace formula (16 May 2024)

ESI newsletter: Historic vote – Kosovo’s breakthrough – a Unicorn (24 April 2024)

ESI newsletter: A monastery, Kosovo courts and the road to the Council of Europe (4 March 2024)

ESI paper: Memo on Decani - The rule of law, an urgent issue and Kosovo in the Council of Europe (4 Mar 2024)

ESI newsletter: 47 again? Russia out, Kosovo in, 16 May 2022

Në shqip: Përsëri 47? Rusia del jashtë, Kosova hyn brenda, 16 maj 2022

On 16 April, Europe’s leading human rights institution sent a loud message from Strasbourg to governments across the continent. With 131 to 29 votes, parliamentarians from 46 European democracies agreed by a huge majority, based on four detailed reports, that:

“Kosovo’s aspirations to join the Council of Europe should be met with a positive response.”

“Kosovo’s legal framework is broadly in line with Council of Europe standards and that its Constitution is a very progressive instrument.”

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) acknowledged the “progress made by Kosovo in the areas of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.” It called on the 46 member state governments of the Council of Europe to admit Kosovo at the next meeting of foreign ministers in the middle of May 2024.

This would mark a big success for the Council of Europe. 75 years ago, when it was created in London in April 1949, it had ten members. Following Kosovo’s accession, it would have 47, and include every European democracy.