Yesterday the Republic of Montenegro became the 47th member of the Council of Europe. With a population of 0.6 million Montenegro is one of the smaller members of this pan-European organisation.
Council of Europe standards concerning democracy, human rights and the rule of law form part of the political criteria towards EU membership.
Thus, membership in the Council of Europe is one step towards Montenegro’s goal to become member of the European Union.
Serbia, in turn, took over the presidency of the Council of Europe for six months among wide-spread concern over the country’s failure to hand over suspected war criminals to War crimes tribunal in the Hague.