Zagreb - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković met in Zagreb on Friday with the visiting President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Michele Nicoletti.
The PACE Bureau, Presidency and Standing Committee were meeting in the Croatian Parliament as part of the Croatian chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.
Jandroković emphasised the importance of the oldest pan-European organisation for Croatia since it became a member in 1996 and the importance of the Parliamentary Assembly in whose work the Croatian Parliament had participated even before Croatia formally joined the organisation.
Jandroković expressed satisfaction with Croatia's first chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers in the 22 years of its membership, saying that the focus of the Croatian chairmanship would be on priorities shared by all European countries, namely combating corruption and organised crime, protecting the rights of ethnic minorities and vulnerable social groups, strengthening local and regional government, and protecting and promoting cultural heritage.
Nicoletti thanked the Croatian Parliament for its hospitality and for the excellent organisation of the PACE meetings, saying that during its membership Croatia had become an example and model to other member states.
The two officials also discussed the role of national parliaments in strengthening the work of the Parliamentary Assembly, particularly the conventional system of the Council of Europe and its implementation.
Croatia assumed the Council of Europe chairmanship from Denmark on May 18.
Earlier in the day, while opening the meeting of the PACE Standing Committee, Jandroković said that accession to the Council of Europe had been among Croatia's first major strategic goals and the result of its successful foreign policy.
By joining the organisation, Croatia clearly showed that it belonged to the circle of European countries with the highest values and democratic standards.
"Croatia has become a country fully committed to the democratic foundation on which contemporary Europe is built: democracy, rule of law and human rights protection," Jandroković said.
He said that Croatia wanted to continue actively contributing to the search for solutions to the many issues being faced by Europe today.