The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, consisting of 324 representatives of the national parliaments of 47 member states, will elect a new Secretary General to a five-year term by secret ballot on Wednesday evening.
Assembly members will choose between Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić and Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders for the Secretary General of the influential body dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
European media outlets are firmly on the side of the Croatian minister, listing her positive qualities as being from an Eastern European EU member state, having the necessary experience, language skills, and the fact she is female.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said Croatia had made a good impression during their six-month chairmanship of the Council of Europe last year, which was headed by Minister Pejčinović Burić.
"She would be just the second female Secretary General in the history of the Council of Europe. Furthermore, there has never been a Secretary General from Central or Southeastern Europe in the history of the council. I think we did all we could and have already earned respect for both the country and our candidate. We'll know for sure later tonight, but I think this is already a great success for Croatia," said the prime minister.
The Council of Europe predates the 28-member European Union and includes several non-EU members, for example, Russia and Turkey. Croatia joined the Council of Europe in 1996.
The new Secretary General is due to take office on October 15th.
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