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Question Posed in the European Parliament Concerning the Home of Macedonian Culture

December 15, 2004

In the Sidiropoulos and others v. Greece judgement of 10 July 1998, the European Court of Human Rights found that the refusal to register the association "Home of Macedonian Culture" in Florina constituted an interference with the freedom of association as guaranteed by Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Five years after the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, this association has still not been registered despite the repeated applications made by its members (see recent decision 243/19/12/03 of the Florina Single-Member Court of First Instance one more time negative; the applicants have applied again to the Appeal Court in Kozani). It seems contradictory that at a stage where the EU is asking the candidate countries to fully implement the "Copenhagen criteria", some Member States do not honour their own legal obligations towards international treaties.

Is the Commission informed on the repetitive Greek practice of not complying with the European Court of Human Rights' judgements? Does the Commission consider that this kind of situations are incompatible with the principle of the rule of law which the Contracting States undertook to respect when they ratified the European Convention on Human Rights?

Is the Commission intending to ask the Greek state to behave differently, honouring its obligations and its written assurances that it will implement the ECHR decision?

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