Monday

17th Jun 2019

Croatia cut out for EU membership

Croatia has met the political and economic criteria and is ready to start membership talks with the EU, the European Commission is expected to announce next week in Strasbourg.

The former Yugoslav republic of 4.7 million people applied for membership last February and hopes to join the EU as early as 2007 along with Romania and Bulgaria.

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Member states will decide in June whether to grant Croatia candidate country status.

One of the most important conditions for starting talks is that Croatia has to continue co-operation with the United Nations war crimes tribunal, writes the Financial Times.

But, EU enlargement commissioner Günter Verheugen is expected to announce in Strasbourg on Tuesday (20 April) that Croatia has met the political and economic criteria for membership, says the newspaper.

A positive announcement from the Commission would confirm its commitment to expand to the Balkans and would motivate other Balkan countries.

But it is Slovenia which will be the first former Yugoslav republic to join the EU on the 1 May - along with nine other countries.

EU split on Western Balkans accession

Europe's credibility is at risk in the Western Balkans, half its member states have warned - but EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said Albania and North Macedonia unlikely to start accession talks soon.

Tensions mount over Kosovo-Serbia deal

Serbia will never recognise Kosovo, Serbia's foreign minister has said, as the Western Balkans heads into a new period of turbulence.

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