24th Sep 2018

Croatia's EU talks may be delayed

  • Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte believes Croatia's efforts to find a war crimes suspect are insufficient (Photo: European Commission)

The likelihood of Croatia opening EU talks on 17 March has been dealt a blow by claims by the UN chief prosecutor that the country has not done enough to find and arrest a war crimes suspect.

Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) in The Hague, sent a letter to the Luxembourg EU Presidency criticising Zagreb for not doing enough to locate the fugitive general, Ante Gotovina.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"I have had no new information (since 11 February) capable of making me change my evaluation on Croatian co-operation with the ICTY", Ms Del Ponte was reported as saying by Reuters.

"In spite of all the guaranties provided by Zagreb, Ante Gotovina is within Croatian authorities' reach, and we will not be able to say that the country is co-operating fully with the ICTY as long as it has not handed him over to the tribunal", the prosecutor is reported to have written.

Ms Del Ponte has found recent measures taken by Croatia, such as freezing the general's assets, belated and insufficient.

She also said Croatian authorities had tried to obstruct her investigations last year.

Croatia has refuted Ms Del Ponte's criticisms.

"Croatia is doing its best to resolve the Gotovina case and we are regularly putting forward our efforts to Ms del Ponte and the EU", according to a representative of the Croatian Foreign Ministry.

The European Commission had said earlier that if the prosecutor's statement was negative, membership talks with Croatia, planned to start next Thursday, would be delayed.

Member state experts will discuss the issue tomorrow (10 March) with a formal decision expected to be taken by EU foreign ministers at a meeting next Wednesday - on the eve of the planned opening of talks.

However, a Commission spokesperson told the EUobserver on Monday that "if something happens between the 10th and the 16th (March), it will of course be taken into account".


EU should brace for a more authoritarian Erdogan

The new blend of religious nationalism will be more anti-West and anti-EU, as Brussels has anything but leverage on Turkey. The first signs of this strong rhetoric are already visible.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  2. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  3. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  4. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  5. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  6. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  7. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  8. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us