29th Feb 2024

Croatian membership: "Why not" says Prodi

  • ROMANO PRODI - EU accession "would be another step for peace and stability in Croatia” (Photo: European Commission)

The Croatian Prime Minister, Ivica Racan, confirmed on Monday that Croatia would submit its formal application to become a member of the European Union on 18 February in Athens.

After a meeting with Mr Racan, the Commission President, Romano Prodi said that the talks had been "warm and friendly" adding that it would be another step for peace and stability in Croatia"

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"It will depend solely on us the moment when we accede… we know very well our obligations" acknowledged Mr Racan.

To Brussels via the Hague

As with the case of Turkey the Commission is now seeking to send out a clear message that the Copenhagen Criteria will not be fudged in order to start negotiations.

"We can not modify the criteria" said Mr Prodi. The criteria call for a stable democratic system, respect for human rights and the functioning of a market economy, although the latter, it was revealed last week, would not be an object for negotiations with Turkey to begin.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mr Prodi indicated that he had received a "positive" response from Mr Racan when the two discussed Croatia’s co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal in the Hague.

Croatia has not yet handed over Janko Bebetko who was indicted by the tribunal for war crimes. Croatia’s non co-operation has been a significant problem for their accession bid until now.

Croatian president on Brussels visit

Stepjan Mesic, the Croatian President visited Brussels Monday and met Commission President, Romano Prodi, to discuss his country's future application for EU membership. Mr Prodi linked the status of membership with the need to reform the Croatian state and improve human rights and refugees problems.

Balkans warned: no EU accession without reform

The western Balkan states were given a clear signal on Tuesday by EU members states that the necessary political reforms need to be made before they have any prospects for EU membership. "Our doors are open, but there is no free access and cheap tickets," the Danish ambassador to the EU, Poul Christoffersen said, when speaking on behalf of the Foreign Affairs Minister.


Far-right MEPs least disciplined in following party line

In a fractious parliamentary vote, the level of party discipline often decides the fate of legislation. Party discipline among nationalists and far-right MEPs is the weakest, something potentially significant after the June elections. Data by Novaya Gazeta Europe and EUobserver.

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