Friday

24th May 2019

Slovenia blocks EU Croatia talks over fishing dispute

Slovenia is blocking the opening of talks on a new chapter of EU legislation with Croatia due to a fishing dispute.

According to a report by Austrian news agency APA, the Slovene foreign ministry confirmed it has not given the green light for the EU to open the next chapter of legislation up for negotiation - on fisheries.

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

  • It's all about fishing (Photo: EUobserver)

Under EU rules each member state has to agree to both opening and closing of a chapter of legislation - with a refusal by one, blocking the whole process.

Slovenia is engaging its foot-dragging tactics because it says Croatia has not put into place a bilateral border agreement, which covers cross-border traffic and cooperation and also has a section on fishing rights.

Under the agreement, Slovene fishermen are supposed to be able to go about their business unhindered in part of Croatian waters - something they have repeatedly complained they are not able to do.

As fishing rights fall under Brussels powers, the issue has moved to the EU level.

According to APA, Slovenia has been blocking the opening of EU-Croatia discussions on fishing legislation for around three weeks, being the only country so far not to have given its approval for a European Commission 'screening report' on the extent to which the country's fisheries legislation conforms to EU norms.

Approval of the screening report by all 25 member states is a prerequisite for opening talks on a particular legislative chapter.

Up until now 13 of the 35 legislative chapters for Croatia have been proofed with science and research already closed.

But Slovenia is not the only country to have found the blocking tactic a useful way to put an issue close to its heart on the negotiation table.

Cyprus also plans on using the method against EU-hopeful Turkey - it has said it will block further EU-Ankara talks if Turkey does not fully commit to a customs agreement by the end of the year.

Strache scandal: how big a hit will Austrian far-right take?

This is a political crisis unprecedented in Austria since the war: the resignation of the vice-chancellor, firing of the interior minister, the mass resignation of FPO ministers, a snap election, and a no-confidence vote in the Austrian parliament on Monday.

Feature

Italy train row exposes competing views of EU

A planned high-speed railway connection through the Alps between Italy and France has been highly controversial for decades and is pitting governing Italian coalition parties against each other. But the European Commission insists it must go ahead.

Dutch socialists on top in first EP election exit poll

Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans looks like the big winner in the first exit poll from the 2019 European Parliament election. British voters also cast their ballots amid predictions their prime minister is about to fall.

Opinion

EU sanctions regime cannot be an 'EU Magnitsky Act'

The debate about the choice of name should not boil down to a political muscle show against Hungary, which opposes the reference to Magnitsky because of its political relations with the Russian government.

Polling booths open in UK's limbo EU election

Polling booths have opened in the UK for EU elections, with voters not knowing if Brexit will happen, if they have a prime minister, or caring that much who their MEPs will be.

News in Brief

  1. UK's May announces June 7 resignation date
  2. Ireland votes for EU election and divorce referendum
  3. Report: May to announce resignation plan on Friday
  4. Leading politicians: time for EU to have female leaders
  5. Poll: Finland's Green party to surge in EU elections
  6. High demand for postal voting in Denmark
  7. Some EU citizens turned away at UK polling stations
  8. Switzerland unlikely to sign draft EU deal

Exclusive

EU development aid used to put European police in Senegal

An Austrian criminal intelligence service persuaded Italy's interior minister Matteo Salvini to set up a unit in Sicily against migrant smuggling, while in Senegal EU development money is financing an European-police led reform of Dakar's defence and interior ministries.

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Strache scandal: how big a hit will Austrian far-right take?
  2. Italy train row exposes competing views of EU
  3. Dutch socialists on top in first EP election exit poll
  4. No usage data kept for EU parliament's 'Citizens' App'
  5. EU sanctions regime cannot be an 'EU Magnitsky Act'
  6. Polling booths open in UK's limbo EU election
  7. Dutch PM puts EU exit on agenda with election gamble
  8. EU development aid used to put European police in Senegal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us