EU accession

Jandrokovic and Hoekmark discuss completion of Croatia's EU entry talks

  • Autor:
  • Zadnja izmjena 16.11.2010 16:49
  • Objavljeno 16.11.2010 u 16:44
Gordan Jandroković

Gordan Jandroković

Izvor: Cropix / Autor: CROPIX / Goran Mehkek

Croatian Foreign Affairs and European Integration Minister Gordan Jandrokovic met in Brussels on Tuesday with the co-chairman of the EU-Croatia Joint Parliamentary Committee, Gunnar Hoekmark, to discuss Croatia's efforts to complete its EU membership talks in the first half of next year.

"I thanked MEP Hoekmark for his support to Croatia and informed him of our efforts and plans to complete the (accession) talks in the first half of next year and of the ongoing reforms, notably those regarding the policy area Judiciary and Fundamental Rights, continuation of the fight against corruption, protection of minorities and refugee return," Jandrokovic said.

Jandrokovic was in Brussels to attend a conference on Southeastern Europe organised by the European People's Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament.

Hoekmark said Croatia should be a model for other Western Balkan countries, underlining the importance of completing work on the policy area Judiciary and Fundamental Rights, notably judicial reform and the fight against corruption.

Implementing reforms and doing everything that is required in that policy area would remove all possible reasons to look for alibis or arguments that more time is needed for the accession talks, said Hoekmark, a Swedish member of the EPP.

This would be an important proof for the European society and the EU and an important sign for all those who may hesitate or think that more time is needed, Hoekmark said, adding that Croatia's accession to the EU would also be of great importance for other countries in the region.

Asked about the possibility of Croatia and Iceland entering the EU together, Hoekmark said that both countries should be evaluated according to their own achievements.

If Iceland manages to catch up with Croatia so that they can join together, so be it, but I don't want Croatia's entry to be postponed over other factors. That is why I am underlining the importance of the Judiciary area so that all alibis and arguments for a postponement could be removed, Hoekmark said.

Jandrokovic said that Croatia's entry depended solely on Croatia, that the dynamic of Iceland's integration with the EU was entirely different, and that "such speculation is not justified or realistic".

The Croatian minister and the EU official also discussed the support of Croatian citizens for the country's accession to the EU.

Jandrokovic informed Hoekmark about the latest survey which shows that if the EU entry referendum were to be held today, 62 percent of Croatians would support Croatia's entry to the EU.

The two officials also discussed the situation in Southeastern Europe, expressing support for the integration with Euro-Atlantic associations of all countries in the region that meet the set criteria.

They also noted that the prospect of membership in Euro-Atlantic associations was very important for building peace and stability in Southeastern Europe.

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