Martonyi: Croatia can conclude entry talks in June
Hrvatska i EU zastava
Izvor: Pixsell / Autor: Marko Lukunic/Vecernji list
I think Croatia's entry into the EU is within reach, as was stated in the Council's conclusions in December. Now a lot depends on a European Commission report due on March 11, which will have a decisive effect on the closure of the Judiciary and Fundamental Rights chapter. There are seven chapters left to be closed, some difficult and some easy. In sum, we now have a chance to achieve our goal and complete the negotiations by the end of June, Martonyi told press in Strasbourg where he attended a discussion in the European Parliament on Croatia's progress towards to EU membership.
Martonyi explained the statement made by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during his recent visit to Zagreb, that Croatia would be given a date for the conclusion of negotiations in April.
Sooner or later we will have to have at least a hypothetical date, because some budgetary implications for the accession of a new member can be decided only after we have at least a hypothetical date, and in April we will for the first time have an opportunity to talk about a date after we see what the European Commission's report will be like in March, he said.
The Hungarian minister said he did not expect any new obstacles now that Croatia had entered the final stage of negotiations.
I don't expect any new obstacles. I think it's up to Croatia now to do most of the work by meeting the criteria and benchmarks, which is also the message from the European Parliament. The Hungarian Presidency definitely wants to conclude the negotiations, and Croatia should make great effort on its part to achieve that goal, Martonyi said.