EU accession

Reding recommends to Fuele Croatia ready to close Chapter 23

  • Autor:
  • Zadnja izmjena 17.05.2011 17:02
  • Objavljeno 17.05.2011 u 16:53
Viviane Reding Jadranka Kosor

Viviane Reding Jadranka Kosor

Izvor: Pixsell / Autor: Sanjin Strukic/PIXSELL

European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding recommended to Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele late last week that negotiations with Croatia on policy Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) be closed by the beginning of summer, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.

Although Reding was very critical and sceptical in early March, when the European Commission published its first report on how Croatia was meeting the benchmarks from that chapter, now, after the Croatian government's huge efforts, she is convinced that Croatia is ready to close the chapter, so she recommended to Fuele that negotiations on it can be closed, a European Union diplomat told press on condition of anonymity.

According to diplomatic sources, Fuele will brief EU ambassadors on Thursday about the current state of Croatia's accession negotiations.

He will do so at a COREPER meeting to which he was invited as part of preparations for a regular meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday, which will include a dinner discussion on Croatia.

At this meeting, Croatia could get the green light for closing the accession negotiations in June.

The aim of the discussion, first at ambassadorial, then at ministerial level, is to see how member countries feel about the completion of the accession negotiations with Croatia by the end of June.

It remains unclear if, in case Croatia gets the green light, it will get a target accession date as early as Monday.

The date is not the most important issue now. It is first necessary to see if member countries feel that Croatia is ready for closing negotiations on the "Judiciary and Fundamental Rights" and "Competition Policy" chapters, another diplomat told press, adding that in any case, the negotiations could not be closed without the accession date being known.

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