Swoboda: It's bad to give signals to Croatia that job is over
Izvor: tportal.hr / Autor: Tportal
Croatia is in the final stage of the negotiations and it was irresponsible of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to say that we can complete everything in April, as much remains to be done, the Austrian MEP said in Brussels on Thursday, accusing the Hungarian PM of being unproductive when sending signals to Croatia that the job was almost done.
I believe that we should give encouragement to Croatia to do the remaining job in the coming weeks, Swoboda told a group of reporters ahead of a European Parliament plenary session set for next week in Strasbourg, when it is also expected to vote on a draft resolution on Croatia's progress written by Swoboda.
He said today that yesterday he had talked with Enlargement Commission Stefan Fuele who, Swoboda said, was very displeased with signals being given that everything was more or less done.
According to Swoboda, one should wait for 11 March, when the European Commission will give an assessment of Croatia's fulfillment of benchmarks in the negotiating area No. 23, which regulates the judiciary and fundamental rights.
We know that heads of government like to be bosses but first the Commission must give its opinion, the Austrian politician said.
On the day of its admission to the EU, Croatia must be better than Bulgaria and Romania were. It must complete its campaign against corruption. We are positive regarding Croatia, but it is absolutely necessary to keep sufficiently strong pressure on Croatia to enable it to join the Union with no verification mechanisms, Swoboda said.
Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, which currently chairs the EU, told a news conference in Zagreb on Tuesday after meeting his Croatian counterpart Jadranka Kosor that this April Croatia would be given a date for the completion of its EU accession negotiations.
"March should be a month of success and in April you should get a date for the completion of the negotiations. If we do not do it now, the accession will be prolonged," Orban said on that occasion.
Swoboda said on Thursday that his progress report on Croatia, which would be on the Parliament's agenda next week, would be the last one and he expressed cautious hope that the accession negotiations might be wrapped in June. Accordingly, in October Swoboda could propose to the European Parliament to give his consent for the completion of the talks, paving the way for the signing of the accession treaty.
The draft resolution reads that the accession talks can be completed in the first half of 2011 provided that Croatia continues with the resolute reforms in the remaining negotiating areas, including public administration, judiciary, refugee returns, restructuring of shipyards etc.