Croatia reportedly unblocks Serbia to open EU negotiation Chapter 23

By bne IntelliNews June 1, 2016

Croatia has officially consented to the opening of Chapter 23 in Serbia’s EU accession negotiation process, covering the judiciary and fundamental rights, local media in the two countries reported on June 1 sourcing EU officials.

Croatia has been blocking the opening of the new negotiation chapter since April, delaying Serbia’s accession process. Its latest move paves the way for the opening of both Chapter 23 and Chapter 24 on justice, freedom and security by the end of June, as the opening of negotiating chapters requires the unanimous decision of all EU members.

According to Serbia’s Tanjug, on June 1 ambassadors of EU member states reached a consensus as Croatia coordinated its position with that of the other 27 EU member states. This removed the main obstacle to the continuation of Serbia's EU accession process.

According to Croatian Hina, the EU ambassadors adopted a report on the fulfillment of criteria for Chapter 23 which opens the path to start defining an EU common negotiating position on that chapter, the Council of the European Union has reported.

The report was adopted after Croatia gave the green light to begin defining a common negotiating position for the chapter, but it still does not mean that a decision has been made to open that chapter nor Chapter 24, Justice, Freedom and Security, Hina reported.

“Croatia read the report and withdrew its reservations on the condition that in its negotiating position on Chapter 23 the EU resolves the issues that Croatia had objected to,” the EU Council told Hina.

The Council will now ask Serbia to submit its negotiating position for Chapter 2, while the European Commission will begin preparing a draft common negotiating position for all EU member states. Only when member states agree to the text and unanimously adopt the common negotiating position can the chapter be opened, Hina said.

The Croatian ministry of foreign and European affairs reported that Croatia approved the report on benchmarks after it had ensured that its demands would be incorporated in Serbia's negotiation process.

Croatia's conditions are Serbia's full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, its full compliance with all national and international obligations regarding the protection of minority rights and avoidance of judicial conflicts in war crimes prosecution.

In April, Croatia refused to approve the opening of Chapter 23 at a regular meeting of the Committee on EU Enlargement of the Council of the EU (COELA) working group.

Serbia opened its first two accession negotiation chapters on December 14, a significant milestone on the country's path to EU entry. Brussels decided to to open negotiations on Chapter 32 on financial control and Chapter 35 on the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. Chapter 35 makes Serbia’s EU accession process unique as it is the first country whose EU path is conditioned by a non-EU member.

Related Articles

Croatia raises €1.25bn via 10-year Eurobonds as yields fall to historic lows

The Croatian finance ministry sold €1.25bn worth of 10-year Eurobonds with an actual yield of 3.20% and a coupon rate of 3%, the ministry said in a March ... more

EBRD says 2016 net profit was around €1bn

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it made a net profit of around €1bn in 2016, up by a quarter from the €802mn it made in ... more

CEE lender Erste lifts profit by a third to €1.265bn in 2016

Erste Group reported on February 28 record net profit of €1.265bn in 2016, a rise of 31% on the previous year. The Austrian banking group proposed doubling its dividend to €1 a share for the ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss