European Parliament to Discuss Croatia’s EU Bid


Lawmakers in the European Parliament will debate Croatia’s progress towards EU membership on Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor lobbied for her country’s bid in Brussels.

MEPs will discuss Croatia’s progress report adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee in January, in which lawmakers said that Zagreb’s EU negotiations would be completed in early 2011 if reforms continued.

The resolution said the biggest challenge may be “selling” the benefits of EU membership to a sceptical Croatian population.

The Foreign Affairs Committee congratulated the country on its “substantial progress” in introducing reforms that are necessary for it to join the EU.

MEPs expressed concern, however, that Croatian citizens are not yet convinced of the benefits of EU membership for their country, and the resolution urged the government to make citizens “feel the European project is theirs as well”.

The Committee noted Croatia’s reformed judiciary and improved cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, but warned that progress must be made on fighting corruption, support for returning refugees and the restructuring of shipyards.

While the MEPs recognised that progress had been made in fighting graft, particularly in prosecuting several high level former government officials, corruption “seems to have been widespread in Croatia and remains a serious overall problem”. Moreover, few corruption cases have come to court and most remain at the investigation stage, they added.

Kosor was expected to meet the European Parliament President Jerzy Karol Buzek and the European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fuele, amongst others, during her visit on Tuesday.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

One thought on “European Parliament to Discuss Croatia’s EU Bid

  • February 16, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I hope that Croatia join the E:U:/European Union in 2012 but not in 2013 or 2014.


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