EU - Croatia: extracts from the joint press briefing by EC President José Manuel BARROSO and Croatian Prime Minister Ivo SANADER
Première transmission: 16/09/2008
Brussels, Belgium - EC/Berlaymont
Fin de production: 16/09/2008
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, and Ivo Sanader, Croatian Prime Minister, met on 16 September 2008 in Brussels, in the margin of the General Affairs and External Relations Council, to review the situation of Croatia regarding its accession to the EU. The Commission and the Croatian government are working closely in order to achieve the main targets in view of the accession.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, saying (in ENGLISH) that more needs to be done for Croatia to fulfill the opening benchmarks in two crucial chapters, reform of judiciary and fundamental rights issues as well as competition. It is crucial that Croatia makes progress on these issues; for example, in the field of competition, ship building restructuring is an important element. He has had reassurances from Sanader, Croatian Prime Minister, that all will be ready by November in this specific matter. Croatia will also need to address the issue of trade discrimination on cigarettes; this is an issue to be resolved since it is important concerning the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and this is also very relevant for the opening of the taxation chapter in the negotiations. Also there are various reforms in the areas of judiciary reform, war crimes trials and the fight against corruption that need now to demonstrate their effectiveness.
||Ivo Sanader, Croatian Prime Minister, saying (in ENGLISH) that they are ready to do their homework, to do what is needed to finish the negotiations next year. He also appreciates very much what President Barroso mentioned, as we know Croatia being non permanent member of the Security Council since 1st January this year, is cooperating close to the Member States of the EU and is promoting European policy in the Security Council. They will do the same in their neighbouring regions. They will be very active as they did it in the past in helping the international community to stabilize politically and economically the neighbouring regions.
||Ivo Sanader: saying (in ENGLISH) that he doesn't believe that it will be any issue of major of --- between the leading parties in Croatia. EU is above as President Barroso said, is above all those issues and as we know and perhaps some of their colleagues from outside don't know, there is a National Committee in the Croatian Parliament which follows and observes the path of negotiations. And this National Committee consisting of all parties representing the Croatian Parliament and the chairman of this body is the opposition leader, not from the ruling party.
||Handshake (4 shots)