Croatia’s Foreign Ministry Denies Reports that Croatia Has Unblocked Serbia’s EU Negotiations

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Serbian media claims that Croatia has given its written consent to Serbia to open Chapter 23 in accession negotiations with the EU.

Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs denied on Thursday reports in Serbian media that Croatia has given written consent to Serbia to open Chapter 23 in negotiations with the European Union. The Ministry added that such reports were propaganda with the purpose of spreading false information, reports on May 26, 2016.

Serbia’s RTS television and other media reported on Thursday that Croatia had given consent to Serbia to open Chapter 23 in negotiations with the European Union. Croatia is the only country of the 28 member states of the European Union which has not yet given the green light for the chapter – which covers judiciary and fundamental rights – to be opened in June.

The Netherlands, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, tried to achieve the consensus of member states by raising the question of Croatian blockade to a higher level, but Croatian representative reiterated that Zagreb did not agree with the opening of Chapter 23 by insisting on three points at issue – regional jurisdiction of Serbian courts for war crimes, cooperation with the ICTY, and representation of the Croatian minority in Serbia’s parliament.

Serbia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet issued a statement about the issue.

However, latest reports by Serbian media claim that EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on Thursday that an agreement has been reached with Croatia that Serbia had fulfilled conditions for opening of Chapter 23. “We have found a solution for the opening of Chapter 23, and we expect a formal decision next week”, said Hahn according to Serbian media.


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