The long lasting blockade of a country in accession negotiations process with the European Union could cause a boomerang effect, former Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said commenting Zagreb’s decision to block EU-Serbia talks due to bilateral issues. In the column for Slovenian daily Dnevnik Kosor suggested that actual Croatian government should initiate bilateral negotiations with Belgrade.
This week Croatian representatives in the European Commission have repeatedly blocked the opening of Chapter 23 (the rule of law) in Serbia-EU negotiations. They have demanded Serbia to respect minority rights, “fully cooperate” with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and give up from universal jurisdiction in war crimes processing. Kosor recalled there are also opened questions considering disputed parts of the frontier between Serbia and Croatia.
In Kosor’s opinion, the mutual experience of Slovenia and Croatia with regard to latter’s accession talks with the EU before it become a member state in 2013 could be useful for Serbia. She welcomed Belgrade’s decision to “turn to Europe after tragic past”. However, she noted that accession process is not easy because “EU does not show enthusiasm considering enlargement, despite the idea of it is still alive”.
Kosor recalled that Slovenia has blocked 14 out of 35 chapters in Croatia-EU accession talks due to frontier problems at a time. “They (Brussels) told me: ‘when you fulfill everything that members expect from you you will finish negotiations and if you don’t fulfill it you would not finish it”, Kosor underlined.
“Croatia and Slovenia could both witness that there are no and cannot be connivances during negotiations, and that there’s a need to fulfill all the criteria. And there are no connivances… because all the reforms are being introduced because of a candidate country, rather than European Union”, Kosor concluded.
During Serbia-EU accession talks Croatia has a chance to relize its national interest with regard to opened questions, she added.