Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/croatia : Zagreb Unveils Negotiating Position on Agriculture

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/croatia : Zagreb Unveils Negotiating Position on Agriculture

Article excerpt

With a deadline looming on the horizon, the Croatian government has intensified work on the EU accession dossier in order to be able to open all remaining negotiating chapters by the end of this year. At one of the first post-summer sessions in September, the Croatian government adopted its negotiating position on agriculture - one of most complex chapters in its accession talks. The document has been sent to the Council for assessment. Four other such documents are yet to be approved by the Croatian executive in the coming weeks, namely the position on public procurement (Chapter 5), competition policy (8), fisheries (13), and judiciary and fundamental rights (23). "Our aim is to adopt all the positions as soon as possible in order to be able to open all remaining chapters for negotiations by the end of this year," a Croatian diplomat told Europolitics New Neighbours.

To date, Croatia has managed to open 21 out of 35 chapters into which the talks are divided, and close three of them, including the most recently sealed dossier on enterprise and industrial policy (20). Hence there are 14 more chapters awaiting opening for talks. Two of them are currently discussed at Council level (final stage, preceding the opening of the chapter for negotiations). However, the majority has not yet reached this point, with some areas being processed by Croatia or the European Commission. The Commission is in the process of preparing draft common positions on five chapters (4, 12, 22, 27 and 31). Only after this stage is completed will the Council be able to start work on the final document - the EU's common position. …

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