Note:Your browser doesn't correctly display this page because of a bad stylesheets interpretation. This is probably due to an old browser version.

[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
 Version française        

You are here : Home > News > Press Releases > April 2005 > Statement by Jean Asselborn on the EU-Croatia task force meeting in Luxembourg on 26 April 2005
Print this page Send this page

Press Release
Statement by Jean Asselborn on the EU-Croatia task force meeting in Luxembourg on 26 April 2005

Date of release : 26-04-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

At the end of the EU-Croatia taskforce meeting in Luxembourg on 26 April 2005, Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and current President of the Council of the European Union, made the following statement:

"First of all, I would like to clarify the purpose of our talks today. In no way have we modified our policy towards the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the obligation of the countries of the Balkans to cooperate with it. We have said this many times and there can be no doubt in this respect: Croatia¢s full cooperation with the ICTY is the key to opening accession negotiations. I believe that the Council has made its absolute determination in this matter quite clear.

Zagreb¢s full cooperation with the ICTY goes via The Hague. It is by no means our intention to develop into an ad hoc judicial authority. However, since the Council must establish Croatia¢s full cooperation and decide on the opening of negotiations, it wanted to have an auxiliary instrument at its disposal.

The fact that the Council chose to set up a "task force" does not change the fact that full cooperation with the ICTY remains an essential precondition for moving closer to the EU, and particularly for opening accession negotiations. The conclusions of the European Council of December 2004 and those of the Council of March 2005 remain valid, and provide the context for today¢s meetings.

We have listened attentively to the contributions made, first by the Prosecutor of the ICTY and then by the Croatian delegation led by Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, regarding the evolution of Croatia¢s cooperation with The Hague since the General Affairs and External Relations Council of March.

Ms Del Ponte confirmed her earlier evaluations, submitted to the UN Security Council and to the EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs, stating that Croatia is still not cooperating fully with the ICTY. We, of course, remain in close contact with her.

The Croatian delegation reported on the measures undertaken since March and presented to us an action plan with initiatives that it will be seeking to follow over the coming weeks. I welcome the political will that Croatia is demonstrating in order to meet fully its obligation to cooperate with the ICTY and to provide answers to unresolved questions. We will monitor the implementation of this plan with great interest.

In line with significant future developments and in close cooperation with the ICTY, the Council will review the matter in due course, on the basis of an oral report by the task force."

This page was last modified on : 27-04-2005

Top Top