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Croatia must overcome final hurdles in accession process


17 Feb 2011



ALDE have given its full backing to the 2010 progress report on Croatia today during a vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.  Reform of the Judiciary, press freedom and protection of minorities including the return of exiled Serbs were all highlighted by ALDE as being important reforms prior to Croatia's accession to the EU.

Ivo Vajgl (ZARES-Nova Politika, Slovenia), ALDE shadow rapporteur on Croatia, stated, "Liberals and Democrats have always been supportive of Croatian membership of the EU.  But it is important to stress that Croatia has several outstanding bilateral issues including state borders, environment and reforms in their economy - specifically the need to restructure the ship building industry."

Lena Ek (Centerpartiet, Sweden) highlighted shortcomings in the judiciary, "A robust and independent judicial system is absolutely essential in order to fight corruption and to ensure the rule of law in the long term. It is not merely a matter of arresting criminals - it is about dealing with them afterwards. Otherwise efforts to tackle corruption and organised crime will run into the sand."

ALDE also stressed the need for a society in Croatia built on tolerance.

Lena Ek, "The European project is about reconciliation.  Croatia should work towards a stronger "spirit of tolerance" to protect national minorities and to ensure that access to work, education and services are open to all."

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