- Title: CROATIA/FRANCE: CROATIA ACCEPTED FOR EU ENTRY TALKS.
- Date: 4th May 2004
- Summary: ZAGREB, CROATIA (RECENT) (REUTERS) 1. GV: ZAGREB MAIN SQUARE, PEOPLE 0.03 2. GV: NEWSPAPER HEADLINE READING "THE DOOR TO EU NEGOTIATION OPEN" 0.05 3. MV: CROATIAN PRIME MINISTER IVO SANADER RECEIVING EU DOCUMENTS FROM WUNENBERGER 0.12 4. SIDE CU: PHOTOGRAPHERS 0.17 5. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) IVO SANADER SAYING: "The final goal is full membership of Croatia within next few years. I don't nominate the date but certainly my government and my country is ready to start negotiations in order to fulfil all "acquis-communitaire" and face all Copenhagen criteria and political criteria with regards to Croatia within couple of years to negotiate all chapters of "acquis communitaire" in order to be able to join the EU in as I said, the next couple of years. Thank you very much again for bringing this. Again, thank you very much" 0.54 6. MV: CROATIAN PRIME MINISTER IVO SANADER SHAKING HANDS WITH JACQUES WUNENBURGER, CHIEF OF EU COMMISSIONS DELEGATION TO CROATIA 0.57 7. MV/CU: MAN LOOKING AT NEWSPAPERS AT NEWS STAND; NEWSPAPER HEADLINE READING: "POSITIVE"; MAN READING NEWSPAPER IN STREET (3 SHOTS) 1.10 MOTOVUN, ISTRIA REGION, CROATIA (RECENT) (REUTERS) 8. LV: TOWN OF MOTOVUN ON HILL 1.17 9. SOUNDBITE (CROATIAN) LIVIO, MOTOVUN SAYING: "It is certainly good for us to join the Union, I think it is necessary for us to be part of the Union and I think things will much improve afterwards" 1.26 10. LAS: MAN CUTTING GRASS IN FIELD 1.33 11. SOUNDBITE (CROATIAN) FARMER FROM MOTOVUN SAYING: "It (accession to the Union) could mean a lot for the development of agriculture. There should be more opportunities and more financial aid. The potential is very good here in Istria, the climate is good, the soil is good and people are hard working, but the money is lacking." 1.50 12. GV: FARM HOUSE WITH CHURCH TOWER BEHIND IT 1.55 13. LV: WIDE OF RIJEKA PORT 2.00 14. LV: PEOPLE ON DOCK, TANKER IN DISTANCE ROVINJ TOWN 2.05 15. SOUNDBITE (CROATIAN) MAN IN STREET SAYING "I dont like the way we are promoting the entry to the EU, because I think one has to first sort out things in his yard in order to be able to sit at table together with those who are in a certain way better than him" 2.25 16. GV: MEN FISHING AT ROVINJ SEA FRONT 2.31 17. GV: WOMAN SITTING BY SEA FRONT 2.36 18. MCU: YOUNG COUPLE STANDING BY CAR 2.40 19. GV: FISHING BOAT SAILING BY 2.46 STRASBOURG, FRANCE (APRIL 20, 2004) (EBS) 20. TV: EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT EU COMMISSION SESSION IN PROGRESS 2.49 21. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) CHRIS PATTEN, EU COMMISSIONER FOR FOREIGN RELATIONS ADDRESSING THE EU PARLIAMENT FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT ON POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION FOR CROATIA "Perhaps the most difficult issue, as it is throughout the region, has been the question of cooperation with the International cri minal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, as we call it using the acronim. Our position is absolutely straightforward and its well known: In line with the regular conclusions of the European Council we require all the countries of the Western Balkans to cooperate fully with the Tribunal as a non negotiable condition for progress through the stabilisation and association process" 3.13 22. CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MIOMIR ZUZUL SAHKING HANDS WITH MEMBERS OF CROATIAN DELEGATION DURING SPEECH 3.15 23. GV/CU: EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BUILDING; FLAGS IN FRONT OF EU PARLIAMENT (2 SHOTS) 3.22 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 19th May 2004 13:00
- Location: ZAGREB,RIJEKA, MOTOVUN AND ROVINJ, CROATIA/STRASBOURG, FRANCE
- Country: France Croatia
- Reuters ID: LVABPZF8H8KJS405MD7KDRQ56V8C
- Story Text: Croatians hail the European Commissions assesment
that the country is ready for European Union entry talks.
In the wake of this weeks European Union expansion,
the former Yugoslav republic of Croatia is gearing up to be
the next in line for membership.
Croatia applied to join the European Union in February
2003 and has submitted a detailed report of its efforts to
meet political and economic criteria for entry.
It has also markedly improved co-operation with the
United Nations war crimes tribunal, seen as vital for the
outcome of its bid, since a new government took office in
On April 20, 2004 the European Commission recommended
inviting Croatia to begin entry talks, although no date for
the start of negotiations was set.
After a recent meeting with the European Commission's
delegate in Zagreb, Jacques Wunenburger, Croatian Prime
Minister Ivo Sanader could not hide his excitement.
"This is certainly a great day for my country, for all
of us and we are looking forward to co-operating with you
personally and your staff in Zagreb, with the Commissioner
and with all member states of the Union towards our final
goal and the final goal is full membership of Croatia,
within the next few years", he said.
Reaction across the country was positive.
In investment friendly Istria on the western coast of
Croatia, many believe the EU Commissions ruling will bring
a long needed
boost to the economy.
"It is certainly good for us to join the Union, I think
it is necessary for us to be part of the Union and I think
things will much improve afterwards", said Livio owner of a
small tourist agency in the town of Motovun said.
"The potential is very good here in Istria, climate is
good, soil is good and people are hard working, but the
money is lacking", said a farmer from the same area.
But in the neighbouring coastal town of Rovinj there
are some sceptics.
"I don't like the way we are promoting the entry to the
EU , because I think one has to first sort out things in his
yard in order to be able to sit at table together with
those who are in a certain way better than him", said Ivo a
clerk in the local government.
But Croatia may well be in the process of a pre-entry
In the past two months, Croatia has handed over two
indicted generals and six former Bosnian Croat officials to
the U.N. tribunal, showing new resolve to meet political
criteria for EU membership.
Dealing with the tribunal, notably the failure to hand
over fugitive General Ante Gotovina, wanted for war crimes
since 2001, has been the main obstacle to Zagrebs accession.
In his speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg
last week, European Union External Relations Commissioner
Chris Patten said the EU would carefully watch further
Croatia's steps in attempts to arrest Gotovina, whom the
Hague based war tribunal had indicted last year.
"In line with the regular conclusions of the European
Council we require all the countries of the Western
Balkans to cooperate fully with the Tribunal as a
non-negotiable condition for progress through the
stabilisation and association process", he said following
the announcement of the European Commissions recommendation
for Croatia to start EU entry talks.
If EU leaders also support Croatia's candidacy at their
summit in Brussels in June, Zagreb will be able to open
formal accession talks with the Union.
Only one former Yugoslav republic, Slovenia, joined
the EU on May 1 when the bloc enlarged to 25 states, taking
in eight ex-communist countries in eastern Europe plus
Malta and Cyprus.
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