- Title: BELGIUM: Croatia pledges to meet EU demands on extradition rules
- Date: 25th September 2013
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (RECENT) (REUTERS) EU FLAGS REFLECTED ON EU SIGN OUTSIDE COMMISSION BUILDING EU SIGN AND BANNER READING EUROPEAN COMMISSION IN DUTCH AND FRENCH
- Embargoed: 10th October 2013 13:00
- Location: Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA4SS1YNBDSAXN9BZ07877QBU4W
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Croatia vowed on Wednesday (September 25) to amend its extradition rules no later than next January, bowing to pressure from the European Union in a row that has tarnished its first months as an EU member.
Justice Minister Orsat Miljenic, in Brussels to discuss the issue with EU officials, said new rules should comply with all EU demands.
"The law will take effect as soon as possible, but the latest date is January 1, 2014. This coming into effect will not be conditioned by any other actions , so this is something that is definitely going to happen," Miljenic told reporters.
"We will swiftly take all measures in order to unconditionally make the law such that it is in compliance with European law," he added.
The EU's top justice official, Viviane Reding, welcomed the decision and said the European Commission will monitor legislative changes in Croatia to decide whether to remove the threat of aid cutbacks.
"The Commission will closely watch the process. What we expect now is that the official declaration of the minister which we just have heard, will be translated swiftly into action, into action that means, into law," the commissioner said.
Brussels has threatened to withhold some financial aid to Croatia unless it complies with its standards on extraditing suspected criminals within the bloc.
The government in Zagreb had angered EU officials when it amended the rules days before EU entry on July 1, in a move that effectively protected those accused of atrocities during the Balkans wars of the 1990s from being extradited to face trial.
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