Croatia Reportedly Again Blocks Serbia’s Negotiations with EU

By , 06 Dec 2016, 15:38 PM Politics

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According to Serbian media, Croatia is among EU countries which oppose opening of new negotiating chapters.

According to the Serbian media, Croatia, which has so far repeatedly slowed down Serbia’s progress towards the European Union, mainly due to bilateral issues, is one of EU member states that oppose opening of new negotiating chapters. The reports came one day after the visit of the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn to Belgrade, during which he announced the possible opening of three new negotiating chapters by the end of the year, reports Index.hr on December 6, 2016.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said on Monday, after his meeting with Hahn, said he was very optimistic about opening of new chapters, and that next week a meeting on the issue would take place. Vučić said he was confident that “Chapter 5 (public procurement) will certainly be opened”, but added that regarding Chapters 25 and 26, relating to education, science and culture, there was no agreement between EU member states.

“They want to see whether they will get something out of Serbia and that will decide whether the chapters will be opened now or later. There are also issues which are coming from Croatia, as well as the issue of relations between Belgrade and Priština. We certainly will not give up our national and state interests just so that someone would allow us to open the chapters”, said Vučić, without disclosing any more details about conditions being put to Serbia.

Serbian media pointed out that Croatia, before the recent opening of Chapters 23 and 24 on human rights and the rule of law, insisted that Belgrade had to change the law on universal jurisdiction for war crimes and demanded a better status for Croatian minority in Serbia and full cooperation with the Hague Tribunal.

That condition has again become current in recent days because the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) withdrew the top secret classification from the international arrest warrants for three associates of Serb national leader Vojislav Šešelj, who are accused before the Tribunal for contempt of court. It demands from Serbia to immediately extradite the members of the Serbian Radical Party to the Tribunal. “Croatia is in the group of countries which have insisted on this particular issue in recent months”, writes the Serbian media.

European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Johannes Hahn said on Monday in Belgrade that he believed the EU member states would very soon agree on the further progress of Serbia in the negotiation Chapters 25 and 26.

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • Due to smoke and reduced visibility on the A1 motorway between Gospić and Sveti Rok junctions the driving speed has to be reduced to 80 km/h. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas. On the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway one lane is free only in Vršek and Lučice tunnels (on the section Ravna Gora-Delnice) in direction Rijeka tonight (23 March) 10pm-6am. In Učka tunnel in Istria one lane is free only every night 10pm-6am till 24/25 March. Tonight (23 March) 8pm-5am traffic is suspended on the A2 Zagreb-Macelj motorway between Trakošćan and Krapina junctions in both directions, detour: DC1 state road. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. The headlights have to be on during the day as well. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče at Božići viaduct in both directions, in Sveti Rok tunnel in both directions till 24 March (driving speed limit of 80 km/h); -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Zaprešić and Zabok junctions 20th-18th km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac between Kutina and Novska junctions 118th-121st km in both directions; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan at Kraljevečki Novaki junction 93rd-94th km in both directions, in Hrastovec tunnel in both directions; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June, on the section Vrata junction-Vrata tunnel in direction Rijeka till 24 March; -Rijeka detour road in the exit lane of Rujevica junction in direction Rupa; -A8 in Istria on the section Lupoglav-Učka tunnel. Roadworks on the A4 Zagreb-Goričan motorway (Zagreb detour road): - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; - till 26 April traffic is suspended in the exit lane of Popovec junction from direction Goričan towards Popovec, detour for direction Vrbovec-Popovec: Sveta Helena junction (A4)-Sveta Helena-DC3 Goričica-Belovar-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec junction, for direction Goričan (A4)-Sveta Helena: Komin junction (A4)-DC3-Sveti Ivan Zelina-Donja Zelina-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec. Lepenica rest area (at 57th km) on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway is closed till 15 June, the previous rest area and petrol station is the one Ravna Gora (at 30th km), the next one Cernik-Čavle (17,8 km away from Lepenica). Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje till 10 April; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC25 Lički Osik-Karlobag state road (at 40th km) 8am-3pm till 24 March. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road at Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Poličnik, on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković. 15 November 2016-15 April 2017 winter equipment is mandatory on the winter sections of the state roads in Croatia (it includes four winter tyres or four summer tyres with chains ready for use).
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  • Outbound freight traffic is dense at Bajakovo. Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • Ferries operate according to timetable.
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