Croatia sets up task force to monitor if Serbia is meeting benchmarks

The Croatian government on Tuesday set up a commission in charge of monitoring how Serbia is meeting benchmarks from the negotiation on Chapters 23 and 24 within the accession negotiations with the European Union, the Croatian government stated in a press release.

The task force consists of ministers of Homeland Defence War Veterans' Affairs, Finance, Defence, Interior Affairs and several other government officials.

Serbia opened two key chapters in its EU accession negotiations in Brussels on Monday -- Chapter 23, dealing with the judiciary and fundamental rights, and Chapter 24, concerning freedom, justice and security.

Croatia had blocked the opening of Chapter 23 for some time, demanding guarantees that Serbia would not abuse its law on universal jurisdiction over war crimes trials and that it would ensure rights for the Croatian minority in Serbia and full cooperation with the Hague war crimes tribunal. The EU's common negotiating position now incorporates, at Croatia's request, the need for regional cooperation and good neighbourly relations in prosecuting war crimes, including a goal to avoid a conflict of jurisdiction.

Serbia will have to fully cooperate with the Hague tribunal, respect and implement all its rulings, and all the accused will have to be handed over to the Hague tribunal. Serbia will also have to work with Croatia in searching for missing persons and mortal remains and in exchanging information. It will have to make it possible for war victims to seek compensation and ensure that the Croatian minority in Serbia has its guaranteed representative in the National Assembly, Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said.

"All these have become Serbia's obligations as of today, after it accepted the negotiating framework for judiciary and fundamental rights," Kovac said. He also added that the disputed Serbian law was "de facto suspended".

Last update: Tue, 19/07/2016 - 19:23
Author: 

More from Croatia

U.S. official says fascistisation not visible in Croatia

A senior US official said on Monday that fascistisation was not visible in Croatia, as claimed by Serbia, which has...

NGOs recall 6 Dec 1991 army attack on Dubrovnik

The Documenta Centre for Dealing with the Past from Zagreb and the Human Rights Action and the Centre for Civic...

Netanyahu thanks Croatian PM for Croatia's assistance in fighting wildfires

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenkovic for the assistance...

FM talks controversial memorial plaque in Jasenovac

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier on Monday addressed comments that the government was not...

Croatia not ready to introduce dual education

Dual education or connecting the labour market with the education sector considerably reduces youth unemployment,...