Ambassadors of EU member states on Wednesday adopted a report on the fulfillment of criteria for Chapter 23 in Serbia's EU entry talks, which opens the path to start defining an EU common negotiating position on that chapter, the Council of the European Union has reported.
The report was adopted after Croatia today gave the green light to begin defining a common negotiating position for Chapter 23 - Judiciary and Fundamental Rights. That still does not mean that a decision has been made to open that chapter nor Chapter 24, Justice, Freedom and Security.
Croatia read the report and withdrew its reservations on the condition that in its negotiating position on Chapter 23 the EU resolves the issues that Croatia had objected to, the EU Council told Hina.
The procedure now is that the Council will ask Serbia to submit its negotiating position for that chapter and the Commission to begin preparing a draft common negotiating position of all EU member states. Only when member states agree to the text and unanimously adopt the common negotiating position can the chapter be opened.
The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs reported that Croatia approved the report on benchmarks after it had ensured that its demands would be incorporated in Serbia's negotiation process.
Croatia's conditions are: Serbia's full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague; its full compliance with all national and international obligations regarding the protection of minority rights; and avoidance of judicial conflicts in war crimes prosecution.
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