Minister: Croatia Not Yet Ready for EU

Zagreb – Croatia is not yet ready to become a member of the European Union, a Dutch newspaper quoted

European Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans as saying.

NRC Handelsblad reported that Timmermans said that he “completely disagreed’ with the assessment of EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn after the EU Commission said that Croatia may be able to complete entry talks next year if it speeds up its entry preparations.

A month ago the Commission produced an up-beat assessment of Croatia’s efforts to join the 27-nation bloc, recommending a road map to conclude the technical parts of the accession negotiations during 2009.

The paper reported that Timmermans told parliament that Croatia has to first completely cooperate with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He noted that Croatia’s record in this respect is “a cause for concern”.

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