Croatia Opens Two More Chapters in EU Bid

Croatia has opened two more chapters in its EU accession talks, moving closer to its goal of becoming a member of the European Union.

Croatia opened the chapters on the environment and fisheries at the Intergovernmental Conference Friday in Brussels.

Slovenia had been blocking the opening of those chapters for months because of the two countries’ maritime border dispute, the Croatian Times reports.

Croatian chief negotiator Vladimir Drobnjak said: “We are very satisfied. This proves we have entered the final phase of the negotiations and removes all doubts about their successful conclusion.”

The Netherlands also recently dropped its objections to the opening of chapter 23 of the accession negotiations, the chapter which covers the judiciary and fundamental rights. The Netherlands and several other member states had objected to the opening of the chapter because they felt that Zagreb was not fully co-operating with several important cases at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY.

The countries agreed to unblock the chapter after confirmation that the authorities in Zagreb had formed a task force to deal with meeting the demands of the ICTY.

Croatia has opened 30 out of 33 chapters and has succeeded in closing around half of them.

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