Polish Rightists Aim to Stall Croatia’s EU Accession

Right-wing opposition party says Croatia’s EU accession will affect Polish interests – and so needs to be ratified in parliament by a two-thirds majority.Opposition nationalists in Poland are attempting to set conditions on Croatia’s EU accession, on the grounds that Croatian membership will affect Poland’s influence and its share of key EU posts.

Until now, accessions agreements for countries entering the EU have been ratified by simple majorities in member state parliaments.But right-wing opposition MPs in Warsaw say the deal needs to go through with a two-thirds majority in parliament.

“Croatia’s entry significantly affects Poland, as a number of Croats will be a part of the European Parliament, and we will have a European Commissioner coming from Croatia and that will considerably reduce the possibilities for Poland,” said Kristina Pavlovych, MP from the right-wing Law and Justice party.

So far, Croatia’s EU accession has been ratified by 11 out of 27 European Union countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovakia.

On Tuesday, Britain’s Minister for Europe, David Lidington, visited Croatia to ensure that reforms under Chapter 23, concerning law and human rights, are ongoing.

Lidington has promised Croatian colleagues that if all is in order, the UK will ratify the accession agreement this year.

“We need time for ratification of any new accession treaty, but this agreement has strong government support,” Lidington said.

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