négociations d’adhésion de la Croatie à
de sa visite de travail à Paris, le négociateur
en chef pour l’adhésion de la Croatie à l’Union
européenne, M. Vladimir Drobnjak, a donné une conférence
en anglais intitulée « Les négociations
d’adhésion de la Croatie à l’Union européenne
– Un an après l’ouverture ». M. Drobnjak
a fait le bilan de l’état d’avancement des
négociations de la Croatie avec l’Union européenne,
ouvertes officiellement le 3 octobre 2005. La
a été donnée au siège de la Représentation
de la Commission européenne en France.
« Les négociations d’adhésion
de la Croatie à l’Union européenne –
un an après l’ouverture »
Monsieur Vladimir Drobnjak, ambassadeur
Négociateur en chef pour l’adhésion de la
Croatie à l’Union européenne
de la Représentation de la Commission européenne
– Paris, le 23 octobre 2006 –
is my great pleasure and honour to be here today with you in my
capacity as Chief Negotiator of the Republic of Croatia for negotiations
on accession to the EU.
is a timely opportunity to mark two events - the first anniversary
of the opening of negotiations (3 October 2005) and the conclusion
of the screening process (18 October 2006). Moreover, it is a
good occasion to look back on the year behind us and to present
to you the state of play and Croatia's achievements in accession
negotiations thus far.
opening of accession negotiations with the EU a year ago, on 3
October 2005, started a new phase in EU – Croatia relations,
aimed towards fulfilling one of Croatia's main strategic goals
– full EU membership.
over a decade Croatia has been making efforts to prepare for its
application for EU membership and eventual accession. For a country
whose people, history, culture and values are linked to those
of other EU nations, this seemed like a natural choice. However,
the war imposed on us resulted in circumstances that prevented
Croatia from taking part in the EU enlargement process at an earlier
stage and joining other countries of post-communist Europe in
the fifth enlargement.
as you all may be well aware, over the last decade and a half
has come a long way in every aspect. Let me remind you that it
was only when its statehood had been secured that Croatia was
able to fully embark upon a comprehensive process of transition
and reforms, which has included not only the process of political
and economic transformation into a parliamentary democracy and
a functioning market economy, but, unfortunately, also the process
of overcoming the traumas of war and helping the country and society
as a whole to return to the path of peace, stability and development.
It is also against this background that Croatia’s efforts
and achievements should be scrutinised.
the last year, following the opening of the negotiations, Croatia
made strenuous efforts with respect to further implementation
of all membership criteria, and particularly those referred to
as political criteria.
is aware that sustained fulfilment of the political criteria is
a key prerequisite for further progress in accession negotiations.
In this regard, I would like to reiterate Croatia’s strong
commitment in investing additional efforts in the fields of minority
rights, refugee return, judiciary reform and the fight against
corruption, as well as in maintaining full cooperation with the
ICTY. We continue to actively contribute to regional cooperation,
in particular during our current chairmanship of the South East
Europe Cooperation Process.
is a political consensus in Croatia on the country's European
future. General public support sometimes oscillates, but amounts
on average to 55%.
remains committed and determined to make further efforts with
the aim of fulfilling all the criteria and obligations by 2009
in order to become the 28th member of the EU before the end of
– state of play
me give you a brief overview over the current situation in the
this point, the accession negotiations are progressing well. After
the opening and provisional closing of the first chapter Science
and Research at the IGC in June, they have entered a new, more
am pleased to tell you that Croatia successfully concluded the
screening process, having screened 33 negotiating chapters with
the European Commission. The process was completed on Wednesday
last week with the bilateral screening of Chapter “23. Judiciary
and fundamental rights”, a new chapter in accession negotiations.
Bozidar Gagro, ambassadeur de Croatie en France (à
gauche), M. Vladimir Drobnjak, négociateur
pour l’adhésion de la Croatie à l’Union
Yves Gazzo, chef de la Représentation de la Commission
européenne en France, et M. Guy Legras, ancien directeur
général à la Commission européenne
(Agriculture et Relations Extérieures) et conseiller
actuel du gouvernement croate pour les questions d'agriculture.
the screening now completed we can express our satisfaction with
its overall quality and dynamics. It represented an important
tool for preparing the substantive negotiations and has proven
to be helpful in better understanding the acquis and detecting
incompatibilities that Croatia needs to overcome before accession.
It has also been an opportunity to present to the EU Croatia’s
achievements and continuous progress in individual chapters of
the acquis. During the screening process, the cooperation with
the Commission’s services has been fruitful and has provided
us with an outstanding expert assistance and support. Croatia
has been commended for the professional and sound preparation
as well as the high level of dedication, expertise and knowledge
of the acquis in the screening meetings.
to now, 16 screening reports have already been presented to the
Council (3 are currently being debated in the Council), making
up almost half of all the screened chapters. Others are in the
pipeline, and in coming months we expect further screening reports.
that regard it should be noted that at the beginning of the process
the preparation and discussion of the Screening Reports for individual
chapters had been taking somewhat more time than initially envisaged,
but this has now changed and the process has gained momentum.
has been invited to submit its negotiating positions to the Accession
Conference for 7 chapters (Science and Research, Education and
Culture, Customs union, Right of establishment and freedom to
provide services, Intellectual property law, Economic and monetary
policy and Enterprise and industry), and I am delighted to tell
you that we have submitted all of them.
the first benchmarks received for the opening of negotiations
with respect to 6 chapters - Public Procurement, Competition,
Social Policy and Employment, Justice, freedom and security, Free
movement of capital and Free movement of goods - the Croatian
Government is already undertaking substantial measures and engaging
its administrative capacities with a view to presenting the implementation
of benchmarks to the EU. In that regard, we abundantly draw on
the expertise and assistance of the European Commission and co-operate
on an issue-specific basis with EU Member States.
of accession negotiations
with the 2004 enlargement, the overall atmosphere and context
in which the accession negotiations of Croatia and Turkey are
being conducted have been altered, across both the political and
me firstly take the political aspect – the negotiations
now take place in a different political atmosphere within the
EU. The discussion on the future of the Constitutional Treaty,
absorption capacity of the EU and future borders of the EU dominate
today's political agenda in the EU. Plus – there is a question
of enlargement fatigue.
are confident that the EU will be capable once again of finding
right solutions and that the enlargement will continue.
situation changed as to the technical aspect of the process as
well. The methodology and the approach to accession negotiations
have become increasingly rigorous, more complex and demanding
for both the EU and Croatia.
that regard I am referring to the new principles and procedures
governing the negotiations, in particular the mechanism of benchmarks.
We understand the reasons behind the introduction of benchmarks
into the process ("lessons learned"). We consider benchmarks
to be a valuable mechanism and a useful tool in guiding Croatia
in fulfilling the requirements and conducting comprehensive reform
processes. Accordingly, benchmarking could be beneficial in double
degree: (i ) as a impetus for reforms in Croatia, and (ii) as
a proof of Croatia's preparedness for the membership at the end
of the negotiating process. However, Croatia deems it highly important
that benchmarks are tailor-made, precise and well substantiated,
unencumbered with bilateral considerations which are not part
of the acquis and set in full conformity with the principle of
the volume and substance, i.e. the acquis communautaire, evolved
over the years. Hence Croatia does not only have to negotiate
on the greater volume of legislation but has to do it with increased
number of Member States.
the overall complexity of the process and in order to be able
to adequately steer and advance it, Croatia decided to apply a
specific approach to establishing the negotiating structure. Thus,
the Croatian comprehensive model of the negotiating structure
is unique in that it has wide and heterogeneous membership of
around 2000 people coming from government (line ministries, agencies
etc.) and non-government (academia, business community, NGOs,
trade unions and companies) sector. The structure is designed
in this way in order to ensure transparency, enhanced quality,
adequate speed and efficiency, expertise, democratic quality and
didactic value. For us, the entire Croatia negotiates, not only
the Negotiating Team.
addition, as a result of the firm consensus over the EU accession
across the political spectrum, the National Committee for Monitoring
the Accession Negotiations has been established in the Croatian
Parliament as a special working body to generally supervise and
evaluate the course of negotiations.
accession to the EU – a win/win situation for both the EU
EU enlargement brings political, economic, and cultural benefits
to the EU and to the acceding country respectively. In general,
it is a ‘positive-sum’ game.
reports indicate that the last enlargement has been very successful.
In the last fifteen years, Central European countries have transformed
their economies, public sectors, societies, ensuring increased
prosperity for their citizens in a secure framework. The magnetism
of EU membership has brought long-term stability and long lost
unity to the European continent.
in economical terms one could claim that the benefits of enlargement
outweigh the costs.
are the benefits for the EU?
is part of European shared history, heritage and culture, and
as such desires to contribute to a joint project of developing
further the enlarged EU. Croatia's accession to the EU would mark
a further step in European unification.
is situated in the heart of Europe, at the crossroads of the Danube
basin and the Mediterranean. Being both a maritime and a continental
country, Croatia can serve as a bridge between Western and South-East
perspective for integration of the Western Balkan countries into
the EU gives an important incentive for these countries to deliver
political and economic reforms. Starting accession negotiations
with Croatia serves as an example and incentive for other countries
of the region.
is already highly integrated with its EU neighbours through extensive
trade and investment links. The EU is Croatia’s main trading
partner. In the structure of Croatian goods exchange the largest
portion of imports and exports was realised with EU Member States
are well acquainted with the natural beauties which Croatia can
offer to the European family. Croatia's cultural heritage has
been recognized by UNESCO as part of Europe's cultural heritage.
are the benefits for Croatia?
membership is expected to bring stability, security and prosperity;
membership is expected to provide access of Croatia to bigger
market and bring increased employment opportunities; it is expected
to attract more foreign investments;
membership is expected to ensure continuation of economic reforms
and completion of economic transition;
membership is expected to bring Croatia to the "decision
making table" together with other EU member states and to
jointly provide for more efficient responses to the challenges
membership is expected to provide an environment for faster and
stable growth, full social security and well-being for all its
citizens. EU membership is expected to bring better quality of
life to Croatia's citizens.
the context of ongoing discussions and reflections of EU Member
States on the Constitutional Treaty and the future functioning
of the EU, we strongly believe that the continuation of EU enlargement
is in the interest of all European citizens.
recent study by the European Commission confirms this with clear
and strong arguments stipulating that the 2004 enlargement can
be considered a success with multiple positive and beneficial
effects across the democratic, political, economic and administrative
are confident that the result of internal discussions on the constitutional
issues will include the institutional and other arrangements for
the EU that will ensure its efficient functioning and at the same
time allow it to accept new members. The EU's plan to take the
necessary decisions in this regard during the second semester
of 2008 – i.e. during the French Presidency – matches
well with Croatia's ambitions to complete accession negotiations
by the end of 2008. In this respect the support of the French
Presidency in the second half of 2008 will be of particular importance
realizes that dates should not become a goal unto themselves,
but they are nonetheless necessary for internal purposes, to design
plans in order to be able to move the process forward, keep the
momentum for reform processes and thus fulfil our goals and ambitions.
strongly believe that the dynamics of the enlargement process
should be preserved with the Western Balkans countries next in
line. EU must keep its promises.
has been following with interest the recent discussions on EU's
capacity to absorb (integrate) new members, which has been especially
elaborated in France. A Commission report on all aspects of the
Union’s absorption capacity, coming up on 8 November, will
be of particular importance. In this regard, we are confident
that the subsequent European Council conclusions in December will
allow smooth and timely accession of Croatia to the EU.
is very important to involve citizens of both – candidate
countries and Member States - in the European integration process
and to objectively present to them the advantages and challenges
of EU membership, including all the rights, privileges and obligations
that membership entails.
hopes to maintain good pace in negotiations and achieve further
progress in a number of chapters during the Finnish and German
Presidencies respectively, in terms of opening and provisionally
closing of some of the chapters and of fulfilling the set benchmarks.
will further pursue the path of internal reforms in order to meet
the conditions for opening and closing of the negotiation chapters
and to substantially strengthen its administrative capacity necessary
for the full and efficient implementation of the acquis.
the accession process Croatia is not competing with any other
country. It is competing with itself in order to achieve the best
results. Croatia expects to be treated according to its own merits
and in line with the principle of individual approach.
are grateful to all EU Member States that are providing and offered
to provide their expert assistance in especially difficult fields
(such as environment, competition, justice, fisheries and agriculture).
In this regard, I would like to thank the French Government and
Mr. Guy Legras who is our adviser for agricultural issues.
conclude, I am certain that enlargement has a good perspective.
It has demonstrated the Union's commitment to extend the process
of European construction to all those European states ready and
willing to participate in it. It has proven to serve the EU well,
both for its internal development and for its global role.
permettez-moi de conclure par une citation de Robert Schuman dans
son dernier ouvrage “Pour l’Europe” qui semble
convenir au contexte actuel: « Il appartient à l’Europe
de se doter d’une structure nouvelle. Dans un monde bouleversé
et inquiet, c’est la contribution qu’elle se doit
d’apporter à l’humanité ».
vous remercie de votre attention.
de la Représentation en France de la Commission européenne.
Lundi 23 octobre 2006 à 18h30 - 288, boulevard Saint-Germain
(2e étage), Paris 7e.