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MEPs submit 113 amendments to resolution on Croatia

28. October 2011. | 14:24

Source: Hina

Members of the European Parliament have submitted 113 amendments to a draft resolution on Croatia which are to be discussed and voted on by the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on November 17.

Members of the European Parliament have submitted 113 amendments to a draft resolution on Croatia which are to be discussed and voted on by the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on November 17.

The European Parliament's Rapporteur on Croatia, Hannes Swoboda, on October 20 presented to the Foreign Affairs Committee the draft resolution on Croatia's EU membership application. The resolution in question is a non-binding document which will be put to the vote together with a resolution whereby the European Parliament will give its consent for the signing of Croatia's Accession Treaty, without which it cannot be signed.

The Foreign Affairs Committee will vote on the documents on November 17 and then forward them to the Parliament to be voted on at a plenary session on November 30 or December 1. After that, the Council of the EU will on December 5 officially accept the draft treaty of the accession of Croatia to the EU and all procedural requirements for its signing will have been met.

Most of the 113 amendments do not significantly affect the content of Swoboda's draft and a great deal of them refer to linguistic fine-tuning and explanations.

German Christian Democrat Bernd Posselt, together with his colleague Othmar Karas of Austria's People's Party, submitted an amendment asking the member-countries to complete the process of ratification of Croatia's Accession Treaty on time.

French Socialist Pervenche Beres called on the member-countries, on behalf of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, not to introduce temporary employment restrictions for Croatian nationals.

During Croatia's EU membership negotiations, it was agreed that the member-countries can introduce a temporary employment ban for Croatian nationals to last seven years at the most. The same solution was agreed in the previous two enlargement rounds. Croatia, too, has the right to introduce reciprocal measures and forbid the employment of nationals of those countries which ban the employment of Croatian nationals.

Swedish Social Democrat Goran Farm submitted an amendment saying that freedom of expression is guaranteed by Croatian laws and is generally respected, and asked the European Parliament to encourage Croatian authorities to take further steps to ensure media independence and professionalism.

He also called on Croatian authorities to continue showing commitment to making sure that the media sector was free of political influence and to ensuring the independence of regulatory bodies.

Two deputies of the Italian North League party, Lorenzo Fontana and Fiorello Provera, asked the Croatian government to guarantee freedom of religion and avoid tensions in relations with church authorities as well as to request that the church property confiscated by the communist regime be returned to its legitimate owners. They also called on Croatia to respect the treaty signed with the Church.

Deputies of the Green Party, Franziska Katharina Brantner of Germany and Marije Cornelissen of the Netherlands, submitted an amendment condemning violence at a Gay Pride parade in Split this past summer.

They asked Croatian authorities to fully investigate the case and punish the perpetrators, as well as to define a strategy for preventing such incidents in the future and adopt and implement an action plan against homophobia.

The two deputies welcomed in another amendment the adoption of a strategy to investigate and prosecute war crimes and the decision on the establishment of four courts to deal with war crimes. They also expressed concern that impunity remained a significant problem, in light of 1,100 unsolved war crimes cases, notably those where ethnic Serbs were the victims and members of Croatian security forces the perpetrators.

They asked the Croatian authorities to secure adequate funding and full political support for the judiciary so that investigations into priority war crimes cases are stepped up.

Bulgarian Christian Democrat Nadezda Neinski called on the Croatian government to continue with reforms to increase the transparency of the financing of political parties.

Romanian Christian Democrats Monica Luisa Macovei and Traian Ungureanu called on Croatia to show convincing results in the selection and appointment of judges and prosecutors based on uniform, transparent and objective criteria.


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