Croatia’s prime minister, Jadranka Kosor, is pushing hard to make her country the EU’s 28th Member State. But the European Union still doesn’t think the Balkan nation has done enough to fight corruption and organised crime. Kosor has vowed “no more untouchables” like her predecessor Ivo Sanader, who is now wanted for bribery.
In Croatia a recent poll shows only about a quarter of voters want to join the EU. This comes after the International War Crimes Tribunal sentenced Ante Gotovina to 24 years in prison. Croats see the former general as their biggest hero in the Balkan wars.
Hungargian prime minister Viktor Orbán says Croatia must join the EU to keep the momentum of enlargement. His country joined the EU in the 2004 “Big Bang” of 10 countries, most formerly Eastern Bloc. He warns that if the EU doesn’t integrate the Balkans, someone else will.
Chris Burns discussed these issues with Piotr Kaczynski, from the Centre for European Policy Studies at the European Parliament who is responsible for the institutional and political integration of the EU; Andrej Plenkovic, Croatia’s State Secretary for European Integration, who is working hard to expedite his country’s accession to the EU; and David Campbell-Bannerman, a member of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Party in the European Parliament and also a member of the Parliament’s Security and Defence Committee.