News / Europe

EU Could Punish Croatia Over Extradition Row

FILE - An usher of the European Parliament holds Croatia's national flag during a ceremony marking the start of the country's membership in the EU, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, July 1, 2013.FILE - An usher of the European Parliament holds Croatia's national flag during a ceremony marking the start of the country's membership in the EU, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, July 1, 2013.
x
FILE - An usher of the European Parliament holds Croatia's national flag during a ceremony marking the start of the country's membership in the EU, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, July 1, 2013.
FILE - An usher of the European Parliament holds Croatia's national flag during a ceremony marking the start of the country's membership in the EU, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, July 1, 2013.
Reuters
The European Commission is likely to punish Croatia next week in a row over extradition rules that has marred the former Yugoslav state's first months as a member of the European Union and may endanger EU aid for border control improvements.

The Adriatic state's entry to the EU in July was celebrated as a mark of recovery from years of war during the bloody collapse of Yugoslavia.

But Croatia has quickly fallen into disagreement with its new peers over amendments to its extradition laws, made just a few days before it joined the group, which effectively ensured protection of veterans from Croatia's 1991-95 independence war from facing inquiries elsewhere in the EU.

Zagreb will also likely fall foul of EU budget rules this year thanks to a protracted recession.

The European Commission, which acts as the bloc's executive, is expected to invoke an article in Croatia's accession treaty that allows it to impose punitive measures if EU rules are broken, the so-called safeguard clause.

“Patience has run out. We will likely move to trigger the safeguard clause,” one senior Commission official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. He said this would likely happen at the regular meeting of EU commissioners next week.

The Zagreb government pledged last month to apply European rules in full in an effort to avoid sanctions.

At issue – European Arrest Warrant

But the EU's top justice official, Viviane Reding, said in a letter to the country's Justice Minister Ornate Miljenic dated September 4 that its promise to change how the European Arrest Warrant will be applied next year was not enough.

She said the lack of compliance could lead to delays in the country joining the bloc's Schengen passport-free travel zone, which Zagreb has said is a priority.

Two diplomats told Reuters specifically on this score, the Commission may decide to target funds given to Croatia to improve border controls to prepare for entry to the zone.

Croatia's opposition HDZ party, which ruled the country in the 1990s and between 2004-2011, has accused Zagreb's leftist-led government of tweaking EU rules to protect former Croatian intelligence chief Josip Perkovic.

The official had worked for communist Yugoslavia's secret service, the UDBA, and led intelligence services after Croatia became independent, and now faces charges in Germany over the 1983 murder of a Yugoslav dissident in Bavaria.

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic has denied any connection with the German case and says Croatia only sought to exercise the same privileges as its EU peers.

EU members could request exemptions from the European Arrest
Warrant before 2002, but the Commission says that only applies to states that were in the bloc at the time. Croatia could have asked for exemptions when it was negotiating its entry to the European Union, but did not do so.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs