A lukewarm welcome to the EU
Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, did not attend the celebrations in Zagreb on Sunday evening (30 June) that marked Croatia’s admission to the European Union.
Asked about this while attending the European Council on 28 June, Merkel explained: “I have a very busy schedule. The celebrations will be on Sunday late at night. When you look at my schedule on Monday you will see that it is impossible to come.” (Merkel’s official schedule for Monday, unlike that for every other day of this week, contains not a single entry.)
In the Balkans, straightforward explanations are rarely taken as the last word. Media in Zagreb linked Merkel’s decision not to attend the festivities to the refusal by Croatia’s centre-left government to extradite a former Yugoslav intelligence operative who is wanted in Germany in connection with the assassination of a Yugoslav dissident in Bavaria in 1983.
Last week Germany re- issued an international arrest warrant for Josip Perkovic?, which, once the warrant is issued in the form of a European Arrest Warrant, will be hard for Croatia to avoid, now that it is a member state of the EU.
So Merkel missed an opportunity, in the first minutes of 1 July, after the European Arrest Warrant took effect, to deliver it in person.
However, the Croatian government seems to believe it has found a way to negate the warrant when it does arrive. Amendments to its law on judicial co-operation in criminal matters with the member states of the EU – adopted last Friday – would exempt the arrest warrant’s use for allegations of crimes committed before 2002.
The European Commission is confident that such amendments will not work.
In its negotiations to join the EU, Croatia committed itself to implementing the EU’s rules on justice matters and never asked for a derogation from the rules of the European Arrest Warrant. Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship has written to Orsat Miljenic?, Croatia’s justice minister, to remind him of these commitments.
Of the 83 European Arrest Warrants that Croatian police have received since Friday, 19, including Perkovic?’s, concern crimes committed before 2002.
Click Here: pinko shop cheap