EU accession: Croatia blocks opening of Chapter 26

The EU will open two more chapters (5 and 25) in Serbia’s accession negotiations at an intergovernmental conference on Tuesday, while there is still no consent among the EU member states about the third chapter that was supposed to be opened at the conference (Chaper 26 Education and Culutre), diplomatic sources in Brussels said on Monday.

Serbia will open on Tuesday Chapter 5, (public procurement) and Chapter 25 which concerns science and research. 

Over the past several days, EU working bodies have discussed the opening of Chapter 26 (culture and education), but there was no consent of all EU member states. Several countries, including Croatia, had objections regarding education in minority languages, European diplomatic sources said. According to the same sources, Croatia had objections regarding textbooks in the Croatian language.

The intergovernmental conference on Serbia’s EU accession will be held on the fringes of the meeting of the General Affairs Council, comprised of EU European or foreign affairs ministers who are expected to adopt conclusions on EU enlargement and call on Serbia to respect ethnic minority rights.

Earlier today, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has threatened to boycott an intergovernmental conference with the European Union unless Croatia withdraws the blockade of Chapter 26.

(EBL News, 12.12.2016)

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