France to help Croatia speed up EU talks
France will do "everything possible" to help Croatia move faster in adhesion talks with the European Union.
ZAGREB, April 11, 2008 - France will do "everything possible" to help Croatia move faster in adhesion talks with the European Union when it takes over the EU presidency in July, a French minister said here Thursday.
"France will do everything possible so that by the end of the year Croatia
opens all remaining chapters" in talks with the European Union, Croatia's
presidency quoted European affairs minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet as saying.
"It is clear that Croatia will become the EU's 28th member," Jouyet said in
a statement that came after he met with Croatian President Stipe Mesic.
France begins its six-month stint at the helm of the EU presidency on July
Croatia, which began its EU accession talks in October 2005, has so far
opened 16 of the 35 chapters or policy areas that it must complete in order to
join the bloc.
Its government hopes to close all of the negotiating chapters by 2009 and
become a member of the European Union the following year.
Brussels has warned Zagreb its EU ambitions could be jeopardised notably
because of delays to reforms of its justice system and public administration.