SERBIA AND CROATIA – WHAT AWAITS US AFTER CROATIA’S ENTRY INTO THE EU?
European Movement in Serbia, Forum for International Relations of European Movement in Serbia, Political Democratisation Council and Heinrich Bӧll Foundation, on June 19th , 2013 organised an expert debate „Srbija i Hrvatska – šta nas očekuje nakon ulaska Hrvatske u EU?“
Croatia has closed all the chapters of the accession negotiations and thus formally ended the Treaty of Accession of Croatia to the European Union that was signed in December 2011 and according to which the Republic of Croatia will become the 28th member of the EU on July 1st, 2013. On this occasion, expert debate was a good chance that in the light of the entry of the Republic of Croatia to the EU, emphasize the development of relations between the two countries after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and its impact on the developments in relations between the two countries over the past two decades. In front of Serbia and Croatia are the challenges that are of a great importance for the further development of relations between the resolution of a number of other outstanding bilateral issues and the necessity of establishing good neighbourly relations. This raises the question of how the expected entry of the Republic of Croatia to the EU may affect Republic of Serbia and the region as a whole in various of aspects, political, regional, economic, security, and so on. How will the entry of the Republic of Croatia to the EU affect Republic of Serbia, in particular the impact on the current situation and prospects of relations with respect to the open issues in the Serbian-Croatian relations – border demarcation on the Danube, the issue of refugees, missing persons, minorities and cultural rights, issues of war crimes and responsibilities, etc. .
Future moves the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Serbia should be considered in the wider context of the severe economic crisis that hit some of the EU countries, and calls into question the character of the future of European integration. That is why special attention was paid to economic cooperation between the two countries and the possibility of establishing closer cooperation.
Expert debate was organized into two panels, under the Chatham House Rule, and they were:
- I panel: Serbia and Croatia – Economic Relations: Challenges and Expectations
- II panel: Serbia and Croatia – Bilateral Relations: Status and Perspectives
This professional debate has gathered political and other public figures and experts from the two countries about the common theme: the relationship with the European Union, region of the Western Balkans and bilateral political, economic, cultural, scientific and other ties. We believe that this debate , which was held just prior to the accession of Croatia to the European Union, has contributed not only to better know each other, but also to the issues that the two countries and the Western Balkans as a whole will be facing in the upcoming months and years .