Statement by the Croatian Parliament and the Government of the Republic of Croatia on Joint Actions in the Process of Negotiations on Membership of the European Union (19 January 2005)
Confirming their fundamental interest and goal that full membership of the European Union should contribute to the overall social progress and welfare of the Republic of Croatia and its citizens,
Determined to respect and materialise all values, common policies and goals upon which the European Union is founded, and accepting the principles underlying the Constitution of the European Union,
Reaffirming the readiness of the Republic of Croatia to actively contribute to the strengthening of democratic processes and stability in our part of Europe and to actively participate in the processes of building a united Europe,
Determined to ensure that all institutions of the Republic of Croatia jointly contribute to the fulfilment of the criteria for membership of the European Union set forth in Article 49 of the Treaty on the European Union, as well as at the Copenhagen and Madrid meetings of the European Council ,
Aware that the negotiations on Croatia's full membership of the European Union will have a long-term impact on some crucial issues concerning the social and economic system and the international position of Croatia,
Confirming the commitment of the Croatian Parliament as the highest representative of the democratic will of the citizens of the Republic of Croatia to actively participate in the preparations for and negotiations on Croatia's full membership of the European Union,
The Croatian Parliament and Government confirm the full readiness of the Republic of Croatia for the opening of negotiations on the full membership of the Republic of Croatia in the European Union on 17 March 2005, in line with the decision of the European Council of 17 December 2004.
The negotiations with the European Union shall be conducted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia.
The Croatian Parliament and Government confirm the importance of an ongoing dialogue and concerted actions in the process of negotiating Croatia’s full membership of the European Union, especially in respect of the harmonisation of national legislation with the acquis communautaire.
The Croatian Parliament and Government regard Croatia's membership of the European Union as an expression of the will of its citizens based on complete public information and full understanding, as well as an open and transparently led process of negotiations, where all parties concerned should be given the right to information and dialogue, through the National Forum on the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union and other initiatives, so that the broadest sections of the community are given a chance to express their views concerning the conditions of EU membership.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia expresses its readiness to support the Croatian Parliament in any forms and ways in keeping the MPs and the Parliament's administrative services informed on a regular basis with a view to raising the level of preparedness for future obligations arising from the Protocol on the Role of National Parliaments in the European Union and the Protocol on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality. The Croatian Parliament expresses its readiness to back the Government in the process of EU membership negotiations through its activities.
In accordance with the Declaration on the Fundamental Principles of Negotiations on the Full Membership of the Republic of Croatia in the European Union, and for the purpose of strengthening joint responsibility and ensuring a broad public interest and positive parliamentary political conditions for the conduct of negotiations, a National Committee shall be established within the Croatian Parliament. The Croatian Parliament shall adopt a special Decision on the Establishment and Activities of the National Committee.
Throughout the process of negotiations, the National Committee shall ensure the strengthening of overall social consensus in the process of accession to the European Union.
The National Committee shall be composed of an equal number of members representing the parliamentary majority and the opposition, the Chairpersons of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee, of the European Integration Committee and of the Interparliamentary Co-operation Committee ex officio, and one representative each of the Office of the President of the Republic, trade unions, the Croatian Employers' Association and the academic community. The National Committee shall be chaired by a representative of the opposition. Where necessary, representatives of individual competent committees shall be invited to meetings of the National Committee if issues within their competence are discussed.
The National Committee of the Croatian Parliament for Monitoring Accession Negotiations shall discuss negotiation positions for individual negotiation chapters in a dialogue with the Government of the Republic of Croatia. The National Committee may give recommendations on any issue pertaining to negotiations on the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union. The Head of the State Delegation for Negotiations on the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union shall submit regular reports on the progress of negotiations to the National Committee, at least every three months.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Head of the State Delegation shall submit reports on the progress of negotiations to the Croatian Parliament at least twice a year, upon the expiry of each six-month term of the EU Presidency.