European Western Balkans

Croatia should change its border closure decision

TANJUG_maliBELGRADE – European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn called on the Croatian governemnt Friday to change its decision to close the borders to freight traffic and Serbian registered vehicles.

Commissioner Hahn said Croatia’s measures wer discriminatory and unproportionate.
“I think it is in the mutual interest of all the people in the Western Balkans to have free movement, mobility and economic stability, because economic stability is also social stability”, said Hahn.

Commisioner Hahn said he did not want to hide that he was “very worried about the situation at the Serbian-Croatian border” and that he could witness “by my own eyes” the “long queue of more than 10 kilometers of trucks” when he was traveling this morning.

This problem can only be solved simply by lifting the border blocking, Hahn said. “There is no alternative and I think there is nothing to negotiate,” he stressed.

Hahn said that the Stabilization and Association Agreement clearly stipulated what kind of circumstances allowed for imposing, but only temporarily, certain border control measures.

He said those border control measures must be temporary, proportionate, and “cannot be in any way discriminatory,” adding that “at least the points two and three have created some doubts that this is the case” with the Croatian decision.

“It is not proportionate, at least in my understanding, and it is definitely discriminatory if trucks from only one particular country are affected. I therefore urge the Croatian government to change their decision,” Hahn said.

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