A top European Union official says Croatia may face legal action if it fails to comply promptly with the union’s extradition rules.
On Wednesday, the EU’s top justice official, Viviane Reding, sent a letter to Croatian Justice Minister Ornate Miljenic, stating that his promise to implement European Arrest Warrant in Croatia next year is not enough. Referring to Croatia’s national legislation that was changed a few days before the country’s EU entry to prevent the government from extraditing those involved in crimes committed before 2002, Reding wrote in a two-page letter, “I am... surprised to learn that the amendment would take more than 10 months and would only enter into force on 15 July 2014.” In July, Croatia joined the European Union as its 28th member after many years of independence war - from 1991 to 1995 - that ended in the collapse of Yugoslavia. The disagreement with the EU started promptly over extradition laws, when Zagreb government made efforts to protect war veterans against facing inquiries elsewhere in the EU. Last month, Croatia pledged to comply fully with the European Union to avoid sanctions including loss of the EU aid.