On 1 July 2013 the European Union welcomed the Republic of Croatia as its twenty-eighth Member State. Croatia’s accession represents an important step in completing the construction of the EU, but also a touch stone for the Union’s enlargement policy. On the one hand, it proves the transformative power of EU enlargement policy: Croatia, a country torn by the devastating Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, has become a stable democracy able to take on the obligations of EU membership within a short timespan of two decades. On the other hand, this accession and, in particular, the signing of the Accession Treaty, has coincided with the ‘Euro-crisis’ and the enactment of the Fiscal Compact Treaty.
Bearing this in mind, does Croatia’s accession confirm the integration project or does its ‘bad timing’ send a warning message to other ‘would-be-members’? Is it an evidence of the credibility of EU enlargement policy and demonstration of the still-existing strong beliefs in the European Union? Or can it have a dissuading effect on prospective members in the Western Balkans?
This conference will take a closer look at the accession process in general, and at Croatia’s accession negotiations and the legal character of the Seventh Accession Treaty, in particular. The conference will also discuss the implications of this last accession for the future rounds of EU enlargement and, especially for the Western Balkans countries.
13.00 Welcome and Introduction
ANTONINA BAKARDJIEVA ENGELBREKT, Professor of European Law at Stockholm University and Director of the Institute of European Law
13.10 Opening address
DOMAGOJ ROGULJ, Chargé d’affaires a.i at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Stockholm
I. ACCESSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA TO THE EU
13.20 Commentary on the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Croatia
ADAM LAZOWSKI, Reader in Law at the School of Law, University of Westminster
13.40 Croatia’s EU accession negotiations
MIRNA VLASIC FEKETIJA, Coordinator of the Centre of Excellence at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Republic of Croatia and former Secretary of the Government Coordination Committee for EU accession negotiations
14.00 Sweden and Croatia in the European Union – what challenges in the Justice and Home Affairs area?
ANNA-CARIN SVENSSON, Director-General for International Affairs, Swedish Ministry of Justice
II. GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE ACCESSION PROCESS
15.15 The pre-accession strategy – recent developments
CHRISTOPHE HILLION, Professor of European Law at Leiden University and Senior Researcher in Law at SIEPS
15.35 A credible accession process
OLA SVENNINGSSON, Deputy Director, Division of EU Enlargement, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Stockholm
III. THE FUTURE ENLARGEMENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION?
16.15 A continuation of the accession process towards the Western Balkans
STEVEN BLOCKMANS, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the EU Foreign Policy Unit, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Brussels
16.35 The changing face of the EU enlargement: Macedonia’s accession prospects
JULIJA BRSAKOSKA BAZERKOSKA, Researcher and Lecturer at the Law Faculty, Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje
17.15 End of the day
All participants are invited for refreshments and snacks
Participation in the conference is free of charge. For registration please send an e-mail to Lovorka Jonic Kapnias at Lovorka.Jonic-Kapnias@juridicum.su.se by 8 October 2013.