» Wednesday, June 18, 2008

European Council Meeting

Asked whether the visit of the Croatian Prime Minister to Downing Street held any significance in regards to Croatia joining the EU in 2010-2012 and therefore meaning there would have to be another treaty, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that he was sure that there would be all sorts of hypotheticals that people would come up with in the next 48 hours or so. The PMS added that it would not be fruitful to start speculating about hypotheticals and the meeting with the Prime Minister of Croatia had been in the diary for some time.

As well as EU issues, they would no doubt discuss NATO, post-conflict stabilisation and perhaps Croatia’s very impressive performance at Euro 2008. Put that Croatia would be the next country to join the European Union and would the Prime Minister make clear his support for Croatia joining the EU, the PMS replied that our position on Croatian membership of the EU remained unchanged.

Put that the Czech’s were suspending ratification, the PMS said that our consistent position throughout was that it was a matter for each country to decide what its approach was to ratification. The approach that we had decided upon in the UK was to continue with ratification. Asked to clarify the Government’s position on Croatian membership of the EU, the PMS said that we supported it.

Asked whether ratification would occur after royal assent, the PMS said that there was a further process as he understood it and the Foreign Office could give people an explanation as to the legal issues. There then needed to be a further process of ratification carried out in Rome. Asked why it was ratified in Rome, the PMS replied that that was where the original treaty was agreed.

Asked when this would happen, the PMS said it would happen before the existing deadline at the end of the year. The key thing was gaining royal assent and we would be seeking that as soon as possible after the third reading of the Lords Bill.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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