BELGRADE – Croatia has vetoed the opening of Chapter 26 in Serbia’s EU accession talks, and Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic announced late Monday he would not attend the Serbia-EU intergovernmental conference in Brussels unless the country lifted the veto, Prva TV reported.
Vucic, who arrived in Brussels late Monday, will leave as early as this evening unless an agreement on lifting the veto is reached with EU foreign policy and security chief Federica Mogherini, the television reported.
The intergovernmental conference on the opening of new chapters in the accession talks is scheduled for Tuesday.
“Serbia has been patient all along and tried not to react, but it will talk differently from now on,” Vucic told Prva TV.
The dispute is over what Belgrade claims are attempts by Croatia to block Serbia’s progress toward EU membership.
Zagreb objects to opening the chapter on culture and education because of a dispute about the translation of school textbooks.
Croatia’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Davor Ivo Stier said “full protection of national minorities” is one of the things “Serbia must implement along its EU path.”
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic on December 12 said that “if Croatia is the one to decide about whether Serbia will enter the EU, then my interest just dropped somehow.”