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					           COU CIL OF
   THE EUROPEA U IO                                                                            EN
                  Council conclusions: financial package
                for the accession negotiations with Croatia
                          2984th GENERAL AFFAIRS Council meeting
                                  Brussels, 7 December 2009



The Council adopted the following conclusions:


"The Council welcomes the Commission Communication outlining a financial package for the
accession negotiations with Croatia (document 15361/09). In this context, the Council recalls that
discussions or agreement on future policy reforms, or the new financial framework, shall neither
impede the pursuit and conclusion of accession negotiations with Croatia, nor be prejudged by the
outcome of these negotiations.

Without prejudice to final positions to be taken, the Council considers the Commission's proposals
for a financial package to form a sound and fair basis for the presentation by the Commission of
draft EU common positions on the negotiating chapters with financial implications (agriculture and
rural development, regional policy and coordination of structural instruments, financial and
budgetary provisions, and other issues) and invites the Commission to present those draft positions
accordingly, in due time. The Council takes note of the Commission’s assessment of the financial
impact of Croatia’s accession in other policy areas and recalls that these amounts are indicative.




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The Council recalls that the date of Croatia’s accession to the European Union will depend on how
soon Croatia meets all outstanding requirements. In this context, the Council refers to its
conclusions on the Enlargement Package to be adopted on 7 December 2009. However, the Council
concurs that the calculation of the financial implications of a future Croatian EU-membership
serves to provide the European Union and Croatia with predictability with a view to guaranteeing
the smooth transition of Croatia to EU-membership.

The Council takes note of the Commission’s technical working hypothesis for Croatia’s accession
to the European Union. Based on this hypothesis, the financial package for Croatia would be
governed by the terms of the current financial framework in 2012 and 2013. Following this period,
expenditure for Croatia would be governed by the then applicable acquis, including the next
financial framework. The Council invites the Commission to take any changes in the underlying
technical assumptions into account when preparing the draft EU common positions on the
negotiating chapters with financial implications.

The Council notes that the Commission’s proposals are based on the same principles and
methodology underlying the financial packages agreed with the twelve Member States of the fifth
enlargement. The Council underlines the importance of the proposed approach which balances the
specific needs of Croatia on the one hand with limits on absorption capacity on the other, including
an appropriate phasing in of certain expenditure items.

Croatia has to ensure, in a timely manner, that the required capacities and structures for the sound
management and effective control of Community financial instruments are in place in accordance
with the acquis. Protection of the EU's financial interests is of utmost importance.

The Council stresses that the overall financial package for Croatia has to be firmly inscribed in the
general effort for budgetary discipline. The Council recalls that the financial package for Croatia
does not prejudge the position of the Council regarding financial options in the context of Article 29
of the current Inter-Institutional Agreement1, which foresees that if new Member States accede to
the European Union during the period covered by the financial framework, the European Parliament
and the Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission, will jointly adjust the financial
framework to take account of the expenditure requirements resulting from the outcome of the
accession negotiations.

The Council will keep the European Parliament duly informed on the budgetary aspects in view of
the conclusion of accession negotiations with Croatia."


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1
      Inter-Institutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the
      Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management, (2006/C 139/01)
      14 June 2006.
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