30th November 2010: This was my second contribution of the morning and again it was in the EU- Croatia Joint Parliamentary Committee debating the adoption of draft recommendations on Croatia's (proposed) accession to the European Union.
"I would like to place my abstention on record. I do not want to vote against because that would imply that I have antipathy or indifference towards Croatia, which I do not. Parts of the declaration are good: the judicial reforms and the good neighbourly relations with Croatia's neighbours. They are obviously necessary.. However, I cannot support the parts that refer to the need for Coats to be 'informed' and to 'benefits' without mentioning detriments or the suggestion that the Commission and the Parliament should intervene.
There has been talk of when rather than if Croatia joins the European Union but the referendum has yet to take place.
When I said that a referendum result should be final, I did not mean that it should be final for all time. However, I am concerned that if there should be a 'No' vote in 2011, there would be another vote in 2012. A 'Yes' vote would be final but a 'No' vote would not be final."
One of the Croatian delegation said:
"Nobody needs to be concerned about the outcome (of the referendum)".