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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03ZAGREB617
2003-03-18 15:46:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Zagreb
Cable title:  

PATTEN IN CROATIA: DOUBTS OVER ICTY PRESSUE; WAY AHEAD ON CROATIA'S APPLICATION

Tags:   PREL  KAWC  ECIN  PREF  HR  SR  EUN 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ZAGREB 000617 

SIPDIS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00617 01 OF 03 181557Z
THE HAGUE FOR JOHNSON/KAYE/WHEATON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/18/2013
TAGS: PREL KAWC ECIN PREF HR KAWC ECIN PREF HR KAWC ECIN PREF HR SR SRPREL EUN
SUBJECT: PATTEN IN CROATIA: DOUBTS OVER ICTY PRESSUE; WAY
AHEAD ON CROATIA'S APPLICATION

REF: (A) ZAGREB 470 (B) ZAGREB 305

CLASSIFIED BY: (U) CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR LAWRENCE ROSSIN, REASONS
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ZAGREB 000617

SIPDIS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00617 01 OF 03 181557Z
THE HAGUE FOR JOHNSON/KAYE/WHEATON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/18/2013
TAGS: PREL KAWC ECIN PREF HR KAWC ECIN PREF HR KAWC ECIN PREF HR SR SRPREL EUN
SUBJECT: PATTEN IN CROATIA: DOUBTS OVER ICTY PRESSUE; WAY
AHEAD ON CROATIA'S APPLICATION

REF: (A) ZAGREB 470 (B) ZAGREB 305

CLASSIFIED BY: (U) CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR LAWRENCE ROSSIN, REASONS 1.
5 (B) AND (D)

SUMMARY
--------------


1. (C) LOCAL EUROPEAN COMMISSION HOM WUNENBURGER TOLD
AMBASSADOR THAT COMMISSIONER PATTEN, DURING A MARCH 13 VISIT
TO ZAGREB, EMPHASIZED THE GOC'S NEED TO MAKE REAL PROGRESS ON
ICTY COOPERATION, REFUGEE RETURNS, JUDICIAL REFORM AND MEDIA
LEGISLATION. MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT MESIC, PM RACAN AND KEY
PARLIAMENTARIANS WERE BRIEF DUE TO THE DJINDJIC ASSASSINATION
AND PATTEN'S SUDDEN NEED TO VISIT BELGRADE.


2. (C) IN HIS PRE-BRIEF WITH WUNENBURGER, PATTEN EXPRESSED
CONCERN THAT IC PRESSURE ON SERBIA OVER ICTY HAD BEEN TOO
HARSH AND CONTRIBUTED TO THE ASSASSINATION. THIS MAY ALSO
AFFECT THE DEGREE TO WHICH THE EU PRESSES CROATIA ON ICTY.
THE COMMISSION WILL ISSUE ITS SAA IMPLEMENTATION REPORT ON
CROATIA IN ABOUT A WEEK. WUNENBURGER RECOMMENDED SPECIFIC
BENCHMARKS ON RETURNS BE INCLUDED IN THE SAA REPORT TO GUIDE
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00617 01 OF 03 181557Z
WORK ON THE AVIS ON CROATIA'S APPLICATION OVER THE NEXT YEAR
BUT HE WAS UNSURE SUCH BENCHMARKS WOULD BE. THE BENCHMARKS
HE LISTED WOULD MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE, BUT IN OUR VIEW
THE GOC WOULD BE UNLIKELY TO IMPLEMENT THEM.


3. (C) WUNENBURGER PERSONALLY BELIEVED THE GOC'S UNHELPFUL
STANCE ON IRAQ HAD BEEN DRIVEN, IN PART, BY THE CALCULATION

THAT FRANCE WOULD BE DECISIVE WITH REGARD TO CROATIA'S EU
APPLICATION. WE SUSPECT HE IS RIGHT; TIME WILL TELL IF THE
GOC HAS JUDGED THAT RIGHT OR NOT AS THE EU EXPANDS TO 25
MEMBERS, MOST OF WHICH ARE ON BOARD WITH THE IRAQ COALITION.
END SUMMARY.

PATTEN'S DIRECT MESSAGE
--------------


4. (C) PATTEN'S VISIT WAS LONG-SCHEDULED TO ADDRESS CROATIA'S
EU APPLICATION AND ASSESS PROGRESS ON THE STABILIZATION AND
ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT (SAA). WHILE TRUNCATED DUE TO THE
DJINDJIC ASSASSINATION AND UNFORESEEN BELGRADE VISIT, PATTEN
WAS ABLE TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT MESIC, PM RACAN, AND SABOR
PRESIDENT TOMCIC TOGETHER WITH SABOR FOREIGN RELATIONS AND
EUROPEAN INTEGRATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS. ALL MEETINGS WERE
BRIEF DUE TO THE BELGRADE IMPERATIVE. NEITHER IRAQ NOR THE
DJINDJIC ASSASSINATION FIGURED MUCH. IN EACH MEETING, PATTEN
STRESSED THE FOUR AREAS WHERE, HE SAID, CROATIA NEEDED TO USE
THE NEXT YEAR (UP TO ISSUANCE OF THE COMMISSION AVIS) TO MAKE
PROGRESS ON KEY POLITICAL AREAS:

-- FULL ICTY COOPERATION, NO FALTERING;
-- ACHIEVING SIGNIFICANT ACTUAL RETURNS OF REFUGEES;
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00617 01 OF 03 181557Z
-- CONCRETE PROGRESS ON JUDICIAL REFORM;
-- MEDIA LEGISLATION MEETING INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS.


5. (C) THE GOC SIDE DID NOT PROVIDE SIGNIFICANT RESPONSES DUE
TO THE BREVITY OF THE MEETINGS, BUT MADE GENERAL ASSURANCES.
WITH REGARD TO THE GOC'S ALLEGED FAILURE TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTS
REQUESTED BY THE ICTY PROSECUTOR, RACAN REPEATED THE GOC
POSITION THAT THIS IS BECAUSE ICTY'S REQUESTS ARE TOO BROAD
AND VAGUE TO ANSWER -- WHICH, WUNENBURGER REMARKED, THE EC
KNOWS IS UNTRUE. RACAN ASSERTED TO PATTEN THAT HE WOULD SHOW
HMG EVIDENCE PROVING THAT CROATIA'S COMPLAINT ABOUT THE
NATURE OF THESE DOCUMENT REQUESTS WAS WELL FOUNDED WHEN HE
VISITED LONDON MARCH 18-19 (NOW CANCELLED). ON RETURNS, THE
GOC GAVE GENERAL ASSURANCES.


6. (C) PATTEN ASSURED THE CROATIANS THAT THEIR APPLICATION
WOULD NOT BE IMPEDED BY THE RESURGENCE OF INSTABILITY IN
NEIGHBORING SERBIA; THAT BECAME THE MEDIA HEADLINES. IN
FACT, WUNENBURGER COMMENTED, IT IS CLEAR TO HIM THAT THE
DJINDJIC ASSASSINATION WILL BOOST THE PROSPECTS FOR CROATIA'S
APPLICATION -- HOWEVER GOOD OR BAD THE GOC'S RECORD OF
MEETING THE EU'S POLITICAL CONDITIONALITY -- BECAUSE THE EU
DOES SEE CROATIA AS, AND WANTS TO ENSURE IT REMAINS, A
COUNTRY OF RELATIVE STABILITY IN THE REGION. ONLY A MAJOR
ICTY BLOWUP WOULD DERAIL THAT, IN WUNENBURGER'S ASSESSMENT.

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ7143

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00617 02 OF 03 181557Z
ACTION SWCI-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 CIAE-00 COME-00 INL-00
USNW-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 PERC-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00
EB-00 EUR-00 E-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 AC-01 DCP-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00
OIC-02 OMB-01 DHS-00 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00
P-00 SCT-00 SP-00 IRM-00 SSO-00 SS-00 STR-00
TRSE-00 T-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-01
G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /007W
-------------- 465D13 181601Z /38
R 181546Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9752
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
AMEMBASSY BERLIN
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO
AMEMBASSY SKOPJE
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY TIRANA
USEU BRUSSELS
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USOFFICE PRISTINA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 ZAGREB 000617

SIPDIS

CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00617 02 OF 03 181557Z
THE HAGUE FOR JOHNSON/KAYE/WHEATON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/18/2013
TAGS: PREL KAWC ECIN PREF HR KAWC ECIN PREF HR KAWC ECIN PREF HR SR SRPREL EUN
SUBJECT: PATTEN IN CROATIA: DOUBTS OVER ICTY PRESSUE; WAY
AHEAD ON CROATIA'S APPLICATION

PATTEN: "TOO MUCH" PRESSURE ON WAR CRIMES?
--------------


7. (C) WUNENBURGER SAID THAT PATTEN, IN THEIR PREBRIEF,
RUMINATED ABOUT THE TRAGEDY IN SERBIA AND HIS CONCERN THAT
THE ASSASSINATION MAY HAVE COME ABOUT IN PART DUE TO
EXCESSIVE IC PRESSURE FOR ICTY COMPLIANCE. HE BELIEVED THIS
MIGHT INFLUENCE FUTURE COMMISSION (AND POSSIBLY EU)
APPROACHES NOT ONLY TOWARD SERBIA BUT ALSO TOWARD CROATIA AND
OTHER RELEVANT COUNTRIES.


8. (C) FOR HIS OWN PART, WUNENBURGER EXPRESSED CONCERN LESS
ABOUT THE DEGREE OF PRESSURE ON CROATIA THAN ABOUT ICTY'S
TACTICS HERE, WHETHER ITS INCLUSION OF BROAD HISTORICAL
ELEMENTS IN INDICTMENTS UNNECESSARY FOR SUCCESSFUL
PROSECUTIONS, ITS UNSUBSTANTIATED ASSERTIONS ABOUT GOTOVINA'S
PRESENCE IN CROATIA OR ITS RELATIVELY LOWER PROFILE HANDLING
OF WHAT HE CALLED ITS MOST SERIOUS COMPLAINT, INADEQUATE
COOPERATION ON PROVIDING DOCUMENTS. OTHER THAN THE
"HISTORICAL" ELEMENTS OF THE INDICTMENTS, WUNENBURGER'S
CONCERNS CLOSELY MATCHED OUR OWN, ON WHICH WE HAVE RECENTLY
REPORTED (REFTELS). HOWEVER, ALTHOUGH PATTEN RECENTLY MET
WITH CARLA DEL PONTE, WUNENBURGER UNDERSTOOD THAT PATTEN
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00617 02 OF 03 181557Z
RAISED NO SUCH CONCERNS WITH HER. (THAT WAS BEFORE THE
DJINDJIC ASSASSINATION.)

NEXT EU STEPS ON CROATIA
--------------


9. (C) WUNENBURGER SAID THE COMMISSION SHOULD ISSUE ITS
ANNUAL ASSESSMENT OF CROATIA'S IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SAA IN
ABOUT A WEEK. IT WILL HIGHLIGHT AREAS OF PROGRESS AND
SHORTFALL ACROSS THE SAA BOARD, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE
POLITICAL CONDITIONS LISTED ABOVE. THE SAA PROVIDES THE
COMMISSION WITH AN ADDED, CONCRETE FRAMEWORK FOR DEVELOPING
ITS AVIS ON CROATIA'S EU APPLICATION. THAT HAS NOT BEEN THE
CASE WITH PREVIOUS APPLICATIONS. (NOTE: CROATIA'S
APPLICATION WAS SUBMITTED IN FEBRUARY; CROATIA HOPES IT WILL
BE FORWARDED BY THE COUNCIL TO THE COMMISSION FOR AVIS IN
APRIL BUT THIS MAY NOT OCCUR UNTIL JUNE. A COUPLE OF
COUNTRIES, NOTABLY THE UK, HAVE NOT RATIFIED THE SAA YET AND
MAY SEEK TO IMPEDE COUNCIL ACTION ON THE APPLICATION.)


10. (C) WUNENBURGER TOLD THE AMBASSADOR HE HAS RECOMMENDED
THE INCLUSION OF SPECIFIC RETURNS-RELATED BENCHMARKS IN THIS
YEAR'S SAA REPORT: COMPLETION OF ALL PROPERTY RESTITUTION
THIS YEAR; ACTION ON ALL HOUSING RECONSTRUCTION APPLICATIONS
THIS YEAR; AND ESTABLISHMENT THIS YEAR OF A CONCRETE,
TRANSPARENT PROGRAM TO "COMPENSATE" THOSE WHO FORMERLY
ENJOYED OCCUPANCY AND TENANCY RIGHTS TO SOCIALLY-OWNED
PROPERTY. HE SAID HE WAS UNSURE WHETHER THE COMMISSION WOULD
INCLUDE THESE.


11. (C) LOOKING AHEAD TO THE AVIS IN A YEAR OR SO,
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PAGE 04 ZAGREB 00617 02 OF 03 181557Z
WUNENBURGER SAID THAT INCLUSION OF THESE BENCHMARKS AS WELL
AS THE GENERAL ASSESSMENT OF THE GOC'S PERFORMANCE ON THE
POLITICAL CONDITIONS WOULD BE CENTRAL TO THE COMMISSION'S
WORK. DEPENDING ON THE COMMISSION'S ASSESSMENT OF CROATIA'S
(PERFORMANCE-PROVEN) READINESS TO ENTER INTO NEGOTIATIONS
WITH THE EU, THE COMMISSION WOULD RECOMMEND TO THE COUNCIL
THAT THE APPLICATION BE ACCEPTED AND NEGOTIATIONS BEGUN; THAT
IT AND NEGOTIATIONS BE DEFERRED WITH SPECIFIC AREAS FOR GOC
EFFORT IDENTIFIED; OR THAT IT BE REJECTED. THE LATTER WILL
NOT HAPPEN; HE WAS UNCERTAIN FROM HIS OWN VIEW OF CROATIA'S
EFFORTS WHETHER IT WOULD GET A FAVORABLE OR A DEFERRED AVIS.
IN THE END, HE CAUTIONED, THE POLITICAL CONDITIONALITY WILL
WEIGH HEAVILY, BUT ALL FACTORS INCLUDING ECONOMIC AND LEGAL
ISSUES WILL BE "BALANCED," AND IN ANY CASE THE COUNCIL WILL
DECIDE; THE COMMISSION'S AVIS IS JUST THAT, A RECOMMENDATION.
(THE COUNCIL ALMOST ALWAYS FOLLOWS COMMISSION
RECOMMENDATIONS, HE NOTED, BECAUSE IT AND THE MEMBER STATES
ESSENTIALLY PRECOOK THE FINAL RECOMMENDATION.)

COMMENT
--------------


12. (C) WE HOPE THAT WUNENBURGER'S PROPOSED RETURNS
BENCHMARKS WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE SAA REPORT. THEY MAKE
SENSE; THEY WOULD MATERIALLY AFFECT THE RETURNS SITUATION FOR

CONFIDENTIAL

CONFIDENTIAL PTQ7144

PAGE 01 ZAGREB 00617 03 OF 03 181557Z
ACTION SWCI-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AF-00 AID-00 CIAE-00 COME-00 INL-00
DODE-00 DOEE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 EUR-00
E-00 VC-00 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00 LAB-01 L-00
VCE-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 DHS-00
PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SCT-00 SP-00
SSO-00 SS-00 STR-00 TRSE-00 T-00 USIE-00 PMB-00
DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-01 G-00 NFAT-00 SAS-00 /006W
-------------- 465D28 181602Z /38
R 181546Z MAR 03
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9753
INFO AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
AMEMBASSY BERLIN
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY MADRID
AMEMBASSY PARIS
AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO
AMEMBASSY SKOPJE
AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
AMEMBASSY TIRANA
USEU BRUSSELS
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
USOFFICE PRISTINA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 ZAGREB 000617

SIPDIS

THE HAGUE FOR JOHNSON/KAYE/WHEATON
CONFIDENTIAL

PAGE 02 ZAGREB 00617 03 OF 03 181557Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/18/2013
TAGS: PREL KAWC ECIN PREF HR KAWC ECIN PREF HR KAWC ECIN PREF HR SR SRPREL EUN
SUBJECT: PATTEN IN CROATIA: DOUBTS OVER ICTY PRESSUE; WAY
AHEAD ON CROATIA'S APPLICATION

THE BETTER; THEY ARE TOUGH BUT ACHIEVABLE IF THE GOC DISPLAYS
POLITICAL WILL (AS HE HAS TOLD BRUSSELS); AND THE SAA
REPORT/AVIS PROCESS PROVIDES CLEAR ACCOUNTABILITY BY A
COMMISSION THAT WE KNOW IS UNWILLING TO TAKE THE GOC ON
FAITH. IF THE GOC WERE TO ACT SERIOUSLY ON THOSE SPECIFIC
ISSUES, IT WOULD REPRESENT A SEA CHANGE IN ITS LACKLUSTER
RECORD ON RETURNS AND MERIT EU (AND OUR) RECOGNITION.
FRANKLY, HOWEVER, WE THINK THE GOC WOULD FAIL THE TEST,
ESPECIALLY IN THIS ELECTION YEAR GIVEN THE INDIFFERENCE OR
HOSTILITY OF VOTERS TO DEVOTING GOC EFFORT AND RESOURCES TO
RETURNS.


13. (C) DOWN THE ROAD, HOWEVER, WE ANTICIPATE THAT THE VIEWS
OF EU MEMBER STATES AND THEIR RELATIVE VIGOR IN PUSHING THEM
WITHIN THE COUNCIL WILL DECIDE THE FATE OF CROATIA'S
APPLICATION. IN THAT REGARD, WUNENBURGER'S PERCEPTION THAT
THE GOC CHOSE TO SIDE WITH FRANCE AND GERMANY THIS WEEK ON
IRAQ BECAUSE IT SEES THEM AS THE MAIN ACTORS ON ITS
APPLICATION COUILD TURN OUT TO BE SIGNIFICANT, AND A MAJOR
ERROR. CONSISTENTLY, THE GOC HAS FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THAT
THE EU HAS 15 -- SOON, 25 -- MEMBERS, AND THAT COUNTRIES SUCH
AS THE UK, SPAIN AND POLAND WILL ALSO DETERMINE THE FATE OF
ITS MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION. BALKANS STABILITY CONSIDERATIONS
MAY LEAD THE LATTER GROUP TO SUPPORT CROATIA IN A YEAR'S
TIME, OR THEY MAY NOT -- MUCH WILL DEPEND ON THE LENGTH OF
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PAGE 03 ZAGREB 00617 03 OF 03 181557Z
BRITISH AND SPANISH MEMORIES. GIVEN LONDON'S ALREADY HEALTHY
SKEPTICISM ABOUT CROATIA AND AZNAR'S INDIFFERENCE TO CROATIA,
THINGS MAY TURN OUT LESS POSITIVELY FOR ZAGREB'S EU
APPLICATION IN 2004. BUT THE AVIS AND DECISION ON THE
APPLICATION WILL COME ONLY AFTER THE NEXT CROATIAN ELECTION.
ANALYSTS HERE CONCUR THAT RACAN HAS A ONE-YEAR HORIZON AND
THAT HE PUTS VOTE-GETTING AHEAD OF THE REAL FATE OF CROATIA'S
EU ASPIRATIONS.
ROSSIN

CONFIDENTIAL

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