Parliamentary question - P-006203/2011Parliamentary question

    Hate violence during pride event in Split, Croatia: impact on accession

    Question for written answer P-006203/2011
    to the Commission
    Rule 117
    Michael Cashman (S&D)

    On 11 June 2011, my colleague Marije Cornelissen took part in the first LGBT pride march in Split, Croatia. It was met with violence from a crowd of between 2 000 and 10 000 right-wing extremists (according to personal and press reports). The police failed to protect participants adequately by not keeping protesters at a safe distance from marchers. Peaceful marchers were intimidated, subjected to shouts and chants of ‘Kill the faggots’ and ‘Kill, kill, kill’, and greeted with arrays of Nazi salutes, and were the targets of projectiles including firecrackers, stones and tomatoes. Eight people were injured from the police, journalists and activists; six were taken to hospital. 171 arrests were made.

    Initial reports point to the police being unprepared and not adequately protecting pride participants when attacked. The police do not appear to have had any intelligence on a gathering of at least 2 000 people which was not spontaneous. The weeks leading to the event saw Split covered in hateful graffiti, and threats were made, including on Facebook where several thousand people joined a hateful group inciting violence against pride participants.

    Although Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor both condemned the violence, no other action than charging some of the arrested protesters was announced. Afterwards, the Mayor of Split even blamed pride organisers for what happened.

    On 10 June 2011, the Commission proposed to the Council closing the remaining four chapters of the accession negotiations with Croatia, including the ‘Justice and Fundamental Rights’ chapter (MEMO/11/397).

    How will the Commission convey its concern over these events to the Croatian authorities?

    How will these events in Split be taken into account in the accession negotiations with Croatia, as well as in monitoring developments and implementing reforms in Croatia?

    Will the Commission press for the implementation of a monitoring mechanism as suggested by a platform of 15 non-governmental organisations, which intends to implement such a monitoring mechanism based in the Croatian Parliament, in order to ensure transparency?

    OJ C 128 E, 03/05/2012