Croatia’s Accession Negotiations with European Union Reached Successful Conclusion
At the accession conference held last night, Croatia’s accession negotiations with the European Union were essentially concluded. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia is pleased that we will soon be able to welcome Croatia as the 28th member state of the European Union. “During the past few months Croatia has done a lot of work to fulfil the accession requirements,” Paet stated. “Although the signing of the accession treaty, the referendum, and the ratification process still lie ahead, the most important step has been completed,” he confirmed.
“Estonia has also shared its accession experiences with Croatia – for example, Croatia is interested in Estonia’s experiences in conducting a referendum,” the foreign minister added.
Paet feels that the conclusion of Croatia’s accession negotiations and the start of practical negotiations with Iceland this week demonstrate the vitality of the European Union’s enlargement policy. “We hope that the conclusion of Croatia’s accession negotiations will be a positive impulse for the other Western Balkan countries to continue making reforms that bring them closer to the European Union,” said the foreign minister.
At Croatia’s accession conference yesterday the last four negotiation chapters were closed – competition policy, court system and basic rights, financial and budget regulations, and the miscellaneous chapter – so the accession negotiations that began in 2005 can be considered finished. It is hoped that the accession treaty will be signed before the end of 2011, and Croatia is slated to join the European Union on 1 July 2013.
After the signing of the accession treaty there will be a referendum in Croatia and the treaty must be ratified by all the European Union member states.
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