news 07 Jun 13

Germany Ratifies Croatian EU Accession

Germany ratified Croatia's EU Accession Treaty on Friday, the last EU member state to do so, opening the way for Croatia to join the European club on July 1.

Boris Pavelic

The upper house of the German parliament, the Bundesrat, ratified Croatia's EU Accession Treaty Friday, ending a ratification process in Germany which started in parliament's lower house, the Bundestag, on May 16.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who attended the session in the Bundesrat, recalled that Croatia would now become the second former Yugoslav republic to join the EU, after Slovenia.

"This is a historic day. Croatia is politically and culturally a deeply European state", Westerwelle noted.

The speaker of the Croatian parliament, Josip Leko, who also attended the ratification, said it was "final confirmation of Croatia's maturity and responsibility towards the EU".

Croatia started EU negotiations October 2005 and finished them June 2011, the longest negotiations in EU history.

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and the then Prime Minister, Jadranka Kosor, signed the Accession Treaty in Brussels on December 9 2011. Slovakia was the first EU member state to ratify the Treaty on February 1 2012.

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