news 26 Mar 13

Croatia Ready to Join in July, EU Says

The final European Commission monitoring report concluded that Croatia is ready to join the Union on July 1 - while Enlargement Commissioner Fuele praised the country's example as proof that the EU enlargement process is working.


The European Commission on Tuesday issued its last Monitoring Report on Croatia's preparations for joining the EU, concluding that it has completed the ten priority actions identified in the previous report in October 2012.

The report said that Croatia has shown the will and ability to fulfil all outstanding commitments in good time before its accession.

Presenting the report to the Croatian government in Zagreb, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefa Fuele said Croatia had made great strides not only since the end of the accession negotiations, but also since the previous Monitoring report.

"The country is now ready to take its place in the EU as planned and we are all looking forward to completion of the ratification of the Accession Treaty and welcoming Croatia in the EU on the 1 July," Fuele said.

According to Fuele, Croatia's example is a success for enlargement, as it offers proof of the credibility of the enlargement policy; when a candidate country delivers on the criteria and commitments, the EU delivers on the membership perspective.

"This is also a good example for the rest of the region as it [the region] moves closer to the EU," Fuele added.

The Monitoring Report focuses on Croatia's competition policy, the judiciary and fundamental rights as well as justice, freedom and security.

It also assesses that the country has demonstrated its ability to fulfil other commitments related to EU membership, such as getting ready to receive structural funds, in good time before accession.

The report states that EU membership is an additional incentive to continue reforms, and Croatia is expected to continue developing its track record in the field of the rule of law, notably in the fight against corruption.

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