Croatia: Croatia set to join EU in July 2013
June 10, 2011
On 10 June, the European Commission proposed to end the accession negotiations with Croatia, paving the way for the country to become the EU's 28th member state as of 1 July 2013. The Commission expects that European leaders will follow the Commission's recommendation at their 24 June summit in Brussels. The EU opened negotiations with Croatia in October 2001 with the signature of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement. In June 2004, the European Council confirmed Croatia as a candidate country and official talks finally began in October 2005. Since then, Croatian authorities have adopted and implemented a host of new laws and regulations in order to fulfill EU standards and regulations. In addition, Croatia agreed to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and settled boundary claims with Italy and Slovenia. While the accession negotiations have concluded, Stefan Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, stated that the European Commission will continue working with Croatia, "closely monitoring and reporting about the implementation of the commitments taken by Croatia to be achieved before the date of accession." Meanwhile, Jose Manuel Barroso declared that Croatia's access to the EU "is also a signal to the rest to of South Eastern Europe that enlargement works." The remark was seen as a nod to Serbia after the arrest of the military commander Ratko Mladic, which was a requisite for talks to open.