EU — Political agreement on the accession of Croatia

Remarks by Pres­i­dent Her­man Van Rompuy on the occa­sion of the polit­i­cal agree­ment on the acces­sion of Croa­t­ia
We are pleased to wel­come Prime Min­is­ter Jad­ran­ka Kosor in Brus­sels and meet her right after the Euro­pean Coun­cil. In lat­er years, this Euro­pean Coun­cil will be remem­bered as the meet­ing which paved the way for Croatia’s mem­ber­ship of the Euro­pean Union. It is a mile­stone for Croa­t­ia and for the West­ern Balka­ns as a whole.

We con­clud­ed today that the acces­sion nego­ti­a­tions with Croa­t­ia have reached their final stage. The Euro­pean Coun­cil expects the Coun­cil to finalise the work swift­ly and con­clude the nego­ti­a­tions by the end of June. This would allow the Acces­sion Treaty to be signed before the end of the year. Madam Prime Min­is­ter, I thus have the hon­our to con­vey to you the good news on behalf of the 27 Heads of State and Gov­ern­ment: Croa­t­ia will become the 28th Mem­ber State of the Euro­pean Union.

I wish to con­grat­u­late you whole­heart­ed­ly on this achieve­ment, allow­ing Croa­t­ia to ful­ly join the Euro­pean fam­i­ly. It would have not been pos­si­ble with­out the hard work of the Croa­t­ian gov­ern­ment and the Croa­t­ian peo­ple nor with­out your per­son­al lead­er­ship.

Your coun­try has turned the fun­da­men­tals of the State inside out to be ful­ly aligned with Euro­pean stan­dards. It per­formed impres­sive­ly through the past months — even up until the last weeks and days. More­over, we are con­fi­dent that you will con­tin­ue to pur­sue the nec­es­sary reforms with the same vigour until the acces­sion date, and beyond.

Croatia’s achieve­ment serves as an inspir­ing exam­ple for the oth­er coun­tries of the West­ern Balka­ns. Croa­t­ia demon­strates that with polit­i­cal will, a strong nation­al con­sen­sus and ded­i­cat­ed work, it is pos­si­ble to over­come the shad­ows of the past and to move towards mem­ber­ship of the Euro­pean Union. From our side, we con­firm our com­mit­ments as regards the Euro­pean voca­tion of the whole region.

Final­ly, I would like to com­pli­ment the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and the Hun­gar­i­an Pres­i­den­cy of the Coun­cil. You have played a piv­otal role in Croatia’s acces­sion process.

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union

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