“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”, said President Herman Van Rompuy after the European Council meeting on 24 June. Negotiations with Croatia on its becoming the 28th member state of the EU should be concluded by the end of June 2011.
European leaders confirmed that the negotiations with Croatia on its accession to the EU have reached their final stages: the Commission has issued its positive assessment and the Council is examining the remaining negotiation chapters. They asked the Council of the EU to “take all necessary decisions” so that the accession negotiations with Croatia could be concluded by the end of June 2011.
The European Council confirmed that it expected Croatia to continue reforming its judicial system and improving the situation concerning fundamental rights. Fulfilling these conditions will help Croatia “to assume fully the obligations of membership from the date of accession”. The EU will continue to monitor these efforts up to accession.
The accession treaty with Croatia is expected to be signed before the end of the year.
“This future accession of Croatia brings new momentum to the European vocation of the countries of the Western Balkans”, said President Van Rompuy.