EU Official Commends Croatia As Accession Nears

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele has said that he expects Croatia to successfully complete the bloc’s accession requirements ahead of its July 2013 admission date.Speaking in Zagreb on Monday, Fuele said he was also confident that Croatia would create a positive atmosphere for the EU aspirations of its neighbours. Zagreb is expected to join the EU in July 2013, and will be the first country from the Western Balkans to become a member state.

Following a meeting with Croatian President Ivo Josipović, Fuele said that the talks focused on two things: ensuring that Croatia continues its success story after July next year, and examining Croatia’s specific role in the region as a future EU member state.

“I am sure of Croatia’s resolve to settle the remaining issues from the monitoring report by the European Commission, and I am confident that the ratification process in the EU member states will be completed so July 1, 2013 will be a happy event,” Fuele said.

Josipović said that he and Fuele discussed joint interests and the situation in the region, together with the tasks that Croatia would have to fulfill before joining the EU.

The EU commissioner underlined that Croatia is almost in line with the European legal guidelines, adding that its EU accession is important for the entire region as proof that reforms pay off.

Speaking at the opening of the 4th Western Balkans Civil Society Forum, which discussed the region and the EU accession process, Fuele said that Croatia has a few more tasks before the accession, but that Brussels is certain that it will fulfill them on time.

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