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Press release

MEPs say Croatia is ready to join the EU in July

Enlargement - 18-04-2013 - 12:12
Plenary sessions
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Croatia is on track to become the EU's 28th member state on 1 July, MEPs said on Thursday in their last resolution before it is scheduled to join. They highlighted the strength of Croatia's democracy, social market economy and capacity to fulfil its membership obligations and called on the last two member states that still have to approve Croatia's accession to do so without delay.

Croatia cannot join the EU until all the member states have ratified its accession treaty. So far, 25 member states have completed the ratification process but  Denmark and Germany have yet to do so. Parliament gave its consent to Croatia's accession on 1 December 2011.

"Croatia's quest for EU membership – which entailed a thorough transformation of all corners of public policy – is almost over. Croatia's accession will make the EU stronger and more secure," said Libor Rouček (S&D, CZ), the EP rapporteur on Croatia. "Croatia's success also sends an encouraging signal to other candidate and aspirant states in the region."

Don't stop at the accession date

Only continuous policy action can bring Croatian citizens the full benefits of accession, MEPs say. They underline that the reform efforts and consensus must be sustained beyond accession itself, which is a step towards the modernisation of the country. They call for further structural reforms to stimulate economic growth and revive the labour market.

Play a constructive role in the neighbourhood

Croatia should play an active part in the process of stabilisation and European integration in the Western Balkans and share its unique accession experience with other countries, MEPs say.

They insist that bilateral issues must not be used to impede the accession process of candidate countries and call on Croatia to actively engage with its neighbours to solve all bilateral issues. MEPs hail the steps taken by Croatia and Serbia to improve their relations, as well as the memorandum of understanding signed with Slovenia on the solution to the Ljubljanska Banka case.

No to excessive restrictions of freedom of movement

MEPs also say that restricting access to their labour markets has proved detrimental to the welfare of those member states imposing them and call on the member states to only use such transition periods for Croatian citizens when strictly necessary.

Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

REF.: 20130412IPR07204