I welcome the fact that Croatia’s European Union accession negotiations were officially concluded in Brussels yesterday in the presence of the 27 European Union member states’ representatives and the Croatian authorities. It is an historic event for Croatia and the European project.
Croatia will be the 28th EU member state. I hope we can sign the accession treaty by the end of the year and Croatia can actually join us on 1 July 2013, once the ratification process is completed.
I hope this accession serves as an example, to the other countries in the Western Balkans region, of the path to follow. It is proof that – when the necessary reforms are carried out in the interest of the candidate countries themselves – the European Union’s promise of a future in Europe is guaranteed, at the end of the often difficult journeys they have made.
Finally, I would like to congratulate the Croatian government and all those in Croatia, Brussels and the member states who worked to enable Croatia to join the EU./.