Friday, June 24, 2011

Croatia to join the European Union

Merkel: EU leaders agree on Croatian membership

"German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that European leaders had agreed they want Croatia to become a member of the EU.

"We have agreed on accession for Croatia," Merkel said at the conclusion of a two-day EU summit in Brussels.

Merkel says Croatia had significant gaps in March but those have been worked out, so there was no reason to delay accession.

"There are no reservations, as we had with Bulgaria and Romania," she said.

A draft summit conclusion had said talks on Croatia's membership should be concluded this month and an accession treaty signed by December. The parliaments of all 27 members will then have to ratify the document, a process expected to last until June 2013, when Croatia will formally be inducted into membership.

Croatia, which started membership talks in 2005, will become the second former Yugoslav nation to join, following Slovenia. The last members to join the EU were Romania and Bulgaria, in 2007"

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