Following the results of the EU membership referendum held on the 22nd of January, 66.25% of Croats voted yes for Croatia to become the 28th EU member state.
Croatia signed its accession treaty on the 9th of December 2011, bringing to a close seven years of multi-stakeholder negotiations that finalised the terms of the accession treaty.
The EU referendum on the 22nd gave the Croatian populace the opportunity to express their views on Croatia's EU membership. With 66% of Croatians declaring their support for EU accession, another hurdle has been crossed and Croatia is on track to join the EU on the 1st of July 2013.
"This is a historic decision, the turning point in our history, as from now on, everything, including success or failure, depends only on us" commented Zoran Milanović, Croatian Prime Minister. His message was echoed by Croatian President Ivo Josipović: "It's a big moment in our history... we are joining successful countries in Europe. I'm happy that Europe will become my home."
Croatia's EU accessions also presents an opportunity for South East Europe as the President of the European Commission, Jose Mannuel Barroso commented that: "The upcoming accession of Croatia sends a clear signal to the whole region of South Eastern Europe. It shows that through political courage and determined reforms, EU membership is within reach. Today's positive vote is therefore good news for Croatia, good news for the region, and good news for Europe."