Croatia signs EU Accession Treaty

On 9 December 2011, Croatia signed its EU Accession Treaty in Brussels, the culmination of seven years of hard work for both Croatian and EU officials.

The process, which started in 2003 with Croatian application for EU membership, saw seven years of screening and negotiation for the thirty three chapters of the European Union acquis - a set of rules and regulations that all EU member states must adhere to. Although various issues of dispute impeded the finalisation of negotiations, all have been successfuly resolved through disccussions and strong cooperation between Croatia, the EU and its regional partners and neighbors.

Mr Jose Barrosso, President of the European Commission, said that: "we all acknowledge the hard work Croatia has done and its crowning success. I would like to pay tribute to its leaders who have accomplished this, but in particular to the Croatian people who remain such committed Europeans during the often difficult years of transition. The success we celebrate today is is the success of the Croatian people!" 

Mr Ivo Jospović, Croatian President, in addressing the assembled heads of states and EU officials remarked that Croatia remains committed to its regional partners and hopes that the Croatian example of successful adoption of EU acquis can serve as inspiration and support for the rest of South East Europe. This message was also reflected by Mr Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President who commented that: "Croatia is a pioneer, demonstrating in a tangible way that the future of the Western Balkans as a whole lies in the European Union. The Union remains committed to this perspective."