Croatia has signed on Friday in Brussels, EU accession treaty will become, in July 2013 after approval by referendum at the national and following ratification by 27 Member States, the 28th State of the Union AFP writes.
After six years of negotiations, European leaders, in the absence of French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed on Friday, officials Croatian accession treaty, Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and President Ivo Josipovic. France was represented by Minister for European Affairs, Jean Leonetti.
"You are welcome into the European family", addressed the EU President Herman Van Rompuy, the Croatian delegation, he stressed that "not the end of the road for Croatia". "Reforms must continue before the accession date," said Van Rompuy.
"Witnessing a historical event, measured in terms of importance that has for the Croatian people is not equal than the Declaration of Independence of our country," said Croatian President Ivo Josipovic.
Head of the Croatian government will participate on Friday, as an observer for the first time at an EU summit.
Following lessons learned from Romania and Bulgaria, the EU has established a monitoring system to ensure that the authorities in Zagreb reforms will continue until July 2013. The European Commission will report on reforming the judiciary, the system of competition and fight against organized crime and corruption.
If the government in Zagreb will diminish efforts, the EU can send them warning letters, followed by sanctions decided by the 27 Member States (eg, freezing of EU funds).
After Slovenia, Croatia is the second state of the six former Yugoslav republics, which join the EU. EU politicians hope will convince other countries Croatia Balkan advantages it brings will accelerate reform and democratic transition region.