Zagreb - European Union Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle said in Zagreb on Tuesday that Croatia had met all commitments and requirements for EU membership and there was no need for further monitoring.
My congratulations on an excellent job! Croatia has demonstrated its ability to fulfil its commitments in good time before accession, Füle told a special session of the Croatian government where he presented the European Commission's final monitoring report. He said that Croatia would be the 28th member of the EU and that he was looking forward to Croatia participating in the EU in the second half of the year.
Füle said that the Commission had been monitoring Croatia under a special regime, citing Competition Policy, Judiciary and Fundamental Rights, and Justice, Freedom and Security as the key policy areas. He confirmed that all 10 tasks specified in the Commission's previous report had been completed or would be soon. Croatia, unlike any other country before, has passed a rigorous accession process and I do not see any need to prolong the monitoring system, Füle said.
Füle said that in the first six months of membership Croatia would have access to 650 million euros and should use it. He also noted that Croatia was an excellent example to other countries aspiring to EU membership. First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Vesna Pusic, said that the many reforms Croatia had implemented as part of the accession process had ensured it political maturity and institutional development. Pusic said that Croatia's next task was to meet the criteria for entering the Schengen area. Pusic said that the Croatian government was particularly proud of the way in which it had settled outstanding issues with Slovenia. "Through our partnership in dealing with the problems, our relations have become substantially better than before," she said, adding that she would attend a session of the Slovenian Parliament on 2 April when it is scheduled to ratify Croatia's EU accession treaty.
The European Commission says in its report that Croatia "is generally meeting the commitments and requirements arising from the accession negotiations, in all chapters" and will be ready for membership on 1 July 2013. (Hina)