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Estonia Welcomes Croatia’s Accession to European Union

01.07.2013

No 223


Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Estonia welcomes Croatia’s accession to the European Union. “Today Croatia became the 28th member state of the European Union,” he said.

Foreign Minister Paet noted that Croatia’s accession to the European Union demonstrates the vitality and reliability of the EU’s enlargement policy and confirms for other Western Balkans countries that consistently carrying out reforms is the right path to the European Union. “European Union enlargement has been one of Estonia’s foreign policy priorities,” he confirmed.

Paet said that the enlargement of the European Union to 28 member states will increase all of our security, enlarge the single market, and expand the free movement of people, goods and services.

Estonia believes that all European countries that fulfil the necessary requirements should have an opportunity to join the European Union. “Therefore Estonia supports setting a start date for accession negotiations with Serbia and starting negotiations for a stabilisation and association agreement with Kosovo,” Paet emphasised.

The foreign minister added that the accession negotiation process with Turkey must also continue. “During a meeting of the European Union foreign ministers, it is essential that we make the decision to open the negotiating chapter on regional policy and structural funds with Turkey,” he said. “Montenegro’s accession negotiations are going well. Hopefully accession negotiations will also continue with Iceland, and we will be able to determine a start time for accession negotiations with Macedonia*,” Paet added.

The European Union started accession negotiations with Croatia on 3 October 2005. The announcement that the negotiations were officially completed was made on 30 June 2011 at a ministerial-level accession conference, during which the final negotiating chapters were closed. The accession agreement was signed at the session of the European Council held on 9 December 2011. The Croatian parliament ratified the accession agreement on 9 March 2013. Prior to that a referendum on EU accession took place in Croatia on 22 January, during which 66% of people voted in favour of accession.

* Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

 

 

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