PRESS RELEASE 28th June 2013
EU Celebrates Croatia's Accession
TODAY the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania and the East African Community, Ambassador Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi, hosted an event to mark the accession of Croatia to the European Union effective July 1st.
Croatia will then become the 28th European country to join the world's most ambitious regional integration model. Speaking at the occasion, Ambassador Sebregondi said that the EU was delighted to welcome Croatia to become part of the unique economic and political partnership between European countries.
"Croatia’s accession is a result of ten years of rigorous negotiations and it brings with it benefits to the country's people and for the rest of Europe, even though it is a small - but very beautiful- country," Ambassador Sebregondi said.
Ambassador Sebregondi saluted the success of Croatia's accession, as well as the consistent efforts displayed by the EU, and the valuable support of the rest of the EU Member States.
"We look forward to Croatia's participation in the EU, and we expect it to also be a success story – to the benefit of the EU, of Croatian people, and of the Western Balkans region," he said adding: "Work in the region is not finished, but Croatia's example shows that the EU's doors remain open for countries committed to European democratic agenda. Croatia's accession on the 1st of July demonstrates that EU membership remains an attractive and valuable prospect. "
The function was attended by members of the Croatian community in Dar es Salaam, EU Heads of Mission in Tanzania, senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation together with members of staff of the EU Delegation to Tanzania.
Croatia applied for membership in 2003 and the European Commission's Opinion was made in 2004 before it was granted candidate status in 2004. Accession negotiations started in 2005 and concluded in 2011.
The Treaty on European Union states that any European country may apply to join the EU if it respects the Union’s democratic values and is committed to promoting them. More specific criteria are known as the Copenhagen Criteria. They state that a country may only join the EU if:
· Politically – it has stable institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law and human rights;
· Economically – it has a functioning market economy and is able to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the EU;
· Legally – it accepts established EU law and practice, particularly the major goals of political, economic and monetary union.
The accession process has a number of stages, all of which must be approved by all existing EU member states for a country to be accepted as a member. A country is first granted the prospect of membership. It then becomes an official candidate for membership, before finally moving on to official membership negotiations. When negotiations and accompanying reforms have been completed, the country may join the EU.
For more information on Croatia and Campaign for its Membership to EU visit;
Tom Vens, Head of the Political, Press and Information Section,
Delegation of the European Union to the United Republic of Tanzania