Croatia signs treaty to join EU Jaimie Cremeans at 10:22 AM ET
[JURIST] The Croatian government signed a treaty [press release, PDF] Friday to finalize its accession into the European Union [official website]. Croatia will now officially become the twenty-eighth member of the EU in 2013. The signing ceremony consisted of speeches by leaders of the EU and Croatia, as well as signing of the treaty by the 27 other member countries. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a speech [text] delivered at the ceremony:
Croatia today is very different to the country that applied for accession a decade ago.It is ready to shoulder the substantial responsibilities of EU membership. It meets the Copenhagen political criteria, which were always a particular focus of the Commission's work. Ensuring that democratic principles, fundamental rights and the rule of law are respected and further strengthened was and is vitalfor us but even more so for Croatia's own development and prosperity. This reform momentum now needs to be maintained.
Croatia will now serve as an active observer of the EU until its membership begins in 2013.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.