CROATIA HAS THIS morning signed a formal accession treaty with the European Union, set to become the Union’s 28th member state in 2013.
Formal papers were signed in Brussels this morning by Croatian president Ivo Josipović, and outgoing prime minister Jadranka Kosor – who will not be in power to oversee the membership, having been beaten in last Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
The papers were also signed by the heads of government from each of the current 27 member states, with Enda Kenny and EU Affairs minister Lucinda Creighton attending on Ireland’s behalf.
European Council president Herman van Rompuy described the accession as “a day of Croatia, and for the EU as a whole”.
“Whenever a new member is to join our Union, we thereby reconfirm our founding values and our will to continue our journey together,” he said.
The ratification treaty contains a number of transitional clauses intended to allow an easy transition to EU membership.
Croatia will now join the Union on July 1, 2013, pending the ratification of the accession treaty at a referendum, to be held in the New Year.