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Press release: Croatia’s accession preparations as a tool for growth in the time of crisis

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According to Gunnar Hökmark, MEP and Andrej Plenković, Croatian Observer to the EPP Group, the fulfilment of the economic criteria for membership is of particular importance in the context of the economic and financial crisis, representing a major challenge for the European Union and Croatia. The two Co-Chairmen of the EU-Croatia Joint Parliamentary Committee met in order to finalise the agenda for the JPC meeting to be held in Brussels on 10-11 October which will coincide with the Monitoring Report to be issued on 10 October by the European Commission.

Hökmark and Plenković agreed that strengthening of fiscal discipline, pursuing sound programme of economic reforms and deeper economic and political integration constitute a way forward towards growth. They both expressed their belief that the comprehensive Monitoring Report on Croatia’s preparations for accession, will commend the continued efforts of Croatia to be fully ready to join the European Union on 1 July 2013 and stimulate final adjustments in areas where they are still required.

Hökmark and Plenković commented that the ratification process of the Croatian Accession Treaty in the Member States has been running smoothly so far, as 15 EU Member States and the Croatian Parliament have already ratified the Treaty. The positive Monitoring Report will further encourage timely ratification by all Member States.

While Croatia stands to benefit the most from the EU accession, so do Croatia’s neighbouring countries, candidates and potential candidates from the South East Europe. Croatia’s accession will show that reforms do pay out and that the enlargement process is alive for all applicants able to meet the criteria for accession.