Brussels, 27 March 2013
Croatian accession on track, claims first report on administrative preparations
The Commission today adopted its first report setting out the state-of-play of administrative preparations for the accession of Croatia to the EU. The report concludes that preparations are on the right track, and that all measures will be in place before Croatia accedes on 1 July 2013.
In fact preparatory measures are already in place in the large majority of fields: organisation for competitions for Administrators and Assistants for generalist and specialist profiles; stipulation of rights and obligations for staff from the new Member State; recruitment of staff in the Transition Team and the new Commission Representation in Zagreb; preparation of integration services for Croatian staff; arrangements for real estate; preparatory measures in respect of libraries, European Schools and childcare facilities; adaptation of information and communication technology for new staff and the new language; and publication of information in Croatian.
Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: "Few people realise just how much work goes on behind the scenes when a country joins the EU. But we have had a lot of practice over the last 20 years, and it is good to see that preparations for Croatia are going reasonably smoothly. I look forward to welcoming Croatia into the European family."
Some delays have been identified in just five areas, and the effects of these delays are expected to be manageable. They include for example a delay to the translation and publication by Croatia of the 'acquis' or body of Community law into the new language (although at the current rate, the work will be finalised in time for accession). The launch of a competition for middle management was also slightly delayed, to April.
The Commission also today adopted more specific targets for Croatian recruitment by Directorate-General (DG). Already in July 2012, the Commission set itself a target of recruiting 249 Croatian nationals as officials and temporary agents: 149 administrators, including 13 middle and 4 senior managers, and 100 assistants. The target should be reached by the end of a five-year transition period (1 July 2013 - 30 June 2018). Today's decision to set targets for DGs ensures that Croatian recruits are fairly represented across all policy areas.
With the accession of Croatia, the population of the EU will increase by around 4,443,000, the number of official languages will increase to 24, and the surface area of the Union will increase by 56,594 square kilometres.