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Brussels, 10 October 2012
Key findings of the 2012 comprehensive monitoring report on Croatia
The Comprehensive Monitoring Report on Croatia is part of the 2012 Enlargement package adopted by the European Commission on 10 October. The Commission concluded that the country has continued to make good progress overall and is now completing its alignment with EU legislation and standards. The Commission identified areas where further efforts are necessary and a limited number of issues where increased efforts are required. The Commission will continue to closely monitor the progress made by Croatia in all areas and present a last monitoring report in spring 2013.
Croatia continues to meet the political criteria for membership to the EU. In all areas covered by the political criteria work has continued and results are becoming tangible. Efforts to tackle corruption continued to yield positive results including in cases of high level corruption. Progress has been made with the impartial handling of war crimes trials.
Croatia has committed to delivering sustainable results in particular in the fields of judicial and administrative reforms, the fight against corruption, minority rights, refugee return and war crimes. Its track record of effective handling of corruption cases has further developed and needs to be further consolidated. The new legal framework increasing transparency in public procurement and party financing, and preventing conflicts of interest needs to be fully implemented. Further efforts are recommended to continue building a modern, reliable, de-politicised and citizen oriented public service.
Croatia is a functioning market economy. Vigorous implementation of urgently needed structural reforms should enable Croatia to cope with competitive pressures and market forces within the Union in the near term. Croatia's economy has experienced a period of recession which has resulted in higher unemployment, public deficits and debt. The current account deficit has remained at a low level, and the external debt has stabilised, albeit at a high level, remaining a vulnerable point of the economy. Monetary policy has maintained exchange rate and financial stability. Further efforts are needed in structural reforms, including reforms of the labour market and improvement of the business environment. In order to help Croatia preparing for the economic policy coordination within the EU, Croatia will participate in the 2013 European semester on an informal basis.
Croatia's preparations for meeting EU requirements have brought further progress in all key areas, including in those chapters where the level of alignment with EU rules was already high. Out of 33 chapters, preparations for membership are almost complete for 10 chapters, 15 present only a limited number of outstanding issues. Increased efforts are needed in 8 chapters covering issues such as finalising the restructuring process for the shipyards as well as preparations to implement EU funds.
By end of September 2012 the following Member States ratified Croatia's EU Accession Treaty: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Romania, Slovakia and Ireland.
EU–CROATIA: KEY DATES
1999: The EU proposes the new Stabilisation and Association Process for five countries of South-Eastern Europe
June 2000: The European Council states that all the Stabilisation and Association countries are “potential candidates” for EU membership
June 2003: Thessaloniki Summit: EU perspective for the Western Balkans is confirmed
February 2003: Croatia submits its application for membership of the EU
April 2004: The European Commission issues its opinion on Croatia’s application for EU membership
June 2004: Croatia obtains the status of candidate country
February 2005: Entry into force of the SAA with the EU
3 October 2005: Start of accession negotiations
30 June 2011: An Inter-Governmental Conference closes the accession negotiations
12 October 2011: The European Commission adopts a favourable opinion on Croatia's accession to the EU
December 2011: European parliament consent, Signature of the Accession Treaty
1 July 2013: Accession of Croatia, subject to the ratification of the Accession Treaty
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