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Zagreb, 26 November 2012
Š. Füle in Zagreb: We want Croatia to be a success story
Press statement by Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood policy Štefan Füle at the end of his visit to Croatia where he participated in the 4th Balkan Civil Society Forum and had meetings with Croatian President, Ivo Josipović, Prime Minister, Zoran Milanović, Deputy Prime Minister, Neven Mimica and President of the Parliament, Mr Josip Leko.
''It is good to be in Croatia and to see how the country is changing on its way to becoming the next member of the European Union.
I had very good talks today with the President, Speaker of the Sabor, Prime Minister, and Deputy Prime Ministers.
We discussed our last Comprehensive Monitoring report on completing the preparations for membership and the actions that Croatia must take in order to meet all the outstanding commitments and to be fully prepared in time for accession. Only few months remain to deliver results; this is the final lap.
The areas we have identified are: competition, the judiciary and fundamental rights, justice, freedom and security, as well as the translation of the acquis.
Croatia also needs to make further efforts in a number of Chapters, such as agriculture, the environment, and preparations for the structural funds. Completing the preparations in these fields is primarily in Croatia's own interest.
I welcome the strong commitment of our Croatian partners to move the process forward. We expect significant progress in the coming months, in view of our next Monitoring Report, to be published in the spring.
I am confident that Croatia will make it and will be able to assume the obligations of membership on the 1st of July next year.
Today, we have also discussed regional issues and I encouraged Croatia to continue its efforts to find mutually acceptable solutions to open issues with its neighbours, including border issues.
In short, we want Croatia to be a success story: for the benefit of its citizens, for the credibility of the enlargement. And also for the benefit of the region, since you can be a role model for other aspirants in the Western Balkans.''