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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Speech by President Barroso at the ceremony to mark the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union: Welcome to the European Union
Ceremony to Mark the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union/Zagreb
1 July 2013
Congratulations Croatia! Čestitam Hrvatska!
We are here on a historic night. And that is thanks to you, the Croatian people. It was your desire to join the European Union and your hard work which have made this possible.
You have returned Croatia to its rightful place in the heart of Europe.
Your hard work means that Croatia is well-prepared to join our European Union.
Croatia has changed enormously over the last decades. It is a fully democratic nation, with respect for freedom, for fundamental rights and the rule of law. Croatia is thus well-placed to benefit fully from all that the EU has to offer.
Today is the end of one process, but also the first chapter of another success story. Across Europe we need to work every day to improve our economies, to strengthen our democracies and to build a better future for ourselves and our children.
The challenges in our world are enormous. But as part of the European family Croatia is not alone. Just as the European Commission supported your accession to the European Union, we will assist you as a full Member State of the European Union.
Croatia is also an example to others in the region. You have undergone difficult reforms and held out the hand of reconciliation. As an EU Member State you have made clear that you will help others follow your path. I welcome this commitment as our Union is open to those who share our European values.
Welcome to the European Union! Dobro došli u Europsku Uniju!