Magazine article Europe-East

2011 Enlargement Package : Thumbs Up for Croatia, Not Enough from Turkey

Magazine article Europe-East

2011 Enlargement Package : Thumbs Up for Croatia, Not Enough from Turkey

Article excerpt

"Our policy is credible because countries deliver on their reforms, and the EU delivers on its commitments once the conditions are met. Croatia's progress is the best example of this," said Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule on 12 October as he presented the 2011 enlargement package.

According to the enlargement strategy' part of the report, "Croatia's successful experience sends strong messages to other enlargement countries," and the progress the country has made in meeting all the criteria set by the European Commission, especially in the fields of judiciary and fundamental rights, competition as well as justice, freedom and security, is the reason why the Commission announced a favourable opinion on its accession. The Commission is confident that Croatia will meet the remaining commitments before official accession, and urges the European Parliament to give its consent for the signature of the Accession Treaty expected in December. This should allow Croatia to join the EU on 1 July 2013, thus becoming the 28th EU member state.

The report also warns Croatia that it "needs to continue building on the reforms implemented and capacities developed during the course of the accession negotiations". The Commission will continue to monitor the fulfilment of the commitments undertaken by Croatia and announced it will issue six-monthly assessments on the advancement of these chapters, and a comprehensive monitoring report will be presented to the European Parliament and the Council in autumn 2012.

FURTHER EFFORTS REQUIRED

On the other hand, Turkey still has to put in a lot of efforts for the accession negotiations to move forward. Indeed, the report stressed that "while substantial progress has been made over the past ten years, significant further efforts are required to guarantee fundamental rights in practice". …

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