1 July 2013: EU welcomes Croatia, Lithuania takes over presidency
On Monday 1 July Croatia becomes the 28th Member State of the European Union. Croatia’s accession marks another milestone in the construction of a united Europe. It also provides fresh evidence of the transformative power of the European Union: torn by conflict only two decades ago, Croatia is now a stable democracy, capable of taking on the obligations of EU membership and of adhering to EU standards.
On the eve of Croatia’s accession, President Barroso said:
“Croatia’s accession to the European Union is a historic event, which returns the country to its rightful place at the heart of Europe. I look forward to Croatia’s contribution to the EU, which will be a success story – to the benefit of the Union, of the people of Croatia and of South East Europe as whole.”
Croatia’s accession shows that the European perspective is real for those countries firmly committed to the EU agenda. It is a clear signal for the region: the EU keeps its commitments if the necessary reforms are delivered and conditions are met.
Also on Monday 1 July, Lithuania will take over the EU presidency from Ireland. The agenda of Lithuanian presidency will be more intensive as usual as the current political cycle is ending. Next year, elections to the European Parliament will be held, the European Union will have a new Commission, and the EU’s new multiannual budget will come into force.
Source: European Commission