PositionEuropean union membership to croatia

Just days before it enlarges to 25 Member States, the EU faces yet another critical decision on the future shape and destiny of Europe: not, this time, what to do about Cyprus, but how to handle Croatia and where to go from there.

The European Commission is due on April 20 to respond to Croatia's application to join the EU. Croatia is only a small country, but the Commission decision will be closely scrutinised across a huge geographical area.

A positive Opinion the most likely scenario will prove that the EU is not suffering from enlargement fatigue, and will confirm the EU vision of a more united continent. It will also give a boost to the reform process in Croatia and, crucially, in the other Western Balkans countries lining up behind it for EU membership.

But the Commissioners will also be aware of the implications of giving a green light for Croatia to start negotiations.

Starting negotiations with this fragment of the former Yugoslavia will accelerate the process with the other countries in the region. And as violent events only weeks ago in Kosovo dramatically demonstrated, serious ethnic tensions remain only just beneath the surface in much of the Western Balkans.

So yes to Croatia will...

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