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Posted on on May 28th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (

Croatia well on the way to EU membership, MEPs told.

as per May 27, 2008
A major parliamentary conference was told that Croatia is “well advanced” on the road towards EU membership.

Speaking on Tuesday, Luka Bebic, speaker of the Croatian parliament, also said his country “shared the same principles and objectives” of the EU.

He said that meeting the necessary criteria for EU membership “lies at the heart of all our efforts” and that Croatia remained   “determined” to implement all the necessary reforms to complete accession negotiations by   September 2009.

The politician said   was “deeply convinced” that the process of European integration “will not be deemed complete” until “all the countries” of south eastern Europe are integrated into the EU.

Bebic was speaking in parliament at a joint meeting of MEPs and parliamentarians from countries in the western Balkans,including his own.

He said that in the last two years, Croatia and other countries in the region had achieved “great progress” in meeting one of the “fundamental” objectives of EU membership   – stabilisation of the region.

“I firmly believe that we stand at the threshold of a new era and that Croatia ´s experience from the European integration process will prodive an incentive and encouragement to other countries in the region,” he said.

Jan   Marinus Wiersma,deputy leader of the Socialist group, said that “full cooperation” with the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague continues to be one of the conditions for negotiations   on EU membership for countries in the region.

“The region is now taking responsibility for itself and the success of the reforms depends on maintaining a credible prospect of future integration in the EU,” said the Dutchman.

His party colleague, Hannes Swoboda said, “Croatia ´s progress sends a signal to the other western Balkan states regarding their own membership prospects.”

Parliament ´s president Hans-Gert Pottering told this website that event, organsied by parliament and the Slovenia parliament, had helped “build relations” between parliamentarians in the region and MEPs.

The two-day event, “Achieving the European perspective for south east Europe,” concluded on Tuesday.

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