Croatia signed a treaty with the European Union member states at a special ceremony held in Brussels on Friday (December 9th). The signing of the treaty will pave the way for the country to become the EU’s 28th member on July 1, 2013.
The ceremony marks the completion of a long process of negotiations and preparations for accession which was launched by the European Council in Brussels in June 2004.
The event was attended by Croatian President, Ivo Josipovic, and Prime Minister, Jadranka Kosor, both of whom signed the document with European leaders of the 27 member states.
Croatia will become a fully fledged member on 1 July 2013, when all 27 current EU countries and Croatia have ratified the Accession Treaty. The country will hold a referendum on its accession in early 2012.
During the ratification period, Croatia's progress in implementing the treaty will continue, and the Commission will monitor progress achieved. The country will participate as an active observer in the work of the Council and its preparatory bodies.
Image: The Council of the European Union