23.01.12 14:38

Croatian YES to EU-accession shows the way forward for South Eastern Europe

The European Movement International (EMI) welcomes the clear majority given by the Croatian citizens in favour of an accession to the EU. This leads the way for Croatia to become the 28th Member State of the European Union on 1 July 2013.

Jo Leinen, EMI President, said: "The Croatian vote sends a positive signal to the whole Balkan region and can serve as a model for other countries from South Eastern Europe to push forward the process of accession to the EU."

"The EMI now looks forward to Serbia becoming the next EU candidate country", declared Jo Leinen. With the arrest of war criminal Ratko Mladic in May 2011, Serbia has already made a significant step forward towards membership in the European Union.

Jo Leinen welcomed the positive developments undertaken in the last years in Croatia: "The country has shown that change through political courage and determined reforms is possible and that they will be ready to become the 28th EU member in 2013."

"This referendum shows that the attraction to belong to the EU is still great, but we cannot be satisfied by the low turnout. The EMI and the National Council of the European Movement in Croatia will continue to closely work with Croatian civil society in order to build up awareness for European politics and secure a strong participation in the European elections in 2014", said Jo Leinen.

Editor’s Note: The European Movement is an international organisation open to all political, economic, social and cultural trends in civil society.

For more information, please contact the secretariat: +32 (0)2 508 30 88, email: secretariat(at)

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