The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., today welcomed the accession of Croatia to the European Union. The Tánaiste is in Zagreb representing Ireland and the Irish Presidency of the EU at the accession ceremony.
Speaking from Zagreb the Tánaiste said:
“On behalf of the Irish people, I want to warmly welcome Croatia as the 28th Member State of the European Union.
“Croatia began its journey to membership under the last Irish EU Presidency in 2004 and I am delighted that its accession is taking place at the conclusion of our current Presidency.
“Ireland is a firm supporter of the process of EU enlargement. It is delivering peace, democracy and prosperity across our continent, especially in the western Balkans, a region riven by conflict only twenty years ago.
“Croatia’s accession is a testament to its people’s determination to put a troubled period behind them and is an inspiration for its neighbours in the region.
“I believe that membership of the EU will be as beneficial and transformational to Croatia as it has been to Ireland and I look forward to building ever stronger friendships and links with our new partner in Europe.”
The Tánaiste will address a public event marking the accession in Zagreb shotly before midnight this evening along with the Prime Minister of Croatia, Zoran Milanović, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy i, and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso i.
Watch the ceremony live on our Press Centre.
Watch a video in our video gallery on what EU Commissioners think about when they think of Croatia.
Note to Editors:
-The European Council confirmed Croatia’s candidate country status during Ireland’s last Presidency of the EU in 2004.
-In March 2013 the Irish EU Presidency secured Council Conclusions that formally cleared the way for Croatia to become the 28th Member State of the EU on 1 July 2013.
-At last week’s European Council the Irish Presidency secured agreement on the opening of EU accession negotiations with Serbia and the negotiation of an EU Association Agreement with Kosovo.