“It is a pleasure to be able to congratulate Croatia on becoming the EU’s 28th member state. The country has implemented an extensive programme of reforms. Croatia will soon become a member of the EEA and as such will also be a key partner for Norway,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
Today Croatia became the 28th member state of the European Union. It is thus the second country from the former Yugoslavia to join the Union.
“I am impressed by the fact that Croatia has succeeded in implementing an extensive programme of political and social reforms at a time of economic crisis. This shows both determination and political courage,” Mr Eide said.
Croatia plays an important regional role in the Western Balkans and its membership of the EU is also expected to have a positive impact on reform processes in the other countries in the region. Norway has enjoyed close cooperation with Croatia since the country became independent in 1991.
“The enlargement of the EU into South East Europe also has considerable symbolic value. Only a little over 20 years ago the region was ravaged by war and conflict. Croatia’s accession to the EU will be a source of inspiration to the other countries in the region in their efforts towards closer European integration. This in turn will promote development and stability in the Western Balkans,” Mr Eide said.