Croatia Completes EU Negotiations

Posted June 10th, 2011 at 10:25 am (UTC-5)
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The European Union Commission president says Croatia has successfully completed negotiations to become the 28th member of the bloc.

Jose Manuel Barroso said Friday he expects the Balkan nation to join the group in mid-2013.

Barroso also said he hoped Croatia's success would spur other Balkan nations to increase their reform efforts and also join the EU.

Most of the negotiations in Croatia over the last month centered on judicial reform.

EU leaders could give their backing to Croatia's entry at a meeting on June 24.

Croatia started EU membership talks six years ago. It would be the second former Yugoslav nation to join the EU, following Slovenia.

Montenegro and Macedonia are next on the membership list, with Serbia also expected to start membership talks following the arrest and extradition to the The Hague of former Serb military commander Ratko Mladic.

Mladic's arrest was a key element in those talks.