Croatia took a step towards eventual membership of the European Union. The Stabilisation and Association Agreement provides for a free trade area between Croatia and the Union in goods and services within six years, regional co-operation and political dialogue. It also commits Croatia to bring its laws in line with EU legislation and standards. Croatia has so a formal, contractual relationship with the European Union for the first time in its history.
Signature of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement by Louis Michel, Belgian Minister for Foreign affairs and President in office of the Council; Ivica Racan, Croatian Prime Minister; Christopher Patten and Javier Solana SHOTLIST