Accession of Croatia:
Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 01/07/2013 First transmission: 01/07/2013
- extracts from the welcome speech by Martin SCHULZ, EP President
- presentation of the Croatian MEPs
The EU 27 became 28 today with the Republic of Croatia joining the club. EP President Martin Schulz opened the plenary sitting of July in Strasbourg, calling upon and shaking hands with each Croatian MEP, placing the Croatian flag and giving a welcome speech. As well, Croatian MEPs were presented to their colleagues. Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003 and was in negotiations from 2005 until 2011. On 9 December 2011 leaders from the EU and Croatia signed the accession treaty.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz made the following statement on the eve of Croatia's accession to the European Union.
"I am delighted to welcome Croatia to the European Union on 1 July 2013. I am travelling to Zagreb to celebrate this happy and historic event. It is good news when a family grows, especially our family of values, committed to democracy, justice and the rule of law.
It is historic day for the EU and Croatia. Europe is taking another important step towards reunification, and Croatia opens a new chapter in its history.
We live in difficult times. Recession is hitting hard Croatia and many other European countries. EU membership will offer no magic solution to the crisis. But it will help to lift many people out of poverty and modernise the economy. Croatia will receive funds to build roads, clean up the environment and increase research and development.
Since its foundation the European Union has been a promise of peace. For the Western Balkans, a region that only some years ago was torn apart and devastated by war, Europe has become a magnet of peace and change. Croatia has become a pioneer: You have created institutions based on the values of democracy and the rule of law; you have reformed your economy and made it more competitive. You have demonstrated that through determination and hard-work EU membership is within reach.
On behalf of the European Parliament, I want to pay tribute to Croatian citizens for continuing on the path of reform."
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, France (1 shot)
||SOUNDBITE (German): Martin SCHULZ, EP President:
"The people of Croatia worked hard to travel down the road of freedom, away from repression and oppression. They have recovered their National sovereignty, they have taken the path to the Community of Nations in Europe and that is something that took a long time here in this House, many of us have struggled hard for this against a lot of resistance. Yesterday I had the opportunity to be in Zagreb at midnight and I saw how the people of Zagreb, the representatives of the Croatian people that were there expressed their kind of enthusiasm that I haven't seen in Europe for some time. And they did this in celebration of their country to Europe. They understood the message, the message that the unification of Europe is not yet over, that there is continuing fascination and enthusiasm for Europe, so this is a great day for Europe and a great day for Croatia."
||Applause (1 shot)
||Presentation of the Croatian MEPs, (15 shots)
||Croatian flag finds its place between the other 27 Member states flag of the European Union, (7 shots)