Croatia Hopes to Follow in Footsteps of Older EU Members

By 2 May 2019

ZAGREB, May 2, 2019 - Ten countries that joined the European Union in 2004 said at a ceremony on Wednesday marking the 15th anniversary of their membership that joining the block was a turning point in their development and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that Croatia was running behind because of more difficult historical circumstances but that it was successfully following in their footsteps.

Ten European Union member states celebrated the 15th anniversary of their European Union membership in Warsaw on Wednesday.

Apart from Plenković, the ceremony in Warsaw was also attended by the prime ministers of Bulgaria Bojko Borisov, the Czech Republic Andrei Babis, Estonia Juri Ratas, Hungary Viktor Orban, Lithuania Saulis Skvernelis, Malta Joseph Muscat. Slovenia was represented by Foreign Minister Miro Cerar.

The ceremony in Warsaw marked the 15th anniversary of the May 2004 first wave of EU enlargement in which eventually 11 Baltics, Central and South Eastern European countries joined the EU.

It brought together prominent political figures, policy makers and experts from the EU Member States, International and European institutions, the private sector, etc to identify and reflect on the experiences and the impacts of this EU enlargement episode.

The event focused on the identification and discussion of experiences from which wider lessons can be learnt, using concrete country cases. It considered the channels through which EU membership has helped to speed up convergence, via analysis of the role e.g. trade, investment, financial integration and institutional channels have played.

Adopted at the summit in Warsaw was a joint declaration on reuniting Europe.

Plenković said the participants in the meeting agreed that EU membership meant progress.

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