Earlier on Friday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU commissioner for enlargement Stefan Fule said in a statement that the Commission was ready to close Croatia’s last four chapters, with probable entry to the single bloc in July 2013.
The prime minister’s spokesman, Peter Szijjarto, called the development a “great success” for Hungary, Croatia, and for the whole of the Western Balkans.
At a press conference on Friday, Szijjarto noted that Croatia’s accession had been a top priority for Hungary’s presidency, adding that it heralded a major step in the direction of building a strong Europe, since the region’s stability was “exceptionally important” for the EU.
The Hungarian presidency congratulated the Croatian government and encouraged Croatia to press ahead with reforms under way.
The Commission’s statement also praised Croatian efforts during the talks, with special regard to the work done under the Hungarian EU presidency during the past few months.
Hungary’s foreign ministry said in a statement that its “solid conviction” was that Croatia was meeting the necessary conditions for the 27 member states to agree to concluding negotiations. It added that Hungary was primed to shepherd the remainder of the process through the Council of Ministers so that talks are completed by the time Hungary’s presidency concludes.