EU votes to add Croatia to 27-nation bloc


 The following is from the 24 June 2011 edition of The Globe and Mail. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says European leaders have agreed they want Croatia to become a member of the EU.

Merkel made the announcement Friday at the conclusion of a two-day EU summit in Brussels.

A draft summit conclusion had said talks on Croatia's membership should be concluded this month and an accession treaty signed by December. The parliaments of all 27 members will then have to ratify the document, a process expected to last until June 2013, when Croatia will formally be inducted into membership.

The leaders also welcomed the arrest in Serbia of former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic, saying it showed that Serbia had taken a new step toward EU membership.

Other West Balkans states — Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro — are all in various stages of the accession process.