European Commission Adopts Opinion on Croatia's Application for EU Membership
Tuesday, April 20, 2004 11:20 AM

On 21 February 2003, Croatia submitted an application for membership in the EU. Upon request of the Council of the EU, and in accordance with Article 49 of the EU Treaty, the European Commission prepared an opinion on Croatia's membership. On 20 April 2004, the European Commission adopted its opinion on the application of Croatia for membership of the European Union (PDF, 129 pages) and recommended that the Council begin negotiations with Croatia on membership. The opinion examines Croatia's ability to fulfill political, economic and other obligations as required for EU membership. With respect to civil and political rights, the Commission found that discrimination is prohibited by the Croatian Constitution and penalized in Criminal Code. In terms of social policy and employment, the opinion noted that Croatia has basic legislation in place that address equal treatment for women and men. It noted, however, that provisions that over-protect women should be removed and that measures are required to implement anti-discrimination provisions in the law. Overall, the opinion noted that Croatia should make considerable efforts to align its domestic laws with the acquis communautaire in the area of social policy and employment.

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