Barroso calls on Croatia for final effort to join EU

Croatia’s accession into the European Union is in sight, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said here on Thursday, urging the country to make the final effort to join the bloc.

“The final stretch is often the hardest, but it can be done and with the necessary reforms you will be a family of 28 members soon,” Barroso told journalists.

The former Yugoslav republic, which hopes to join the EU by the end of 2012, has already closed 28 of the 35 so-called policy chapters that every nation must negotiate with Brussels before becoming a member.

“My visit here is a visit to encourage you in this last final effort,” Barroso.

But he declined to speculate on the possible date of conclusion of EU talks, which Zagreb aspires to achieve by the end of June.

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