The government of Croatia has said “thank you” in all 23 languages of the European Union as it joined the European Union on 1st July 2013. The video was a response to European Commissioners who filmed a “Welcome” in their native tongues to mark the accession of Croatia.
Heads of state descended on Zagreb to join in the accession celebrations, which included a party in Ban Jelacic square on Sunday.
President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, welcomed Croatia just after the stroke of midnight on Monday morning, saying:
“Mr. President, Mr. Prime-Minister, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, and above all: you, Citizens of Zagreb, People of Croatia! To all of you I say: Čestit am Hrvatska!
“As midnight struck, your country crossed an important threshold. It will change the life of this nation for good. You have always been Europeans – and you are now members of the Union. On behalf of the leaders of the 27 member states, many of whom are here, I welcome you wholeheartedly.
“Your country has worked hard for it – with success. As of tomorrow your representatives will sit side-by-side with all other member states. Together shaping decisions for the benefit of all citizens across the Union – from Zagreb to Zaragoza, from Split to Stockholm.
“As new challenges arise, you will discover that membership is not just about respecting and shaping rules, but as much about sharing the responsibility for our common endeavour.
“In weather fair and foul, “for better and for worse”, we must remain united as a Union.
“The European Union is one of peace, built on the spirit of reconciliation. In the recent history of the Western Balkans, your country’s entry marks a milestone towards a shared future: living together, in peace and prosperity. Over the past months, jointly with Slovenia, you have courageously overcome hurdles; also with Bosnia Herzegovina.
“Following the same path, Belgrade and Priština have also reached a historic agreement. I am confident that more positive steps will follow. As a trailblazer for the region, your country, now as a member state, has a vitally important role to play.
“I’m proud to be here tonight for this historical moment. Hvala, thank you.”
The European Union will follow up the good news of Croatia’s accession with the Eastern Partnership Summit at Vilnius and the meeting of the Ministers of the Eastern Partnership with the Foreign Affairs Council on the 22nd of July. Those meeting are planned to further integration discussions with Eastern European nations, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas with Moldova, Georgia and Armenia as well as human rights and justice issues with Ukraine.