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Yesterday Croatia has been given EU entry timetable. The European Commission claims it’s not “a blank check”, Paris and Berlin repeat their “no Lisbon – no enlargement” rhetoric, Ljubljana blocks chapters and Zagreb promises to fight corruption. So, nothing new from Brussels…

If everything goes well (and I certainly hope it will), Croatia will end negotiations by the end of 2009. Then it’s after national parliaments of 27 EU member states to ratify the Accession treaty throught 2010. Speaking of Accession treaty… Rumor has it that if Ireland votes “no” again in second referendum on the Lisbon treaty (will there be a second referendum???), key parts of the Treaty of Lisbon will just be added to Croatia’s Accession treaty. Good thing is, states that are most sceptic about the Lisbon treaty (Ireland, Poland, Czech republic) are also the ones that are the most enthusiastic about further EU enlargment and especially Croatia’s membership of the bloc. Smart move.

One more thing. Croatia might not be joining alone in 2011. After it’s banking system and currency colapsed, not to mention it’s dwindling international prestige, Iceland has serious thoughts on possible EU membership. An Icelandic diplomat wrote to Olli Rehn asking if Iceland is to apply for membership, will the European Union fast-track its membership?

Now, I don’t know what the answer was, but if the answer was positive, Iceland could end negotiations by the end of 2009, thus joining the EU alongside Croatia in 2011. What actually happens remains to be seen.

Author :
EurActiv Network