Croatia has been cleared to become a member of the European Union by the European Commission, and is likely to join in 2013, the BBC reports.
EU leaders are expected to fully approve Croatia’s accession at a summit on 23-24 June.
Croatia is the second post-Yugoslavian state to join after Slovenia, which joined in 2007.
According to Bloomberg, Croatian Premier Jadranka Kosor now faces the task of both convincing Croatians that strict budget cuts are worth EU membership, and convincing EU members that Croatian membership won’t cause a similar influx of crime like the one that followed Bulgaria’s membership.
Once a member, Croatia will be able to access 1.5 billion euros ($2.2 billion) allocated to it in the EU’s 2013 budget.
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