APRIL 16 2013 18:27h

Dutch parliament completes ratification of Croatia's EU accession treaty

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The Dutch Senate has ratified Croatia's EU accession treaty by a great majority of votes and the ratification process will be formally concluded with a signature of the Dutch monarch and will become effective on the day of its publication in the official gazette, the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Croatian accession treaty was approved by 62 of 75 deputies attending the upper house's plenary session on Tuesday. In addition to the parties that had earlier ratified the treaty in the lower house of parliament (VVD, PvdA, CDA, D66, Greens and CU), Senators from the SP and 50 Plus parties also voted in favour.

Before the vote, the chair of the European Union Affairs Committee, Tineke Strik (Greens), read a statement of welcome to the Republic of Croatia on behalf of the parliamentary groups of the VVD, PvdA, CDA, Greens, CU and D66 parties.

Senate Speaker Fred de Graaf briefly interrupted the session so that he personally and Senators individually could congratulate Croatian Ambassador Vesela Mrdjen Korac and Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans on a successfully completed project which he said was of importance to both Croatia and the Netherlands and entire EU.

The Dutch government passed the bill concerning the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union on December 16, 2011. The bill received a positive opinion from the State Council and the Queen signed it on February 22, 2012, after which it was sent to Parliament. After parliamentary elections, the bill was approved by the House of Representatives on February 5, 2013 and was sent to the Senate for final approval.

Croatia is scheduled to join the EU on July 1, and its accession treaty is yet to be ratified by Denmark and Germany. (Hina)