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President and PM sign official application for EU membership

Croatian President Stjepan Mesic and Prime Minister Ivica Racan signed the country's official application for membership of the European Union in the government building on Thursday 20, in the presence of Parliamentary President Zlatko Tomcic.

Premier Racan will officially submit the application to his Greek counterpart Constantinos Simitis in Athens on Friday 21, exactly a year and a half after Croatia signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU. The text of the application reads that it is based on Croatian Parliament Resolution and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU. "Europe is definitely our goal, but also our fate. If this is the case, then we take fate into our own hands," President Mesic said after the signing.

On the path towards the EU "we must work and prove that we are ready to fulfil conditions set before us," parliamentary head Tomcic said and stressed the importance of the activities of all political factors, as well as the public. By adopting the Resolution on Croatia's joining the EU, parliament made a necessary step forward on the path towards Europe, Tomcic said. "Our fate is in our hands" said Premier Racan and added that "we have done a lot, but there is a lot more to be done". Racan voiced confidence in success.

The application will be submitted along with Resolution on Croatia's joining the EU, adopted in December 2002. The application will also be accompanied by a promotional CD entitled "RE:member Croatia", which Croatian European Integration Minister Neven Mimica presented at the signing. The promotional CD includes speeches by President Mesic and Premier Racan, specific political conditions of Croatia's joining the EU, basic data on Croatia and a video recording on Croatia's tourist and historical heritage.

(NewsBase 21.ii.03)

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