Croatia has taken a step toward European Union membership by getting the green light from Brussels to join in mid-2013.
European Commission President Jose-Manuel Barroso said on June 10 that Croatia had successfully completed six years of negotiations to gain entry to the bloc and become its 28th member.
He recommended closing the final four of 35 chapters that aspiring members must negotiate in order to gain EU entry.
The next step will be for EU leaders to give political backing to the decision at a summit on June 23-24.
Croatia will be the second former Yugoslav country after Slovenia to join the EU.
compiled from agency reports