EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti congratulates Croatia on joining the EU

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, the EBRD President, has congratulated Croatia on joining the European Union and hailed its accession as a boost for its neighbours as well.

“EU membership of course brings unique opportunities: from the freedoms of the single market to the freedom of travel,” Sir Suma said.

“It also represents real challenges which Croatia has already demonstrated it can successfully tackle.”

“Today’s accession to the European Union brings a long journey to a close. But at the same time opens a new chapter in your country’s history. It is also a boost for your region - and the countries that are united in their EU aspirations.”

The EBRD has invested €2.7 billion of its funds in the Croatian economy since the Bank’s operations there began in 1994, generating a total project value of almost €7.5 billion.

It expects to invest €230m in Croatia in 2013 (compared to €210m in 2012) and will focus on SMEs, support with the absorption of EU Structural Funds and the development of infrastructure and municipalities.

“Our mission now is to increase our efforts to make a lasting contribution to the success of EU membership,” Sir Suma said in a video message to the Croatian people.

“Through financing projects of strategic importance in the public and private sectors - including infrastructure, energy and financial institutions - the Bank stands ready to support the efforts of the Croatian authorities.”