Fule: Western Balkans step closer to Europe

BRUSSELS -- EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule stated Monday that Croatia's EU accession proves that the door is open to all the countries of the Western Balkans.

However, he added there are no shortcuts or incantations on the European path.

Croatia's accession is another proof of transformative power of the enlargement policy, Fule said in a video message for the Western Balkans posted on the European Commission's website.

He pointed out this is a clear message to all regional countries that they have European prospects if they carry out reforms in the field of rule of law, establishment of democratic principles and human rights protection.

He pointed that Croatia is not leaving the region by joining the EU. On the contrary, the EU is physically closer to you as of today, Fule said.

The commissioner said that the EU arose from the ashes of World War II, but that thanks to reconciliation, democracy and common market decades of peace and prosperity followed.

As of today, you are all one step closer to the EU, and we are here to support you, Fule pointed out.