BRUSSELS - Croatia cleared a crucial hurdle on its path to European Union membership on Friday, with the EU executive recommending that its accession talks be finalized and an entry date set for mid-2013.
"The European Commission has just proposed ... to close the last four chapters in the accession negotiations with Croatia," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement.
"This paves the way for Croatia to join the EU as the 28th member state as of July 1, 2013," he said.
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