EU to unveil fast-track timetable for Croatian membership
( dpa ) - The European Commission is to present a road-map for Croatia's accession talks aimed at speeding up its European Union membership process, Jose Manuel Barroso, the executive's head, said Thursday.
The timetable is due to be unveiled in the autumn, and Barroso said he hoped Croatia could conclude its membership talks by 2009.
"I have every confidence that Croatia will be able to fulfil its (EU membership) conditions," the commission's president said after a meeting in Brussels with Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.
The announcement in Brussels came just hours after Croatia's parliament finally bowed to EU pressure and provisionally scrapped a limited-fishing zone along its coastline.
The "ecological belt" has threatened to block Zagreb's EU accession talks amid opposition from Italy and Slovenia.