"The government approved the ratification bill on EU member-states and Croatia's EU accession treaty, it will now propose that the president submits it to the parliament," the government said in a press release.
EU member-states and Croatia signed the treaty last December. Signed by President Dalia Grybauskaitė on behalf of Lithuania, the document will take effect after ratification in all 27 nations of the organization. Five member-states have already endorsed the treaty.
Should all countries deposit the ratification documents in time, Croatia would become EU member on 1 July 2013, immediately after Lithuania takes over presidency in the organization.
Lithuanian government said Croatia's accession would not reduce the number of Lithuanian representatives in EU institutions: 12 Lithuanian members will remain at the European Parliament until 2014 elections. Distribution of mandates during the election is yet to be decided. Lithuania will continue to have seven votes in the European Council and will retain its nine slots at the Economic and Social Affairs Committee and the Regional Committee.
Lithuania's exports to Croatia was estimated at 57 million litas (EUR 16.5 m) last year, indicating an increase by 22.3 million litas from 2010. Some 20.3 million litas worth of commodities were imported from Croatia in 2011, up by 3.4 million litas year-on-year.