"We are in the process of sending invitations to EU members and institutions for the treaty signing ceremony in Warsaw on 19 December," said Konrad Niklewicz, spokesperson of the Polish EU Presidency, quoted by AFP.
The final text of Croatia's Accession Treaty was agreed in mid-September. On 17 September, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk visited Zagreb to hand the document to his Croatian colleague Jadranka Kosor.
Last July, Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski told journalists that he would not mind seeing Croatia's treaty dubbed the 'Warsaw Treaty' after the name of the Polish capital, which is apparently keen to host the ceremony.
The 'Warsaw Treaty' or 'Warsaw Pact' still has an infamous connotation, as it refers to the military treaty established by the Soviet Union in 1955, strengthening Moscow's control over the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania. The Warsaw Pact was formally disbanded on 25 February 1991.
However, the signing ceremony is not the final step to accession. Croatia's accession treaty mentions the date 1 July 2013 for the country to become the Union's 28th member, which remains subject to ratification in all EU member states.
Croatia itself will hold a referendum on its accession in the weeks following the signing of the accession treaty. Holding an accession referendum is not an EU requirement, but is Croatia's sovereign decision. No referenda are planned in other EU countries on the occasion of Croatia's accession, however, according to a recent opinion poll, public support for Croatia's EU accession is strong.
Croatia's accession treaty will be ratified in EU countries together with the post-Lisbon Treaty protocols accommodating the concerns of Ireland and the Czech Republic, which they made preconditions for their ratifications of Lisbon.
Ireland secured guarantees that nothing in the Lisbon Treaty would affect current EU rules on taxation, that the treaty "does not affect or prejudice Ireland's traditional policy of military neutrality," and that it cannot overrule an Irish constitutional ban on abortion.
The 'Czech guarantees' addressed requests persistently made by eurosceptic Czech President Václav Klaus, whose signature represented the last hurdle before the definitive adoption of the treaty. In particular, Prague obtained opt-outs from the Charter of Fundamental Rights.