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Croatia Joins EU

  • July 5th, 2013
  • Posted by EU Australia

Croatia  EU
Croatia began the week as a member of the European Union.The accession to become the 28th member state, 1.7.13, was the culmination of a long journey, beginning with the 1990s break-up of Yugoslavia and barbarous civil war of that era.

Symbolic obstacles were powerful, the European Union insisting that war crimes on Croatia’s own part should be expunged.

In the process of justice, two of the civil war generals were gaoled at The Hague, then later acquitted on appeal. See EUAustralia Online, Croatia: Reelase of war crimes generals sets mood for joining EU …, 6.12.12.

Celebrations in the capital, Zagreb, were backgrounded by new anxieties; about persistent recession in the home economy, unemployment at 20%; concerns therefore about meeting EU requirements for complete integration, e.g. holding down budget deficits.

Economic and financial crisis across the EU broadly has meant conformity with tough austerity measures for smaller states in trouble – Greece, Ireland, Portugal.

Yet the change has kept majority support, looking to the longer-term.

Thinking in terms of advantages, officials took down customs signs at the borders with  Hungary, and with Slovenia, the only other former Yugoslav republic joining the European Union to date. Other states have begun the procedure, Serbia posting the most recent application, after dropping intransigent resistance to autonomy for neighbouring Kosovo.

President Ivo Josipovic said: “The accession of Croatia to the European Union is confirmation that each one of us belongs to the European democratic and cultural set of values.”
Statement from the European Commission:

Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003 and was in negotiations from 2005 until 2011.

On 9 December 2011 leaders from the EU and Croatia signed the accession treaty. The country became the 28th EU member country on 1 July 2013.

Throughout the interim period until accession, Croatia as an acceding country already had active observer status in the European Institutions, which allowed it to become familiar with the working methods of the EU institutions and to be involved in the decision-making process.

Reference

BBC, London, Croatians have supported accession to the EU, 1.7.13. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23118035 ,(4.7.13).

European Commission, Brussels, Croatia: Member State as of 1st of July 2013. http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/countries/detailed-country-information/croatia/, (4.7.13).

Picture  EC

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