Croatia 28th EU Member



Croatia 28th EU Member


Croatia joining on July 1 the European Union marks a new step towards the Europe’s unification.

Entering the EU means for Croatia the fulfillment of an aspiration that was present in many political and social circles since the time when the Country was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

I still remember several meetings at the beginning of the activity of Alpe Adria (the Alps-Adriatic Working Community) when the representatives of Croatia, and Slovenia as well, were very motivated and interested to established contacts with Western Europe and asking to include in all documents a reference to the “Spirit of Helsinki”.

After the end of the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s, Croatia, overcoming some questionable period with regard to democratic stability, entered a new way towards the integration into the EU.

The European Council of Faira of June 1, 2000 stated that all the SAP Country are “potential candidates” for EU membership. On October 29, 2001 a stabilization and association agreement was signed and on February 21, 2003 the application for EU membership was presented. The accession treaty was signed on 9 December 9, 2011. Throughout the interim period until accession Croatian has  had the possibility  to become familiar with the working methods of the EU institutions. Now it is full EU member and will take part in all the decision-making processes.

A new member in the EU family is always to be welcomed. At the same time it is to expect that Croatia will provide a positive contribution to the European integration process in terms of creativity and political support to a European Union based on the fundamental rights foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty. It is to hope that the tragic experience of the first wartime in Europe after WWII will motivate Zagreb to bolster special cooperation, mutual understanding and friendship among European people.

The County is facing a very severe economic rises and recession with high rate of unemployment in a moment when also the EU system is not “feeling well”.

Aside the certain EU funds for infrastructures like roads and for R&D, it is to expect that the Croatia will take advantage of the opportunities offered by the entire European system to implement its economic, social and cultural potentials.

We are also worried about the situation of the media in the Countries. The uncertainties affecting a lot of Croatian journalists, with many of them that have lost jobs almost overnight, seem to be a threat to the freedom of the press. We hope that with the new status of EU membership the Croatian Government and other Institutions will commit themselves even more to guarantee independence of the journalists.

The new EU membership of Croatia will be a subject of our EJ International Congress in Opatija on October 3-6 this year.

Paolo Magagnotti

EJ President