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On the Adriatic coastline in southern Europe is a hidden gem full of majestic

mountains, classic cities and sparkling beaches. Although it may seem like a beautiful

vacation, only ten years ago Croatia was a deeply war stricken country. Rebuilding the

country has been a challenging task for the governments and only now do they believe

Write your Croatia research paper

that they are ready for international relations. Before anyone can judge the situation they

must look at the plethora of problems in the past and present, perspective of other

European nations and the changes in the country which are helping its cause. Despite

current instability and tensions, Croatia is still a favored nation to be accepted as a part of

the European Union.

In the past decade of Croatia’s independence they have had considerable problems with

their governments. As a result it is crucial to look at the government, furthermore its

issues from the past and leading into the present. At the time of independence in 11 the

ruling political party in the country was the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), lead by

authoritarian president Franjo Tudjman. He had brought victory to his nation during the

war and was praised by many, yet his corruptness slowly leaked out into public view.

Economic troubles plagued the nation with “unemployment rates reaching roughly 0%

at the time” (Author not available, Analysis Croatian Politics and economy) and it was,

for the most part, blamed on “human and civil rights abuses, sheltering of war criminals,

mismanagement and virulent nationalism”. (Author not available, Analysis Croatian

Politics and economy) With the HDZ having a tight grip on the nation, its standards of

living were slowly declining and many people were living below the poverty line

while their leaders were the richest tycoons.

Although the Croatian people saw this happening they still maintained support because of

propaganda by their leaders through state owned television and radio. Only recently have

the people decided to elect a truly democratic government after Tudjman had passed

away. The economic footprint left by the former government will take years to fix and is

hindering Croatia’s success with respect to the European Union. Unfortunately, the

mistakes of the past are sometimes shadowed by the current problems with war criminals

During the civil war many of Croatia’s top military leader’s were accused of

committing war crimes. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

has been requesting that certain military leaders be extradited to The Hague, an

international court, so they can stand trial for anything they may have done. Although this

is not as widely publicized as Serbian President Milosevic, it did raise suspicions when

the government decided that they would not send all of them. The two men in particular

would be Generals Janko Bobetko and Ante Gotovina. Bobetko is recovering from a

double heart by-pass operation at the age of 84 and the other, according to Croatian

officials, is not in the country. (Author not available, EU/CROATIA Membership

Application by the End of February) A large reason for the government’s decisions is the

pressure from nationalists who don’t believe in sending its soldiers to be punished for

protecting their country. “When current president Stipe Mesic announced that his

government would have to extradite war criminals it sparked a crisis that almost lead to

the fall of the pro-western democratic government after only 18 months in

power”. (Author not available, Croatian Government Teeters) These are two of the major

complicated issues surrounding the controversy of Croatia’s entrance.

The Croatian government has made some movement to eradicate the mistakes of the

past and has been successful. Other European nations have noticed this success

and are pushing with Croatia to help them attain European Union membership. “At the

recent summit of the Quadrilateral, leaders from Italy, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia

gathered in Zagreb and adopted a joint statement which notes full support to Croatia’s bid

to join the Union. Prime Minister Ivica Racan felt that his country had an exceptional

chance and described the meetings as “substantial and successful”. He feels that the EU’s

open door policy is key for countries to solve their current problems in hopes of getting

the offer of integration into Europe.”(Author not available, Summit adopts joint statement

approving Croatias EU entry) Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berusconi assured

Racan that Italy would fully support Croatia to become full EU and NATO members

however possible. The support showed by fellow nations is a clear indicator that Croatia

is ready to step up to the European Union and help develop itself and Europe for the


In the process of becoming a member of the European Union, Croatia must meet the

criteria and keep improving itself to show long-term commitment. “In the year 000,

Croatia signed a financing memorandum with respect to the EU technical assistance

support program. This shows that the EU is aiming towards Croatia entrance. The

program was set up to target the improvement of the country’s state administration bodies.

These include strengthening the legal structure in the country to be in line with EU

regulations and attacking specific problems in the different ministries throughout the

government”. (Author not available, More Technical Assistance to Hasten Croatia in EU

Fold) The results have been impressive with the rebuilding of the national highway and a

strengthened tourism department which is slowly putting Croatia on the map.

“Croatia recently joined the World Trade Organization, signed a stabilization and

association agreement with the EU and is push towards entering NATO”. (Author not

available, Analysis Croatian politics and economy) These are some of the key steps that

Croatia has taken to strengthen their country and chance of entering the EU.

The acceptance into the European Union is a goal that all aspiring European nations

wish to achieve. It is a step forward in terms of economic and political stability as well it

shows that people around the world are ready to unite and take on the future as one.

These reasons alone are grounds for Croatia trying to gain admission. They see the

benefits of joining and are embracing change to better the nation. Although skeptics may

say they have their faults but most nations do and it’s important look at the positive side

of their entry. It is more than apparent that Croatia is, despite their problems, ready to

join the EU in hopes of uniting themselves with the best that continent has to offer.

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