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Croatia: EU Membership Approval

Anti-EU protest on the day of ICTY convictions.
Photo by Sophie Guesné

On June 10, 2011, Croatia was cleared to become the newest member state of the European Union. There is still a long road before Croatians are officially a part of the EU, and the timing at the moment is, at best, precarious, creating many skeptics. Beyond the current state of the economy in Europe, there is also the fact that on April 15, 2011, the ICTY convicted former generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač of war crimes.

As noted on This Just In:

The verdict was greeted by boos and hisses from crowds gathered in the central square of Croatia's capital, Zagreb, the BBC reported. The generals are regarded by some as national heroes.

This public opinion is important to note, as prior to joining, Croatia will hold a national referendum which, if held currently, could fail with approximately only 38 percent voting “yes” or could pass easily with 64 percent voting in favor of joining, depending on the source. Despite this electorate uncertainty, the Croatian government has continually pushed forward on the joining, as noted on Jutarnji List [hr]:

[PM Jadranka Kosor] said that the decision of the European Council is a joyful moment for Croatia, especially as Croatia this week marks the 20th anniversary of independence. “I have always said that this would be the greatest reward for the anniversary of independence,” stressed the Prime Minister.

Of course, most of the accession frustration in this country of 4.5 million people revolves around the length of time it has taken to get to this point, as was written on gospon profesor [hr]:

So, these six so far and two more? And I thought that when we finish negotiations, hop, here we are in the EU. But, no.

A commenter on that post by the name of Kinky Kolumnista approaches the pending accession from a practical standpoint [hr]:

Let's face it, if there was no pressure from the EU, none of these minor [country] improvements would have happened and we were the same quagmire as before […] EU countries are definitely more successful than we are, and those who are bypassed are at a disadvantage.

Much will still be expected of Croatia in the next two years, but currently everything points to their becoming the 28th member of the EU.

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