SURREY – Exactly two decades ago Croatia earned independence and become newest member of world wide club of democratic and for European continent much more important communism free country. That road started with bloody war which claimed thousands of lives, left deep scares on souls of Croatian people, especially those who survived Vukovar one of the most severe sieges in recent European history beside Sarajevo’s four year siege. Croatian road to European Union started in some ways in these war days, but real work started six years ago under social-democrat government lead by late Prime Minister Ivica Racan. Resolution to this hard and bumpy ride to top European club was reached last week when heads of European Union decide to close accession talks acknowledging that Croatia still has a lot of work to do, but major impact was made in last two years under the leadership of Jadranka Kosor, current Prime Minister.
Three governments successfully negotiated 35 chapters, implemented more than 100 wide range reforms, and finally moved forward the most important fight – fight against corruption and organized criminal. Becoming EU member is not only 28th star on EU flag but also economical and political advancement for better future and bigger impact not only in regional politics or economic world rather rising into the upper level of political players club on global level. As we learned last week Croatia’s full membership in EU will start on July 1st, 2013, requiring all 27 current members to ratify accession agreement which will be signed later this year.
In July 2013 Croatia will join Slovenia, who become EU member in 2004, taking a lead in regional political and economical development, hoping other former Yugoslavian countries will follow them in sooner future. Closest followers could be Montenegro and Serbia in time frame of five to six years, and remaining two states Bosnia and Macedonia will probably become EU members sometimes between 2016 and 2020.