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Croatia

Capital Zagreb
Time Zone CET (GMT+1)
Country Code 385
Mobile Codes 91,92,95,98,99
ccTLD .hr
Currency Kuna (1EUR = 7.26HRK)
Land Area 56,594 sq km
Population 4.5 million
Language Croatian
Major Religion Roman Catholicism

Issues and Insights

Overview

Croatia became the 28th EU member state in July 2013- a full 10 years after its application. Its glittering Adriatic coast and numerous islands have made it a major regional tourism destination.

One of the wealthier former Yugoslav republics, Croatia has modernized quicker than most, joining NATO in 2008 and the EU in 2013. Due to enlargement fatigue in Europe and other factors, Croatia may well be the last state to join the bloc.

The country’s predominantly Catholic identity and historic orientation towards Italy and Central Europe distinguish it from Balkan neighbors. However, Croatia bears similarities to them in terms of certain social customs and preferences, as well as general inherited traits acquired with common experience, such as the prevailing methods of politicking, conducting business and power-brokering.

Outstanding Issues

Problematic relations with Serbia over perceived blocking of the latter’s EU accession; the effects of the Balkan Route migrant crisis; the0 presence of neo-Nazi and other fascist groups; corruption in politics and business; some organized crime concerns.

Forward Planning: Points of Interest

  • The migrant crisis- how the country will adapt to new surges from Serbia (or reverse transit possibly from Central Europe)
  • Government’s role in supporting ethnic Croat interests in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the greater context of the latter’s political future
  • EU relations and NATO relations, in the context of an arms competition within Serbia
  • Legacy of wartime events, including nationalism and possible lingering ‘investment’ of foreign extremist actors in money-laundering activities
  • Economic imbalances- a trend between urban and rural areas
  • Continued foreign intelligence penetration and use of country as a regional station.