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On 1 July 2013, Croatia will officially become the 28th member state of the European Union. But did Croatia make the right choice when it signed up to the club? Or should it have waited until the final shape of the EU was a bit clearer? Who knows whether Croatia has joined a future federation of nation-states, a nascent post-national federation, a budding supranational organisation ‘plus’, or a soon-to-be smoking hole in the ground? On the other hand, perhaps it was better for Croatia to take a seat at the table now, whilst it can still shape the final structure of the EU from within.

Last year, we asked our readers whether the eurozone crisis had made EU membership less attractive for candidate countries. Recently, we had the chance to put some of your comments from that post to Zoran Milanović, the Prime Minister of Croatia, when he spoke at a European Movement event in Brussels.

We began with a comment from Nikolai from Ukraine, who wondered whether “What was attractive about the EU may no longer be attractive once the structural changes that are deemed necessary have occurred.” Should Croatia have waited a bit longer to see precisely what the EU’s “structural changes” will entail?

Next, we took a comment from Ziro, who believes that the EU referendum campaign in Croatia was too focused on generalities, and there wasn’t enough specific information available about Croatia’s membership terms.

The problem in Croatia was not in the pro-European campaign, but in its design. Our politicians treated us as if we were illiterate ignoramuses; as if we didn’t have TV; as if we had never stepped out of Croatia, never seen a living European. It was offensive and lacked information. Luckily, we have enough information about the EU, but we don’t have sufficient information about Croatia’s accession contracts our leaders have agreed upon while negotiating.

We also had a comment sent in from Megi, who complained that, during the campaign, politicians had claimed that pension payments for retirees and war veterens could be threatened by a “no” vote:

I’m not surprised by the result, because our people are poor and hungry, and also our politicians said that they won’t get their pensions and pay if they vote against the EU.

Finally, we had a suggestion sent in from Christos, arguing that the low turnout during the Croatian referendum was part of a broader trend across Europe, and politicians should do more to engage voters with European issues.

I am not one bit surprised about the turn-out, it is [consistently] low in every European election, not just in Croatia but in every EU state… What we should be doing is to engage the public [better] in our national and European politics.

What do YOU think? Did Croatia make the right choice when it signed up for EU membership? Should it rather have waited until the final structure of the EU was a bit clearer? Or is it better for Croatia to now take a seat at the table and help shape the EU from within? And was enough information made available during the referendum campaign? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.


117 comments Post a commentComment


  1. Thomas Moens

    Croatia will no doubt benefit from membership, especially on the long term. All information was made public during the referendum campaign, but of course it was a “campaign”. The “Our future is within Europe, or there won’t be any future” strategy of politicians wasn’t really intellectually honest, but maybe necessary to convince an increasingly eurosceptic public to vote “yes”.

    • Mario Martinovic

      No!

  2. Pedro Celestino

    Poor guys, they will lose control of their money, their banks and many of their economics decisions and more…I dont know what info they gave to the referendum, but I doubt they gave the info that pushed south Europe to the hell it is now, or make it apparent at least. Stuff like money loans to the state can only be by private banks (at high interest rates) as it is in the Lisbon Treaty (point 157º IIRC).

  3. Jovan Ivosevic

    I am not sure what the down side is for Croatia. Money from regional funds, money for farmers from the agricultural fund, and better investor confidence for FDI purposes, not to mention political stability from the right, and political moderation. Even if it stayed out Croatia would still be just as dependent on the EU as it is by being its member, given their trade volume, origin of investors and proximity to the EU. There is no reason for any ex-YU country to say say no to EU membership.

  4. Jovan Ivosevic

    Pedro, not all EU countries are heavily in debt. To my knowledge, none of the ex-Communist nations, including Croatia has debt above 70% of GDP. That’s as good or better than Germany. Greece, Italians, Spaniards and Portugese were spending heavility during the good years, believing that crisis would never come. But of course, it did the moment America’s economy collapsed in Sep 2008 and now the party is over and someone has to pay for it. But that didn’t have as much as to do with EU membership as with the economic and monetary policies of those nations. Sure you got access to cheap money by German banks who made a huge profit off you, but at the end of the day it’s consumers in the Mediterranean countries that took these loans, and it’s your governments that didn’t protect you from them. It wasn’t some directive from Brussels.

    • IgnoRantJack

      A great point. It’s very easy to portray the EU as ‘el diablo’ but sometimes the culpability of member states gets over looked. What needs to happen though in my view is a stronger display of solidarity from the rest of Europe. I hope people like Pedro come to see that the EU isn’t the problem, it’s the solution.

  5. Anca

    The question is if Member States will receive Croatia, the same way they received previous two states which became member in 2007. Why did Croatia gained by losing its sovereignity again; being member of the EU makes one member state less independent. What is going to happen to Croatia if they are not ready, as we can see in the Romanian case? Is Croatia capable to confront the most powerful states from the European Union , as for the croatian people voice to be heard? Is going to be a short term win for Croatia, the fact that they joined the EU

  6. George Papadimitriou

    joining the EU is totally different to joining the Euro-zone. Yes to the former, by all means, but no to the latter…by all means.

  7. Robert Rac

    I don’t know, man. I mean, the campaign itself was pretty thin and biased towards “yes”, but it doesn’t mean we’ve made the wrong choice. Those who opposed joining EU didn’t present a strong argument. In fact, they only made themselves look bad. Economic policy isn’t really an issue here because it’s crap either way. We won’t recover economically as long as certain things (like corruption, subsidies, pensions, taxes and regulation of private sector) are an issue, and resolving those issues will take decades. You can’t just reintroduce honor among crooks and thieves.

    Honestly, I voted “yes” because it gives me a way out if things get uglier, which is a possible scenario.

    • catherine benning

      Yes, all you say is indeed correct.

      However, what about the rest of Europe will we benefit by having Croatia as one of the States we have to support. And if you think they are an asset in which way will that work fo us?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXDzrNppoiI

      Croatia is too expensive for Europe to contemplate presently, we cannot afford it. It is simply another noose around our financial neck just when we don’t need it.

    • IgnoRantJack

      What about postponing accession until after a monetary union, is it even possible? Perhaps not popular in Croatia since they’ll lose out on the benefits.

      I wonder how long they have before they have to make the switch over to the Euro once they’re in the EU.

    • Bastian

      Due to the exchange rate regime applied, the
      development of the Kuna (HRK) is the most harmonized with the developmen of the €uro. It is practically pegged to the €uro as it was pegged to the Deutschmark before. I guess that Croatia will join the €uro pretty soon after joining the EU.

    • IgnoRantJack

      Ok, thanks. So better to jump in then from a Croatian point of view.

    • Mario Martinovic

      Croatia will never join the €uro.Never!!!There is a concensus among Croats about that.

  8. Georgi Hrisstof

    Croatia benefits, and is in the right place, ensuring its peaceful future will shape the European mentality. Supplementation, should be temporarily prevented by improving criteria while forming the base and build strategic sovereignty through political action and general comfort.

  9. Nikolai Holmov

    Well “Hello to you too, Prime Minster Milanovic” – but you are quite wrong, I wasn’t referring to possible financial gains or losses relating to EU Membership, but something far more fundamental with regards to the actual EU structural model itself which remains in a state of flux numerous years after it was forced into convulsions – and no apparent definitive shape is as yet sight – an that continuing state of flux is what I was indeed referring to.

    It is nice to hear some projected figures and expectations from a net receiving country for a change however. I hope Croatia will not be too disappointed if those expectations with regards to incoming funds are not met – although in the scheme of things the few billions he is talking about is very little over such a time frame.

    Far more important than money however, is that I hope Croatia is not disappointed by whatever the EU eventually becomes – moreover what Croatia’s role and influence within that structure becomes.

    Time will tell, and the time need to identify the answer may well be longer than his political career – even if it is a long and distinguished one.

  10. Albert Saxén

    Not really. G. :)
    I mean the end-point ..is for all EU members to have/b using :p the euro.
    There s no honor among thieves. ;)

  11. Albert Saxén

    Well, Croatia is amongst the strongest of all those economies. new prospective members, remained relatively unscathed during the war, etc ..

  12. George Papadimitriou

    @Albert, the euro appears to be serving well the powerful but the weaker links are currently helpless and troublesome. Loosing control of your currency is, at least for now, unwise. In the “Before Merkel” era, the euro was really attractive for all looking like a dream come true and a step forward towards a true unification. However, when the lady took over, things changed dramatically proving that the future of the common currency rests solely on the mood of the eu leaders! And that is dangerous.

  13. Igor Vuković

    Yes Croatia will become a EU member if Slovenian parliament ratify Croatia – EU treaty by july 1. They have some internal crysis :(

  14. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Although I believe in the EU, I think Croation will be better served right now with a special economic agreement than full membership. Croatia will be invaded by Asian goods paying peanuts of custom tariffs and its small industry will be destroyed. And then the Germans will tell Croatians the same they said to the Greeks: Oh! you have such a nice coast, you can live on tourism. We know now how Greece finished.

    • Mario Martinovic

      Finally someone thay gets it.Thank you!Greetz from Croatia.

  15. Jovan Ivosevic

    Vicente, I am not sure cheap Asian goods will be a problem for Croatia. As you said, it is a service based economy and manufacturing isn’t a big factor. Yet consumers will benefit greatly from cheaper consumer goods and better competition. And Croatia is in much better fiscal shape than Greece in terms of debt and deficit

  16. Hasan Özdemir

    Either Vicente or Jovan are right as economical for the approach of them actually. Croatians should be prudent and go on step by step the integration of themselves.Consequently it is Capitalism and it have not any moral code, why it is only a tool.

  17. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Jovan, it is because of the very low customs tariffs of EU, between 3 and 6% that the industry of Europe is being destroyed and putting Europeans on unemployment. You say that is a service based economy. They told us the same, Europe will be now a services economy. Germany did not dismantle their industry. Compare now Germany with the other “services economy”. Compare all Southern countries and UK debts with Germany. I think now the EU Commission is realizing the mistake and already many economists are saying that we need to increase our customs tariffs and re-industrialized. Croatia cannot live on tourism that, in the end, it is mostly a 3-4 month activity. Croatia will have to apply the EU customs tariffs and will see its manufacturing being destroyed. Remember, a balanced budget must export as much as imports, nobody can live borrowing systematically all the time. They should learn with the failures of the feeble economies that had entered in the EU.

    03/09/2013 Franck Proust, MEP, has responded to this comment.


    03/09/2013 Herbert Reul, MEP, has responded to this comment.

  18. Hasan Özdemir

    Germany invests the policy of itself since the most initiative, because they act to battle an independence war. The corporatistic lunatic like Turkey. Otherwise any democratic Country would not have kept the eight assasinations inside of deep State. Germany had separate to the former Yugoslavia the same policy, while itself reunificated with DDR and Merkel.Now it supports Catalonia too for independence. Whereas İ support the independence of Catalonia but for the different reasons. Attention please Bundesbank will bring partly the gold reserve of Germany from the France and US to Germany. İt is not against the crisis a true attitude for the majority absoluetly.

  19. Jovan Ivosevic

    Vicente, the balance of trade between decreased exports and increased imports can be rebalanced between increased investment Croatia would receive by virtue of its membership. Trade is only one way foreign money comes into the country. And as for protectionism, this fails in the long run. Germany is best not because it protects its market better but because it delivers a desirable product. The Croats can use the EU market to export their own products throughout the EU, and that will mean developing a brand name. Dubrovnik is a pretty city but it isn’t the prettiest on the Mediterranean. Yet Croatia has a disproportionate share of cruise ships dock at Dubrovnik because of good marketing. Their chocolates can be just as easily marketed because they are every bit as good as Austrian and Swiss and labor costs are lower. If they have inefficiencies in production, they can import high tech manufacturing equipment to up their efficiency. Meanwhile, goods WILL be cheaper for everyone, Croats and Chinese alike. I believe in the free market every bit as much as I believe in a welfare state mitigating its unequal distribution of wealth. This is the model Scandinavia is built on. This is a winner based on results, and I want to see its tenets Europeanized.

    Mediterranean countries invest too much in protecting jobs, making the labor market inefficient and this is why they find themselves in the current mess. Even France is not immune to this approach, which is why its economic power has merely postponed, not solved the oncoming problems in their economy. They don’t do trade protectionism. They don’t make it next to impossible for fire someone. They spend the money on subsidizing inefficient “state champioin” enterprises on retraining programs for its work force. If you want to be more like Swedes and Germans, see what they do and copy it.

  20. Christos Mouzeviris

    I am personally happy that Croatia is joining and I think they did the right choice. Both the EU and Croatia will gain from this new partnership… Welcome Croatia and we are looking forward to see what you are going to bring into the Union….

  21. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Yep, believe that and do not run! What is common between all BRICS? Surplus and…high customs tariffs. If I import marble from Brazil, I will pay 3% of customs. If I export marble to Brazil, my client will pay 100%. This is your free trade. One way only. Look at USA, they are so much in debt they would be bankrupt if they were not printing dollars. Their printers are the only way they survive, as long as countries accept dollars as a form of payment. By the way, do you know why Iraq has been invaded? Many experts says the main reason was because Hassan Hussein only accepted euros for its oil and this was intolerable to USA since it could give “ideas” to other countries, putting the surviving of USA in risk. We can talk in a few years time when Croatia is asking for help on EU and IMF. Unless the EU rules changes.

  22. Hasan Özdemir

    Mr. Tavares, Capitalism leans some cathegories, like developing countries and developed countries. That should occur a job-sharing. Because the money is a resource actually, despite of an indicator only and it should not be wasted by users. Therefore the developed countries should head for the high technology. İf they product mostly the traditional goods, the collapse and war is unavoidably. We have only a planet to live still.

  23. Vicente Silva Tavares

    So, that is why China is now the biggest producer of computers (they own IBM), Led monitors, started manufacturing their own cars (1 or 2 years ago they bought Volvo), and so on. Come on Hasan, technology can be bought anywhere. It is a question of money. Look, the formidable development of Japan after WWII, was based on buying patents mainly from USA. Actually Japan, it was, if still is yet, the biggest importer of patents of the world. China is not only the country of manufacturing cheap clothes and shoes.

  24. Hasan Özdemir

    Vicente Silva Tavares İ don’t agree with you about China, even Japan. Firstly the GDP of China is created mostly by huge international firms and if the protectionism starts everywhere, China will be the losest immediatly.Secondly the trustworthiness is absent for the quality of China production, even if they are cheaper.Thirdly the identy of money is absent actually and we can not know the winners without cut to the game.Forth China has serious domestic conflicts, despite of to be pressed right now like Tianenmen Square or Bo Chilai. Modern Japan was created by Meiji Restoration and after WW11 by US like Germany. But Japan and Germany can not abandon the saving money, so they act a traditional community still, despite of modern. İt is a circle, therefore the World is inside of crisis frequently. Namely the problem is not the production of Japan, in contrary it is the consumption of Japan, even Germany. Mr. Rahoy is so right actually, But the answer was to come back the gold reserve from France and US. They must achieve to overcome of the paranoia anyway.

  25. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Once, I was a salesman for a company selling Siemens telephone exchanges. The telephones were made in China. I am not looking for protectionism but to increase the tariffs for more fair rates and demand the same to those countries. Anyway, even if the customs tariffs were the same, they always will have an advantage: their cheap labour and lack of unions. I saw a film done by Danes, on Pakistan, where small children were chained (literally) to loom making carpets. Should we allow this? Isn’t it immoral to import carpets done by slave children? A German TV went to India to check on the conditions of workers manufacturing slates. Not only they did not have boots (just sandals) to protect their feet, but also were using children. Nevertheless there was issued a certificate by and India institution assuring they were not using children. Asked if they go to check on local, they said no, they just trust the exporter word. Is this, the kind of competition we have. International trade must be more fair. Globalism is only good for multi-national corporations that transfer their factories to Asia looking for cheap labour and then export their goods back to Europe and USA and pressure the politicians to keep the customs tariffs low. Anything else is hypocrisy.

  26. Christos Mouzeviris

    I for one fully support Croatia’s accession… I believe that it is going to be beneficial for both Croatia and the EU and I welcome them wholeheartedly in the European family…

    One thing: Mr Milanovic, when I am speaking about getting the people involved in the EU and the European project, I mean the ordinary people, from the lower classes to the higher of a society… Politicians may ignore the lower working class but they have the right to vote too..

    And when they get they chance they will give all politicians a lesson… So get them involved by stimulating their curiosity with the one medium they know best… television, or radio and the press… not good if you talk to forums or conferences in front of other businessmen, politicians and their likes… they do not need to be informed…

    That is what I meant with my comment…

  27. Jamie Illingworth

    It was a one sided fix – The corrupt political class made the people believe that they could beat the corrupt political class by joining the EU! absolutely crazy and the people bought it. Now it doesnt matter who they vote for in government, the EU decides their laws. All theyve done is made those same politicancs and bureacrats very rich…

  28. Marc

    And those politicians hope to loot western European treasuries. Well shame for them, our treasury is empty. No more handouts to other countries.

  29. Marc

    And lets not forget that their workers will come here to undercut ours and drive up indigenous unemployment for the benefit of the rich and corporations.

  30. Hasan Özdemir

    Japan look likes to overcome the paranoia of itself because the Central Bank of Japan will print as Yen a money in the value of thirtheen trillion Dollars.We hope Bundesbank chase to the same way to promote a consumption.

  31. Valentino

    Comments from British PM Cameron today gives a clear indication of what the current mood in the UK is toward the EU. Not a great feeling of comfort for Croatia becoming the 28th member state, then again maybe going back to 27 member states ex the UK might create a more cohesive EU.

    The British never really did and never really will consider themselves as Europeans unless of course there is something in it for them.

    Gaining at least one new state that wants to be in the EU like Croatia and possibly losing another that really doesn’t is a net positive.

  32. Mario Martinovic

    I’m from Croatia and I don’t want Croatia to become a part of EU simply because of the way we were treated during the negotiations and constant blockades by Slovenia for just about anythng.Second I think that Croatia will loose it’s soeveregnity and we will be slurred into this economical mess by fairy tales about EU funds.Most people will never feel any improvment financialy exept the people that already have money.Everything will become more expensive,we will get more asylum seekers and everything will be privatised and more expensive again.I and may Croats don’t want to be a part of that.Luckely for EU Croatian politicians left or right have no sence of shame or moral so they will sell whole Istria province to Slovenia just to enter a Union that is falling apart.They will even send their mothers as a bonus for free if that can make them extra €€€.So after 8 years of “negotiations” as in Croatia gives everything and EU countries around us take and take we have come to a conclussion that it’s better for Croatia to break off all bad deals made with the EU and regein our soeverenity,national wealth and national pride.Croatia is gotten worse in every sence of the word since we applied for the EU membership.So I hope Slovenia blocks us with something serious and impossible to fulfill so people of Croatia get really angry and break off with the EU illusion for a while.At least untill this economic crisis is over.Then we will see.

  33. Luis Rodriguez

    Just take into consideration in the ECONOMICS that always is better to be part of the big market than the small country selling to the big market, in the POLITICS that the membership to the european club represent the opposite alternative to the politics that over the years took Croatia to be one of the poorest and social unstable countries in Europe, and in CULTURE that joining Europe represent to be named European as well as Croatian, the nationalism of the countries only helps to increase the power of local politicians.

    Do you think the small states in north america they took the wrong track when they joined and founded United States many years ago, and the small states in south america they took the right track when they decided to be separated also many years ago?. I know the correct answer because I grew up in Ecuador.

    • Mario Martinovic

      USA is not the same as EU.USA is a country of one nation and the EU is not.We will not be assimilated,marginalized or outvoted by anyone.
      As for being a part of a big organizatin matters in selling goods?Croatia can’t compete with the big EU countries in anything other then tourism and the EU always tell us to who we can sell something and to whom not.Only the big countries in the EU decide who they do buissnes with and the rest of us just have to sit and watch otherwise Brussels might say no no… bad Croatia!We’ll decide that,thank you.EU just wants our land and our natural wealth,anything that is worth some money.

      We wil get rid off our own local politicians on our own.The people together with thse war veterans.What is the alternative in the EU?Is that the Brussels will steal my money now in stead of Zagreb?We have enough of our own thieves,thanks.
      What kind of sad excuses are that?Those are not even arguments to make us want to enter that union that in 1991 saw Slobodan Milosevic as their man in the Balkans and hoped that he would kill us off quick together with our neighbours so they could get on with the buissnes as usual.Those are the same sad excuses that we hear for ten years now while we are getting poorer and poorer.Croatia should stick to Russia,Brazil etc..,Nationalise as much as possible and opet for buissnes and make our own dicisions in good or bad.And most important of it all no Slovenia or Italy or anyone will blackmailus again!

  34. EuroBrit

    Croatia is European, so of course it made the right choice. Europe needs to stand together and Croatia will benefit from being part of the EU economy, as Poland and other former communist countries have. Croatia has a lot of potential, and investment from companies in other EU states will help speed things up.

    The problem facing Europe right now is not the relatively poor but rapidly growing east – it is the heavily indebted south, driven almost to collapse by fiscally incompetent politicians. I do think Croatia should hold off from joining the Euro though; at least until it stabilizes and the flaws have been ironed out properly.

  35. Monika

    Great job Croatia. You finally received independance and now..
    Youre right back in there… in a masked totalitarian regime.
    Hope you enjoy your multicultural wonderland when boats of immigrants from India and Africa flood your country and shit on what your relatives died for.
    Also hope you enjoy being even more in debt to the banks than you slready were.
    Seriously, great work.

  36. Tonto

    Huh ! I think Croatia did good job ! Really ! I am happy cause a lot of young people will start new life abroad , maybe. But…There’s one very bad thing about some croatians , HATE … I am serb , and believe me , sometimes I feel that some croatians would be happy to kill me instantly :/ not all of them , but big number yes!!! i experienced this on my skin , but also i met wonderful people .I dont have probs with anybody , i never had , even if croatian army killed my paralised grandfother (they cutted his head and threw it to the garbage). Did he deserve this kind of death ?I guess no !But…No…I don’t hate ! My heart is oppened 4 everyone. I am HUMAN , AND GUESS WHAT…HAHA I am serb ! Can you imagine ? Croatias are not ideal nation , serbs NEITHER…But , believe me…If you trust politic you are lost in space.It’s pure brain washing…But i know..There is no remedy ..no way !!! Greetings to all normal people , people with human heart !

  37. Tonto

    Hey Mihail.
    Those are deep questions and I hope I understood your point.
    How do I feel about Bulgaria? Hmm Personally , I find Bulgaria(very) similar to Serbia. My very good friend is Bulgarian , and I think 80 % of Serbs think like me. We travel to Nessebar , Varna , Zlatni Pjasci so often, probably you know about it.We have similar tradition , religion and I really never felt any tension with Bulgarians , moreover , I met very kind persons. Bulgaria is in EU for 5 years , and you still don’t feel big improvements , but I am sure EU was great choice for you either. Time go slowly , we just need to wait.
    You mentioned Macedonians , and I really don’t know what can I say about it. I have friends from Macedonia , and she always was talking about problems with Greece , she never mentioned Bulgaria (to be honest) . But , I am not too much into politics ! I just had “live” experience and I wanted to share that. The worst serbian politic product was ” Slobodan Milosevic” and his ideas about ” Big Serbia”. Smart citizens don’t have right to say their opinions , and that’s why we are here where we are. Smart people never gave him support . If you want to have good country , first you must change and open your mind .
    Поздрав !

  38. Tonto

    @Mihail ,
    I think you got me wrong. As I said , I can’t change people’s perceptions , but I can be brother with every good person. I don’t agree with your thought, although I know about problems btw SR and BG . Maybe you misunderstood my point , and don’t take just me for this hard questions . I am somebody who consider that Macedonia , Serbia (down of Belgrade) and Bulgaria are quite the same. That is my fresh experience , but don’t take me relevant. I believe you’d find some better speakers out there.I have great Bulgarian friend , and he was fully accepted here , to be honest , nobody ever never said him any single W of word about his bulgarian roots. I always saw(and felt) bulgarians friendy , and my other friends. But , I don’t know about others .I guess you’ll always find washed brains , and people who look at the past , but I said I dont have problems with any nation.
    I am sorry If you expected more of me , but I am sure you understood what was on my mind.

  39. Tonto

    Wait wait wait :)
    Here , a lot of people dont know too much about countries that recognised Kosovo . You are mixing facts. Dont take me as a good source, do I need to say this more once? I am citizen of the world. I can never say something 4 whole nation if I had probs with one person. So , i still think bulgarians are great and I find them almost the same like serbians.Thats my choice. :)
    Its obvious that you don’t like serbians , but who cares ? Nobody ! You had bad experience and thats just Ok…Thousands of others had different experiences , but worlds not gonna end now ? right ? And by the way , you said you had bad expereinces with serbian girls…thats so weird i must say.i never thought bulgarians are so much different then serbians or croatians. Maybe girl likes black men…dont think every girl is like that ;) You sound young , so I can give you good advice . Stop with politics , and learn to appreciate people by their heart and soul. maybe serbian will save your life one day , or maybe bulgarian will save my life. think about it ! bye !

  40. Monika

    @Tonto
    I’m Croatian and live in Australia.
    99% of Croatians and Serbians here are still full of so much hate. My boyfriend is Serbian and it’s very hard to convince our people that we are the same.
    It’s very disgusting that croatian girls go for Arabs, black people and muslims and this is ok but me being with someone with the same culture and language and skin colour is seen as the worst decision i could have made.
    Its very good to see that there are good people out there who arent brainwashed by the propaganda that baba has told them. If we all do proper research we can see that every war was caused by another country and not us personally fighting against each other.
    I’m very proud to be a Croatian, but somehow being proud means you have to hate Serbs.
    I love my culture and this is why joining the EU is the worst decision Croatia ever made. As soon as they can the borders will be open to Muslims and other minorities.
    It’ll become like Germany and Frane, where the citizens are getting harrassed, raped and bringing in Sharia Law. What will become of my culture then?
    Also, the UK are paying 53 million pounds a day to be a part of the EU. They cannot escape and what are the EU really doing for them? There are more muslim immigrants there than UK citizens and theyre protesting in their streets.
    Is this how you want Serbia to be when you are eventually forced to join the EU?
    This video is just an example
    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F8I9BUUolvk
    You might think this is just one video but this is slowly happening all over Europe and it’s only getting worse.

  41. Mario Martinovic

    Why does every debate in or about Croatia has to end up with Serbia and Croat Serbian relations?Even if people talk about climate change there is always some Serb that comes and talks about Serbia on Croatia issues.Croats generally avoid Serbian issues as long as it doesn’t involve Croatia as well.
    Yugoslavia is dead,get over it!Croatia is finaly free.

  42. Monika

    @Mihail
    What are you even talking about? I never brought up Bulgaria once.
    Looks like you keep pushing for some Croatian or Serbian person to come along and say they hate you so you can rip out all these facts that probably arent even accurate.
    I have no problem with Bulgaria.
    Youre really generalising in all your comments.

  43. Debating Europe

    This is had been a really interesting discussion, and some good points have been brought up. However, please keep the discussion on-topic and respectful.

  44. mario martinovic

    today,the first eu elections in Croatia will be a message for eu and Croatian politicians.Croats have had enough of both of you.voter turnout will be 15% max.

  45. MikeLee

    I am a little bit concerned as well for immigration, what does it mean when Croatia joins the EU? Can Africans, Asians, Muslims just come in now and steal land people died for? I’m all for productive immigrants and its great to see some making an effort speaking Croatian, however these cases are small and Croatia might end up like Germany, France where your identity is lost. Why must all white countries be multi-cutural and the 3rd world countries stay as they are?

    Not every European country has to be multi-cultural. It seems like the politicians convince the natives that saying anything contrary is racist. I will never accept African, Asian saying they are Croatian because they aren’t. Europeans should adopt what Japan has, people can be residents but not citizens.

  46. Israel Mekwuye

    EU membership isn’t the answer, it a political organization in which any country within the Europe can become

  47. Israel Mekwuye

    EU membership isn’t the answer, it a political organization in which any country within the Europe can become

  48. Jovan Ivosevic

    Well they have always wanted to live in a political entity dominated by Germany so for them the choice could not be more right.

  49. Jovan Ivosevic

    Well they have always wanted to live in a political entity dominated by Germany so for them the choice could not be more right.

  50. Cris Hova

    It is quite late for Croatia to gain membership..and I think they should be invited earlier, before Romania and Bulgaria:)

  51. Cris Hova

    It is quite late for Croatia to gain membership..and I think they should be invited earlier, before Romania and Bulgaria:)

  52. Teodoro Caloroso

    Is Croatia the right choice for EU? More immigrants to Germany, UK, France, Scandinavian countries, etc…

  53. Teodoro Caloroso

    Is Croatia the right choice for EU? More immigrants to Germany, UK, France, Scandinavian countries, etc…

  54. Unimatriks Ziro

    And yes, if anybody decides to leave, it will be Germany. And yes Jovan, we love Germany. Any problem with it? Love is a noble feeling ;)

  55. Unimatriks Ziro

    And yes, if anybody decides to leave, it will be Germany. And yes Jovan, we love Germany. Any problem with it? Love is a noble feeling ;)

  56. Tamzin Jans

    We have not any system of a real united Europe with equality across frontiers, yet we keep welcoming new countries that have to catch up, on their own, to what is left of this mess that is Europe today.

  57. Tamzin Jans

    We have not any system of a real united Europe with equality across frontiers, yet we keep welcoming new countries that have to catch up, on their own, to what is left of this mess that is Europe today.

  58. Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    Welcome Croácia esta joven nação europeia irá contribuir para a transformaçao de um projecto federalismo europeu a riquesa das nações e a economia moderna irá trazer uma sociedade europeia mais justa de direitos humanos

  59. Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    Welcome Croácia esta joven nação europeia irá contribuir para a transformaçao de um projecto federalismo europeu a riquesa das nações e a economia moderna irá trazer uma sociedade europeia mais justa de direitos humanos

  60. Hrvatsko Sunce

    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto, we Croatians are very old nation, but thanks to really bad Croatian politicians, we were in awful yugoslavias, killed, plundered, tortured, pushed in radicalism, as our answer to horrible murders serbian politic. But, we do have young INDEPENDENT STATE, only 20 years. Thanks for congrats! We hope that we can bring something new, but that will mainly be very very good food, beautiful beaches. Our politicians are still very much connected to murders communist and secret service UDBA, you CAN NOT learn anything good from them, only how to kill, censure and loot your own people! Something disgusting!

  61. Anastasia Petraki

    EU original concept has dramatically change the last years…so we are welcome Croatia but there is a high risk to end up like Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, France etc

  62. Anastasia Petraki

    EU original concept has dramatically change the last years…so we are welcome Croatia but there is a high risk to end up like Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, France etc

  63. Anastasia Petraki

    there is a massive attack against middle class in EU, which means attack to democracy…since modern democracy=middle class

  64. Anastasia Petraki

    there is a massive attack against middle class in EU, which means attack to democracy…since modern democracy=middle class

  65. Jovan Ivosevic

    @Unimatriks Ziro: It’s not Croatia’s love for Germany I have a problem with, it’s the way Croatia will augment Germany’s already destabilizing influence on the continent. The Maastricht Treaty, which was the prime transformation of the European project from a predominantly heavily regulated economic zone with an independent panel to a political union, was first conceived and agreed to in the wake of German Unification in October of 1990. France and UK believed that a German state which will so thoroughly dominate the continent would be a problem for Europe and only by entrenching it inside a supranational political entity which would be counterbalanced by the French and British could such a German state be leashed. In the wake of the legacy Germany left in the 20th century, this was seen as critically important.

    Well, Germany unified, and due to other people’s domestic political needs, the federalization of Europe was never completed. Instead, this hybrid “intergovernmental model” which still leaves the core of politics at the nation state level but with coordination at the pan-European one has not only failed to check German influence, but has augmented it because Germany yields the strongest influence today over virtually any issue. The French have given up on trying to keep parity and the Brits have just given up it seems. And the consequence of this institutional arrangement and the abandonment by the UK and France of any pretense to European leadership has left us with one inescapable truth. Whether you look at the euro crisis solution, enlargement, banking laws, agriculture, budgetary matters, etc., it is apparent that no one who sits in Brussels has any control over such issues. The single most important voice comes from Berlin and it usually carries the day.

    Neither Croatia, nor my native Serbia, nor half the current or future members of the EU are powerful enough to stop that. However, given the anti German resentment building in the South, I fear this has already had a destabilizing effect which could tear apart the EU. So to that extent, knowing that Zagreb will do nothing to stop and possibly a lot to legitimate this German hegemony over Europe. Twice they attempted to dominate Europe by force of arms, and it appears that their third attempt has succeeded without firing a single shot. It is one thing to live in a European federation of nations where the main stage of politics is a federal government in Brussels.. It is quite another to use the aparatus of the Union to act as an extension of German policy. It is not a coincidence that Germany’s rise within Europe has correspondingly achieved tremendous friction among the Union’s member states. The longer this goes on, the more worrysome the consequences.

  66. Jovan Ivosevic

    @Unimatriks Ziro: It’s not Croatia’s love for Germany I have a problem with, it’s the way Croatia will augment Germany’s already destabilizing influence on the continent. The Maastricht Treaty, which was the prime transformation of the European project from a predominantly heavily regulated economic zone with an independent panel to a political union, was first conceived and agreed to in the wake of German Unification in October of 1990. France and UK believed that a German state which will so thoroughly dominate the continent would be a problem for Europe and only by entrenching it inside a supranational political entity which would be counterbalanced by the French and British could such a German state be leashed. In the wake of the legacy Germany left in the 20th century, this was seen as critically important.

    Well, Germany unified, and due to other people’s domestic political needs, the federalization of Europe was never completed. Instead, this hybrid “intergovernmental model” which still leaves the core of politics at the nation state level but with coordination at the pan-European one has not only failed to check German influence, but has augmented it because Germany yields the strongest influence today over virtually any issue. The French have given up on trying to keep parity and the Brits have just given up it seems. And the consequence of this institutional arrangement and the abandonment by the UK and France of any pretense to European leadership has left us with one inescapable truth. Whether you look at the euro crisis solution, enlargement, banking laws, agriculture, budgetary matters, etc., it is apparent that no one who sits in Brussels has any control over such issues. The single most important voice comes from Berlin and it usually carries the day.

    Neither Croatia, nor my native Serbia, nor half the current or future members of the EU are powerful enough to stop that. However, given the anti German resentment building in the South, I fear this has already had a destabilizing effect which could tear apart the EU. So to that extent, knowing that Zagreb will do nothing to stop and possibly a lot to legitimate this German hegemony over Europe. Twice they attempted to dominate Europe by force of arms, and it appears that their third attempt has succeeded without firing a single shot. It is one thing to live in a European federation of nations where the main stage of politics is a federal government in Brussels.. It is quite another to use the aparatus of the Union to act as an extension of German policy. It is not a coincidence that Germany’s rise within Europe has correspondingly achieved tremendous friction among the Union’s member states. The longer this goes on, the more worrysome the consequences.

  67. Unimatriks Ziro

    @jovan How could a small nation like Croatia help Germany???? Whether you (or me) like it or not, Germany is already strong enough…Comparing today’s economic expansion of Germany to that of 60-70 yrs ago is malicious

  68. Unimatriks Ziro

    @jovan How could a small nation like Croatia help Germany???? Whether you (or me) like it or not, Germany is already strong enough…Comparing today’s economic expansion of Germany to that of 60-70 yrs ago is malicious

  69. Jovan Ivosevic

    ^^ Malicious is not the same thing as wrong. The First World War was entirely about the desire by Germany to replace Angrlo-French dominance on the continent with that of the Kaiser’s empire. Because it failed, the Second World War was fought by a psychopathic German WW1 veteran who believed he was righting the wrong of history and tying the Jews to the defeat in question. The third attempt seems to have been successful and it did not require a single shot to be fired. The Kaiser would certainly be proud of Germany’s geopolitical position today.

    As for how the Croats will help, easy – with votes on the Council of Ministers, where the main issues that relate to Europe will decide. Let’s not be naive. I won’t pretend that Serbia, once it joins, will not act like Russia’s ambassador on the Council with voting rights, and you shouldn’t pretend that 99 out of every 100 Croatian votes will not side with Berlin. It’s just simpler to dispense with the BS.

  70. Jovan Ivosevic

    ^^ Malicious is not the same thing as wrong. The First World War was entirely about the desire by Germany to replace Angrlo-French dominance on the continent with that of the Kaiser’s empire. Because it failed, the Second World War was fought by a psychopathic German WW1 veteran who believed he was righting the wrong of history and tying the Jews to the defeat in question. The third attempt seems to have been successful and it did not require a single shot to be fired. The Kaiser would certainly be proud of Germany’s geopolitical position today.

    As for how the Croats will help, easy – with votes on the Council of Ministers, where the main issues that relate to Europe will decide. Let’s not be naive. I won’t pretend that Serbia, once it joins, will not act like Russia’s ambassador on the Council with voting rights, and you shouldn’t pretend that 99 out of every 100 Croatian votes will not side with Berlin. It’s just simpler to dispense with the BS.

  71. Marcel

    July 1st, 2013. Croatia cesed to be a democracy.

    It is now subject to directives from the undemocratic EU, often spawning from the unelected undemocratic Eurosoviet Politburo (Commission) in cooperation with national government ministers who via the Council bypass their national democracy (ie sidelining of national parliaments).

    And yes, there is no European ‘demos’ so there is no European democracy. Period. Croatia’s politicians are undoubtedly angling for unelected tax-exempt democracy-exempt Brussels jobs.

    And next thing you know more Croatians will come here to undercut local workers and cause rising unemployment as they likely will work for cheaper.

  72. Unimatriks Ziro

    What’s more, the last war in Europe as far as I remember was Serbia against Slovenia, Croatia, B&H, Kosova…USA

  73. Paul X

    I’m sure it will be good for Croatia but what about the rest of Europe?
    Is Croatia going to be one of the (few) net contributors to the EU budget or yet another drain?
    There is not many rich countries queuing up to join the EU……I wonder why?

  74. Jovan Ivosevic

    @Unimatriks Zero: The fact that you would even ask why anyone has a problem with German dominance demonstrates my point. The vast majority of Europeans have 1914-1945 as more than sufficient proof that German dominance is a bad thing.

  75. Ivana

    Personally, I’m extremely upset that Croatia joined the EU. My aunt lost her job a few months prior to entering in preparation for the EU and was struggling to survive to begin with. Now, the prices will go up but the jobs will decline and again the population will suffer. I’m not a fan of the EU at all. The idea of a European ‘unity’ is a fairytale. Europeans are very patriotic and I feel that the EU’s main purpose is to have control over the ‘shaky’ countries (Ex-Yugoslav, Ex-Soviet Union, etc) so that they can assimilate them into a more Westernized Europe. I sincerely hope I’m wrong and that my homeland will manage fine and avoid the miserable fate of many other European nations. Croatia fought for its independence from Yugoslavia, and yet the politicians bent their balls to enter a Union that could not care less about the perseverance of the heritage of its member countries.

  76. Ivana

    @MihailKolev I read through some (not all) of your comments, and felt it necessary to address you. I’m Macedonian and Croatian. I noticed you questioning some individuals on their attitudes toward Bulgaria, and then mentioning Macedonia as well. Personally, I don’t see why Macedonia should be mentioned in a debate about Croatia & the EU, but to each his own. I don’t have anything against any Balkan nation and I respect everyone until given a reason not to. There are Macedonians who are neutral and try to improve present relations instead of mourning the past, however all of us still experience the pain from old wounds. The reason why the majority of Macedonians have negative attitudes towards Bulgarians goes back to before Yugoslavia and Tito. You, being a Bulgarian, should know this. Yugoslavia did not play any role in ‘Macedonian propaganda’ as most nationalists from neighbouring countries like to believe. It goes back to the Balkan Wars and the oppression, genocide and forced assimilation resulting from them. Regardless, the reason why the general Macedonian attitude towards Bulgaria is negative is because 1) The Macedonian minority in Bulgaria is not recognized (because of your argument that we’re the ‘same’), 2) The treatment of Bulgarians towards Macedonians during their occupation of Macedonia in WW2 (There’s a saying that goes ‘Бугарски ќутек се памти” or “Bulgarian abuse is memorable” which in itself indicates the violence committed against our people during that time) and 3) Just recently Bulgaria VETO-ed Macedonia’s accession talks into the EU clearly siding with the Greek position (which is paradoxal considering the Bulgarian view on Macedonians as being “the same people”) Given the three examples above, it can kind of give you a perspective on why Macedonians aren’t too crazy about Bulgarians. You can’t expect respect from someone you deny as a person. From a Croatian perspective, I don’t think the average Croat has much of an opinion on Bulgarians (they aren’t affected by them), however one thing that may sway their attitudes is the Bulgarian’s infamous reputation for theft. Croatia is one of the most civilized countries with breathtaking beauty, and its people have fought very hard for their country and what they now have. They’re accepting, warm-hearted people who respect diversity while maintaining their pride. To conclude, if you reflect and support the mentality of the oppressive examples I stated above, you won’t have success in Croatia. Best regards.

  77. lilly

    I think its good. I mean now Croatia can have their towns rebuilt and have more food and drink, so yeah it’s a GOOD thing!

    • Mario Martinovic

      We have rebuilt our. Cities and towns and we have enoght food and drink.
      we’re just waiting for war damages payment by Serbia.That’s around 40 billion euros.

  78. lilly

    Yes it is a good thing, because we needed an even number in the European union!

  79. Andrew-Mario Hart-Graña

    This is the reason why Britain should remain and grow strong in the EU. Nobody wants a complete domination of one country over the others.

  80. Roman

    I’m from Romania and I wish our corrupt politicians would not have gotten us to join the EU.
    The EU is only a construct made in such a way that only germany/france benefit from.

    Romania should exit the EU. We gain nothing from this.

    Also the westerners are really huge hypocrites and manipulative sons of $#$&^*.
    They like to depict us as gypsies with all the occasions they get, when gypsies only account for 6% of the population.

    The westerners also made us privatize everything on the cheap. We are slaves in our own country.

    I hope Romania will open its eyes and decide to just get the f $/#^^ out of the EU.

    • Adrian

      Solidarity Roman. I agree that your country should have never joined the EU.

  81. Adrian

    Croatia should have never joined the EU. It will not benefit her.

  82. catherine benning

    If you feel the UK is not of benefit to the EU then you need to do a course in economics. We are one of the highest payers into the EU fund, Germany the biggest, France and the UK second. . Which, in case you don’t realise it, keeps the entire show on the road.

    What would Croatia inject? Do you know? Could it be that Croatia will cost us a small fortune with very little benefit to the tax payers of this union? Take a look at this article telling it as it is.

    http://euobserver.com/enlargement/118118

    Criminality is one of the highest spending matter we have in the UK and from my understanding Germany and France are similarly affected. Therefore what possible beneift could we have at this time of serious financial austerity?

    Would you like to put me straight and tell me about how this country would be an asset to us.

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Europe/article1177520.ece

    The EU appears to be under a misapprehension with regard to the benefit of expansion. And the EU tax payer should not have to cough up for their inexplicable level of profligacy.

    Europe has to accept a kind of democracy that directly involves the peoples of this union. Referendum on all matters of new states as well as matters on social engineering.

  83. Mario Martinovic

    Serbia?Croats have no problems with Serbia but Serbia must finally apoligize for the war and stop spreading wartime propaganda.Serbia needs to tell their younger generations what their partens have done to their neighbours and stop teaching them hate and revenge for loosing wars.Stop denying warcrimes and genocides.Other then that we have no problems.I personally have more problems with the EU then with Serbia.i have problems with the way eu still treats us and the way eu treated us when we were fighting for our independence.Also Croatia lost so many good buisness deals with other countries because of the EU or USA policies.Lost a decade because of various UN trials where we had to explain ourselfs why we were defending our lives and were treated in the same way as the agressors.EU just brought us bad deals,no policy of our own and waisting precious time.Time to change all of that!And don’t listen to what any of Croatian politicians tell you,left or right,they do not represent a 0.00005% of people or their views.

  84. Mario Martinovic

    I know it’s easy ” to be a general after a battle” but looking back I think that applying for the Eu membership was the worst strategic mistake since our independence.

  85. Mario Martinovic

    You can always come even if we don’t join the EU.Everyone is welcome in Croatia.Bulgarians are really welcome here as we share much of our history in good and bad times.Bulgarians are seen as allies of Croatia.Macedonia?It’s gonna be a hell of a ride for them to get onto the EU,because all 4 of their neighbours want something from them.But Macedonians are closest to Bulgarians.I hope they stay the way they are and continue with great cooperation and relations with Croatia but avoid EU mess.You like Croatian movies?You should see “Sto je muskarac bez brkova” and “Svecenikova djeca”.Greetz from Croatia.

  86. Roman

    Romanians had a civil war?
    What?
    Who?
    When?

    What are you talking about?

    Last war Romania was involved was WW2.
    And before that WW1.
    And before that the war of independence from the Ottomans in 1877.

    What are you smoking?

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