18:59 / 01.07.2022.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Even after nine years in the EU Croatians are still divided over membership

Croatia EU Vjeran

Croatia EU Vjeran

Foto: Zganec Rogulja / PIXSELL

Exactly nine years ago Croatia joined the European Union as a full member of the bloc. Barring any unforeseen obstacles, Croatia should simultaneously become a member of the Eurozone and the Schengen Area on January 1st of 2023.

In spite almost a decade of EU membership and being only months away from joining the Eurozone and Schengen Border Area, Croatian citizens are still divided over membership. There are those who either opposed or supported membership from the outset and have remained true to their convictions, but also those who initially supported or opposed membership and have since changed their minds. As these two residents of Split noted: “At first I supported membership, but I'm less and less enthusiastic about it now. ... I on the other hand, opposed membership nine years ago, but I've changed my mind since then, because it has forced us to be a more organized country whether we want to or not.”


President Zoran Milanović, who was Prime Minister when Croatia joined the EU, emphasized today that it is Croatia's obligation to make use of the benefits that come from membership: “All of us together bear the responsibility, the good and the bad, for willingly surrendering the basic rights of any country to decide on domestic affairs. To a great extent those decisions are now being adopted in Brussels. I say this, because with that in mind, our responsibility for delivering every single Euro from EU funds into the Croatian economy and society, is massive.”


Commenting on the anniversary, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković turned his attention to the future, and membership of the Eurozone and the Schengen Border Area: “These achievements are the result of implemented reforms, legislative changes, political and diplomatic engagement. Each one of these decisions required a massive amount of work and cooperation.”


Meanwhile, The Czech Republic today assumed the EU's six-month presidency from France. Prague has outlined five key priorities for its presidency; Managing the refugee crisis and Ukraine's post-war recovery, Energy security, Strengthening Europe's defense capabilities and cyberspace security, Strategic resilience of the European economy and the Resilience of democratic institutions.


Source: HRT

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