Croatia recently joined the European Union on 1 July, increasing the number of EU Member States to 28.
Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, speaking in Brussels at the signature of agreements between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzogovina, welcomed the new member, saying “Croatia will be the 28th EU Member State and it has shown the path a country needs to follow to become a Member of the EU.”
Following Croatia’s application for membership in the European Union on 21 February 2003, the European Council granted Croatia the status of candidate country for membership, providing the country provided full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
After a positive report by the then ICTY Chief Prosecutor, the Council concluded that conditions for starting negotiations had been met and negotiations were officially launched on 3 October 2005. At a referendum held on 22 January 2012, 66.27 per cent of Croatian voters supported Croatia’s accession to the European Union.