Population: 4,47 million
Area: 56 594 km2
BDP (PPP): 78,9 billion dollar (estimate 2013)
BDP per capita (PPP): 17 800 dollar (estimate 2013)
Rate of growth: -1 percent (estimate 2013)
Head of state: Ivo Josipovic
Head of government: Zoran Milanovic
Croatia is the most successful country in the Balkans in terms of development. It applied for EU-membership as early as in 2003 and entered the union on July 1, 2013. Furthermore, Croatia is also, since 2009, a member of NATO.
A long conflict between Croatia and the EU concerning General Ante Gotovina who was wanted for war crimes delayed the negotiations. But when Gotovina was arrested in 2005 the possibilities for entrance and EU-membership negotiations were once again opened and commenced again that very year. However, the negotiations were once again stopped due to a border dispute with Slovenia. An agreement was signed in Stockholm during the Swedish EU Presidency in 2009 and the negotiations could thereafter once again continue.
In October 2011 the EU-commission stated that “Croatia fulfills the political criteria”.
The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation has cooperated with Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica (HDZ) in Croatia since 2004. The party led the government 2004-2011 and has been a driving force in the preparations for the EU-membership. The cooperation was phased out in early 2013 as the country became an EU member in July 2013.
Croatia held presidential election at the turn of 2014-2015. Mrs. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović from the HDZ was elected president in the second round, on January 11. She resumes her office on February 18, 2015.