Croatia Joins European Union as 28th Member
Croatia joined the Europen Union Monday, becoming its 28th member. It has been six years since the last addition to the union, when Romania and Bulgaria joined in 2007.
As an alternative to military power, and method for initiation, the European Union asks concessions from countries that wish to join the bloc. The benefits of joining the EU include closer economic, political and trade ties with fellow allies – a powerful incentive for prospective countries wishing to join. As requested by the EU, Croatia plans to revitalize its post-Commuinist economy and has arrested over a dozen war criminals leftover from the Bosnian war.
In Zagreb, Croatia’s capital thousands of Croatians gathered in the city to celebrate as fireworks went off and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” – the EU’s anthem – played at the stroke of midnight.
Croatia’s acceptance in the EU is significant as it has long strived to shrug off its status as one of the poorest regions in Europe, as well as the stigmas associated with the Eastern Euripean bloc. Other states like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro also hope to gain admittance in the EU.