On July 1, 2013, Croatia will become the 28th Member State of the European Union
Croatia has worked steadfastly over the past decade to achieve the reforms necessary for EU membership, including developing its market economy. On July 1, when Croatia joins the EU, it also becomes part of the European Union’s vast single market, which opens up new opportunities—in areas including trade, investment, and financial flows—for both business and consumers in the EU and in Croatia.
Croatian consumers will have access to more products and services that comply with the EU’s high consumer standards, and at lower prices. For example, the cost of airline tickets in the EU has fallen by 40 percent since 1992; and roaming charges have plummeted for cell phone calls between EU countries. Consumer loans will be more readily available and affordable thanks to the free movement of capital. Sixty percent of Croatia’s exports of goods already flow to EU countries, but being part of the single market of more than 500 million consumers will make exporting even easier for the EU’s newest member. And expanded trade translates into more jobs and a higher standard of living.
Croatia is working to improve its business climate and encourage foreign investment. In March, the European Investment Bank approved a €120 million ($150 million) loan for the expansion of the Zagreb Airport, a key link with the rest of Europe. The European Union as a whole benefits from Croatia’s accession, which increases the EU’s area of political stability, expands the EU’s internal market, extends EU standards in areas like energy security, environmental protection, and phyto-sanitary rules, and creates new opportunities for EU industry, entrepreneurs, and customers.
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Croatia's President Ivo Josipovic with Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite, celebrating Croatia's accession into the EU.