Croatia Joins the European Union Amid Economic Recession

Croatia is joining the European Union at midnight on July 1, 2013. Surely this would be a moment of celebration, and rightly so after the many steps it had overcome. And if it had not been for the recession – both national and regional, I believe this moment would be mainly about celebration.

Krka-National-Park_Kate Pedley

Krka National Park, Croatia / Credit: Kate Pedley [http://www.flickr.com/photos/38381877@N00]

I have never been to Croatia, though I trust that I’ll do a backpacker pit stop the years to come especially to admire the seaside. I congratulate them for managing to pull it through. Irrespective of the economic and political climate, they deserve to be in the EU.

When Romania joined the EU in 2007 along with Bulgaria, I was neither in Romania, nor in the EU per se. I was in Geneva, Switzerland some 5 km from the French border reading the newspapers and watching from afar how Romanians celebrated the fact that they were actually being considered Europeans.

I always felt European. Geographically, I could not understand why there should be a difference between an EU citizen and a non-EU. Some time ago, as a student in France back in 2003, I felt strange when asked whether I am European or not. I always said “Yes, I am European, geographically I am a European citizen”. And they would answer back: “Well, no, you are not then”. It was very queer because I felt European and I was treated as an outsider.

And when Romania finally became an EU member in 2007, I did not feel more European because of that. I felt just as normal as before. So, well done Croatia, you deserve this!

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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4 Responses to Croatia Joins the European Union Amid Economic Recession

  1. That is great for Croatia! I went to Dubrovnik over three years ago and found it delightful. Definitely worth checking out. I can relate to you about feeling like an outsider – in certain parts of the United States you are made to feel that way and other parts of the world too. I remember in Morocco one of the local guides condescendingly asked me how long I’ve lived in the US and then complimented my ability to speak English. I was tempted to reply, “Thanks. It’s the only language I know.” 😉

    I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    • Dubrovnik feels like a good idea to start with 🙂 Yes, I completely understand how it feels: first arrival in France, people were shocked I spoke better French than they did, never quite willing to accept that French can be taught at that level outside France…. I had a great weekend, thanks! Hope you have a great week! 🙂

  2. Maggie Thom says:

    I have to say as a foreigner far removed from all of that, I look at Europe and see all the countries as European. I was not aware that because of the EU that had changed… at least in some people’s minds. 🙂 Congrats to Croatia.

    • There is a distinction EU vs. non-EU and of course it is felt especially by the non-EU that are European. In 2003, there were only 15 EU countries, right now, there are 28 Croatia included. So more unity today 🙂

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