On 1st July, Croatia, a country with a population of 4.5 million, became the 28th member State of the European Union. Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003. The entry negotiations were underway by 2005, and after the Treaty of Accession was signed in 2011 in Brussels, a referendum was held in 2012 during which 66% of participants voted in favour of EU accession. Thus after Slovenia, Croatia is the second former Yugoslav republic to join the EU.
Croatia is administratively divided into 423 municipalities (up to 30,000 inhabitants) and 127 cities (more than 10,000 inhabitants). The country is a melting pot of cultures due to its numerous borders: with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Montenegro and the coastal border with Italy across the Adriatic.
In terms of justice, security and liberty, in 2006 the European Commission had initially evaluated that “considerable efforts” were needed. This stage of negotiations, which ended in 2010, was the object of a report handed at the beginning of 2013, in which the Commission concluded that the country had successfully responded to the European requirements, although further efforts needed to be made to prevent corruption.
Efus has built a strong network in Croatia with stakeholders in the field of local security. Efus participated in the urban conferences organised in 2009, 2010 and 2012 by the magazine Zastita (“Protection”) on various issues related to urban security (read the article here), as well as with the United Nations Development Programme – UNDP (read the article here).
As tourism in Croatia is a well-developed industry (with 9.1 million tourists each year), the theme “Security and Tourism” has naturally been addressed numerous times, notably during the conference of Aubervillers and Saint-Denis in December 2012, during which there was a thematic workshop co-organised by the magazine. Also, the “SIGTUR” conference on security and tourism to be held in September 2013 is co-organised by Efus.
Croatian cities have on numerous occasions stated their interest in joining Efus network and working together at a national level on the themes of prevention and security. The city of Solin (situated near Split in Dalmatia) was the first to become member of Efus in 2008. Following the adhesion of Croatia to the EU, we hope that many other cities will join Efus’ network in the months and years to come.