Sunday, August 18, 2013

Croatia is #28

It’s no surprise to read that some country – think Greece, Portugal, Spain – is considering withdrawing from the European Union – or being asked to depart.  For months and months who-might-go has a topic of endless speculation.  So far – no departures.

And not surprisingly, there’s been no worldwide discussion of countries joining.  Who would want to?  The answer – there’s still a waiting list.  And one new addition. On July 1, 2013, just weeks ago Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union.  

Why would this country of just over 4 million people, slightly smaller than Ireland, still want to join?  A USA Today article provides part of that answer.  According to Josip Virovac, 20, an engineering student. "Joining the EU is inevitable. We can't live in isolation and ignore the globalization. The primary goal of world economy is to make a big global market and if want to survive we need to be a part of this union."

Although membership comes with costs and new regulations, Croatia obtains access to a market of almost 500 million people and will receive billions of dollar of financing spread over the next six year.

Who will follow their lead?  Serbia will start entry negotiations in January 2014 and, according to a New York Times article, Kosovo, Bosnia and Macedona all hope to join in the future. 

Whatch the news and see which countries become the next additions to the group.  

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