Croatia - EU-Croatia relations
Croatia has been a candidate country for EU membership since June 2004. It was the second country to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU on 29 October 2001. This agreement entered into force on 1 February 2005. On 3 October 2005 the Council decided to open accession negotiations with Croatia. On 12 February 2008 the Council adopted the new Accession Partnership for the country. Following the Accession Conference with Croatia at deputy level of 30 October 2008, the status in the accession negotiations [164 KB] [171 KB] is that there are four provisionally closed chapters: Enterprise and industrial policy (Chapter 20); Science and research (Chapter 25), and Education and culture (Chapter 26) and External Relations (Chapter 30) and negotiations have been opened in 21 chapters.
EU-Croatia trade has substantially increased since the opening of the EU market under the Autonomous Trade Measures in 2000 and the trade provisions of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement in 2002. In 2007 EU- Croatia trade was at € 418.2 million. EU-imports from Croatia totalled €4.9 billion (14% of GDP) while EU exports to Croatia reached €13.2 billion (38% of GDP). The main source of export revenues are primarily composed of industrial goods (62.8%), including principally machinery (18%), textiles products (8.2%), transport equipment (5.1%) and chemical products (8.6%). The Croatian imports from the EU in 2007 were mainly industrial goods (72.7%) including machinery (16.2%), transport equipment (13.6% - of which 10.2% cars and trucks), chemical products (12%) and textile products (5%). In 2007 the EU was by far Croatia's main trading partner (67% of external trade). In 2007 EU foreign direct investment totalled €3.57 billion ( 9.5% of Croatia's GDP) with almost all inflow coming from EU 27 (99%).
30 October 2008 - 7th meeting of the Accession Conference at Deputy Level sees number of negotiation chapters provisionally closed reach four. 21 chapters have been opened so far.
12 February 2008 - The Council adopts the new Accession Partnership
18 October 2006 - 'Screening' concluded; accession negotiations continue.
12 June 2006 - First chapter of the accession negotiations - science and research - formally opened and provisionally closed at an Accession Conference (ministerial level).
20 October 2005 – ‘Screening’ stage of accession negotiations begins.
3 October 2005 – International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Chief Prosecutor assesses Croatia is now fully cooperating with ICTY. Council concludes last remaining condition for starting negotiations is met. Accession negotiations are launched the same day.
26 April 2005 – First meeting of Stabilisation and Association Council; meeting of extended “EU troika” on Croatia’s cooperation with the ICTY
16 March 2005 – EU postpones start of accession negotiations but adopts framework for negotiations with Croatia
1 February 2005 - Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) enters into force
December 2004 – European Council sets 17 March 2005 as start date for negotiations conditional upon full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
June 2004 - European Council confirms Croatia as candidate country
April 2004 - European Commission issues positive opinion on Croatia’s application for EU membership application
June 2003 - Thessaloniki European Council confirms accession perspective of Western Balkans countries, including Croatia
21 February 2003 - Croatia applies for EU membership
29 October 2001 - Stabilisation and Association Agreement signed
November 2000 -Zagreb Summit launches the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) for five countries of South-Eastern Europe, including Croatia
June 2000 - The Feira European Council states that all the SAP countries are "potential candidates" for EU membership.