- Title: CROATIA: Ceremony held at Croatia's border with Serbia to mark Croatia's EU entry
- Date: 1st July 2013
- Summary: CAR DRIVING TOWARDS BORDER CROSSING / DOMINIC TAKING PASSENGERS' PASSPORTS HANDING THEM OVER TO BORDER CONTROL STAFF CAR DRIVING THROUGH BORDER CROSSING (SOUNDBITE) (Croatian) CROATIAN POLICE CHIEF, VLADO DOMINIC, SAYING: "Until yesterday, the Croatian policeman here was guarding around 4.5 million citizens of Croatia, but as of today, he is guarding 500 million people of the European Union. Now the Croatian police and the Croatian government have the goal - entry into the Schengen zone. I hope we will be its members in two years at the earliest." VARIOUS OF CELEBRATION AT BORDER CROSSING TRAFFIC SIGN READING "EU,EEA,CH" WIDE OF BORDER CROSSING
- Embargoed: 16th July 2013 13:00
- Location: Croatia
- Country: Croatia
- Topics: International Relations,European Union,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA3TQLWIRAI4C7A9CWJUI016813
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Croatia's police chief unveils a road sign reading "EU" on the border crossing with Serbia to mark Croatia's entrance into the European Union.
Vlado Dominic, Chief of Croatia's police, marked the country's EU entry on Monday (July 1) by symbolically unveiling a road sign reading "EU" at the Bajakovo border crossing with Serbia.
"Until yesterday the Croatian policeman here was guarding around 4.5 million citizens of Croatia, but as of today, he is guarding 500 million people of the European Union. Now the Croatian police and the Croatian government have the goal - entry into the Schengen zone. I hope we will be its members in two years at the earliest," said Dominic after the ceremony.
Bajakovo is one of Croatia's major border crossings, used by more than six million passengers and two million vehicles a year.
Croatia borders EU members Slovenia and Hungary to the north and ex-Yugoslav republics of Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro to the east and southeast. It also shares a Maritime border with Italy.
Croatia, only the second ex-Yugoslav republic to join the EU after Slovenia in 2004, formally entered the European Union on midnight of Sunday (June 30), becoming the bloc's 28th member and the first new member of the EU since 2007.
After ten years of accession negotiations, Croatia joined the bloc more than two decades since it had declared independence from socialist Yugoslavia and was engulfed in a 1991-1995 war.
In spite of having a thriving tourist industry on account of its beautiful Adriatic coastline that attracts some 10 million tourists every year, Croatia is burdened with high public spending, inefficient public administration and a poor business climate, all of which will make it difficult for Croatia to reap quick benefits from EU membership.
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