Harbour wall in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photo: Alan Grant
Harbour wall in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photo: Alan Grant

This background document section offers 90 key texts and background documents on Croatia's EU accession process, covering key EU documents, screening reports for all negotiation chapters, as well as a special section on the Croatian-Slovenian border dispute. More general documents on the EU's enlargement process can be accessed here.


Contractual relations

The major accession process agreements between Croatia and the EU:

The Treaty, signed by top representatives of Croatia and all 27 EU member states, marks the end of Croatia's negotiations. It defines both Croatia's and the EU's rights and obligations and foresees Croatia's entry into the bloc as its 28th member on 1 July 2013, pending ratification of all member states.


Key European Council conclusions

Three European Council decisions were crucial so far for Croatia: first, its confirmation as a candidate in June 2004 (after the European Commission's positive "avis" in April); second, the December 2004 decision setting a starting date for membership negotiations, and third, the conclusion of negotiations on 24 June 2011. The opening of negotiations was initially postponed on account of Croatia's insufficient cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). On 3 October 2005, however, chief ICTY prosecutor Carla Del Ponte confirmed full cooperation. Accession negotiations were opened the same day.


Key EU strategy documents

In 2004 Croatia became the first country of the Western Balkans to officially secure EU candidate status. This was reflected in the 2004 EC strategy paper on enlargement, which dealt exclusively with Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia. Starting from 2005, all candidates and potential candidates were included in the annual strategy paper issued by the European Commission.


EU monitoring reports

A collection of all official reports prepared by the European Commission on Croatia's progress towards EU membership, including information on progress made in each chapter. Here you also find the document specifying the EC's envisaged continuous monitoring until Croatia's official accession, SAP reports, the Commission's 2004 "opinion" on Croatia's application, and subsequent progress reports.


Pre-accession funds and EU funds

Croatia is a frontrunner when it comes to making use of the new Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), which replaced the former Phare, ISPA and SAPARD pre-accession funds. What follows is a selection of relevant key documents, including the major strategy documents.

A wide range of documents and news are available at the website of the Croatian Central Office for Development Strategy and Coordination of EU funds. To access additional EC documents on EU pre-accession funds and IPA, click here.


EU membership negotiations

Visit the Negotiations for the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the EU website, maintained by the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, for up-to-date information on the negotiation process, the composition of the working groups, and the progress made so far. For the screening reports of all negotiation chapters and the negotiation framework, look below.

Screening reports:


The Croatian-Slovenian border dispute

Croatia and Slovenia signed an agreement on 9 November 2009 to let international arbitrators rule on their border dispute. Subsequently, Slovenia lifted its blockade of Croatia's EU negotiations. The two sides are now choosing their members of the arbitration panel and the arbitration process has yet to start. The panel's ruling will be binding for both sides.

There is hardly any information on the dispute that does not originate from one of the parties involved. The Slovenian side has been more proactive in making its position available on paper while Croatia has kept its cards – namely, its arguments and supporting evidence – closer to its chest.

Croatian documents

Slovenian documents

UN Documents

Academic analysis