Today marks eight years since the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union. On July 1, 2013, Croatia became its 28th member. Although Croatia formally applied for membership in the European Union in early 2003, its path to the European Union was been a long one.
The key date was January 15, 1992, when its independence was recognized by the members of the then European Community.
In 1997, the European Union adopted a regional approach to the countries of Southeast Europe, and in May 1999 it was proposed to create a new generation of contractual relations within the Stabilization and Association Process, which applied to Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia and the former Yugoslavia.