Croatian membership in the EU

July 2, 2013

From homework to housework, dossier on Croatia's forthcoming entry into the EU

The Heinrich Böll Foundation hopes that this collection of articles about the foreseeable changes in around ten significant areas of social life will provide a space for discussion around these issues. In keeping with the expanded level on which these new relations will play out, the contributions are intended not only for the Croatian public, but for all others in the EU who are interested in what the new member state brings with it. more»

Exporting the Culture of Pluralism, Non-Discrimination and Tolerance: Long Way of the European Values to the External Borders of the Europe Union

The European Union enlargement process is often acknowledged as the European Union’s most influential democracy promotion mechanism. Indeed, transition processes in Croatia has had a significant dimension of external involvement that influenced its political and societal transformation, less during the warring years and more in the period following the Homeland War and particularly after 2000. This chapter explores the outcomes of the enlargement process conceptualized as a means of external political socialisation and assesses if the transfer of values promoted by the EU has resulted in their incorporation in the wider society. The chapter concludes that the values of equality and of respect for the rights of persons belonging to minorities, being those the EU has been founded on, have not been (and cannot be) effectively transposed in the short time-span of the Croatian accession process. This, however, implies that the efforts towards socio-cultural change and the enforcement of the politics of reconciliation need to be pursued beyond the enlargement.

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Antonija Petričušić

Migration, citizenship and the changed roles of the foreigner with the Croatian accession to EU

It seems that Croatia is entering this new stage of migration developments without a well-developed migration strategy adopted in accordance with the Croatian economic, political and demographic goals in the short and long term. The Croatian migration policies go in line with the provisions contained in the regulations of most of the EU countries, contributing to the creation of the space of the so called fortress of Europe. Croatian restrictive citizenship legislation towards regular aliens combined with a very low number of working permits issued per year contributes neatly to these policies that maintain a closed access to European labor market. Viktor Koska
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Our own private IDAHO ... — with its Prides and curses at the margin

Will Croatia in the wake of its EU accession experience the strong backlash in LGBT rights that Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have seen in recent years, or a smoother slowdown the way it happened in Slovenia during the tenure of a leftist government that promised much but delivered little for LGBT persons? The policy and media focus of NGOs there drowned in a torrent of populist right-wing leaders and their followers, who established and imposed themselves from the streets onto the political scene and finally into the media

Read entire article here Željko Blaće

Implications of the EU membership on the effectiveness of Croatian legal system

Will becoming a part of the EU legal order increase democratic legitimacy of legal provisions affecting everyday lives and personal interests? Paradoxically, precisely because the EU is still an entity strongly controlled by national governments, including the Croatian one, regulatory migration that took place on July 1st will make decision-making more distant from Croatian citizens. Croatian government will merely join a well-established game which allows national governments to strike political deals outside conventional democratic control that was designed for national, not supranational, political arena.

Read entire article here Goran Selanec

Hard work and soft rights: Croatian workers in the European Union

Through opening up borders and markets by insisting on clear rules and individual rights, EU membership arguably moves Croatia towards a more liberal society and economy. It will also facilitate a decline of collective identities, solidarities and bargaining regimes. Under such conditions a further segmentation of the labour market can be expected, as well as widening of the disparities between those who reap the rewards of the expanded opportunities and those who lag behind. Economic and social policies should provide responses that will mitigate the negative effects, but such mitigation also requires much more social dialogue and bottom-up activism than it has been customary in Croatia.

Read entire article here Domagoj Račić

What does EU membership mean for the environment in Croatia?

The EU legislation and its implementation had and will continue to have positive influence on nature and environmental protection. The picture gets more complex when we include a cross–sectorial policy analysis. For instance, common and free market policies can be in contradiction with environmental protection, as in case of GMOs.

Read entire article here Jagoda Munić

Culture between independent creativity and economism

The cultural sector will gain opportunities to further develop its potentials in Croatia in the next period, especially in close cooperation with other sectors such as tourism. At the same time, intrinsic values of culture and its role in constructing the public sphere should not be neglected. Culture and arts should not play auxiliary roles to other political and economic agendas, but be a crucial factor in development of society.

Read entire article here Katarina Pavić

Social Policy and Croatia’s EU Membership: Glass half full or half empty?

One of the key problems is the lack of informed political debate about social policy.  Hence, real choices about social policy priorities, discussions about social rights as human rights, and learning from outside the EU, tend to be dismissed. Social policy remains marginal within the Croatian government, with more focus on supposed benefit fraud than on those not reached by current provision, service users still have no voice, and reforms are painfully slow and tend to be steered by the World Bank within an economistic frame. Unless there is a revitalization of ‘social Europe’ in the next few years, it is hard to see this changing in Croatia.

Read entire article here Paul Stubbs and Siniša Zrinščak

Croatia and the European Union: It's Complicated

Given the macroeconomic constraints, structural reforms remain the only viable option for required adaptation to the internal market. Structural reforms in this context effectively relate to competitiveness.  Macroeconomic management at the country level is crucial, and primarily influenced by the fact that there is a lack of vision and conception of development.

 Read entire article here Denis Redžepagić and Vladimir Cvijanović

Gender equality and non-discrimination principle in the context of the Croatian accession to the EU

From the EU perspective, national courts act as EU courts when a case is to be decided that touches upon an area in which EU law is relevant. However, this theoretical legal construction does not take into account the practical problems that national judges may face when applying EU law, such as a combination of a different legal traditions, time constraints and a lack of routine.
 The non-discrimination principle is the core principle of the internal market of the European Union. Moreover, it is considered as the highest value in all human rights international agreements. It is also considered as the highest value in the Croatian Constitution. How come, then, that such principle is being neglected in all important areas of freedom, security and justice despite the existence of advanced anti-discrimination legal framework? This essay is an attempt to provide some thoughts and answers to this question.
Read entire article here Snježana Vasiljević

EU integration and education in Croatia: a case of “more of the same”?

Although education is formally the competence of Croatia, there has been a soft EU level steering process in Croatian education policy, reinforced by local education policy elites committed to “European standards”. What we can expect from Croatia’s EU integration in terms of education is more of the same, with both its good and bad sides.

 Read article here Karin Doolan