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Croatia borders Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia and has been an independent country since 1991. The country has a long and dramatic coastline with the Adriatic Sea, in which the country has over 1 000 islands and islets, of which just 48 are permanently inhabited.
The most important sectors of Croatia’s economy in 2012 were industry (20.9 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (20.1 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (16.0 %).
Croatia’s main export partners are Italy, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Germany while its main import partners are Italy, Germany and Russia.
Geographical size: 87 661.0 km2
Population: 4 275 984 (2012)
Population as % of total EU population: 0.8 % (2012)
GDP: € 43.682 billion (2012)
Official EU language(s): Croatian
Political system: parliamentary republic
EU member country since: 1 July 2013
Seats in the European Parliament: 11
Currency: Croatian Kuna HRK
Passport-free travel? No, Croatia is not a member of the Schengen Area.
Presidency of the Council: Croatia has so far not held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU.
In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Croatian government, depending on the policy area being addressed.
The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.
During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.
More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU.
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
Croatia has 9 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.
Croatia has 9 representatives on the Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.
Croatia also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Croatia's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.
Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.
Breakdown of Croatia’s finances with the EU in 2012:
More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:
Find out more about how Croatia benefits from EU funding.