Today, Croatia joined the European Union (EU) and became the bloc’s 28th member. This news should not surprise anyone, as Croatia is strategically located near the Balkans, which provides the EU an extension of its external border alongside Slovenia, another recent EU member. The idea would be to help protect the EU’s frontier from Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina, three countries where migrant smuggling and narcotics trafficking routes have been established for entry into the EU. It is considered the EU’s longest border, and some analysts state that this ascension could cause friction between the non-EU neighbors and leave it isolated:
The new EU border, now pushed towards Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, will influence regional economic, social and political dynamics. Instead of recovering lost ties and creating an atmosphere of stability and mutual co-operation among post-Yugoslav states, which the EU and Croatian government state as being among their goals, the EU’s longest external land border (1,300km) will, by the mere functioning of its police apparatus, necessarily cut Croatia off from its immediate and natural surrounding and bring further isolation from its neighbours. Croatia has thus a moral and political imperative to fight against the thickening of a border that cuts deep through what was once a common borderless space.
It will be interesting to see in the coming months the desires and goals of Croatia within the EU, and the core EU countries’ expectations of Croatia. Nevertheless, below is a short clip about Croatia’s efforts to guard the EU’s borders: