Features of Croatia’s accession to NATO

Keywords: NATO, Croatia, Partnership for Peace, foreign policy, Euro-Atlantic integration


The Republic of Croatia, a relatively young country in the Western Balkans, declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and since then its foreign policy has been mainly aimed at strengthening ties with Western and European structures. Not surprisingly, one of Croatia’s goals in this regard was to join NATO, as membership in such an organization guarantees military and political security.

Croatia’s course of Euro-Atlantic integration has faced a number of challenges: economic backwardness, military unpreparedness, political strife within the country and poor public awareness of the benefits of joining the Alliance. However, Zagreb’s effective foreign and domestic policies, as well as NATO members’ awareness of the strategic importance of Croatia’s accession to security in the Balkans, have allowed Croats to achieve their goal.

It was after the signing of the Dayton Accords that a new period of Croatia’s Euro-Atlantic development began. At a conference in Munich, the NATO Secretary General spoke for the first time about Croatia’s intentions to become part of the North Atlantic community. And the positive political developments in Croatia have demonstrated the country’s readiness to transform its foreign policy, which hastened NATO’s decision to invite Croatia to the Partnership for Peace.

The article reveals Croatia’s actions on the path to NATO membership. The essence of Croatia’s annual national programs, which were plans for changes and reforms for NATO membership, is highlighted. Croatia’s experience is useful for Ukraine, as Croatia is a country that has been able to carry out relevant reforms and join NATO after the war and economic problems.


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How to Cite
Shevchuk, O., & Vorchakova, A. (2021). Features of Croatia’s accession to NATO. Acta De Historia & Politica: Saeculum XXI, (02), 48-54. https://doi.org/10.26693/ahpsxxi2020.02.048