27 June 2013
Category : Opinion
On 1 July 2013, Croatia officially becomes a member of the EU.
Spain is one of the countries that has helped to make this possible through the management, by the FIIAPP, of projects in different spheres, from health care to agriculture, fishing, the environment and the economy, as well as the fight against corruption. Moreover, being helped by another European country with a rather Mediterranean character, as is the case of Spain, has been and remains more readily understandable than that of a Nordic country, for example.
Negotiations for Croatia’s accession to the EU ran from October 2005 to June 2011. These negotiations included some transition periods which go beyond the accession date. These periods enable the FIIAPP to continue managing projects in the country, which will help it to achieve the different objectives set by the EU. Most of the time, these are very specific details about how to develop certain regulations or how to apply certain EU criteria.
The fact that Spanish experts have been contracted in Croatia for the management of these projects on the ground enables us to get to know the situation first-hand and what the Croats think of their entry into the Union.
Adolfo Merino, RTA (Resident Twinning Adviser) of the project managed by the FIIAPP about structural policies and state aid in the fishing sector, tells us about the atmosphere in the country in the days prior to the accession.
“In the streets, there is a mixture of expectation and mistrust. There are critical voices who highlight the bad economic situation of many of the member states of the EU and question whether now is the right time to join. On the other hand, we come across others that are more positive and optimistic, who see the possibility of increasing their market and obtaining financial assistance which could help them improve in some aspects.
However, in the Administration the atmosphere is one of nervousness, doubts and haste: “Have we done our homework?”
Adolfo tells us that his project can be considered another step forward along the road taken years ago, as the FIIAPP has already managed other fishing projects in the country. And the clearest impact on the lives of the Croats is that, thanks to the assistance received, they will be able to benefit from the structural aid earmarked for the Croatian fishing sector. “We hope that this will strengthen the sector and improve the living conditions of those who depend on fishing and aquaculture.”
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