2014 Transatlantic Leadership Forum
"Croatia: The 28th member of the European Union"
A young nation in transition
On July 1, 2013, Croatia joined the European Union as its 28th and latest member. It is a new beginning for this breathtakingly beautiful nation situated majestically on the Adriatic Sea.
Though modern day Croatia is a young country, having only gained its independence in 1992 after a bloody conflict with Serbia, it is a land rich in culture and history.
The ancient Greeks and Romans once laid claim to these lands and in more contemporary times, Croatia was part of the once mighty, the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was a nation torn asunder by the Germans in World War II, occupied by the USSR and ruled by the totalitarian dictator Marshall Tito. Through it all, the people of Croatia have persevered and today democracy flourishes and the future holds great promise.
During our stay we had the honor of meeting one of the founding fathers of today's Croatia, Supreme Court Judge Mato Arlovic. He along with other representatives of the Croatian political, educational and business community, helped us understand the swirling politics of this region so close to the Russian border yet inextricably linked to the West.
This forum was a unique opportunity for we Americans to forge new friendships with these warm and hospitable people.