U.S. Policy in Croatia
American engagement in Croatia is aimed at fostering a democratic, secure, and market-oriented society that will be a strong partner in European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. This will advance our goal of establishing a durable, prosperous peace in Southeastern Europe and contribute to the construction of “a Europe, whole and free”.
We are cooperating with Croatia to support democratic and economic reform to help overcome the legacies of communism, war, and ethnic division. We are working to enhance Croatia’s local capacities to combat terrorism, trafficking in persons, organized crime, and corruption. Our goal is to ensure that Croatia continues to take the necessary steps to solidify its place within the community of democratic nations and become a model of stability, peace, and cooperation throughout Southeastern Europe.
We encourage full Croatian support for implementation of the Dayton Accords, including promotion of refugee returns, full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and support for strengthening of federation and joint institutions in Bosnia. We continue to encourage Croatia’s active, constructive participation in regional stability efforts, including the Stability Pact and the Adriatic Charter.
The United States actively backed Croatia’s admission to NATO in April 2009. As NATO partners, we continue U.S. security cooperation and assistance to strengthen Croatian military capacity and capabilities to deploy troops on multilateral missions in line with NATO standards. We particularly value our partnership with Croatian forces in Afghanistan, best represented by a combined team of the Croatian military and Minnesota National Guard to train Afghan national forces.
We support the civil reforms necessary for Croatia to qualify for EU membership. U.S. assistance has focused on promoting lasting political reforms, greater public accountability and oversight of government operations, and a free and independent media. We continue to work bilaterally, with our partners in the international community, and with non-governmental organizations to strengthen Croatia’s democracy by ensuring rule of law and equal rights for all citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion, or place of origin. An essential element of our approach is promoting the return of refugees and their peaceful reintegration into Croatian society.
The United States has been a significant partner in Croatia’s efforts to de-mine war-affected areas and to assist the victims of landmine incidents. We provide direct and matching funds through the International Trust Fund for Demining to support Croatia’s goal to be “mine-safe.”
We are supporting Croatian Government efforts to achieve real privatization, control public expenditures, encourage foreign investment, strengthen the financial sector, and promote job creation and growth. The United States welcomed Croatia’s WTO entry in 2000, and would like Croatia to continue to improve regional economic ties.
The U.S. Embassy in Croatia actively promotes U.S. exports and supports U.S. firms doing business in Croatia. Tourism development, infrastructure investment, and planned privatizations should be of interest to U.S. companies. We engage closely with the Croatian government to provide advocacy for U.S. companies on government tenders, to ensure a level playing field for U.S. companies doing business in Croatia, and to advocate for a legal and regulatory system that is fair and transparent and which meets Croatia’s bilateral and multilateral obligations. Should problems arise, we work to ensure that commitments to U.S. firms are honored, and if necessary, that U.S. firms have equal access to due process.
U.S. Government efforts to support democratization, human rights, and economic reform in Croatia demonstrate to the Croatian public the benefits of good governance, free market economics, and cooperation with the United States and the international community. Successful internal reform will further Croatia’s integration into Europe and the Euro-Atlantic community, establishing a model for the rest of the region and contributing to European security and prosperity upon which America’s own security and prosperity depend.