FT: Croatia Hopes in Vain to Capitalize on Bulgaria, Romania Poor Record
There is a tendency in Croatia to assume that the European Union will welcome it with open arms just because corruption and organized crime are a little less rampant than in Bulgaria and Romania, the Financial Times commented in an article entitled "EU Eyes Corruption in the Balkans".
The author Tony Barber points out that with the prevailing political climate in western Europe cool towards enlargement, it would be rash for Croats to think the EU will welcome them because corruption and organized crime are a little less rampant than in Bulgaria and Romania.
"The lesson some countries drew from the entry of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 was that the EU had made a mistake in letting them join before they had met EU standards on tackling corruption and organised crime and on strengthening their judicial systems," says the article.
In the word of the author Croatians assume that their country is self-evidently at the cultural and geographical heart of Europe - it was, after all, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - and that entry into the EU is therefore automatic.
"But as a result of its experiences with Bulgaria and Romania, the EU sets the bar higher than it used to," the article ends.
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