On 15 January 1992, members of European Union recognized the independence of Croatia.
On this day 25 years ago Croatian independence was recognized by members of the European Union. Germany, which together with the Vatican played a key role in this process, on the same day immediately established diplomatic relations with Croatia, reports Jutarnji List on January 15, 2017.
On 15 January 1992, when Croatia became an internationally recognized country, the Homeland War was in full swing, and almost a third of the country was occupied by Yugoslav People’s Army and Serb paramilitary units. Croatia reached its recognized borders many years later, in 1997, after successful conclusion of the Homeland War and the peaceful reintegration of Eastern Slavonia and the Danube area.
International recognition of Croatia followed its declaration of independence on 25 June 1991. On that same day, independence was also declared by Slovenia, which recognized Croatia the next day. At the same time, the process of dissolution of the Soviet Union was proceeding. Some of former Soviet republics recognized Croatia, although they themselves were still not recognized at the time. The first of them was Lithuania (30 July 1991), followed by Ukraine (11 December), Latvia (14 December), and Estonia (31 December).
The first internationally recognized state to recognize Croatia was Iceland (19 December 1991). Germany also announced the decision on the same day, adding that it would come into effect on 15 January 1992, together with other EU member states.
Two days before the EU, on 13 January 1992, Croatia was recognized by the Holy See. Vatican diplomacy was first in the world, on 3 October 1991, which announced that it was working on international recognition of Croatia. One day after the Holy See, Croatia was recognized by San Marino.
Then, on 15 January 1992, Croatia was recognized by Great Britain, Denmark, Malta, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg and Greece. One day later, these countries were joined by Argentina, Australia, Czechoslovakia, Chile, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Slovakia, Sweden and Uruguay.
By the end of January 1992, Croatia was recognized by seven additional countries – Finland, Romania, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. Russia recognized Croatia on 17 February, Japan on 17 March, United States of America on 7 April, Israel on 16 April, while China did it on 27 April.
On 22 May 1992, Croatia became a member of the United Nations, while on 1 April 2009 it became a member of NATO. After fulfilling all criteria and lengthy negotiations, on 1 July 2013 Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union.
A series of events in Zagreb will mark the anniversary. The programme began this morning by laying of wreaths, and was followed by a mass of thanksgiving at the Zagreb Cathedral. A special concert will be held on Ban Jelačić Square, while in the evening there will be a special ceremony and concert at the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, which will be attended by President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Speaker of Parliament Božo Petrov.