The highlights of the Raiffeisen Research: "Country Report: Croatia special: When to enter EU?" publication:
- Croatia moved from an applicant to an EU membership candidate within an extremely short period of time. Croatia expects full EU membership in 2009 or 2010.
- We do not expect that the election year 2007 will have a significant impact on the accession talks. However current target dates may not be achieved due to several other reasons and this could have economic impacts. We will discuss the major themes that could influence the EU entry date and how all this could bias the economic development in Croatia up to 2012. We present our baseline scenario as well as a more optimistic and more pessimistic one.
- Even Croatia is the most advanced country in SEE - if one looks at economic fundamentals - it seems that the country is not ripe for full EU membership yet. The country needs a lot of reforms due to the lost decade in the 1990s. Thus Croatia's economic development largely depends on the pace of reforms that is connected with EU accession. However, it seems clear cut - from an economic perspective - that Croatia cannot wait for another enlargement round.
- We expect an EU entry until 2011 and a moderate pace of reforms. Thus growth rates should fluctuate close or even slightly above the potential growth of 4%-4.5% within our forecast horizon from 2008 to 2012. If reforms gain speed we see some potential on the upside. In such an optimistic scenario economic growth might inch to a level above 5%.
If you'd like to find out more about this publication, please contact Ms. Ivana Juric at firstname.lastname@example.org