Dxpat.com

Overview website for Croatia

www.lonelyplanet.com/croatia

Croatia tourism and travel information including facts, maps, history, culture, transport and weather in Croatia. Find popular places to visit in …

www.eubusiness.com

Croatia is an acceeding country. The EU and Croatian leaders signed Croatia’s EU Accession Treaty on 9 December 2011. Subject to …

www.croatianhistory.net/etf/etfss.html

Croatia – an Overview of its History, Culture and Science.

www.worldbank.org/en/country/croatia/overview

Croatia will become the 28th member of the EU on July 1, 2013. To prepare, the Government needs to boost economic competitiveness and ensure Croatians …

www.minorityrights.org

Between the 1991 and 2001 censuses, the total population of Croatia dropped by 7.25 per cent. The ethnic Croat …… Croatia OVERVIEW · Country Data …

Croatia’s overarching priority is to enter the European Union on July 1, 2013 as the 28th member state with a competitive and growing economy and the institutional capacity to meet the demands of EU membership. The government also needs to raise Croatia’s competitiveness to compete in the large EU market and maximize the opportunities membership will bring, especially the absorption of a large amount of EU Structural Funds.

Before the global financial crisis of 2008-09, the Croatian economy grew at a healthy 4-5% annually, incomes doubled, and economic and social opportunities dramatically improved. The prolonged crisis has put this progress and Croatia’s aspirations to the test.

The outlook for growth in 2012 remains weak given Croatia’s dependence on economic cycles of the European Union. About half of Croatia’s trade is with the euro area, primarily with Germany and Italy, and the euro area is the source of about three-fourths of foreign-direct investment (FDI) flows into the country. Croatia also has a high concentration of banks whose ownership indirectly exposes them to the euro-area crisis.

Unemployment remains at above 12% and youth unemployment a high 40%. The private sector has been bearing the brunt of the crisis with around 115,000 jobs lost mostly in manufacturing, construction and trade. On the other hand, the public sector newly employed 7,500 people. The demand for Croatian goods and tourism services are uncertain coupled with limited prospects for inflow of foreign capital.

The crisis has increased poverty from 10% to 14% and the profile of the poor has changed, with the educated and younger living in richer urban areas now more affected.

Croatia spends 7.8% of GDP on health, among the highest for new EU members. Like most other European countries, Croatia is expecting profound changes in its population structure over the next 50 years as the elderly population grows and the need for health services and long-term care services will rise. A challenge is to provide better health services and improve efficiency while reducing public spending on health.

Substantial reforms and improvements have been made in the Croatian education sector, but advances have been slow in improving the efficiency and the quality of higher education to better respond to the needs of the labor market. While more children and youth are enrolling in school programs (60% at the pre-school level, near universal enrollment at the primary level, and 88% at the secondary level), Croatia’s enrollment levels remain below OECD and EU levels.

In 2010, the agriculture sector accounted for around 7% of GDP and employed 14% of the labor force. With 42% of the country’s population living in rural areas, agriculture is an important source of livelihood and protection of the rural environment is central to the EU Common Agricultural Policy. The Ministry of Agriculture has been working intensively on the harmonization and adoption of a number of regulations in the area of agriculture, food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policies, and fisheries.

Croatia lies along three Pan-European transport corridors between the European Union and Southeastern Europe and the Croatian authorities have invested heavily in developing their pan-European transport network primarily through public funding, focusing mainly on roads, motorways and ports. Croatia’s railway sector faces major challenges, and will require investments if it is to be integrated with the EU network.

Croatia’s territory is ecologically among the best preserved in Europe, with 47% of its land and 39% of its sea designated as specially protected areas and areas of conservation. Croatia boasts 19 National and Nature Parks, with some of them, such as the Plitvice Lakes National Park, designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Croatia’s natural beauty draws in millions of tourists each year, with tourism revenues representing around 15% of the country’s GDP. Preservation of the environment is high on the development agenda and a requirement for European Union membership.

Croatia became Party to the Kyoto Protocol in 2007, and in the 2009 energy strategy committing to its general objectives. The Strategy sets clear goals regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency, in line with the EU 20-20-20. The climate and renewable energy policy is designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20%, increase the renewable energy share of the energy mix to 20%, and improve energy efficiency by 20%, all by 2020.

Croatia’s rare blend of glamour and old-fashioned authenticity make this Europe’s ‘it’ destination, where beaches and sunshine vie for attention with cultural treasures, ancient architecture and time-tested folk traditions.

Croatia’s Brand of Tourism

Despite its reputation as Europe’s vacation hotspot, Croatia hasn’t given in to mass tourism. The ‘Mediterranean As It Once Was’, motto of Croatia’s tourist board may be overblown in popular destinations where development has taken a firm hold but pockets of authentic culture can be found and there’s still plenty to discover off the grid. This is a country in transition, on the brink between Mitteleuropa and Mediterranean, it offers good news for visitors on all budgets: Croatia is as diverse as its landscapes. Some of the more popular Adriatic locales come with hefty price tags in the summer months, while continental Croatia costs a fraction of what you’ll pay on the coast. The chic and trendy outposts may make you forget that a brutal civil war raged through Croatia in the 1990s. The way in which the country has bounced back is a sign of its people’s resilience – people who are remarkable hosts once you cross the tourist/local barrier.

Coastal Croatia

There’s a buzz and undeniable star appeal to Croatia’s coast. You’ll get plenty of glitz and glamour in Dubrovnik and Hvar, where night action and celebrity-spotting, designer cocktail in hand, is de rigueur, and fancy yachts dock in droves. For those wanting peace and quiet, hideaways aplenty wait to be discovered, including remote lighthouse islets, fetching fishing villages, secluded coves and Robinson Crusoe–style atolls. Families flock to the string of safe beaches, and there are activities galore for all ages.

Beauty on the Inside: Continental Croatia

Everyone visits the nearly 2000km-long coastline, with over 1000 islands, but most people skip the unsung beauties of inland Croatia. Enjoy a slice of pristine farmland in one of the rural hotels or ‘agro-tourisms’, roam rugged wilderness or get active – hike, bike, abseil, paraglide, raft and canoe. Zagreb may play second fiddle to nearby Vienna, but this pocket-sized capital has an attractive cafe life, a brand-new contemporary art museum, ancient attractions and a jam-packed roster of festivals and events.

Foodie-friendly Croatia

Croatia has been slowly crawling its way up to the top of Europe’s culinary rungs. Its chief assets are locally sourced, prime-quality ingredients from the land and sea, creatively prepared by celeb chefs or cooked up home-style in family-run taverns. Some of these gastronomic havens require a trek, but the minute you taste the food your palate will know it was worth it. The wine regions of Croatia are as burgeoning as the country itself, and its olive oils (particularly those of Istria) are getting top awards.

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