Croatia in NATO

"Following the English alphabet, Croatia's flag flies after the Canadian and before the Czech," was one of the comments that was repeated over and over again in Croatian news programs yesterday. Below is a report from Nova TV. Even if you don't understand Croatian, the flags, anthems and speeches make clear that Croatia is very proud of being a full member of NATO as of yesterday. Croatia's flag was hoisted in Brussels and, in turn, NATO's flag in Zagreb, where many gathered in front of the Ministry of Defense. Looking at the facade of the building, you'll see the EU flag waving too. I don't know if there are any rules concerning the right to fly the EU flag. I guess not, since you can see them all over the country, even though Croatia won't join the club before 2012.

Despite opposition from some Slovene nationalists, Croatia belongs now to the "world's most elite club", as prime minister Sanader once called NATO. Croatia's own elite gathered in the evening in the National Theatre to celebrate the entry with a concert.
Croatian satisfaction with NATO membership is more than understandable. Next time the Serbs, or whoever, attack "our beautiful homeland" (a very normal way of saying in Croatia) American, Turkish, Canadian and Dutch troops will kick in to kick out the enemy. So we hope...
Less understandable is the habit of Croatia's political elite to link NATO membership with EU accession. I heard people saying that "Croatia is now half way" and Sanader even thinks that EU countries will reconsider the Croatian-Slovenian border dispute, to Croatia's advantage of course.
Personally, I don't see why. First, not all EU members are NATO members. More important, not all NATO allies belong to the EU. Turkey is a great example of the latter categorie. Despite old promises about EU membership and unwavering support from the United States, Turkey is not an EU member and maybe will never be one. Although Turkey is a NATO ally since 1952!
As the Croatian-Slovenia border dispute is concerned: Marrti Ahtisaari was tipped as mediator, but he himself says he has never been formally asked to solve the crisis. Asked what his answer would be to a possible request, he said: "Highly unlikely. I am tired of the Balkans".

2 reacties:

bathmate said...

very good posting. i liked it. :-)


Red said...

red cross and red crescent

Red Cross and Red Crescent Club