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News Tip: Adviser to Croatian President Available to Discuss EU Membership

Fuqua associate professor Sasa Pekec says move 'incredibly important' for stability

Croatia will become the 28th member state of the European Union on July 1. It marks the first EU enlargement since 2007 and occurs at a time when there are multiple voices across Europe reexamining the costs and benefits of the union. Sasa Pekec Associate professor in decision sciences at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business; member of the Council of Economic Advisers to Croatia President Ivo Josipovic. Currently in Croatia, Pekec is available for phone and Skype interviews.  Quote:"Croatia's accession to the European Union is largely symbolic: Given the length of the accession process and numerous transformations over the years, Croatians will not see any spectacular changes. In fact, a prevailing sentiment is that Croatia has always been part of Europe, so July 1 is just a rubber-stamping of an obvious fact. "However, the importance of Croatia joining of the union is both economic and political. Economically, Croatia is joining the EU economic zone, ensuring free movement of capital, goods and people. This could prove to be costly for Croatia's transitional economy, as many non-competitive businesses stand to lose special protections and government support. Politically, Croatia's joining the EU is incredibly important for stabilizing a historically turbulent region of southeast Europe. "The biggest winners will be the EU members and their economies. Economic borders will open and provide an opportunity to invest in Croatia, all without any risks typically associated with doing business in an institutionally unstable post-communist emerging economy.  "However, the impact of July 1 is not just pragmatic. Croatia joining the EU at this particular moment reminds all Europeans why the idea of the European Union is still very appealing: we share common civilizational values and a desire for peace and understanding across our nations and cultures." 

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