20 years after its fight for independence, Croatia joins the EU on the first of July as the second former Yugoslav republic to join, after a process the EPP Group helped to facilitate. Both Croatia and EU stand to benefit, though Croatia's transition to a modern economy remains a work in transition. By taking in Croatia, the EU is reaching deep into the Balkans, where just 20 years ago a war was raging. With a combination of hard and soft power, the EU has maintained the peace in the last volatile region in Europe. Available material includes an edited package.