On July 1, Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union. It marked he assimilation of the first former Yugolsav republic to the international trading bloc.
Its membership also marked an important milestone for the region two decades after a number of vicious conflicts tore the former Yugoslavia asunder.
"You have undergone difficult reforms and held out the hand of reconciliation," said European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso. "As an EU member state you have made clear that you will help others follow your path. I welcome this commitment as our union is open to those who share our European values."
Just a few months later, the EU had a pop at Croatia for being in breach of rules related to its deficit and debt levels. The European Commission said that Croatia would have to be put under an "excessive deficit procedure" which sets out the measures the country needed to take to return it to acceptable metrics.