Strong rule of law nations must urgently address transnational organized crime in the Balkan region's mafia states including Croatia, and, help establish the rule of law and independent judiciary.
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It has not been easy for the countries of East-Central Europe to establish stable, functioning democracies. Strong-arm leaders -- like Victor Orban in Hungary or, until recently, Vaclav Klaus in the Czech Republic -- have persistent appeal.
In order to get into the European Union, Croatia needs the support of each one of the current 27 members. So far, 20 countries have ratified Croatia's EU accession treaty.
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