Italy is an important supporter of European integration, it’s also one of the founding members of EU, and one of the members of the European Monetary System. This paper will be aiming at how Italy’s political, economic background effect on EU enlargement policy, in terms of Croatia’s accession to the EU. First of all, it will describe the economic and political situation of Italy after World War II, and how Italy benefits from the European integration, and how Italy join EU to realize the concept of European integration. Second, it will focus on the Italian geopolitical relations with the Balkans and Eastern European countries to see how Italy effects EU Enlargement Policy and external relations especially from the fifth enlargement in 2004 of EU and after. Third, it take Croatia’s accession to the EU as an example to see Italy’s role and how it choose between its own interests and EU’s benefit.
This paper will focus on how EU’s old member state try to affect candidate country during the process of accession, and it take Italy and Croatia as examples, to see the output of domestic policies in both countries, as well as their foreign policy towards the EU enlargement process, and how Croatia modify their domestic policy in order to be in accordance with EU.