A middle power in international relations, it is a member of the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean.

As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term.

Since 2000, the Croatian government has constantly invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors.

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Croatia has a total area of 56,594 square kilometres (21,851 square miles) and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics.

The Croats arrived in the area of present-day Croatia during the early part of the 7th century AD.

Fossils of Neanderthals dating to the middle Palaeolithic period have been unearthed in northern Croatia, with the most famous and the best presented site in Krapina.

The period ends with Avar and Croat invasions in the first half of the 7th century and destruction of almost all Roman towns.

The ethnogenesis of Croats is uncertain and there are several competing theories, Slavic and Iranian being the most frequently put forward.

The most widely accepted of these, the Slavic theory, proposes migration of White Croats from the territory of White Croatia during the Migration Period.

The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner.

Internal sources produce a significant portion of energy in Croatia.

In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne.

During the early 19th century, parts of the country were split into the French Illyrian Provinces, and Austria-Hungary occupied its Bosnia and Herzegovina side–a dispute settled by the 1878 Treaty of Berlin.

), is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea.