The international recognition of the Republic of Croatia on 15 January 1992 marked the beginning of the development of relations between Croatia and the European Union. The intensification of these relations towards the end of 1999 and particularly from the beginning of 2000 led to the signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in 2001 that represented the first formal contractual step in institutionalising the relationship of Croatia with the EU.
Since the signing of the SAA, institutional relations between Croatia and the EU continued to develop rapidly and this process was confirmed with two significant events in 2004 - the positive Opinion (Avis) of the European Commission on the Application of Croatia for Membership in the EU from April 2004 and the Decision of the European Council adopted on 18 June 2004, pursuant to which Croatia became a candidate country for a full-fledged membership in the EU. The process towards the opening of accession negotiations was further complemented with the European Partnership and the Pre-accession Strategy for Croatia adopted by the EU Council of Ministers in September and October 2004 respectively as well as with the Presidency conclusions of 16-17 December 2004. On 16 March 2005, the European Council adopted the Negotiation Framework for negotiations with the Republic of Croatia, but did not reach agreement on the opening of accession negotiations.
Actual accesion negotiations started 3 October 2005 during Bilateral Inter-governmental EU-Croatia Conference which marked the official start of Croatias membership talks in Luxembourg.
In its Resolution on the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union adopted in December 2002, the Croatian Parliament affirmed that the membership of Croatia in the European Union was a strategic national objective which would be fully and permanently supported by the Parliament. The general consensus of all parliamentary political parties regarding membership in the European Union was confirmed in the Joint Statement of all Political Parties on the beginning of Negotiations between Croatia and the EU from December 2004 and further strengthened in January 2005 through the parliamentary Declaration on the Fundamental Principles of Negotiations on Full Membership of the Republic of Croatia in the European Union, the Statement of the Croatian Parliament and the Government of the Republic of Croatia on Joint Actions in the Process of Negotiation on Membership of the European Union and the Decision on Establishment of a National Committee for monitoring of the negotiations.
Croatian Parliament participates in the preparations of the Republic of Croatia for the EU membership through its working bodies – the European Integrations Committee and the National Committee – as well as through the Croatia-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee.