Croatia Reopens Border with Serbia; Trade Blockade Lifts

The opening of Croatia’s border with Serbia this week not only will help thousands of stranded migrants, but it also removes the trade blockade between the two countries. The opening may only be temporary, however, according to October’s Risk Monthly report from the Credendo Group.

“This sort of event could recur, with the continuing migrant’s inflow and parliamentary elections in Croatia looming in November,” the report states. “Until then, the ruling party will try to reinforce its presence on the national security ground. Croatian officials have announced that the border could be closed again as soon as they suspect that Serbia is intentionally directing migrants away from Hungary toward Croatia.”

Earlier this month, Serbian trucks were stopped at the Croatian border because of the ongoing migrant crisis. In retaliation, Serbia imposed a ban on Croatian trucks. After receiving pressure from trading partners in Europe, the two countries lifted the blockade.

According to the Credendo report, most of Serbia’s exports to Western Europe travel through Croatia or Hungary. The group estimates that €21 million crosses the borders of Serbia and Croatia daily. “Serbia has more to lose in handling the situation, as this could obstruct the EU [European Union] accession talks that were started last year,” the report says. “Croatia, on the other hand, has already been an EU member for two years.”

- Jennifer Lehman, NACM marketing and communications associate

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