This publication, Croatia: land and people, has been produced in collaboration with the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to mark the entry of Croatia into the European Union. It is primarily intended for the huge public in the other member states and for all those who want or need information about the newest EU member. So it has been produced in several languages. It is a sort of “identity card”, providing the most important information about the country in a concise, readable way – its geography, history, political organisation, population, economy, culture and society. Alongside an overview of generally known facts, we have included some interesting details through which Croatia can contribute to the unity and diversity of Europe, and which the editorial board considered were probably less well known to the wider public until now. Of course, as with any selection, this one is arbitrary to some extent.

Attention is paid to the centuries of links between Croatia and other European countries and peoples. Due to its position within Europe, modern Croatia was in the past exposed to different influences, which are reflected in its national and cultural identity, and in its tangible and spiritual heritage.

The book was produced at the Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography, a national scientific institution founded in 1950 in Zagreb, which specialises in preparing and publishing encyclopaedias, lexicons, dictionaries and atlases. In compiling texts and selecting illustrations for this publication, the authors and editors relied primarily on previous publications by the Lexicographical Institute, with the aim of making Croatia more accessible to the foreign public.

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