This presentation will discuss both the domestic political background for Croatia’s application for EU membership and the EU’s decision making process in Croatia´s negotiations which begun in 2005. It will give an analysis of the current state of play for Croatia’s entry into membership. Rinna Kullaa, adjunct professor at the University of Jyväskylä and the Network for European Studies University of Helsinki will focus on the final issues that dominated the last stretch of the negotiations themselves from January 2011 to June 2011. She will highlight the process of closing the final five chapters of the aquis communautaire for Croatia, and the role of the Council of the EU in political decision making as well. Ivan Grdešić, professor of political science at the University of Zagreb will analyze the role of the various Croatian actors and establish the key influence for bringing the negotiations successfully to a close in June 2011. Both contributions will highlight the important role of active regional politics of the candidate state, and the overall goal for regional policy of the Council together with several member states who hold sway in current decision making.