Croatia has a long and eventful history. Greek colonies were present on its coast and islands, Celtic tribes are thought to have settled inland, it formed part of the Roman Empire for several hundred years, and was gradually colonized by the Slavs from the 6th century AD. An independent Croatian state was established in the 10th century, but lasted less than 200 years. Over subsequent centuries it was alternately ruled by Hungary, Venice, Napoleon and Austria. After World War I, a new 'Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes' was created in 1918, and following the Second World War, Croatia became part of Tito’s Yugoslavia along with Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Macedonia.
On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared itself independent from Yugoslavia, a move that resulted in the Homeland War (1991-1995), which saw Croatia pitted against the might of the Yugoslav army and Serb irregular forces. In December 1991 the German government recognised Croatian independence, with the rest of the world quickly following suit.
The death of the country's first democratically elected president, Franjo Tudjman, in December 1999 heralded a new era of Croatian politics; Stjepan Mesić stepped into the fold and Croatia adopted a more conciliatory approach at home and abroad.
In July 2009, Jadranka Kosor became Croatia's first female prime minister following the surprise resignation of former PM, Ivo Sanader.
Croatia is currently a candidate country for EU membership.