(Croatian: Hrvatska , officially the Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska listen ), is a Central European country at the crossroads of Pannonian Plain, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean Sea. Its capital (and largest city) is Zagreb. Croatia borders with Slovenia and Hungary to the north, Serbia to the northeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east, and Montenegro to the far southeast. Its southern and western flanks border the Adriatic Sea, and it also shares a sea border with Italy in the Gulf of Trieste.
The Croats arrived in the seventh century in what is today Croatia. They organized the state into two dukedoms. The first king, Tomislav I was crowned in 925 and Croatia was elevated into Kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for almost two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Petar Krešimir IV and Zvonimir. Via Pacta conventa, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1526, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand from the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. In 1918 Croatia declared independence from Austria-Hungary and joined the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as co-founder. During World War II, Nazis occupied Croatian territory and created a puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia. After the war Croatia became a founding member of Second Yugoslavia. On June 25, 1991 Croatia declared independence and became sovereign state.
Croatia is a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, CEFTA, the World Trade Organization, the Council of Europe and is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2008-2009 term. The country is also a candidate for membership of the European Union and a NATO acceding member. Croatia is expected to formally join NATO in April 2009,, despite some delay caused by Slovenia, making it the second former Yugoslav nation to join the military alliance following Slovenia. Additionally, Croatia is also a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean upon its establishment in 2008.