The neighboring country of Italy is eagerly awaiting Croatian membership in the EU. Many people in northeastern Italy have Croatian roots. If the customs borders fall, the region will be better integrated with regions that in former times belonged to Venice.
There are many Italians of Croatian descent In the area around Trieste whose families were driven out of Croatia after World War Two. The question of compensation for confiscated Italian property has never been resolved; and now many Italians hope to be able to settle in or open up shop in Croatia.