In line with the accession process, and based on the Accession Partnership of the EU and Croatia, which states that Croatia will develop and implement the national strategy of social inclusion with the aim of the future participation in the European strategy for social inclusion, Croatia has, in co-operation with the European Commission, more accurately with the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, drawn up a Joint Memorandum on Social Inclusion of the Republic of Croatia. The work on that document started in October 2005 and lasted until March 5, 2007 when the Memorandum was signed by Mr. Neven Ljubičić, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Croatia and Mr. Vladimir Špidla, a member of the European Commission responsible for the employment, social affairs and equal opportunities. Such a length of this process was chiefly due to the comprehensive process of consultation, which included many ministries, social partners, local and regional self-government, civil society organisations and the academic community. The document is divided into 8 chapters. The first and the second chapter describe the economic, demographic and social situation in Croatia in detail. The third chapter identifies the key challenges, while the fourth one proposes set pf measures for each individual area. The fifth chapter is dedicated to gender equality, the sixth one presents the statistical indicators of poverty and social exclusion, while the seventh chapter provides an outline of social inclusion projects financed by the instruments for pre-accession assistance. The eighth, final chapter, provides a synthesis of the challenges and priorities. Considering the fact that combating poverty and social exclusion is a long-lasting and never-ending affair, the last chapter also lists the concrete tasks that should be performed by the summer of 2008. With the aim of the implementation of the Memorandum, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare has appointed a working group that co-ordinates the activities of the Implementation Committee, and which consists of the representatives of the ministries and the institutions in charge of the implementation of the Memorandum, as well as the representatives of the local self-government, social partners, civil society organisations, providers of social services and the academic community. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has to submit annual reports on the implementation to the Government of the Republic of Croatia, and the Government is obliged to submit an overall report to the European Commission and all the partners included in the process by the summer of 2008. From the autumn of 2008, together with all other EU member-states, Croatia will begin the new cycle of the co-ordination of national policies in the area of social protection and social inclusion. Due to the extensiveness of the document, we are publishing only the third, fourth, fifth and eighth chapter. The entire document in the Croatian and English language is available on the web sites of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Croatia (www.mzss.hr).