17:21 / 12.09.2022.

Author: Branko Lozančić

Brdo-Brijuni Process summit: conclusions accepted conclusions but no joint declaration

Zoran Milanović and Borut Pahor

Zoran Milanović and Borut Pahor

Foto: Büro des kroatischen Präsidenten / HRT

At the 11th annual summit of the Brdo-Brijuni Process, held today in Brdo kod Kranj, the countries participating in the Process accepted conclusions - instead of a Joint Declaration as previously planned - calling, among other things, for an accelerated process of integration into the European Union and that Bosnia and Herzegovina be given candidate status by the end of 2022.

“We gave up on the declaration. We received conclusions, which is the lowest common denominator we could agree on,” said Croatian President, Zoran Milanović, after meeting at a joint press conference with Slovenian President Borut Pahor.

“Just mentioning, even touching on that term - equal rights for all constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina - simply bothers some. The very mention of that term bothers them,” said President Milanović explaining to journalists the reason why the Joint Declaration was absent from this year's meeting of the Brdo-Brijuni Process.

“I faced similar problems a year ago at the NATO Summit in Brussels, when I had to fight for days and threaten to block the joint communiqué before a mere mention of the Dayton Package was included in the final text of the NATO Summit communique, which everything revolves around. A number of states were against it. It just tells you what kind of circumstances we live in and that we have to fight for basic rights. This is now a bilateral matter, i.e. a matter for Croatia, not Slovenia, so I would not go deeper,” said the Croatian President.

In his opening address, President Milanović said that he will do everything possible to continue the meetings of the participants in the Brdo-Brijuni Process, given that Slovenian President Pahor's second presidential term ends at the end of this year.

“Someone new will be elected as president of Slovenia and I hope that we will continue with this same rhythm in quite difficult circumstances. Because the circumstances are difficult in Europe and among the participants of the initiative. So I am satisfied with what we have done today,” said President Milanović, thanking Slovenian President Pahor, who, together with the Croatian President, is the co-chairman of the meetings of the Brdo-Brijuni Process.

When asked whether the topic of Serbian indictments against Croatian pilots was raised during the meeting, President Milanović said that he did not and would not discuss the indictments brought against Croatian pilots with Serbian President Vučić.

“I will not solve it in this way. I said in public what I had and I stand by it. That's not the right approach. And when we talk about conclusions, in one of these points of conclusion we are talking about established principles and criteria. For us, this topic will certainly be one of the criteria in the talks with Serbia. However, it should be emphasized that at the moment the mood of the public in Serbia, towards Serbia's membership in the European Union, is extremely negative, that two thirds of Serbs in Serbia are against Serbia's membership in the European Union. This is a number that every politician must reckon with. It is the only country in the region where the mood is like that,” said President Milanović.

When asked by a journalist if there was also talk about Serbian recognition of the Republic of Kosovo, President Milanović said:

“There was no discussion about that because it would be a road of no return, I think the meeting would have ended sooner than it had started. I publicly invite and encourage those who have not yet done so to recognize Kosovo, but now was not such an opportunity. However, at this moment it is not realistic for Serbia to recognize Kosovo. I think this is the position of both President Vučić and a large part of the Serbian public. This is reality,” stated the Croatian President.

On the eve of the 11th annual summit of the Brdo-Brijuni Process in Brdo kod Kranj, President Milanović held a bilateral meeting with the President of the Republic of Albania, Bajram Begaj.

Source: HRT

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