The president of the HDZ MPs' Club Branko Bačić (Photo: HRT) The president of the HDZ MPs' Club Branko Bačić (Photo: HRT)

“By the end of this session, Croatian Parliament will make a decision on declaring an exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea,” announced the president of the HDZ MPs' Club Branko Bačić at a press conference.

“Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio held a ministerial conference in Zagreb yesterday, where they agreed on positions on the joint proclamation of economic zones in the Adriatic,” he added.

Bačić recalled that the Government and the HDZ MPs' Club had repeatedly stressed during discussions on economic zones in the Adriatic and topics related to environmental protection and fisheries policy, that the state would declare an exclusive economic zone in the European spirit, taking into account good neighborly relations with Italy.

"Back in 2003, Croatia decided to declare a protected ecological-fishing zone, declaring 99 percent of all contents of the exclusive economic zone, except for the possibility of building artificial islands and using wind and sea energy," he said.

“We now believe that the conditions have been met for Croatia, in the spirit of good neighborly relations and the European spirit, to declare other components of the economic zone that were not contained in the protected ecological-fishing zone,” said Bačić.

He pointed out that Croatia has the right to declare an exclusive economic zone according to the International Convention on the Law of the Sea and on the basis of the Maritime Code.

Bačić noted that the exclusive economic zone, since we are a member of the EU, will form the common waters of the EU and that a common EU fisheries policy will have to be implemented in that area.

“When Italy declares its exclusive economic zone in its part of the Adriatic, the European Commission's fishing measures will apply to both ours and their economic zone, as well as all other declared zones at the level of EU member states,” said Bačić.

He added that the decision to declare an exclusive economic zone will determine Croatia according to the accession negotiations on the demarcation of our and Italy's exclusive economic zone.

Bačić said that Slovenia would be informed of the decision and believed that there should be no dispute about it.

Source: HRT