Prime Minister Andrej Plenković held a news conference at the government offices today following a meeting with EU ambassadors, at which the main topics of discussion were priorities of Croatia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2020.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that Croatia has experienced a strategic recognition of its power as the youngest member state that received a position of European Commission Vice-president.
“It is very important that the Croatian public and Croatian citizens understand the weight of the Republic of Croatia after just six years and a few months of membership in the EU,” he said.
The newly chosen President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Croatia’s candidate for European Commission Commissioner Dubravka Šuica was appointed as the Vice-president of the Commission for Democracy and Demography.
“What is particularly important is that Šuica will be tasked in the European Commission with a key project titled the Conference on the Future of Europe. Over the next two or three years the European Commission, as announced by President Von der Leyen, will initiate the Conference on the Future of Europe. It will be inclusive, the opinions will be heard of European citizens, European institutions, the academic community, civil society, the media, all those that want to participate on how the European project can be closer to citizens, how we can better organize it, how it can be more functional, effective and useful. That is the framework of the future work of our commissioner in the European Commission,” said Plenković.
The Prime Minister also met with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe elect, Marija Pejčinović Burić. “On September 18th she will assume office as the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and has three key pillars – democracy, the rule of law and protection of human rights,” said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister also addressed questions by reporters on the state of affairs with Slovenia
Asked to comment a statement by Slovenian President Borut Pahor, who diplomatically, but very clearly said that Slovenia will not allow Croatia into the Schengen regime until it signs the arbitration agreement, Plenković said that this month the European Commission announced that Croatia has fulfilled all criteria in the expert, technical and operative sense when it comes to entering Schengen, adding that as far as Slovenia and the issue of the border at land and sea is concerned, the Croatian stance is crystal clear.
“Slovenia is our neighboring country, we will always be beside each other. In history we never had any serious or open problems. All open issues that we have are residual issues that came about after the disintegration of Yugoslavia. This should always be kept in mind,” he said, noting that the process towards Croatia was irreversibly contaminated, because during the arbitration procedure there was an agreement between a Slovenian agent and a judge proposed by Slovenia, “against the law and anything that can be imagined in European practice.”
“That process is no longer valid. Therefore, our proposal to Slovenia the entire time has been very clear. Let’s talk bilaterally and resolve the problem rationally,” reiterated Plenković, concluding that Slovenia has chosen the path to file a suit against Croatia at the European Court in Luxembourg. “To be completely precise, Croatia will enter Schengen,” concluded Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.