European Parliament President David Sassoli (Photo: HRT) European Parliament President David Sassoli (Photo: HRT)

The visit comes ahead of Croatia's chairmanship over the Council of the European Union next year and began with a meeting between David Sassoli and his delegation, and the Croatian government.

At the beginning of the meeting Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that besides already announced priorities of Croatia's chairmanship over the EU, Croatia will undoubtedly have to work on a new multi-year European budget and Brexit, while it also wants to address enlargement.

Plenković expressed satisfaction that the new president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen recognized the importance of demographics, because all of Europe, especially smaller countries are suffering from depopulation.

The president of European Parliament, David Sassoli said that Croatia's chairmanship will be very challenging because it comes at an important time when the new European Commission is beginning its work, and when a new multi-year budget framework for the EU needs to be agreed upon.

“In yet unseen times of change, insecurity and an increase in global competitiveness, the technical and digital revolution, climate changes and demographic challenges, migration pressures and increasing threats to democracy, as well as multilateralism, Croatia is sure that the European Union has a special role to play,” said Plenković following the meeting between the delegation and his government cabinet.

“We are very satisfied with this meeting because we have a chance to anticipate your activities during the European semester, we are at the beginning of the legislative period and that is why your chairmanship has great importance. Because after the forming of the Commission it is a semester of true political beginning,” said Sassoli.

During his stay Sassoli is also meeting with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Parliament speaker Gordan Jandroković.

Source: HRT