On December 22, 2022, Croatian President Zoran Milanović sent a letter to Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, in which, according to his office, he repeatedly proposed a meeting where they would try to solve problems in the field of foreign policy, defense and national security.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković not only did not respond to the letter from the President, but also showed no interest in a meeting and discussion, which, as stated in the press release, directly prevents solving problems in the field of foreign policy, defense and national security and harms the coordinated action of the Croatian state government.
The Office of the President recalled that President Zoran Milanović sent seven letters to the Prime Minister in the past year with the aim of solving problems in the field of foreign policy, defense and national security, but the Prime Minister did not respond to any of them, that is, he “did not show the slightest interest in these problems being solved.”
The contents of the aforementioned letter are presented in full:
"Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
according to the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, it is my duty to ensure the regular and coordinated operation and stability of the state government in the Republic of Croatia. Unfortunately, the Croatian government, at least when it comes to foreign policy, defense and national security, does not act in a coordinated manner, nor is it a regular situation.
I will give only a few examples. In the field of foreign policy, the Government on behalf of the Republic of Croatia occasionally undertakes certain initiatives and obligations without our prior discussion and attempts to adopt a common position, which is contrary to our constitutional obligation to cooperate in shaping and implementing foreign policy.
Due to the lack of communication and agreement, we do not rotate or fill vacant positions of the heads of diplomatic and other representative offices of the Republic of Croatia abroad, which is why today we have four vacant positions, while as many as 45 heads of representative offices are in office for longer than the usual mandate of four years, whereby some entered the eighth year of their mandate. I would like to mention that next year the normal term of office for another 36 heads of representative offices will expire, so the number of those who perform duties outside of the normal term of office will rise to 81 out of a total of 88.
The Republic of Croatia is not allowed to participate in the EURFOR ALTHEA operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which even countries that are not members of the European Union participate. With this approach, the bodies of the European Union are treating the Republic of Croatia, their full member, in an unacceptable manner, and we must oppose this. Unfortunately, there was also a lack of consultation and agreement on this issue.
As I pointed out at the last session of the Defense Council, but also in the letter I sent you on October 13, 2022, I also warn you on this occasion about the bad situation in the field of defense. The state of ordnance in certain segments is critical and calls into question the defense capability of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia. Unfortunately, nothing is being done to improve the situation. Due to the war in Ukraine, the situation with the acquisition of the necessary funds is now even more complicated, because the delivery deadlines are being extended, and at the same time the existing funds are running out of resources.
Also, in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia, a whole series of command posts are unfilled: from the commander of the Croatian Military Academy, the commander of the Coast Guard of the Republic of Croatia, the head of the logistics department in the Armed Forces General Staff of the Republic of Croatia, the head of the operational department in the Armed Forces General Staff of the Republic of Croatia, the deputy director of the Military Security Intelligence Agency to the military representative at NATO in the EU, and thus the Republic of Croatia has been brought to a situation where, during the great war crisis, it has not had a military representative at NATO and the EU for a year. This further weakens the capability of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia.
More than three months have passed since I initiated the dismissal procedure of the director of the Military Security Intelligence Agency, after which the director himself resigned. You refused the dismissal until the "appointment of a new person", however, to date, your Minister of Defense has not proposed a candidate. Due to your ignoring the situation in the Military Security Intelligence Agency, we have not even started the conversation about the appointment of a new director, and the resigned director remains in his position regardless of his responsibility as the head of the institution.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
I wrote to you about each of the mentioned topics, sometimes on more than one occasion, pointing out problems and proposing meetings to solve them. Unfortunately, I never received a reply.
Nevertheless, for the sake of the welfare and betterment of the Republic of Croatia, and in order to fulfill our constitutional obligations, I decided to once again propose a meeting where we would try to solve at least some of the mentioned pressing problems.
We, Mr. Prime Minister, owe it primarily to the citizens who elected us. I am convinced that you will agree that it is our duty to put personal relationships aside and fulfill our constitutional obligations in the interest of the Republic of Croatia.
Regarding the format and timing of the meeting, I am open to your suggestions," wrote Milanović.
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