18:10 / 24.03.2023.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

PM comments following two-day European Council meeting

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković

Foto: Marko Lukunic / Pixsell

EU leaders were in Brussels on Friday for day two of a two-day European Council meeting. The main focus of the talks were on further military support to Ukraine, the competitiveness of the EU economy in relation to the United States and China, the internal market, energy, and illegal migration.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said earlier today that the EU's strong support for Ukraine was reiterated.

"We also talked about the topics of economic management, competitiveness and the energy situation, where everything that has been happening for the past three years in the context of the corona crisis, the energy crisis, the food crisis, inflationary pressures essentially requires the greater coordination of economic policies of the member states and our flexible cooperation in terms of state aid and the measures we take at the national level," added the prime minister.

Leaders agreed that despite the immense challenges faced in 2022, the euro zone proved to be quite resilient; growing by more than three percent.

In terms of the local economy, the prime minister repeated that the introduction of the euro had a minimal effect on the staggering price hikes currently being seen around the country.

"By entering the euro zone we have a lot more support from the European Central Bank and their financial institutions. This will clearly strengthen our financial stability and economic growth. I informed the bank of our latest package of measures adopted last week, worth some 1.7 billion euros. This was mainly geared towards regulating the prices of natural gas, electricity, as well as support to the most vulnerable members of society in order to maintain social cohesion," said the prime minister.

One of the topics of the meeting was the problem of illegal migration, which puts a heavy burden on certain EU member states more than others.

"The Commission will set aside additional funds from the EU budget for the countries along the external border of the Union, namely the Schengen border," he added.

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