- Published: 17.02.2020.
Plenkovic: Croatia has managed to reassert EU enlargement policy
Croatia has managed to reassert the EU's enlargement policy at the very start of the term of the new European Commission, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Brussels on Monday.
Plenkovic made the statement while speaking to the press after a working lunch with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Before that, he had met with Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi and European People's Party (EPP) leader Donald Tusk.
On Sunday evening, Plenkovic attended a working dinner with European Council President Charles Michel, Von der Leyen, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell and the leaders of the six Western Balkan countries. The purpose of the meeting was to prepare for the EU-Western Balkans Summit scheduled for 6-7 May in Zagreb.
Plenkovic said that there was agreement between Croatia and the leaders of the European institutions that the Zagreb summit should be a milestone in enlargement policy.
"Our goal was to put this topic on the agenda and we have succeeded in it," Plenkovic said.
Plenkovic said that he would try to ensure that both North Macedonia and Albania got a decision on the start of accession of negotiations before the Zagreb summit. The decision was blocked at the EU summit in October because France, Denmark and the Netherlands were opposed to opening talks with Albania. After the Commission has unveiled its proposal for a new methodology for accession negotiations, France has announced that it will withdraw its reservations.
"Today we can see that France's position is essentially different than in October, and I wouldn't ignore the effect of the arguments that we presented in our talks with President Emmanuel Macron. Judging by the mood in the EU, I think the decision on North Macedonia is not questionable," Plenkovic said.
"The decision will certainly be positive before the Zagreb summit, and I believe in a consensus on Albania," he added.