- Published: 20.11.2019.
Plenkovic says Croatia-Norway economic cooperation significantly enhanced
Croatia and Norway have significantly enhanced their economic relations since mid-2018 and trade now surpasses €130 million, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Wednesday after talks with Norwegian PM Erna Solberg.
That represents an encouragement for our economic relations, he said.
Meeting on the fringes of a European People's Party congress taking place in Zagreb for the first time, they also talked about the European budget, a topic which will most likely be on the agenda during Croatia's Council of the European Union presidency in the first half of 2020 and which is also important for Norway.
Norway, which is part of the European Economic Area and the Schengen Area, is also looking at how decisions are made and what the political priorities will be, Plenkovic said.
He and Solberg also talked about Southeast Europe and Norway's wish to help the countries in the region in democratic reforms, boosting the economy and progress towards EU membership.
The NATO and EU integration of Western Balkan countries is very important. In those countries, it is very important to keep the spirit of democracy, integration, the market economy, Solberg said, adding that the integration of Southeast European countries is an important matter.
Plenkovic said he informed Solberg of the ambitions of Croatia's EU presidency and the desire that a summit to be held with those countries in Zagreb give them a message of encouragement.
He also presented the presidency priorities: a Europe which grows and develops, which connects, protects and is globally influential and, if the UK leaves the EU, to tackle the ratification of an exit deal and negotiations on future relations.
Norway has a diversified cooperation with the UK and this topic is especially interesting to it, he said.
Solberg said Zagreb would take the helm of the EU at a very exciting time, with a new European Commission and a new programme, and that Norway was willing to cooperate with Croatia during the presidency.
The two officials last met in July 2018, also in Zagreb, which was the first visit by a Norwegian prime minister to Croatia in 18 years.
Solberg has led Norway's Conservative Party since 2004 and has earned the nickname "Iron Erna" in her country because of her determination in dealing with and overcoming crises. She is at the helm of the first no-socialist majority government since 1985.