- Published: 20.01.2020.
Strong Europe in a world of challenges - vision of our presidency and the way Croatian citizens experience EU membership
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday that Croatia would pay special attention at the Zagreb summit scheduled for early May, to unblocking the start of accession negotiations for North Macedonia and Albania.
The Croatian prime minister attended a meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) in Zagreb.
Plenkovic presented the priorities of Croatia's presidency of the EU and reiterated that the most important tasks facing the Union in the coming months include the next seven-year MFF budget, enlargement, the Conference on the Future of Europe, and an agreement on future relations with Great Britain.
He announced that the Zagreb summit in May that will be dedicated to enlargement, will focus especially on deblocking the situation that North Macedonia and Albania found themselves in at the European Council in October.
Europe's openness as it was in the 1990s will never recur, now we have a carefully elaborated process of enlargement, Plenkovic said.
He underscores that it isn't fair, that North Macedonia has been put on hold for the beginning of accession negotiations after it changed its name and constitution.
Plenkovic says that for now it does not seem that Great Britain will request an extension of the transition period which expires at the end of the year when an agreement on future relations with the EU should be concluded.
After Great Britain exits the EU on January 31, as part of its presidency, Croatia needs to present a motion by the end of February for the adoption of a formal negotiation framework of future relations with London.
Plenkovic underscored that Croatia's presidency of the EU is a historic moment and an opportunity to make a contribution and add impetus at the start of a new institutional and legislative cycle in the Union.
Croatia's presidency is a historic moment for us which comes 28 years after Croatia's international recognition, 25 years after it liberated its occupied territory and 22 years after the peaceful reintegration of the Danube region, said Plenkovic.
He recalled that after the 1991-1995 war, Croatia undertook thorough reforms, conducted economic recovery and finally, joined the EU in 2013. Now seven years later, it has taken over the presidency of the Council of the EU.
For Croatia, the EU is an unprecedented peace project and a community that gains its strength from common values and solidarity. It is a pleasure to be at the helm of the Council of the EU and to make a contribution and add impetus at the start of a new institutional and legislative cycle in the Union.
The meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC) was convened in Zagreb in preparation for a plenary session of COSAC that will be held in Zagreb on May 24-26.
The Conference of Committees on Union Affairs of the Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC - the abbreviation of its French name, Conference des organes specialises en affaires communautaires) facilitates regular exchanges of views between the committees on Union affairs of the parliaments of the Member States. In accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, the conference is empowered to inform the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of any contribution that it deems appropriate. This conference also promotes the exchange of information and best practices between national parliaments and the European Parliament.