Croatian and Polish PMs say two countries want to continue developing good cooperation

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07.07.2019.

Adam Guz/KPRM / vlada.hr

Croatia and Poland have good and effective cooperation in all fields, which they want to continue developing, the prime ministers of Poland and Croatia, Mateusz Morawiecki and Andrej Plenkovic respectively, said in Warsaw on Thursday.

"We have excellent cooperation which we want to continue developing even further. I hope we will work together on implementing the EU Strategic Agenda in which we have included the need for support to demographic revival," Plenkovic told reporters after meeting with his Polish host.

"We are two friendly, Slavic countries which, among other things, are connected by respect for Pope John Paul II," Plenkovic said, referring to the Polish pope's contribution to Croatia's international recognition.

This is the first time a Croatian prime minister has visited Poland in the past eight years. Trade between the two countries is €1.1 billion and almost one million Polish tourists visit Croatia every year. There are several Croatian companies operating in Poland, such as Koncar, Podravka, Belupo and Dalekovod.

Both prime ministers share similar stances with regard to negotiations on the EU budget and believe that funds for the cohesion policy should not be reduced.

"We spoke about the need for solidarity in negotiations on the multi-annual financial framework. We have to convince our Western partners that a good budget for Central and Eastern Europe is also good for them and the entire Union," Morawiecki said, adding that for each euro spent from the European budget in countries in the new Europe about 65% is returned to Western countries through contracts that their companies win in implementing projects.

The two prime ministers also discussed defence cooperation

After the meeting in Warsaw, Plenkovic travelled to the northeast of the country to visit the 4th HRVCON contingent based in the Bemowo Piskie military complex as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence mission in response to Russia's increasingly aggressive behaviour.

Morawiecki highlighted the importance of road and rail connectivity, the north-south gas corridor, and the Three Seas Initiative.

"We welcome that dimension of cooperation in the area between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas. That is the other lung of the European Union," Morawiecki said.

The two officials discussed the European pathway of southeast European countries. Both Croatia and Poland want the enlargement process to continue when these countries meet the set criteria.

Poland is hosting the 6th session of the Berlin Process on Thursday and Friday which is being held in Poznan. The Berlin Process is an initiative to boost regional cooperation among the Western Balkan countries and their European integration.

"The enlargement process has its own rhythm. We know what the actual mood is in older EU member states, but this process needs to be maintained. It is important to us that those countries  continue on the path to the EU and meet the criteria, and no one has any illusions that that will happen overnight," Plenkovic said, emphasising that in the case of the EU's absence, other global stakeholders would enter that region and achieve their strategic interests.

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