WHAT'S IMPORTANT IN CROATIA? We still do not know what are Croatian priorities in EU presidency

Autor:

03.09.2019.

Zagreb, 220819.
Banski dvori, predsjednik Vlade Andrej Plenkovic i ministar vanjskih i europskih poslova Gordan Grlic Radman uprilicili su prijem za sudionike Konferencije veleposlanika, generalnih konzula i vojnih izaslanika Republike Hrvatske.
Na fotografiji: Gordan Grlic Radman.
Snimio: Bruno Konjevic / CROPIX
Bruno Konjevic

Croatian foreign minister Gordan Grlić Radman

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Croatian priorities for EU presidency

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman addressing Bled Strategic Forum outlined the priorities of Croatia's EU Council Presidency:

  • measures that foster sustainable growth and development of countries and regions
  • integration
  • citizens' security
  • striving for greater European Union influence in the world.

GGR seized the opportunity to point out that Croatia supports the Western Balkan countries on their European path, thereby extending the area of ​​stability and prosperity to the European Southeast, and the opening of negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania. Minister Grlić Radman stressed that Croatia believes in a strong EU that puts its citizens in the spotlight. He also emphasized that the EU faces many external and internal challenges such as climate change, migration, cyber-attacks, terrorism, migration and the dissemination of false information.

We still do not know what will be a priority of Croatian presidency. Western Balkans is a constant point. It is worth noticing that prime minister Andrej Plenković several times highlighted problems of demography in 14 of 28 member states.

Minister Grlić Radman, answering a question about the possibility of Slovenia blocking Croatia from joining the Schengen Area, said that he hoped for a positive response from the European Commission and that he would work so that Ljubljana does not block Zagreb.

"We are in the European family and we will certainly all show solidarity," Grlić Radman said and added that he would endeavour to obtain the "green light from Slovenia."

It would not be unfamiliar for Slovenia to block Croatia on its path towards EU integrations, but regarding Schengen there are calculations in Ljubljana: will they benefit more from removing Schengen border to the east and become “border-free country” or from blocking Croatia requesting implementation of border arbitration.

Netherlands foreign minister Stef Blok in today’s print edition of Večernji list said: “It is not unnoticed that Croatia made quite a success in the management of borders on external borders of EU… Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria are three different countries and it is important to evaluate each of them individually”. And about Croatian eurozone membership: “High level of economic convergence between Croatia and other eurozone members at the end is in the interest of whole eurozone. The same applies to Schengen”. 

Davor Božinović in Moscow

Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Kolokoltsev in Moscow on Tuesday. The Ministry of Interior recalled in a press release that Božinović and Kolokoltsev had signed a cooperation protocol between their ministries in Sochi in 2017 and that a Croatian Police Directorate delegation had visited Moscow in March this year. Božinović informed Kolokoltsev about Croatia's preparations to join the Schengen Area and thanked Russia for promptly ratifying changes to a bilateral travel agreement to align it with the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement.

Božinović and Kolokoltsev also talked about Russia's economic relations with Croatia and the EU as well as about Croatia's presidency of the Council of the EU next year and exchanged views on the fight against terrorism, the situation in Syria, Southeast Europe, and migration. Hina

Slovenian prime minister will discuss Mercator in Moscow

Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will visit Moscow on September 10-11th. He hopes to meet Vladimir Putin as well as Dmitry Medvedev. One of the topics will be future of Slovenian biggest retail chain “Mercator”. Croatia based Fortenova Group, legal successor of Agrokor who bought “Mercator”, announced that it will incorporate Slovenian firm in Group. Biggest owners of Fortenova Group are Russian banks, VTB and Sberbank. Slovenia is trying to make Mercator Slovenian again. Hina

Škoro would ban SDSS

Miroslav Škoro, pop singer and presidential candidate, said in a show on local TV that he would open procedure of banning some political parties (anchor was asking him about SDSS, Serb minority party), reports Jutarnji list in its today print edition. Škoro added that he does not like that Pupovac (Milorad, leader of SDSS) “goes for the opinion on Fruška Gora (a mountain in Vojvodina, part of Serbia where Pupovac once met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić) and then here destabilizes Croatia”. According to the Croatian Constitution, only the Constitutional Court can ban political party with very strong arguments (Article 6).

Chinese angry because of the Hong Kong banner

There was a football game in Opuzen, on the river Neretva. It was a local derby and one group of fans had a banner saying: “Hong Kong is not China”. Several Chinese, who work on Pelješac bridge, found that offensive, called the police who took the banner from fans.

One more example of Chinese audacity in Croatia. There was no reason for police to take away a banner.

National pension from 2021.

Večernji list in its today’s print edition has a story about plans to introduce national pension from the year 2021. It will cover people older than 65 who work for less than 15 years. It should be lower than the lowest pension which is at this moment 970 kunas (€110).

"Mali" is Croatian candidate for Oscar

A film titled "Mali" by director Antonio Nuić is this year's Croatian candidate for the best foreign film at the 92nd Oscars. The film is about a drug dealer who is ready to do anything to keep custody of his son after having spent four years in prison. Hina

Inačica na drugom jeziku / Alternate language version