Zagreb, 10 maart 2016

FM Kovač talks Croatia’s priorities during Dutch EU presidency

 Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miro Kovač 10 March 2016 attended a joint session of the Croatian parliament’s foreign and European integration committees, presenting Croatia’s priorities in EU institutions for the first half of this year. He also outlined positions at upcoming meetings of the EU Foreign Affairs Council and General Affairs Council. This is the first time in Croatia’s EU history that a foreign minister has done so, which was in accordance with Kovač’s recent announcement in the parliament.

As a general goal, Kovač underlined the strengthening of Croatia’s role in European cooperation, notably regarding Southeast and Central European countries (“as for Southeast Europe, we want to be recognizably visible”). In terms of key priority areas, Kovač pointed out economic growth measures, opening job opportunities, creating competitiveness, strengthening the area of freedom, security and justice, finding a European response to the migrant crisis, and preparations for joining the Schengen Area. Kovač also highlighted Croatia’s participation in the EU’s climate and energy policy and contributing to the development of the EU’s common foreign and security policy. He emphasized the importance of further EU enlargement and the further stabilisation of Croatia’s neighbours (“notably Bosnia and Herzegovina”), expressing Croatia’s support to initiatives which will enable better EU functioning in terms of improving the legislative process and avoiding excessive regulations.