Croatia intends to organise, during its mandate as President of the EU Council, a new summit related to the Eastern Partnership, but also to endorse the accession negotiations with the Western Balkan countries, stated State Secretary for European Affairs with the Croatian Foreign Affairs Ministry Andreja Metelko-Zgombic, who is in Bucharest to attend the Annual Reunion of Romanian Diplomacy (RADR).
She mentioned that another important topic is the enlargement policy and, in this regard, Croatia will take over the file from the Romanian Presidency and will try to complete it. The Croatian State Secretary said that work will be put in, from a European perspective so that the six countries in the Western Balkans be included in the file of the Croatian Presidency. At a joint press statement with Minister-delegate for European Affairs George Ciamba, State Secretary Andreja Metelko-Zgombic added that Croatia intends to organise a summit related to the Eastern Partnership, mentioning the enthusiasm for wanting to contribute, as much as possible, to this European project within their Presidency.
She added that her country, which will hold the EU Council Presidency between January-June 2020, is preparing for the management of some very important files, such as the multiannual financial framework or Brexit and a series of other priorities - encouraging the economic growth, managing demographic challenges, connectivity, digitisation, security and energy transport.
The Croatian official commended Romania, namely the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council for the manner in which it carried out and managed the Presidency. She added that it was a very active, pro-active Presidency, with many events, actions and many results. The State Secretary brought to mind the dialogues, trilogues organised by our Presidency with parliamentary partners, with the European Commission, the conclusion of many files. The senior official went on saying that the Croatian Presidency will be full of challenges because during that time Croatia will be in the beginning of its institutional cycle.
Minister-delegate Ciamba commended Croatia for "the level of ambition," underscoring that it is a necessary thing for a country holding the EU Council Presidency for the first time. Romania offered its support to the Croatian Presidency and conveyed all "the lessons learned" during its mandate.
"Romania exercised [the EU Council Presidency] and Croatia will exercise for the first time the EU Council Presidency, which gives a certain degree of enthusiasm and interest for a common dynamics. (...) It's obvious that there are differences of approach among the member states. For the countries who joined the EU in the past 12 years, there are interests related to the economic development, convergence. It was very important that a part of the things we did during the Presidency - the Union's strategic agenda, the discussion related to the next multiannual financial framework - be discussed here, to see a certain continuity within this framework, which goes beyond the common acceptance of the trio programme. We discussed about the plans of the Croatian Presidency," Minister-Delegate Ciamba mentioned.
According to him, among the topics tackled were Schengen and Eurozone accession, the Sibiu Summit, Brexit, the multiannual financial framework.
"Brexit - I don't know whether it will get to the Croatian Presidency, but it is an aspect which concerns us all, all the member states and it is important to talk about what we can do together. At the same time, the financial framework, which represents for countries like Romania and Croatia one of their main goals of the European action. Certainly, we also talked about the institutional agenda: how the new Commission will look like and especially, what will be the programme of the new European Commission," the Minister-delegate stated.