ZAGREB, May 22, 2019 – Croatian candidates running in elections for the European Parliament on Wednesday attended a panel discussion on euro introduction, and most of them supported it while the Independents for Croatia and the Croatian Sovereigntists were against.
Attending the event, organised by the Euractive youth network, were Tome Antičić (HNS), Dalija Orešković (START), Jozo Radoš (Amsterdam Coalition), Predrag Matić (SDP), Tomislav Sokol (HDZ), Robert Podolnjak (MOST), Irena Cajner Mraović (BM365), Ladislav Ilčić (Croatian Sovereigntists) and Tomislav Jonjić (Independents for Croatia).
Most candidates said they were in favour of euro introduction on the condition the necessary criteria were met and Croatia was ready.
Sokol (HDZ) said that analyses conducted so far showed that euro introduction would have a positive impact on the Croatian economy, a view with which Radoš agreed.
MOST’s Podolnjak said that euro adoption was also a matter for citizens to decide. “We are not against euro introduction but believe that the timing should be right and that citizens should be given the opportunity to state their position in a referendum,” Podolnjak said.
Orešković said her START party supported the introduction of the euro “but this is a matter of timing and open public discussion. Not everyone will win and some will lose so we should have clear information.”
“Nobody is forcing us to enter the euro area, once our economy is ready, we will introduce the euro,” said Social Democrat Matić.
Even though he recognises the benefits of euro introduction, Jonjić said that his Independents for Croatia party was against entirely abandoning the kuna.
“We are aware that it is more practical to travel without having to exchange money but we are nonetheless against strengthening all mechanisms that strengthen the EU,” said Jonjić, whose position was supported by Sovereigntist Ilčić, who noted: “Greater powers should be given to national parliaments, not Brussels.”
Asked why Croatia does not have any representative on the EP’s committees on science or culture and education, MEP Jozo Radoš said that “Croatia has 11 MEPs and the EP has 22 committees so it is difficult to cover all the committees we would like to sit on.”
Sokol added that one could fight, for example, for Erasmus+, also by sitting on other committees such as the Committee on the Budget.
Podolnjak said that he believed that Croatian students were disadvantaged in comparison with other students in the EU while Cajner Mraović (BM365) said that one should work on making Croatia more attractive to foreign students.
More news about the possible introduction of euro in Croatia can be found in the Business section.