Croatia Received Advice on How to Handle EU Presidency

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ZAGREB, November 6, 2018 – Croatia should be ready for ongoing changes during its presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2020, including an adjustment of priorities, Lilyana Pavlova, minister for the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, said in Zagreb on Monday.

The Croatian administration should be ready for ongoing changes, including an adjustment of priorities. They should be defined as broadly as possible so that they can be adjusted to specific challenges, Pavlova said in her address at Europe House where she was hosted by the Croatian Office of the European Parliament in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Set yourselves ambitious, yet attainable goals, she said, adding that the EU presidency is both a great opportunity and a great challenge for member states.

Pavlova spoke of organisational, diplomatic, technical, financial and political challenges in the preparation and execution of the Bulgarian EU presidency in the first half of 2018 and of the main themes of the presidency, including the future of young people and Europe, connecting the Western Balkans, security and the digital economy.

She said that “an entire army of people” had been involved in the implementation of the presidency programme, and that the Bulgarian government had decided to form a dedicated ministry to centralise the process and make it more effective.

Pavlova said she believed that the environment and climate change, security, digital transformation and the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027 would turn out to be the main themes of the Croatian presidency. She said that the presidency required cooperation at national, European and global levels, stressing the importance of dialogue with citizens and positive media coverage.

Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, said that Croatia’s preparations for the EU presidency were well under way. She added that the priorities themselves would be adopted just before the presidency and would reflect the EU agenda at that point.

The presentation was moderated by Violeta Simeonova Staničić, head of the Croatian Office of the European Parliament, who spoke of the timing of the Croatian presidency. She noted that a new European Commission and a new European Parliament would take office at the time, warning that the influence of new political factions could be expected.

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