The agreement was signed after their bilateral meeting.
France and Croatia already agreed on a strategic partnership in 2010, but the new agreement will expand and deepen it to a number of new areas. It will be a framework for the further strengthening of relations with that country, it was announced.
With the new strategic partnership, France is supporting Croatia in several areas, political, economic, and cultural, including those that are Zagreb’s strategic goals – entry into the Schengen Area and the eurozone, and Croatia’s membership in the OECD, Croatian sources said earlier.
After meeting with President Zoran Milanović earlier today, Macron hinted that France would support’s Croatia’s Schengen Area entry.
He said France and Croatia would continue to cooperate in security and migration, and “there’s also Schengen.”
Croatia expects that the legal process of making a formal decision to join Schengen could begin in December this year during Slovenia’s EU presidency, and the final decision made during the French presidency in the first half of next year.
France’s support is also important in light of the fact that France is one of the core members of the EU, but also one of the most influential countries in the world. It is the only permanent member of the Security Council from the EU, the number one military and nuclear power of the bloc, and the seventh-largest world economy.
The new strategic partnership also includes chapters on defence issues, economic relations, cultural, scientific, academic, and administrative cooperation.
The idea of the new strategic partnership is also for “Croatia to become a privileged partner of France in this part of Europe,” sources said earlier.
Macron’s visit to Croatia is taking place ahead of the French takeover of the six-month presidency of the EU Council from January 1 next year, and in 2022, the current head of state will run again in France’s presidential elections.
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