“EU Must Not Hesitate in Western Balkans”

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Croatian Prime Minister warns about the situation in the region.

The European Union must not hesitate in the Western Balkans, because otherwise other influences could become dominant in the region, said Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković during the congress of the European People’s Party which is being held in Malta, reports Večernji List on March 30, 2017.

Plenković devoted a large part of his speech in front of colleagues from the European People’s Party to situation in the European Union and the issue of its enlargement in particular. “I am primarily talking about our friends in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to whom we want to provide help. There are several countries in the region of Southeast Europe which need to be better functioning, to have more support, and which clearly need more involvement by the European Union. If we are slow and reluctant to try to get them involved as soon as possible, others will not hesitate and their influence will prevail,” said the Croatian Prime Minister, adding that these countries could turn to the other side which no one would want to happen. He added that these were the reasons why Croatia would continue to be an advocate of enlargement policy.

Plenković called for strengthening of the democratic legitimacy of the European institutions, but at the same time he also wants to find the right balance in the role of national parliaments and implementation of the principle of subsidiarity.

“We are aware that since 1989 there has been never been such global situation which required so much determination, strength, sobriety and, above all, the political will to respond to the many challenges to the European project”, said Plenković. He reiterated that Brexit was a strategic mistake and a lesson for all. “You must never allow an internal party issue to become a public, national, European or a global issue,” he said, referring to the decision of then British Prime Minister David Cameron to hold a referendum on leaving the European Union.

Speaking about migration, Plenković said that he hoped that the migrant routes would remain closed, and he also warned about the dangers of populism, adding that his message during the pre-election campaign in Croatia was pro-European, “which is the path towards a successful fight against populism.”


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