At a working meeting at the “Colonel Predrag Matanović” barracks in Petrinja, the ministers talked about Southeast Europe and agreed that EU enlargement to the Western Balkans is a guarantee of strengthening the stability of the neighbourhood and Europe as a whole, the Croatian minister said.
Both ministers visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in recent weeks, and Croatia and Italy together strive for a stable and institutionally functioning Bosnia and Herzegovina and for its Euro-Atlantic integration, Grlić Radman said.
The ministers discussed Croatia’s non-paper on Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was agreed with Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus.
The document stresses the importance of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Euro-Atlantic path and says that it must remain at the centre of EU’s attention. It underscores that the country’s membership in the EU is a priority and an aspiration, and in order to achieve it, a comprehensive transformation of the entire society is needed.
The topic will also be discussed during the debate on the Western Balkans on 10 May at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Grlić Radman announced.
The cooperation between Croatia and Italy has been strengthened in a trilateral format with Slovenia, the Croatian minister said, recalling last week’s meeting of the two ministers with their Slovenian counterpart Anže Logar. Last week, the three ministers signed a joint statement on the protection of the northern Adriatic in the Slovenian mountain resort of Brdo Pri Kranju.
The next meeting should take place in Croatia in June, Grlić Radman said.
The Coordinating Committee of Ministers met in late November 2020 and guidelines for the development of bilateral relations were agreed then. In several months, it will be possible to check how much those forms of cooperation have improved, Italian minister Di Maio said.
Croatia expects Italian tourists in summer
Grlić Radman said that Croatia was committed to the safety and health of visitors and tourism workers, especially through the Safe Stay in Croatia project, so he is convinced of the return of Italian tourists.
“We believe that this year we will accommodate many Italian friends again,” Grlić Radman said.
He thanked Italy one more time for its selfless help, which he sees as another indicator of closeness and cooperation.
Italy on Friday donated to Croatia containerised housing units for the accommodation of 50 families who had lost their homes in the earthquake that hit Banija at the end of last year.
Italy was among the first countries to help Croatia by sending 100 military tents immediately after the 29 December earthquake which affected Petrinja, Sisak and their environs the most, and shortly thereafter Italy sent members of the Blue Helmets of Culture to help salvage the artistic heritage affected by the earthquake.
Italy itself faced devastating earthquakes in the recent past, so it decided to help immediately, Di Maio said.
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