ZAGREB, July 18, 2020 – Croatia’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlic Radman, on Friday called for “a more European Europe” instead of “withdrawing into oneself” at the time of the global coronavirus pandemic, the crisis of multilateralism and trade disputes, the ministry said in a statement.
Grlic Radman was in the German city of Hof to attend Paneuropean Days organised by the Paneuropean Union, the oldest movement for European unification.
During a discussion on challenges to European unity at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grlic Radman cited as an example the coordination of diplomatic efforts in repatriating European citizens to their home countries.
“We are facing numerous challenges, but they are the reason for a more European Europe and not for withdrawing into oneself,” the Croatian minister said.
“Europe should move on despite the challenges to world peace, the crisis of multilateralism, and trade disputes. It is a solidary and united Europe, firmly relying on the common democratic values, that can embrace the future,” he stressed.
Despite the fact that the Croatian presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of this year took place in unprecedented circumstances, Grlic Radman said that the decision to open accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, and the decision to open the last negotiating chapter with Montenegro were a great success.
“We believe that the integration of Southeastern Europe is a guarantor of long-term European stability, while at the same it is also our duty and our interest,” Grlic Radman said.
“We need to keep our door open to the countries of Southeastern Europe aspiring to membership, subject to fulfillment of all the criteria and implementation of the necessary reforms, as confirmed at the Zagreb Summit,” he added.
The meeting was also attended by the deputy speaker of the Bundestag, Hans-Peter Friedrich, former Bavarian minister for science and the arts Bernd Sibler, and the chairman of the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber.