ZAGREB, January 1, 2020 – Croatia will do its best to show its ability and vision during its presidency of the Council of the European Union and it expects support from all friendly countries, including Austria of course, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on New Year’s Day in Vienna.
“It’s a great honour and pleasure to be in Austria today on the occasion of Croatia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union,” Jandroković told reporters.
The Croatian parliament speaker and his wife arrived in Vienna at the invitation of his Austrian counterpart Wolfgang Sobotka, to attend the traditional Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra New Year’s Day concert.
Jandroković also notes that the EU is faced with a demanding period and that the key challenges are the next seven-year budget of the EU bloc and Brexit.
“We will do our best to show that Croatia has the capacity and vision to be at the helm of such an important organisation,” Jandroković underscored and added that he expects the “support of countries, particularly friendly countries. That is why I am grad that I am in Austria today.”
Croatia took over the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 January 2020 from Finland, six and a half years after entering the European bloc.
“This is a very important day for Croatia. After six and a half years of membership and the long battle for full membership, today we are at the helm of the EU, which is a huge responsibility,” said Jandroković. Together with his host Wolfgang Sobotka, Jandroković viewed an exhibition in Heldenplatz square dedicated 25 years of Austria’s EU membership and on the occasion of Croatia assuming the EU presidency.
Sobotka said that Austria is a “friendly and important country for Croatia which has taken over the presidency of the Council of the EU.”
He recalled that Croatia had recently hosted several international conferences and said that it had done that very well and that everything it had undertaken was also in Austria’s interest.
“I think that Croatia is well prepared for the presidency of the Council of the EU and I look forward to its presidency in the first half of this year,” Sobotka said.
Jandroković and Sobotka conducted a working meeting after the concert to discuss bilateral relations, European topics and southeast Europe.
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