Dutch MEP: Mass Tourism in Croatia Disastrous, Investment in it Unsustainable

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:


In an interview with Hina, Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout from the GreenLeft said that Croatia’s investment in mass tourism is unsustainable and that it could destroy Croatian tourism in the long run, reports Jutarnji List.

Eickhout understands large investments in mass tourism “from the perspective of quick earnings” but believes that such an investment is not profitable in the long run. “I am not sure that such an investment is profitable in the long run. You will see that people are increasingly looking for areas that provide peace,” said the Dutch parliamentarian, adding that mass tourism means “quick but short-term earnings.”

“Perhaps, in a longer period, you could even be left without tourism. That would be a great pity because I want people to enjoy the Croatian coast in the future as well,” concluded Eickhout, who was named the most influential MEP in the field of environmental policy by VoteWatch Europe last year.

Eickhout believes that “the potential of the Croatian coast is huge” and that the European Union should “strengthen its visions of its development.”

“It’s a precious area,” he said.

The use of wind as a renewable energy source can provide additional protection to fisheries along the coast, according to Eickhout, who advocates “sustainable fisheries.”

“We need to think about sustainable fishing in a way that you do not only catch fish now but that the children of current fishers and their children should also benefit from this sector,” he concludes.

Eickhout pointed out that in this segment, too, the key factor is biodiversity, “the preservation of which must become a priority so that the fish stock can be restored.”

He also stressed the importance of the attitude of fishermen themselves towards this issue and believes that it is important to “achieve agreement and respect between fishermen and the ecosystem.”

Referring to the impact the European Green Plan could have on the Mediterranean coast, including Croatia, Eickhout pointed out the huge potential of these areas in the processes of achieving biodiversity, renewable energy production, and the development of sustainable fisheries.

Asked how citizens, those in Croatia and the rest of the EU, could benefit from the Green Plan, Eickhout said that “not only will the current population in these areas benefit, but also the next generations,” but to realize this, a “more coherent vision of coastal development opportunities” is needed.

He believes that this will also reduce the emigration of people from coastal areas to cities that, as he states, are “already overcrowded.”

Eickhout believes the current European Commission has made a big step forward by clearly recognizing green policies as a priority.

“This European Commission understands that one of our great challenges for the future, for our European future, for the future of Croatia,” said Eickhout.

“This is the core of the Green Plan’s idea: to create a new economy that will not burden the environmental system so much, and at the same time will create new, better jobs,” he added.

He emphasized that this transition was not easy and that to claim otherwise by any politician would be an attempt to deceive the European electorate.

However, that is “the only future we need,” believes the representative of the Greens.

He believes that Europe can only take the lead in global innovation through the green transition and that there is no point in copying another model.

“We cannot, for example, compete with the Chinese in labor costs. They will always beat us in that. We have to come up with our own story,” says Eickhout.

The European Parliament’s negotiating team and the presidency of the Council agreed in November 2020 that with at least 30 percent of spending from the long-term budget and recovery plan, it would go to climate targets.

Eickhout said he was satisfied with the deal but said more money would be needed for the changes planned and that the European budget represented only a small fraction of the funds available.

“Each member state has at its disposal funds from the national budget, which, in total, are much larger than what the EU has. And there are large amounts of funds from the private sector,” said Eickhout.

Eickhout emphasized in particular that the Green Plan is not and must not only be a matter for the EU but that neighboring countries, as well as candidate countries, must be involved in its implementation.

“We hope that the entire Balkans will become part of the European Union. That is our starting point and our goal,” Eickhout said.

He also added that if this is the Union’s goal, then it is the duty of Brussels to ensure the mutual implementation of the green transition in the entire area.

Otherwise, we will have “different dynamics of implementing the Green Plan,” warned Eickhout, adding that they would “shoot themselves in the foot.”

Bas Eickhout has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2009. At the heart of his political work are the fight against climate change and the creation of a social Europe, and he warns of the strengthening of anti-European forces in the EP.

In the last elections for the European Parliament in 2019, the European Greens singled out Eickhout and the German MEP Ska Keller as their candidates for the head position of the European Commission.

Eickhout is vice-president of the Greens’ Group in the European Parliament (EP) and vice-president of the EP’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

Although it does not hold leading positions, it has significant influence thanks to a strong network of relations, many years of parliamentary experience, and work on several important legislative proposals and initiatives, notes VoteWatch, an independent Brussels-based research organization analyzing political influences on public opinion and shaping EU legislation. 

The European Parliament will discuss the EU’s strategy for sustainable tourism in the plenary next week. As announced on the EP portal, the European Parliament will call in the report for the EU to develop cleaner, safer, and more sustainable tourism after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has redirected consumer preferences to greener options, the report said, calling for a plan to develop more sustainable forms of tourism to reduce the sector’s environmental footprint.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language – now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment