Plenković Pleased with Talks with Macron

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 17, 2018 – Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said in Paris on Tuesday that he was very pleased with the results of his meeting with his host, French President Emmanuel Macron.

“This has been an excellent meeting with President Macron. We have thoroughly gone through the bilateral relations, and expressed satisfaction with the trade, political dialogue, implementation of the strategic partnership, harmonising our positions on international affairs and issues concerning Southeast Europe,” Plenković said after the meeting.

He welcomed Macron’s announcement that he would visit Croatia next year. Before the talks, Macron told reporters that he was going to visit Croatia next year.

“Europe is being built not just in Brussels but in all capitals of EU member states, and that’s why I will accept your invitation to visit Croatia next year. There has not been an official visit for 18 years, which I consider a certain aberration,” Macron told the press before meeting with the Croatian prime minister.

Plenković told reporters after the meeting that he had taken this opportunity to explain to Macron what had happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s general elections on 7 October. “We are mainly concerned about the election of the Croat member of the Bosnian tripartite presidency. A Croat, Željko Komšić, was elected by Bosniak voters and we find this to be circumventing the basic principles and the letter and spirit of the Dayton Peace Accords,” Plenković said.

“I think it would be good for Bosnia and Herzegovina to honour what was really agreed and intended by the Accords, and in the future it is essential to find a solution for election legislation to ensure the legitimate election of presidency members,” the Croatian prime minister said.

Asked how Macron took his arguments about Bosnia and Herzegovina and whether France would help efforts to find a solution to this issue, Plenković said that Macron took this to be a serious problem.

He understood that this was a serious issue and that perception in Croatia may be unique but when they are provided with arguments in detail, our interlocutors understand that this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed not only by Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina but also by a wider international community, Plenković said. However, Plenković did not give a specific answer when asked whether Macron promised assistance, adding that the French president had shown understanding.

Plenković and Macron also discussed items on the agenda of the EU summit meeting, set for Wednesday and Thursday in Brussels, including Brexit, the euro area, migrations and security.

The Croatian and French officials also considered Croatia’s preparations to enter the passport-free Schengen area for which the country should be ready by the first half of 2020 when it assumes the rotating EU presidency.

Plenković informed Macron of Croatia’s intention to hold a new summit meeting between the EU and western Balkan countries during Zagreb’s chairmanship over the Union. He told the press that it would be good to provide a realistic insight into a state of play in the accession of aspirants in the next four of five years as of 2020.

We have three groups of countries: Serbia and Montenegro, which have made progress in accession negotiations, then Macedonia and Albania which are awaiting the opening of negotiations after the European elections, and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo in the last group. It is our goal to define a structured approach to all six countries and to support that process, Plenković said.


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