Plenković to Meet with German Chancellor Merkel and Diaspora in Berlin

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This will be Plenković’s second visit to Berlin.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković will travel on Monday to Berlin, and on Tuesday he will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, reports Večernji List on August 22, 2018.

This will be Plenković’s second visit to the office of the Federal Chancellor in Berlin, after his first visit in December 2016. It is excepted that the topics of a working lunch will be bilateral relations between the two countries, topics related to the EU, as well as the situation in Southeast Europe and the Croatian neighbourhood, with special emphasis on Bosnia and Herzegovina and relations between Croatia and Serbia.

Prime Minister Plenković is expected to again point out to the German chancellor that Croatia’s interest is to enter the Schengen border-free zone and the eurozone as quickly as possible. They will also discuss energy issues and infrastructure projects. It is possible that the German chancellor will be interested in prime minister’s views on the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia, stemming from the fact that Croatia left the arbitration proceedings before the end, but the arbitral tribunal did eventually make a ruling which Slovenia wants to implement.

Germany issued a press release after the decision was announced last year and supported the position that the verdict should be respected. However, it seems that over time it has softened its position somewhat and is now closer to the Croatian interpretation that this is not a European but a bilateral issue that should be resolved together by Croatia and Slovenia. Germans are still interested in finding out how to solve the dispute between the two EU member states, and it is expected that Chancellor Merkel could talk directly with Prime Minister Plenković about the topic.

It is also expected they will discuss Ukraine, a crisis area about which Merkel talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the weekend, and a country to which Plenković has offered assistance by relaying Croatia’s peaceful reintegration experiences, which he repeated recently at the opening of the Ukrainian consulate in Split.

On Monday evening, the prime minister will meet with Croatian diaspora representatives in Berlin, and on Tuesday, in addition to the meeting with Chancellor Merkel, he plans to give a lecture at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and visit the major German media house Axel Springer.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Tomislav Krasnec).


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