“Europe Day is being marked this year in such circumstances when we are faced with the biggest global challenges since the Second World War” Plenković underscores.
Therefore this is an occasion for us to recall that the visionary idea of a united and democratic Europe, as a safeguard for permanent peace and solidarity and prosperity of European peoples, was born in the aftermath of that war when one of the gloomiest and most tragic periods of the European history was over and also against the background of the threat of the Communist totalitarianism, he said.
The idea could seem as a utopia then, however, today it is a reality shared by the 27 member states, including Croatia as the youngest member, Plenković said underscoring some of the achievements of the present-day EU bloc.
Although EU citizens make up only 6% of the global population, the EU is the top agricultural power and the second strongest economy. It is also the top-ranking donor of international aid, the most sought-after tourist destination, and a global leader in the fight against climate change, he said highlighting the fact that in the last 70 years, the European Union has been developed as a project of peace, reconciliation, democracy, development, cooperation and mutual solidarity.
Being aware that cooperation between member-states is key to a more successful struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic, we are investing joint efforts to ramp up the vaccination of our citizens, as this is the safest and fastest way to returning to the life we had before the pandemic, he added.
Plenković says in his message that Croatia has donated vaccine doses to its neighbors that are non-EU member states as a sign of solidarity because the pandemic can be halted only if the sufficient rate of immunization of the population in Europe and the world is achieved.
This year, Europe Day is also the day when the Conference on the Future of Europe kicks off.
In the coming months, we will have opportunities to be included in discussions on the future course of the development of the European Union. In all member-states, individuals, civil society associations, the academic community, business people, unionists, and all other stakeholders, together with representatives of European institutions, are encouraged to be engaged in those discussions and give their ideas and proposals conducive to the improvement of the functioning of the Union and making it more prepared to deal with global challenges, the Croatian premier said among other things.
Croatia can make a marked contribution to this conference in which a lead role will be played by European Vice President for Democracy and Demography, Croatian Dubravka Šuica, according to Plenković’s message.
Šuica is leading the Commission’s work on deliberative democracy and the Conference on the Future of Europe.
For more, follow our dedicated politics section.