The President and the Foreign Minister agree to coordinate on foreign policy.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović received on Friday Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Davor Ivo Stier with whom she discussed the priorities of Croatian foreign policy and future cooperation, announced Office of the President in a statement, reports Večernji List on October 21, 2016.
President Grabar-Kitarović informed Minister Stier about strategic guidelines of foreign policy which arise out of her constitutional powers. “Particular emphasis has been placed on the responsibility of Croatia for Croats who live in Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of the priorities of Croatian foreign policy is the European path for Bosnia and Herzegovina”, said the Office of the President.
“Widening of diplomatic and consular network, which will be further developed on the principles of professionalism and will be responsible for protecting and promoting the interests of our country and citizens, will be one of main political priorities in the coming period”, it was emphasized during the meeting.
President Grabar-Kitarović and Stier discussed the process of the formulation of Croatian foreign policy positions and creating a new National Security Strategy which would include all geopolitical challenges. “Both sides have agreed that the new strategy of foreign and European policy must be an integral part of the strategy of homeland and national security”, said the President’s Office in the statement.
The President and the Deputy Prime Minister agreed on the modalities of mutual cooperation and agreed to regularly exchange views in order to coordinate foreign policy.
According to the constitution, Croatia’s foreign policy is formed jointly by the President and the government. In the past, there were often tensions between presidents and foreign ministers, since presidents often complained that governments would sidestep them and formulate foreign policy on their own. The problem lies in unclear division of responsibilities and the fact that the government and Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs are responsible for implementation of foreign policy, which gives them much greater influence over policy formulation as well. Also, at meetings of the European Council and Council of the European Union, which are the main forums for Croatia to influence wider European policies, Croatia is always represented by prime ministers and members of their cabinets.