Some question whether the caretaker Prime Minister should represent Croatia at important international events.
Caretaker Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković will on Saturday meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the refugee crisis and the future of the European Union. However, before this important meeting, the Prime Minister has not consulted with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović or with leaders of major Croatian parties, Zoran Milanović and Andrej Plenković, reports Jutarnji List on August 23, 2016.
The meeting with the German Chancellor comes at a delicate moment, on the eve of the European Council meeting on 16 September that will deal with the issue of the refugee crisis as well. However, the caretaker Prime Minister at present has no constitutional authority to accept any obligations. Given that Orešković has just limited political experience and has not really dealt with the refugee issue, it is interesting that he has decided to go to the meeting without any consultations.
“This is perhaps one of the most sensitive moments for Europe since it is necessary to make far-reaching decisions. It is extremely important for Croatia to have a clear position. Unfortunately, Orešković has not talked about it with anyone”, said a source.
In this situation, with parliamentary elections less than three weeks away, it could perhaps be expected that the President would be involved in this important political process since at the moment it is crucial for Croatia to participate in the sensitive process of European negotiations. There is a risk that in October a new wave of refugees could start moving towards Europe, especially since Turkey has failed to negotiate the liberalization of visa system with the EU. At the same time, Merkel wants to continue her policies towards refugees, regardless of the increasing opposition from the German public and politicians, as well as from many European countries.
“The position of Croatia is very important and therefore it is necessary to harmonize the positions of political leaders. Orešković has not done it, but he has accepted the invitation of the Chancellor. It would be extremely dangerous if Orešković were to accept any obligations on behalf of Croatia. Therefore, he should mostly listen during the meeting and not say much”, said the source.
“Orešković cannot participate in this process. The National Security Council should be involved, and wider consultations in Croatia should be held, since consequences could be serious and any mistake could be fatal. One can understand that Orešković is pleased to participate in these meetings, but the question is how much this is justified at a time when his caretaker government cannot make any important decisions, especially on such important issues like the position towards the refugee crisis at the European level. The most important thing is for Orešković not to accept any new obligations, but to leave this to the next government”, said the senior diplomatic source.