Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković participated at the Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy, organised by the Croatian Parliament as part of the parliamentary dimension of the Croatian Presidency of the EU Council.
The meeting, which brought together members of national parliaments of EU Member States and the European Parliament, members of parliaments of European NATO member countries, candidate countries for EU membership and members of parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina as special guests, focused on the following topics: global challenges for a resilient and influential Europe, a credible European perspective for the Western Balkan countries and strengthening European defense cooperation and industry.
In his welcome address, Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković pointed out the challenges facing the European Union, including the conflicts in the Middle East, terrorist threats, organised crime, climate and demographic changes, weakening multilateralism and disrespect of international law and sovereignty of other countries, as well as technological progress, with one of its consequences being hybrid threats also through the spread of fake news and disinformation.
Speaker Jandroković also addressed the current challenge of the corona virus which requires a fast, efficient and coordinated response in order to prevent its further spreading, and in particular the new migrant crisis. He stressed that the newly developed situation confirmed the need for the European Union to finally assume a coherent response to the migrant crisis and to adopt a policy that will be concrete, consistent, sustainable and based on solidarity and responsibility with respect to protecting the external borders. He pointed out that Croatia is fully engaged – the Croatian police is fully operational in protecting the Croatian border, which is at the same time EU’s border. In case of escalation, Croatia will consider other options as well, said Jandroković.
Croatian Parliament Speaker also stressed that it was EU’s responsibility to protect its essence, namely the fundamental values and the principles underpinning the security of its territory and citizens. At the same time it is the EU’s responsibility to reassume the role of leader in international relations and global partner. In order for that leading role to be credible, it must reflect unity and determination in positions, more active engagement and partnership.
With regard to the European defense cooperation, Croatian Parliament Speaker emphasized that the European Union should provide security with its strategic approach to defence, by conflict prevention and crises management and by strengthening its defence capabilities and defence industry. He welcomed the initiative of Permanent Structured Cooperation which is aimed at strengthening cooperation by developing joint defense capability, investing in joint projects and developing joint operational readiness.
He stressed that EU’s credibility in international relations is also reflected through responsible approach to its own neighborhood, both eastern and southern, including the immediate southeast of Europe. Against this background, he reiterated that Croatia is committed to continued effective and credible enlargement policy, being the guarantee of stability, security, further economic development and consolidation of EU’s territory. Ahead of the Zagreb Summit, it is important to intensify the activities and talks on the enlargement policy at various levels, said Jandroković and stressed that he believed in the positive outcome of the forthcoming decisions that would confirm Europe’s credibility. He concluded by saying that Croatia expects the same credibility from the southeast European countries when it comes to them embracing all European values, meeting the criteria and stipulated reforms for further democratic strengthening and creating an area of stability and security.