The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Croatian Parliament Miro Kovač opened the Inter-Parliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union by highlighting Croatia as an active advocate of a common approach of the Member States to the challenges of 21st century by using the framework and power of the European Union.
He presented the topics that will be discussed at the Conference, with a focus on the priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council which are reflected in the strategic documents of the European Union in the new legislative cycle.
Kovač announced that the Croatian Presidency will contribute to the Conference by introducing a new debate model to respond to current events, so the debate on the security situation in EU’s Southern Neighborhood has been included in the Conference agenda. He stressed the Croatian initiative to reintroduce the adoption of the Conference Conclusions.
In conclusion, he stressed the need to strengthen the role and visibility of national parliaments and to bring European topics and the role of parliaments in EU’s decision-making process closer to the citizens.
The Chair of the Croatian Parliament Defense Committee Igor Dragovan also addressed the participants and said that the common proactive approach of all Member States to the development of defense capabilities and instruments could reinforce EU’s leading role. In addition, he pointed out that defense capability development should be clearly separated from the arms race, because every arms race also implies potential risk of conflict escalation.
In his introductory remarks, the Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs David McAllister welcomed the Croatian Parliament’s contribution to the Conference by introducing new elements aimed at promoting further strengthening of its potentials. He stressed the importance of the topics that will be discussed during the Conference and the participation of and exchange of views with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the priorities of Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defense Policy.