Croatian Foreign Minister Reacts to Brexit

By 24 June 2016

Foreign Minister Miro Kovač on consequences of Brexit on Croatia.

The results of the British referendum are a blow to unity of the European Union, but also speak about the dissatisfaction of British citizens with the functioning of the EU, said Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovač, adding that the move will not have any serious economic or political consequences for Croatia, reports Index.hr on June 24, 2016.

“This is a blow to the unity of the European Union, it should be clearly stated. This decision should be respected, it speaks about the dissatisfaction among people in the United Kingdom as far as the functioning of the European Union is concerned”, said the Minister.

Kovač believes that the EU should now consider what to do next and says that he is personally committed to a public debate among member states. We need to see how the Union “can be more efficiently organized”. “We need to talk about authorities which Brussels has”, said the Minister, stressing that the Union must turn towards the needs to the citizens. "It seems to me that the European institutions are too far removed from the common man”, added Kovač.

The Minister said that the outcome of the British referendum will not have significant economic or political consequences for Croatia. “Croatia is not economically very tied to Britain. The trade between the two countries amounts to one-tenth of the trade that Croatia has with Slovenia, Germany or Italy. There will be no major economic consequences”, said Minister Kovač.

As for political concerns, Kovač pointed out that the process of Great Britain leaving the European Union would take about two years and that Croatia would adapt during this period.

Speaking about the possible impact of Brexit on the process of European enlargement, Kovač said that Croatia would continue to actively advocate for the continuation of the enlargement process, but adding that it was realistic that the process would slow down. "We want to spread stability in Southeast Europe. But, we must be realistic. I am afraid that there will be an effect on the process of enlargement”, said Kovač.