“Croatia Ready for Cooperation with All Neighbours”

By 3 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 3, 2018 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday that Croatia was a responsible state which wished to open new pages of cooperation with all neighbouring countries, and rejected the "negative" and "scandalous" rhetoric coming from Serbia.

"We resolutely reject this negative rhetoric which is coming and which is scandalous," he told reporters after a meeting of his HDZ party, alluding to Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić.

Asked to comment on Dačić's statement that Croatia had been Hitler's ally, while Serbia had not, Plenković said, "We don't wish to comment on such statements but pursue a European policy and a policy of good neighbourly cooperation with all those that respect civilised European standards, and that's the key difference."

Plenković said he discussed the problematic relations with Serbia with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić, adding that Croatia would not recall its ambassador from Serbia. "There's no need for that at all."

Asked about hearing at the European Commission on Slovenia's complaint that Croatia was in breach of EU law by not recognising a border arbitration ruling, Plenković said he was pleased with the Croatian team's presentation. He said Croatia's position was that there was no breach of European law and again invited Slovenia to resolve the outstanding border issue bilaterally. "They will fail with this approach."

Asked if it was possible for the two countries to reach an agreement under Article 273 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, Plenković reiterated that the simplest thing would be to resolve the issue bilaterally. He added that Croatia had presented to Slovenia ideas on how to resolve the issue and that the offer was still "on the table."

"Let's wait for the end of Slovenia's election," he said, adding that in terms of legal action, Croatia had done all in its power.