Liberal Parties to Run Together for European Parliament

By 28 October 2018

ZAGREB, October 28, 2018 - Leaders of GLAS, the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) and the Primorje‑Gorski Kotar Alliance (PGS) said on Sunday they were preparing for next spring's European Union elections, working on a programme for the European Parliament, and that they expected to have two MEPs again.

Speaking at a press conference in Opatija, GLAS president Anka Mrak Taritaš said the three parties making up the Amsterdam Coalition would present their platform and 12 candidates for the European Parliament in a month's time. She said they wanted to remind citizens of the importance of the EU elections and European values.

This is a watershed moment for the EU as the next elections will decide the direction it will take and we want Croatia to be represented by people advocating liberal democracy, Mrak Taritaš said, adding that they did not want populism.

IDS president Boris Miletić said European elections were important because the bulk of Croatian legislation depended on EU legislation. He asked if Hungary and Poland were indicative of Europe or if Europe was a project of peace and open borders.

PGS vice president Tea Mičić Badurina said Croatia was highly centralised, economically devastated and ideologically divided and that this was fertile ground for neoconservative and populist movements which could cause even greater damage. She said Croatian citizens needed someone who would guarantee a stable environment, security and their rights.

Asked if the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) would join the Amsterdam Coalition, Mrak-Taritaš said the HSS had decided to start negotiations to that end. Asked if this meant a coalition with the HSS for Croatia's next parliamentary election, she said they were now focused solely on the European elections.

As for other parties, Mrak Taritaš said they did not want a coalition with someone who was in a coalition with the ruling HDZ or with Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić. As for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), she said it seemed it would run in the European elections independently. She would not say if a coalition with the SDP was possible for Croatia's parliamentary election.

Asked if the Amsterdam Coalition would back former SDP leader Zoran Milanović if he decided to run for president, Mrak Taritaš said that, in case he did, he would reach out to them and that they would then decide by consensus.

HDZ has announced it would probably run for the European Parliament without its coalition partners.