No Conflict of Interest Proceedings Against Foreign Minister

By 19 January 2019

ZAGREB, January 19, 2019 - The Conflict of Interest Commission decided on Friday that it would not launch proceedings against Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić, thus rejecting a motion tabled by an association of war veterans from Slavonski Brod that accused Pejčinović Burić of being in a conflict of interest as the minister who used to provide Serbia's government with counselling in the accession negotiations with the EU from 2013 to 2016.

The Commission concluded that having been an adviser in the project aimed at helping Serbia to expedite its accession negotiations, Minister Pejčinović Burić did not create any interest in contravention of Croatia's interest.

The association filed the report against the minister insisting that Pejčinović Burić's counselling activities before her ministerial term and her current position in which she monitors the achievements of Serbia in meeting benchmarks within the EU membership talks amounted to a clash of interests.

Dismissing the association's request, the commission explains that the contents of the project in which Pejčinović Burić offered counselling services from 2013 to 2016 and the duties to monitor Serbia's progress in fulfilling the benchmarks differed completely.

Tatijana Vučetić of the Commission explained that being hired as an international expert by the European Commission following the advertised tender for counselling Serbia in a specific project, Pejčinović Burić did not pursue private interests that might have clashed with Croatia's interests.

More news on the conflict of interest issues in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.