Croatia Supports Security Cooperation between SE European Countries

By 26 February 2019

ZAGREB, February 26, 2019 - Croatia strongly supports security cooperation within all three internal security pillars of the Brdo Process - fighting terrorism, preventing organised crime and protecting the borders, Interior Minister Davor Božinović said at a Southeastern European ministerial conference in Skopje on Tuesday.

Božinović said in his address that Croatia was aware that by developing and strengthening security structures in neighbouring countries it was helping to create a secure environment on the external borders of the European Union.

That's why Croatia is ready at all times to assist and support the countries of Southeastern Europe in making further progress on their path to EU membership and will continue sharing its experience and knowledge, he added.

Speaking to Hina, Božinović said that it was in Croatia's interest "to fill the gap in security cooperation between Southeastern European countries, and between the EU and this part of Europe."

"Our interest is for the EU to focus on this region as much as possible, given that many challenges to the security of the European Union, and hence Croatia as well, lie here. That's why we are making, as one of the pillars of our security policy, strong diplomatic efforts not just within the EU but also outside of it," Božinović said.

He recalled a recent summit of leaders of the EU and the Arab League which was dominated by the issue of illegal migration as a consequence of economic and political developments in certain parts of the world.

"We need to cooperate in the joint search for solutions in confronting this major challenge to Europe's security. At each stage of the migration route, from sources to transit countries, we look for partners to try and find the best solutions through dialogue. The countries of Southeast Europe are our immediate neighbours from where migrants are coming and we have to find solutions together with these countries, but as EU members we also have to ensure that the administration in Brussels pays more attention to this part of our continent," Božinović concluded.

During the conference, Božinović held a bilateral meeting with Kosovo Interior Minister Ekrem Mustafa, who said that his country was using the good experience of the Croatian police in modernising its police force.

The conference was also addressed by Interior Ministers Oliver Spasovski of North Macedonia and Boštjan Poklukar of Slovenia, as well as by EU Deputy Director General for Migration and Home Affairs Olivier Onidi.

More news about the relations between Croatia and the countries of the region can be found in the Politics section.