Plenković Expects from Šuica Progress on Demography

By 4 October 2019

ZAGREB, October 4, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday he expected the new European Commission, notably its Vice President Dubravka Šuica, to make progress that would help Croatia and other member states deal with demography issues.

Šuica, the Croatian candidate for Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, was given a positive assessment after a hearing in the European Parliament on Thursday during which she answered questions from members of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality.

Speaking at a press conference, Plenković recalled that Šuica was nominated by the Croatian government and that her department was chosen by new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Democracy and demography are two very important topics for Croatia and all of Europe, he added.

This is the first time in the European project that a commissioner has been tasked with demography, a topic that "is especially important for us because of Croatia's negative birth rate" and a problem, he said, to which many other member states were not immune either.

He said it was especially important that Šuica was also one of the Commission's eight vice presidents. "I consider this to be a great success for Croatia, which is the youngest Union member. We have strengthened Croatia's position in the EU and the influence we have in the Union's institutions."

Asked if he had to attack the GONG NGO recently given that some MEPs at the hearing were not interested in the question of Šuica's declaration of assets, Plenković said he did not know who felt attacked but that it was telling that no one had raised the issue of Šuica's assets when she ran in European Parliament elections in 2013, 2014 and this year.

"This was a political wish to make this an outstanding issue now," he said, adding that Šuica had passed the hearing at the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee without a question mark.

He said the MEP who asked Šuica about her assets at Thursday's hearing was irrelevant. "He belongs to the group of those who don't belong to anyone."

More news about Dubravka Šuica can be found in the Politics section.