Thursday, 19 March 2020

Croatian Interior Minister Announces Limitation of Movement for Older Persons

''There's no reason at all to worry, except about this part where we must first and foremost protect older people so that we don't get in a situation in which we end up overloading our health system,'' said the Croatian Interior Minister.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of March, 2020, the Croatian Interior Minister, Davor Bozinovic, commented during a press conference of the National Civil Protection Headquarters on which powers the headquarters would have.

The latest press conference which covers the decisions which have now officially been passed and adopted by Parliament can be read by clicking here.

''As Health Minister Beros said, we can announce a decision that will try to limit the movement of older people, that is, to make sure that they don't leave their apartments or houses without urgent need to do so. This is a job we will start with immediately,'' the minister said, presenting new information on violations of self-isolation, the punishments/fines for breaking self-isolation can be read here.

"Secondly, we'll tighten control as we've already done when it comes to people properly adhering to self-isolation rules. To date, the system has received 533 such notices, and 93 people violating this decision have been identified and will be sanctioned,'' Bozinovic said.

"It's important to bear in mind here that the economic activities of the state, not only those here in Croatia, must not stop, but they must be carried out in such a way that they don't contribute to the spread of the virus, and at the same time, they must function, and we'll also do all we can in order to keep those activities going. There's no reason to worry, except in this part where we must first and foremost protect our older people so that we don't end up getting into the situation of overburdening our health system,'' noted the Croatian Interior Minister.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for rolling infromation in English about the coronavirus outbreak in Croatia. We also provide daily updates on travel, statistics, entry and exit procedures and much more.

Monday, 2 March 2020

Croatia Migrant Crisis: Interior Minister Will Not Send Army to Border

March 2, 2020 - Davor Božinović, the Interior Minister of Croatia, emphasised that there is no need to send the army to the border, because Croatia deals with illegal migrants daily. He added that Croatia’s border protection system maintains communication with colleagues from other countries on every level. And they are working together to pursue a diplomatic solution.

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Croatia Eastern Border: No Increase in Illegal Migration

“There has been no reported increase in illegal migration on Croatia's eastern borders. The police are doing their job and the situation is no different than yesterday or the day before. Croatia has been dealing with illegal migration every day for almost three years now. That is why, even with these new circumstances, we can confirm that our border protection system fully operational and doing its job,” Interior Minister Davor Božinović said today. He noted that presently there is no need to send the army to the Croatian border, even though that remains a legal possibility, according to Marina Borovac/Večernji List on March 2, 2020.

“We will see how the situation on the Greek and Bulgarian borders develops, in relation to Turkey’s recent actions (release of migrants from their country). We are in close contact with our colleagues (from other countries) on every level. One direction we are going is certainly the diplomatic route. After all, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament will visit the Greek border tomorrow to see the situation there. At the same time, talks are underway with the Turkish leadership, which is part of the diplomatic role. The aim is to return to the EU-Turkey agreement of 2016,” Božinović added, and is confident that diplomacy would be the goal.

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Croatia Will Discuss Border Assistance to Greece, Bulgaria

Božinović announced an upcoming meeting of European interior ministers to discuss what assistance can be sent to Greece and Bulgaria. He says both countries are committed to deterring illegal migration, which is in the wake of the new European Commission's policy regarding the protection of the EU's external borders. Božinović recalled that there was a migrant wave in 2015 because Greece had allowed migrants to pass through their territory.

“This is the only way to prevent the 2015 and 2016 scenario from happening again. Today, not only Greece, but every country has made their objectives very clear regarding the protection of their borders along the so-called Western Balkan route,” the interior minister concluded.

Croatia will emphasize its plight with protecting Europe's borders, but reiterates that the issue of the migrant crisis can only be resolved through (the agreement upon) a common European policy.

Follow our Politics page and this page to keep up-to-date on the migrant crisis along the Western Balkan route in Croatia.

Friday, 28 June 2019

Božinović Says He Has Not Been Offered Post of Foreign Minister

ZAGREB, June 28, 2019 - Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović on Friday dismissed speculation that he would succeed Marija Pejčinović Burić in the post of Foreign and European Affairs Minister, noting that he had not been given any such offer.

"I have not received any such offer nor would I opt for (the post)," Božinović told reporters.

Asked if a government reshuffle was possible and necessary, he said that he was not aware of any talks on the matter.

"In the coming period, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) will be working to prepare in the best possible way for the next election cycle," Božinović said.

Also today, the head of the HDZ parliamentary group, Branko Bačić, said that there had been no talks within the party on the candidates to succeed Pejčinović Burić after she was elected the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe.

"She will take office on September 15 and we have two and a half months to decide on who will take her place. The Foreign and European Affairs Ministry has been preparing seriously for taking over the presidency of the EU on January 1. Not everything is up to the minister, her closest associates are very much involved in the process so there will be no vacuum," said Bačić.

He also said that his party colleague Tomislav Sokol, who was elected a member of the European Parliament, would resign as a member of the Croatian parliament today and that his successor in the parliament would take over on July 12.

Bačić said that the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) would not succeed in having Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević dismissed.

"I still have not seen the SDP's motion for Minister Kuščević's dismissal, I'm interested in the reasons they have cited. In any case, they won't succeed in having the minister dismissed," Bačić said.

The HDZ official went on to say that deadlines for the dismissal procedure were clear as were deadlines for calling regular and extraordinary parliament sessions.

"Only after we receive the SDP motion will we be able to say when the matter will be discussed... it must be discussed at the latest within 30 days from the submission of the motion and the government's making known its position on the matter," said Bačić.

Asked what would happen if the SDP chose such a timing of filing its motion to make the parliament call an extraordinary session after July 15, Bačić said: "If deadlines are such that we cannot conduct a debate before July 15, we will hold talks to see what to do."

The SDP said on Thursday that it was launching an initiative for Kuščević's dismissal and was collecting signatures in that regard, adding that due to procedural and legal time frames, an extraordinary session of parliament might be convened solely to debate the proposal for Kuščević's dismissal.

Speaking of the reasons why the SDP was calling for Kuščević's resignation, SDP MP Peđa Grbin cited his failure to enter his property in the land register, siphoning property from a company and causing it more than a million kuna in damages, purchasing agricultural land and then converting it into construction land during his term in office as the head of Nerežišća municipality on the island of Brač, and construction of government-subsidised flats many of which ended up in the hands of Kuščević's family and close party colleagues.

More news about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found in the Politics section.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Brexit Brits in Croatia - Simplified Jargon for Croatia's British Residents

A look at the possible Brexit scenarios and what they mean for Croatia's confused British residents.

Brexit has been delayed. If May can't get her deal through parliament, or if no other way forward is proposed, the UK could end up with a disorderly No Deal exit, despite parliament having voted overwhelmingly against it. If May passes her deal or parliament finds another route and that is passed then Brexit has been delayed until May the 22nd to allow for the necessary legislation to be passed. The UK cannot delay Brexit any further unless it agrees to partake in the European elections. Farcical, no? 

Anyway, La La Land, sorry... I mean Britain, aside, let's see how things currently stand for Croatia's resident Brits. I've tried to update you a lot, but as you know, the Brexit situation has changed more times than Boris Johnson has changed his political beliefs, so it doesn't always mean much. Still, let's give it a go.

May's deal/withdrawal agreement passes:

If, in the unlikely event May's deal passes during the third meaningful vote on it (third time lucky?), then the withdrawal agreement concluded back in 2018 will come into force on May the 22nd this year, giving way to a transition (implementation) period until what we currently believe to be the end of December, 2020. This however, could be extended and altered. 

What does this mean?

It means that you need to make sure you're correctly registered with the authorities (MUP/Ministry of the Interior) as a resident in Croatia. You need to be in possession of a valid residency permit or the white piece of paper proving you've been approved and you're just waiting for it to be made, before December 2020. If you're due to gain permanent residency (after five years of continuous, lawful residency in Croatia), you can apply for it as an EU citizen would during this time. In short, nothing will alter.

Here's a more detailed guide I wrote a few months ago.

May's deal fails again, parliament can find no way forward, No Deal occurs:

This remains unlikely as this is only the desire of a handful of people who seem hell bent on such an insane idea. Still, it could happen. You need to make sure you're correctly registered with MUP as stated above, and your registration, receipt of registration and/or residence permit will act as proof of your British citizenship and proof of you having been resident in Croatia before the UK's withdrawal from the EU. It's hugely important that you do this if you haven't already. 

Here's how you should prepare for all scenarios, this guide will help you make sure you're on the right side of the law should the UK crash out of the EU with no deal next month. 

Here are MUP's guidelines, with our explainers and points thrown in, in the case of a No Deal Brexit. Croatia has now finally confirmed it will protect British citizens living legally in Croatia and minimise any disruption as much as possible regardless of the Brexit outcome. Click the above link and read carefully. Here's MUP's original post on the subject.

Is there any new information?

Yes and no. Here's what we know so far: Croatia has committed to protect its British residents regardless of the outcome, which is good news. You can click here for an overview of each EU member state's guidelines for residence rights for Brits in the unwanted event of the UK leaving without a deal. It isn't in alphabetical order, so scroll down until you find Croatia, or don't, because I'll just write what you need to know here and explain each point as necessary anyway. Here goes:

''In order to provide for the regulation of residence status of UK nationals and their family members, who on the day of departure of the UK from the European Union have already registered their temporary or permanent stay or have been issued with a residence card pursuant to Title X of the existing Aliens Act, certain amendments to the draft proposal for the Act on EEA nationals and their family members have been proposed.  

Those provisions provide for keeping the existing residence status and lay down the right to work without obtaining additional authorisation (this provision will have no end date). 

The residence documents already issued under the existing Aliens Act will be recognised as temporary national residence permits for nationals of the United Kingdom and their family members after Brexit (option c). These temporary national residence permits will be valid maximum up to one year from the entry into force of the Act (or until their expiration date, if the said date is shorter).

An obligation has also been prescribed to replace residence documents within a year from the entry into force of the Act. New residence permits will be issued in the format laid down by Regulation 1030/2002. 

Pursuant to a special procedure, the draft Act will be sent before the Croatian Parliament for urgent legislative procedure.

b). On 19 March 2019 total of 655 UK nationals have regulated their residence in the Republic of Croatia (358 on temporary residence and 297 have permanent residence).

Having this in mind, we do not currently expect overburden of our administrative capacities.

We aim to implement a simple and straightforward procedure in order not to overburden UK nationals.

Therefore we are considering accepting applications for exchanging the recognised temporary national residence permits after 30 March 2019 (or no deal Brexit date) and issue first permits in accordance with Regulation 1030/2002 afterwards (in order to replace any temporary documents).

c). We have made a proposal for a recommendation addressed to all UK nationals and their family members residing in the Republic of Croatia who intend to continue residing in the Republic of Croatia, to register their residence in the Republic of Croatia in line with the provisions of the existing Aliens Act.

This recommendation was published on the website of the Ministry of the Interior https://mup.gov.hr/vijesti/information-concerning-the-future-relations-between-the-united-kingdom-and-the-european-union/283273

What does all that mean?

In short, legislation is being put forward to mean that the current residence document/permits you hold now, which were obtained via your EU treaty rights (the right to live and work in any EU member state) will remain valid for one year, or less if you're due to update them (renew or apply for permanent residence) in less than one year. 

This legislation will mean that essentially, British citizens already residing legally in Croatia will be treated like all other EU citizens and their unrestricted entitlement to access the Croatian labour market will remain as it is now - permanently.

There aren't many Brits living here, so there shouldn't be any particular extra burden felt by MUP or by individuals.

Eventually, residence cards obtained through EU law will cease to be valid for British nationals, but there's nothing to worry about, you simply exchange them for whatever the new ones will be. Croatia is considering beginning permit exchanges as of the 30th of March (however this might be worth bypassing considering the fact that the UK will almost certainly still be a member of the EU on that date).

Need an example?

1) Let's say you're due to get permanent residency this year. You'll apply for it as normal just like you were still an EU citizen, and you'll be granted under the same conditions as EU nationals. Ask the official if you'll need to alter it in a year's time. If you do, you won't be asked to make an application again, it will be a simple exhange for a new permit. It will still be permanent residence, just maybe a slightly different looking card.

2) You've still got a few years to go before you hit that magic five year mark. Your current temporary residence permit will remain valid for another year. Go and exchange it for whatever the new document will be as soon as MUP announce they're beginning exchanges to save you any extra burden. Ask at your local police station for information on this, or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

3) Let's say you've somehow managed to live in Croatia without any sort of residence permit (yes, it happens), you need to go and register your residence now and get a five year temporary residence permit. You can then exchange it for whatever the new document is when MUP begins exchanging cards, and then eventually get permanent residence.

What about healthcare?

If no other way forward is found and no further extension to the Brexit process is agreed, the UK will crash out of the EU. In this case, the EU health insurance card will cease to be valid for British citizens. As things stand, we can reveal that the Croatian Government is preparing a Draft Law Proposal on a Temporary Measure in the area of Obligatory Health Insurance designed to provide transitional healthcare arrangements after the UK leaves the EU to those who are residents in Croatia.

We'll update you as soon as we know more about what that means.

Make sure to follow British Embassy Zagreb on Facebook, and sign up for email alerts from gov.uk's Living in Croatia page, which is updated as soon as any new information comes out. Give our dedicated politics page a follow for much more on Brexit and beyond.

Friday, 8 February 2019

Croatia Supposedly Playing Important Role on European Security Scene

ZAGREB, February 8, 2019 - Croatia's Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović on Thursday attended a meeting of EU justice ministers and ministers of the interior in Bucharest focusing on the fight against terrorism and on-line radicalisation, ways to strengthen police cooperation, migrations and external border management. "Croatia has an important role on the European security scene, notably regarding the control of the longest EU land border. Croatia's accession to the Schengen area is therefore in the EU's interest as well," Božinović tweeted after the meeting.

The minister told the meeting that Croatia welcomed the European Parliament's political support for anti-terrorist activities.

The Bucharest meeting also discussed police cooperation in the digital era, cybercrime and ways of countering it. It was underlined that Croatia had already successfully launched projects that improve competences and experience in countering that type of attacks.

Božinović informed the meeting of his recent visit to Ankara and refugee camps on the Turkish-Syrian border. He underlined that Turkey was a key partner to the EU in managing migrations and that the increased pressure it was dealing with should not be ignored.

Božinović recalled that Croatia was in favour of stronger cooperation with Southeast European countries in managing migrations but that it wanted the specific situations of individual member-countries to be taken into account.

Croatia cannot accept the establishment of a controlled centre in its territory, he said, adding that for Croatia it was not acceptable that migrants saved at sea were immediately transferred to other member-countries without launching border and asylum procedures in the country of disembarkation.

More news on the Interior Ministry can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Vlaho Orepić Talks Police, MOST and New Political Party - Nova Politika

Vlaho Orepić has seen his fair share of political alterations in Croatia, from becoming minister of the interior during Tihomir Orešković's government, to being shockingly dismissed by Andrej Plenković, to stepping down as an MP for MOST, one of the partners of the former ruling coalition, eventually breaking away entirely and forming a new party of his own - Nova Politika.

Known for not only his position as the minister of the interior, but for his achievements in the sporting world and his political activities in his beloved town of Ploče, Konavle-born Orepić sat down with us to discuss the past, the present, and the future, including his new party.

Why did you decide to set up a brand new political party? What values ​​does it, and you, represent?

Through the experiences I gained through my civic activism, and then through my direct participation in the work of the Government and the Parliament of Croatia I realised that politics in Croatia is not what should be expected of it. It doesn't do the work of the people. On the contrary, all the policies of the past have disrupted the [lives of the] Croatian people, and has impoverished the Croatian economy.

So, we need something new, that is Nova Politika, which will be what people expect it to be, and that means working for the people. This need, this message, and these values ​​are contained in the idea and the very name Nova Politika.

How will your party differ from the countless others who are already operating in Croatia?

We simply need order in the country, as well as in political and social relations because we as a country aren't in a crisis, but we are in disorder. The basic two goals of Nova Politika are the protection of democratic principles and procedures in political relations and the institutional arrangement, as well as the optimisation of the state. Nova Politika as a party is, unlike others, a project. A project of getting together with the aim of institutional convergence from the current disorder putting the country in order.

There are many challenges which require ambitious structural reforms, so new, life-motivated policies are needed.

First and foremost, what we're going to invest a huge amount of energy into is the struggle for the legitimacy of elections. The outcomes of the entire series of electoral processes in Croatia are crucially influenced by the voices of those who have filed a false residence in the Republic of Croatia, and as such gain a whole range of substantive rights, as well as voting rights. In its electoral register, Croatia has at least 150,000 such fictional voters. Parliament has a minimum of 4-6 parliamentarians who base their mandate on those fictional voters. That's been going on for far too long and it needs to stop.

Why did not you take advantage of this opportunity and as the minister of the interior, solve this problem?

I didn't manage to. They dismissed me. I believe that you're familiar with the fact that I uncompromisingly tried to solve this problem. In just two and a half months, the police, to whom the law prescribed that obligation, prompted the deletion of 45,000 fictional residences. Very rapidly this figure has grown to 75,000. This issue, because of political incitement and abuse, is an exceptional problem in our society.

What is especially disturbing is that this is intractable abuse and a kind of blackmail of people in need. People who, because of realistic, existential problems, engage in illegal behavior such as the fictitious reporting of residence in the Republic of Croatia. The Republic of Croatia should systematically and legally care about its emigrants and not just keep tolerating this crime.

You've endured huge political resistance to this engagement of yours and even personal discreditation. Judging from your findings, which parties have encouraged fictitious voters to participate in the elections in the Republic of Croatia?

Fictitious voters' transport from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina was organised by the HDZ, SDSS and even MOST, which was concealing it from me as its minister. Even the activists engaged in the recent referendum initiatives have also collected signatures in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the pre-election campaign for local elections in Vrgorac, HDZ had a poster with a cross marked over my face which they stuck in neighbouring places and cities in western Herzegovina. With which they called "their" fictional voters to come to the elections.

But that doesn't matter anymore. It's important to realise the magnitude of this problem and to get credible electoral registers as soon as possible in order to guarantee the legality of elections in the Republic of Croatia. We need to get that in order. To move forward, we need to be able to count the results of the elections to match the real will of the citizens. That's Nova Politika.

Will someone who is already active in political or public life enter your party? Maybe one of the members of MOST? 

I hope we'll all be able get together around the goal as Nova Politika is focused on its political goal, and all those who see Croatia as a decent and well-regulated state are welcome. Let's say that proper order in the area of [registering] ​​residence should be the target of everyone who wishes our homeland well.  This is what I expect especially from those who ran their election campaigns based on fictional voters and who claim they're sovereign.

Will you participate in the forthcoming European Parliament elections, and will you have your candidate for the president of the Republic of Croatia?

The focus is on parliamentary elections. But Nova Politika partaking either alone or in cooperation with someone else in all the upcoming elections hasn't been ruled out.

What's your opinion on the work of current President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. Will you back her for a second term?

She failed to portray herself as the president of all citizens. We definitely need a new president.

At the moment, the most current issue is the collapse of an Israeli jet plane purchase. Do you think Croatia needs war planes? If so, how much money would you be willing to invest in their purchase?

We don't need to call the need for war planes into question. But what we need to take into account is our financial situation. At this point, we have no money for that. We have a whole series of challenges that are related to our bare existence. We must take into account the life priorities that hav arisen from the situation in which we're in and live within our means. Aircraft, at this time, aren't something we can afford and aren't a priority.

MOST has been looking like a conservative party recently, more and more. Do you share such a vision? If not, why were you in that party at all?

I don't share the current worldview of MOST, which is significantly different from the one they were trying to show, and which dominated while I was in MOST. The leaders of MOST have repositioned MOST within the frameworks of their own personal worldviews. It isn't mature, and it is a type of conflict politics, this is a political environment which I can't identify with.

Why did you leave MOST?

MOST as a party abandoned the very idea of ​​MOST, so I left MOST.

In two HDZ-MOST coalition governments, you were the interior minister. Would you enter into a coalition with HDZ again? Will you remain in the Parliament as an opposition representative until the end of your mandate or does a possibility for you to support the current government exist?

I'm going to remain an opposition MP.

Which parties would you potentially enter into a coalition with?

With this very question you've addressed a big problem in the functioning of politics in the Republic of Croatia. Nobody asks you what your suggestions are. What are your political goals, etc. People are already accepting or rejecting you on the basis of your ideological orientation. This approach to politics is wrong and that's why we need Nova Politika. A policy that highlights clear goals and their implementation brings together the necessary majority. We need to evolve current politics into realistic politics. Politics that can and should be measurable. Politics which will be conditioned by the mutual interaction of the principles of trust and responsibility.

Davor Božinović succeeded you as the minister of the interior. How do you evaluate his work?

He's completely unambiguous in his approach in these circumstances we're in and his root changes make him look superficial. Manipulation with fictitious residences and some staffing solutions paralysed the operational work of the police and indicated a lack of workability. He acts unambiguously because he has no ambition and therefore no actual results.

What do you think about the Croatian police's treatment in relation to migrants on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina? Does the behavior of the police differ now than from when you were minister?

The migrant policy of Croatia, of which a lot is dealt with by the police I consider to be good. The work on the frontier is on the line of the one that was designed and established during my mandate. There is no leg room when it comes to illegal border crossings but there's also a very human approach when it comes to caring for people in need. Some isolated failures in treatment can't diminish the significance of the police work done.

When talking about migration policy, every day Croatia that it is a responsible member of the EU, because don't forget that the Croatian police, in protecting the borders of the Republic of Croatia, are also working to protect the EU's external borders.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for more.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Corruption Suspect Transferred to Work for Interior Ministry

ZAGREB, December 20, 2018 - Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic on Wednesday commented on the forthcoming transfer of Sandra Zeljko, a corruption suspect in a travel allowance scam, to his ministry.

Božinović said that as a result of government efforts to downsize the public administration, several agencies had been merged and added to the Interior Ministry, including the Mine Clearance Office where Zeljko works.

Zeljko is suspected of collecting fictitious travel expenses while serving as a secretary in the Prime Minister's Office.

The USKOK anti-corruption office has indicted Tomislav Saucha, chief of staff in the Prime Minister's Office during the term of the SDP-led government, and his secretary Zeljko for defrauding the state budget of over 580,000 kuna. Saucha was also accused of sharing the profit with Zeljko, a former key witness in this case.

USKOK suspects that Zeljko continued to collect fictitious travel expenses even after the end of Saucha's term in the government. Zeljko is now also suspected of forging the signatures of Saucha's successors Neven Zelić and Davor Božinović himself, from March 2016 to February 2017, collecting nearly 350,000 kuna in fictitious travel expenses.

Božinović explained that during the merger of the agencies the Interior Ministry also takes over their staff.

He said that Zeljko has been on sick leave for a long time and that a medical board would be requested to assess whether she was fit to continue her duties considering her long absence from work.

More news on the corruption cases in Croatia can be found in our Politics section.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Interior Minister Attending Marrakesh Migration Conference

ZAGREB, December 10, 2018 - Croatian Interior Minister Davor Božinović is attending the Marrakesh migration conference. He said that until now the UN had never systematically dealt with migration and that if it had, perhaps the big migration crisis which hit Europe in 2015 could have been avoided.

"This is a global problem which the United Nations has decided to start dealing with. The pace it will take is uncertain and how long it will take is also uncertain. However, it's a fact that a solution to a global challenge can be sought only globally," Božinović told Croatian reporters ahead of a meeting on Monday and Tuesday at which representatives of over 100 countries are expected to endorse the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Asked if one should be afraid of this document, he said there was "absolutely nothing" to fear about it.

"It is a document which I would say is a process of regulating migration in the future so that we don't have what we have on Croatian borders today. On the one hand, there are countries from which people are coming and one should address why they are coming, how to help them stay in their countries. On the other hand, there are countries which want the workforce as well as countries which, like Croatia, are transit countries, and these matters must be regulated."

Božinović said that from the start Croatia's policy had been not to allow illegal entry and strong diplomatic activity. "We have managed to raise awareness in the EU of the issue of countries on the Balkan route because the issue of migration through Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia wouldn't have been on the agenda without Croatia's engagement."

He said that in Marrakesh he would talk with representatives of the countries from which migrants were coming, such as Algeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey so as to, "not just bilaterally but also at EU level", focus efforts on helping them keep their citizens.

Asked why many countries would not endorse the Global Compact, Božinović said "the majority of EU member states support the agreement" and took part in its preparation. "I think it's a delicate issue. However, Croatia is very clear and transparent about this. We won't allow illegal migration but we are with all those who wish to resolve this issue at the source."

"It is a fact that many actors are using this issue for internal political breakthroughs by releasing news that are unrealistic and untrue. There are also attempts to scare people with the migrant issue but everyone who lives in Croatia knows that we are very firm about this, that we will stay firm and that there's no need to believe those spreading fake news. Migration is here, it won't go away, but the organisation of the Croatian police and the Croatian state guarantees all our citizens and all of Croatia's guests that they will be safe."

Božinović said arrests for trafficking in humans had jumped 88% from 2017 and that this showed how efficient Croatian police were.

"I am sure that we have a realistic policy focused on the well-being of Croatian citizens and if the world comes together about this issue sooner or later, if everyone defuses tensions a little, I'm sure we will start coming closer to solutions. Let's be realistic. Whatever anyone claims, if the EU hadn't reached an agreement with Turkey and if Turkey hadn't closed its borders, who knows what Europe would look like today," he said.

You can find more on Croatia’s migration policies in our special section.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Todorić: ''We've Got Unbelievable Evidence, I'm the Victor''

Agrokor's former main man fights on in the fog of London.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Son on Drugs Charge? Can Drinks with Interior Minister Keep Prison at Bay?

Does a coffee a day keep prison away?

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