Sunday, 26 June 2022

Croatian MEP Appointed Rapporteur on New EU Enlargement Strategy

ZAGREB, 26 June 2022 - The European Parliament has appointed Croatian MEP Tonino Picula rapporteur on the new EU enlargement strategy, his office said on Sunday.

His task will be to formulate a proposal for the new enlargement strategy, which would then need to be adopted by the European Parliament and sent to the European Council, the European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Picula said after his appointment that the proposal clearly emphasises the value of enlargement policy as a strategic investment in the security and prosperity of Europe, and that enlargement policy has already made a great contribution to restoring peace to areas previously affected by war.

He said that enlargement is the most effective EU foreign policy instrument and one of the Union's most successful policies.

It is also important for Croatia, because as long as we do not have other EU members on our borders, we will not be able to make full use of the benefits of our membership, Picula said.

He said that enlargement is particularly important today, in the context of Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, in order to give Ukraine and Moldova a membership perspective and provide fresh impetus to enlargement policy.

The prosperity and security of the European Union depends on its ability to defend democracy both inside and outside its borders, as well as human rights and the multilateral order based on clear rules, the Croatian MEP said.

Speaking of membership aspirants, Picula said the EU member states need to start delivering on their commitments to the candidates that meet the set criteria, and to avoid using unresolved bilateral disputes for blackmail and blocking the accession process.

Picula recommends speeding up the integration of countries that demonstrate commitment to the necessary reforms for EU membership, setting more transparent and consistent benchmarks, improving the measuring of progress and ensuring ongoing political and technical support throughout the accession process.

As regards Croatia's neighbours, he requested that the achievements of Western Balkan countries be recognised by opening accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia and approving the liberalisation of the visa regime with Kosovo without delay.

He said that the EU should also help Bosnia and Herzegovina to get the status of membership candidate as soon as possible and to accelerate the accession process with Montenegro as the most advanced candidate.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 31 January 2021

Croatian Embassy Sarajevo Attacked Again Last Night

January 31, 2021 – The Croatian Embassy in Sarajevo was last night again the target of an aggressive act. The flag of the European Union, which hung above the entrance, was ripped from its mounting and left lying on the ground in the darkened street

The Croatian Embassy Sarajevo was attacked last night. Zagreb-based media Vecernji List learned the news from their sister title in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A wall mounting that jointly held poles carrying both the Croatian flag and the flag of the European Union were the focus of the attack. Someone tried to rip the metal mounting from the wall on the outside of the Croatian Embassy Sarajevo. This is not the first time the Croatian Embassy in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been targeted.

Croatian_embassy_Sarajevo.jpegThe Croatian Embassy in Sarajevo © Miłosz Pieńkowski

It could have been mindless vandalism, drunken idiocy, politically motivated – or even all three. The Croatian Embassy lies in the very heart of Sarajevo. It is situated just north of the river Miljacka and in the same quarter of the city as the building for the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, other government and municipal buildings, the Sarajevo National Theatre and is just across the park from the embassies of France and Austria. There are several cafes, bars, fast food restaurants and pubs close by. It is a popularly frequented part of the city at night. Unlike Croatia, businesses selling food, alcohol and other drinks are currently open. Sarajevo city centre is alive at night.


The damage caused to the Croatian Embassy was minimal. The wall mounting was damaged but held firm, as did the pole carrying the Croatian flag. The pole carrying the flag of the European Union fared less well – it snapped under the force of the aggression and was completely prized from the mounting. Last night the pole and the flag of the European Union were left lying on the darkened pavement outside the Croatian Embassy, immediately in front of the doorway above which it previously hung.

An investigation is underway and police are searching for the culprits.

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Saturday, 17 February 2018

Juncker: No EU Accession for Western Balkans Countries with Border Disputes

ZAGREB, February 17, 2018 - As a result of the bad experience from the Slovenian-Croatian border conflict, the Western Balkans have to solve their border disputes before they can become members of the European Union, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Saturday addressing the Munich Security Conference.