Friday, 8 July 2022

Croatia Officially Starts Negotiations on Organizing Economic Cooperation and Development Membership

ZAGREB, 8 July 2022 - Croatia has officially started negotiations on joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Friday.

"I wish to announce that at the meeting with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Deputy Secretary-General Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen, we officially started the negotiations," said Grlić Radman, who participated in the meeting between Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Knudsen in Government House.

"This is a historic moment for us today... after joining the Schengen Area, after joining the euro area, this will really be the 'icing on the cake," he said addressing the media.

Knudsen agreed with him that this is a historic moment and said that Croatia is doing this in order to create a better life for its citizens.

At the final meeting of the Council of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development at the ministerial level held on 10 June OECD member states adopted the Accession Plan for Croatia.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Plenković Says Request to Pardon Perković, Mustač Orchestrated Action

ZAGREB, 20 April 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Wednesday a request for the pardon of Josip Perković and Zdravko Mustač was an "orchestrated action" which had caused rifts among the generals, war veterans and "the Croatians in general."

"Croatia has seen many orchestrated actions, this is one of them," he said in parliament during Question Time.

Plenković recalled that President Zoran Milanović had said in his presidential campaign that he would not use the institute of pardon and that he had not responded to any of the 275 pardon requests forwarded by the Justice Ministry.

Plenković said the government had no authority over the pardon requests for Perković and Mustač, former Yugoslav and Croatian intelligence officials. He said his HDZ party was against pardoning them.

"This is a big weakness of the one who had to submit the request, that's the legal representative or the family, and perhaps mostly the weakness of the one who has been silent all the time and waiting to see what we will all say about it, that the one who, under the Constitution, is the only one authorised to grant pardons," Plenković said, alluding to the president.

Commenting on MP Hrvoje Zekanović's remark that Milanović was "the spokesman for the Kremlin," Plenković said the Russian invasion of Ukraine began 56 days ago and that he sent a letter to Milanović on 24 February, requesting a session of the National Security Council.

"There has been no answer", he said. "Croatia is the only EU member state whose National Security Council has not met since the aggression began".

OECD accession

Responding to HDZ MP Gari Cappelli's question about Croatia's bid to join the (OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said it was one of the strategic priorities alongside joining the Schengen and euro areas.

"Joining the OECD would mean a lot for Croatia, first and foremost for national reform, for improving the investment climate and corporate management of state-owned companies, and for the fight against corruption in international business transactions".

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

OECD Opens Membership Negotiations with Croatia

ZAGREB, 26 Jan 2022 - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Tuesday it had opened accession discussions with Croatia, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Romania, and Bulgaria.

"There is no deadline for completion of the accession processes. The outcome and timeline depend on each candidate country’s capacity to adapt and adjust to align with the Organisation’s standards and best practices," the OECD said.

The process will include an in-depth evaluation by more than 20 technical committees of the candidates' alignment with OECD standards, policies, and practices.

"Croatia is ready to start OECD membership negotiations. Besides the Schengen Area and eurozone, our priority is OECD membership whereby we will strengthen our economy and Croatia's international standing and influence," Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Twitter.

The OECD's main values are individual liberty, democracy, the rule of law, the protection of human rights, and open, trading, competitive, sustainable and transparent market economies. The OECD also promotes sustainable and inclusive economic growth and climate change.

OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann pointed out that "candidate countries will be able to use the accession process to promote further reforms for the benefit of their people, while also strengthening the OECD as a like-minded community committed to a rules-based international order."

The technical reviews will focus on open trade and investment, public governance, anti-corruption efforts, and the effective protection of the environment and climate.

Once all the technical committees have completed their reviews, a final decision will be taken by unanimity of all OECD member countries.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.