On her two-day official visit to Brussels, Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic met on Wednesday with European Council President Donald Tusk.
They discussed European Union’s priorities, as well as Croatia’s chairmanship of the EU in 2020.
“That will be a challenging time both for the EU and Croatia,” she said, adding that Croatia wanted to keep the same level of available EU funds.
“I expressed my concern over the migration trends. We must find a joint solution which will tackle the causes of migrations, and not encourage them. The EU’s asylum policy must be one of strength and solidarity. If the migration waves increased, it would not be fair to rely on member states on the EU’s outer borders, but instead we must face and prepare for the possibility of increased immigration together,” she said.
The two also spoke about the resolution of the issue of the name of Macedonia, she said, adding that she requested that Tusk follow the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the upcoming election in the country, more closely.
“We must make sure that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a stable country and that it is granted the status of EU candidate. Croatia is prepared to offer its assistance and support in that matter,” Grabar-Kitarovic said.
Tusk said he would remain neutral on the issue of arbitration with Slovenia, she said.
When asked how much the president can participate in the EU chairmanship, she said that, according to the Constitution, the president and the government represent Croatia in the European Council.
“I will leave the questions of the EU to the Prime Minister, because he is involved in them on a daily basis, but I want to contribute to organising the chairmanship,” she said, adding the government was mainly in charge of the process.
During her stay in Brussels the president will hold a lecture at the European Policy Centre on the topic of Croatian EU membership, titled Five Years of Croatian EU Membership – Taking Stock and Looking Ahead. She will also meet with the Croats who work in the EU institutions, the press release from the Office of the President said.