Interior Minister to represent Croatia in Marrakech

NEWS 16.11.2018 13:16
Source: N1

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Friday that Croatia would send Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic to represent the country at the Marrakech conference in Morocco next month, where the United Nations' global pact on migrations is expected to be endorsed by most UN member states.

The conference in Marrakech is scheduled for December 10-11.

Bozinovic will represent Croatia instead of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who first said she supported the agreement, but later backed out from going to the event. On the other hand, Croatia’s Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic supported endorsing it all along.

“We thoroughly combed through the document, with a number of ministries involved. As far as we are concerned, this is not a formal international treaty, it is not binding, it just lists a catalogue of measures, and as such we see no problem with it. On the contrary, it’s already built into the three key points of our policy – preventing illegal migration, preparing to fulfil the criteria to join the Schengen area, and, thirdly, for us, as a responsible country, to take part in international efforts to tackle the problem, since the problem of migrations is here and is likely to stay with us for a number of years in the future,” PM Plenkovic said on Friday in a cabinet session.

The Marrakech compact does not infringe on country’s sovereignty

The Marrakech agreement gives every state the sovereign right to define its own migration policy, protect its borders, and decide who to allow into the country, and it clearly differentiates between legal and illegal migration, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marija Pejcinovic-Buric, said at the meeting.

She presented a report on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, to be adopted at the UN conference in Marrakesh in December.

“Croatia was involved with the other 26 EU member countries in negotiating the text of the agreement, and it was important to all of them that certain fundamental principles were included in the document, which was eventually accomplished,” Pejcinovic-Buric said.

“Countries sovereignly decide which measures they would apply, in accordance with their national laws and existing international legal obligations. Each country will continue to sovereignly decide on its own national policy on migration and the stay of foreign nationals on its territory, and this concerns only regular migration,” she added.

In July this year, all 193 UN member nations, except the US, said they supported the agreement. However, Hungary led by anti-immigrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban later backed out, and was joined by Austria, who cited sovereignty concerns, and Bulgaria. Poland and the Czech Republic are still reconsidering whether they would confirm the agreement. All five are European Union members.

Interior Minister, Davor Bozinovic, who will attend the conference on Croatia’s behalf, said that no country can deal with the problem of migration on its own, adding that it was a global issue that could not be ignored.

“This document does not open the door to new migrants,” Bozinovic said, stressing that any attempt at the international level to ease the migration pressure deserved support.

“Migration cannot be dealt with on anyone’s borders. It can be dealt with, or I should say alleviated, only through cooperation between states, and by removing the causes at their origin, which the Compact addresses,” Bozinovic said.

The government agreed they will send Pejcinovic-Buric’s report and a translation of the Global Compact agreement to Parliament.

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