PM: Croatia doesn’t agree with Hungary on many issues concerning EU future

NEWS 01.07.2021 19:56
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Source: Olivier Matthys / POOL / AFP

Croatia does not agree with Hungary on a number of issues related to the future of the European Union, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday, one day after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban published a paid article in a Croatian daily, presenting his vision of the EU.

The Hungarian government published an ad in the Croatian Vecernji List daily on the future of the European Union in which it presents its vision of the EU and recommends Serbia’s accession.

In the ad, Orban recommended Serbia’s accession to the Union, but also advocated a different EU model, one that would be less integrated and with fewer powers, calling for the expression “an ever closer Union” to be removed from the EU’s main treaties.

“Hungary has a somewhat different view of Europe’s architecture than Croatia has,” said Plenkovic, stressing that Orban has published similar texts in other European countries and that this was Hungary’s contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The Conference, which is in the remit of European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography, Croatia’s Dubravka Suica, was to have started during Croatia’s presidency of the EU in the first half of 2020 but it was deferred because some member states objected to the institutional framework.

Plenkovic said that he did not agree with his Hungarian counterpart on a number of issues with regard to enlargement.

“We believe that many Croatian neighbours have the prospect of EU membership, and we will help them on that road, but they need to meet the set criteria,” Plenkovic said.

The EU is “built gradually, by consensus,” Plenkovic said, adding that Croatia wanted to become even more integrated in the bloc, through membership in the euro zone and the passport-free Schengen Area.

“That is good for us, for our internal security and long-term monetary stability,” said Plenkovic, stressing that in those countries that introduced the euro, wages had increased three times more than prices.

Plenkovic rejected any potential controversy around Orban’s having paid for the ad in the Croatian daily. “You cannot prevent a person from paying for and publishing an ad.”

“That is up to the newspaper that receives money to publish something… We have no influence on newspapers’ advertising departments,” he added.

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