EU enlargement will be one of Croatia’s priorities as it assumes the six-month presidency of the bloc, according to its Foreign Minister Grlic Radman.
Croatia, the only Western Balkan state to be a member of the EU, has pledged to realistically support what is possible in terms of enlargement in the area.
“The process of joining the EU doesn’t happen in a day; we worked hard to meet all the criteria and standards”, he said
To date, only Serbia and Montenegro are in the process of negotiations, while Albania and North Macedonia are yet to enter accession talks following a decision in October. Kosovo and Bosnia are even further behind, due to in part, complicated post-war political systems and reforms that need to be implemented before any consideration for opening accession talks can be given
Radman added that Croatia has a “lot of work and an important task to do in the best possible way in the interest of all EU members”. He said that as well as EU enlargement, consideration will also be given to the organization of the relationship between the EU and the UK.
Britain is set to leave the EU on 31 January but will remain in a transitional arrangement until the end of the year while negotiators attempt to settle on terms. Chief of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has raised concerns over whether such terms, including a post-Brexit trade deal can be concluded by the end of 2020 deadline.