30 06 2011 - Sveti Stefan
President Josipović: Croatia will advocate continuation of EU enlargement (HINA)
Once it joins the European Union, Croatia will consistently advocate further EU enlargement and it will not use outstanding bilateral issues to set conditions for the progress of individual countries in the process of their integration with the EU, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic said at a summit of heads of state or government from countries which are members of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP).
"Croatia is your partner and friend and I want you to remember that upon Croatia's admission to the EU you will have in Croatia an EU member that will never grow tired of advocating further enlargement," President Josipovic said, adding that Croatia would never use outstanding bilateral issues to obstruct other countries' integration with the EU.
President Josipovic said he expected Croatia to formally complete its EU entry talks today, noting that today was a very important day for Croatia and for all countries in the region which shared the same ambitions.
"The completion of Croatia's EU talks is proof that the EU enlargement process is alive," he said, adding that by wrapping up its EU talks Croatia had shown that it had the ability and political will to bring one of the most demanding processes in history to conclusion.
President Josipovic also stressed that the policy of good neighbourly cooperation was one of Croatia's most important priorities.
The summit at Sveti Stefan was opened by Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic, who said that the completion of Croatia's EU entry talks was the most important accomplishment of the SEECP this year, additional encouragement to all countries in the region and a sign that the EU was open to expansion.
Macedonian President Djorge Ivanov congratulated President Josipovic on the progress in the process of European integration, noting that the positive decision of the EU Council on Croatia "is a positive signal for us all, because this progress is needed by all other Western Balkan countries."
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said Croatia's EU accession would speed up the process of EU integration for the rest of the region.
Serbian President Boris Tadic, whose country will take over from Montenegro the year-long SEECP presidency, said the focus of the Serbian SEECP presidency would be on cooperation in the fight against organised crime and corruption, the region's progress towards the EU, and dealing with outstanding issues.
Speaking of Croatian-Serbian relations, Tadic underlined the readiness of both Croatia's president and prime minister to hold meetings with him, noting that significant progress had been made in many areas, notably regarding border demilitarisation and cooperation in the fight against organised crime and corruption.
The Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency, Nebojsa Radmanovic, reiterated that his country was committed to the European integration process and called for solving numerous outstanding issues through regional cooperation.
On the margins of the summit, President Josipovic was expected to meet with other participants in the conference, including Radmanovic, Tadic and Albanian President Bamir Topi.