President Milanović at Sofia University: A federal EU is a fallacy that I will oppose

26. May 2023.

The President of the Republic Zoran Milanović gave a lecture to students today at St. Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia, in which he said that he would oppose the concept of the European Union becoming a federation, assessing it as a “delusion.” In his lecture entitled “Geopolitics and Economics,” President Milanović criticized the concept of a federal Europe, emphasizing that most officials in EU institutions are federalists.

“I will be the first to oppose it,” said President Milanović. He assessed such an “unsustainable” idea as a “delusion, a self-illusion” that contradicts European history. “Although I am European by sentiment, you are Bulgarians and I am a Croat. I was never raised as a nationalist, or – God forbid – as a chauvinist, but in Europe there is nothing higher than the nation state,” he said.

Contrary to the federalists, the President considers himself a “realist” on matters of European integration. He pointed out that “it remains to be seen” whether Croatia’s membership in the European Union can be deemed a success, noting that in the ten years of EU membership the Croatian economy did not grow faster than the economies of Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. “In terms of growth and created wealth, the first ten years can hardly be characterized as an incredible success, if it is a success at all,” he underscored. Ahead of the lecture, President Milanović met with St. Kliment Ohridski University Rector Anastas Gerdjikov.

A Croatian language lectorate is based at St. Kliment Ohridski University’s Department of Slavic Languages. Some 200 Croats live in Bulgaria according to data of the Croatian Central State Office for Croats Abroad.

After the lecture, President Milanović concluded his day-long official visit to Bulgaria by holding a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly Rosen Zhelyazkov.


PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Dario Andrišek