President Milanović in Porto: To accept abolition of unanimous voting in EU would mean high treason

06. October 2023.

“All EU Member States don’t think alike, and on certain essential issues, views are quite different in areas such as reforms and institutional adaptation of the European Union. Some Member States, to be concrete France and Germany, are advocating abolition of unanimous voting, i.e. that Member States override each other on issues such as national security or finances. Whosoever accepts this on behalf of Croatia commits an act of high treason. Just the fact that this is being discussed is disturbing to me”, the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović stated following the summit of EU Member States assembled in the “Arrailos Group” in Porto, Portugal.

“I have no other influence in this matter except to give a warning. We entered the EU under the assumption of preserving national interests when it comes to the most sensitive matters, while at the same time we submitted to other decision-making systems in 90% of matters. However, some issues are very intimate. You can’t impose something to smaller states, because if that happens, it means that we become one state. We already experienced that with Austria-Hungary and Yugoslavia, and this is not a game because serious matters are at stake”, he underlined.

Speaking further on reasons for Croatia’s accession to the European Union, President Milanović said that we didn’t enter it for deep ideological convictions, which isn’t serious thinking, but in the wish to legitimately take advantage of certain benefits. On the other hand, they accepted us so that they could relatively cheaply and legitimately take advantage of our market and our goods. “That’s how it goes, that’s it. It’s impossible to make a federation out of nearly 30 states in this way. The United States of America was successful because it was a territory without a history, an identity and collective experience. However, Europe is a community of very old political nations. Let’s go together, but let’s go our own ways too”, he noted.

In terms of the situation in Ukraine, the President of the Republic said that “geography is everything” since Portugal, Poland, Estonia or Croatia don’t look at it in the same way because historical experiences are different, and this is important because they determine views, fears and expectations. “There are no states here having a hostile attitude against each other, but they have different views. Some feel that Ukraine should become a member of NATO as early as tomorrow, while I feel it’s out of the question”, he underlined, and added that this is hard to harmonize.

Attending the 18th edition of the “Arraiolos Group“ besides Croatian President Zoran Milanović were the host of this year’s summit the President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, the President of the Republic of Estonia Alar Karis, the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö, the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina N. Sakellaropoulou, the President of Hungary Katalin Novák, the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, the President of the Republic of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, the President of the Republic of Malta George Vella, the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, the President of the Republic of Slovenia Nataša Pirc Musar, and honourary guest the President of Romania Klaus Iohannis.

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