President Milanović in Šibenik: Croatia has not made sufficient progress in 10 years of EU membership

22. May 2023.

The President of the Republic Zoran Milanović attended today the special session of the County Assembly on the occasion of Šibenik-Knin County Day.

In his address the President gave an overview of ten years of Croatia’s membership in the European Union. “I participated in the work of the European Council for a full year and a half while Croatia was not a full-fledged member. What already then caught my attention was the position of the new members, former communist states. They fought fiercely for their rights while at the beginning they sat still and were silent”, he noted.

He further talked about the need to tap European funds. “European money is our money and we have to maximally honestly tap the funds. It would be foolish not to, because that is the measure of success.  We have to show that we are capable of taking caring of ourselves. By tapping European funds we should get closer to the standard of richer states thereby becoming stronger and more independent. In my opinion we have not been successful in this matter. It’s not that nothing happened in Croatia in the last 10 years, there was progress, but not enough”, President Milanović underlined, adding it’s a fact that Croatia remains among the weakest.

In terms of economic development he stated that the growth rates of the past 10 years are modest. “There were constantly crises and wars, but that’s true for others too. We grew, but others grew more. We lost the industry and now we are very dependent on world peace. We have to literally pray to God that no greater and more dangerous war breaks out”, he noted.

He further underlined that we must stop idealizing and idolizing the European Union because their decision-making mechanisms aren’t democratic. “There is practically no political responsibility. It’s a fact that matters of war and peace are decided by people who were not elected to make such decisions, and these are serious matters”, President Milanović noted, and said that in managing state affairs we have to be selfish since we are the only ones who care for our state.

Also addressing the special session besides President Milanović were the President of Šibenik-Knin County Assembly Stipe Petrina and Šibenik-Knin County-Prefect Marko Jelić.

Alongside President Milanović was the Adviser to the President for Human Rights and Civil Society Melita Mulić.

PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Ana Marija Katić