Zagreb – On July 13 the Croatian Parliament adjourned its work in plenary sessions, and, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, is to resume it after September 15.
On that occasion Deputy Speaker and Acting Speaker of the Parliament Mr Josip Leko held a media conference to inform the public on the 7th Parliament’s work from its constitution on 22 December 2011 to the adjournment on 13 July 2012.
Mr Leko reported the Parliament had sat in one emergency and three regular plenary sessions in a period of 61 days. Members of Parliament debated 206 items of the agenda, passed 110 laws and adopted 194 decisions, two declarations, two conclusions, one budget and one plan. As for the parliamentary committees, commissions and councils, they held 256 regular and fifteen thematic meetings in all, where they discussed 826 items related to plenary work and other 168 that were not part of the plenary sessions’ agendas. Deputy Speaker Leko presented to the public the total costs of the Parliament from January till June this year: MPs’ expenditures amounted to 3,976,538.73 kuna (1,252,169.20 kuna for apartment rental fees and 2,897,020.53 kuna for MPs’ travel expenses in the country and abroad). MPs made 78 trips in Croatia and 81 abroad.
On July 13 the Sabor adjourned its work in plenary sessions, and is to resume it after September 15.
During the 61 days of sitting in the 7th term, the Sabor held four plenary sessions, debated 206 items of the agenda, passed 110 laws and adopted 194 decisions, two declarations, two conclusions, one budget and one plan.
The MPS posed to the Government 548 questions.
The Deputy Speaker believes that during this period of time the Sabor paved the way for changing the course of Croatian state policy and that the effects should be evident by the end of the year.
On 4 and 5 July, the Deputy Speaker made an official visit to the National Council of Austria, where he attended the parliamentary debate and the voting on the ratification of Croatia’s Treaty of Accession to the European Union. At the meeting with the President of the National Council Ms Barbara Prammer Mr Leko expressed his gratitude to Austria for the ratification of the Treaty as well as for the support Austria had been giving Croatia during the access negotiations.
In his capacity as Deputy Parliament Speaker and Chairman of the Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System, on July 24 Mr Josip Leko met with Mr Thomas Wieser, President of the European Union’s Economic and Financial Committee. The main topics covered at the meeting were fiscal and financial stability of the European Union and the Eurozone, implementation of indispensable reforms before Croatia’s accession to the EU and financial aspects of Croatia’s EU membership.
The following ambassadors made their first official visits to the Sabor where they were received by Deputy Speaker Leko: Belgian Ambassador Ms Nancy Rossignol, Romanian Ambassador Mr Cosmin Dinescu, Indonesian Ambassador Mr Agus Sardjana, Finnish Ambassador Mr Juha Ottman, Montenegrin Ambassador Mr Igor Građević, Egyptian Ambassador Ms Iman Mohamed Elfarra and the Malaysian Ambassador Mr Yoke Heng Yean. In July the Deputy Speaker received the visit from the Ukrainian Ambassador to Croatia Mr Oleksandr Levchenko with whom he discussed bilateral political relations, parliamentary cooperation and the ways of strengthening the two countries’ economic cooperation. The Polish Ambassador Mr Wieslaw Tarka and the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mr Vladimir Raspudić both paid their farewell visits to the Croatian Parliament in June. With Mr Tarka the Deputy Speaker discussed Poland’s support to Croatia’s EU accession while with Mr Raspudić he explored the options for the two countries to work closer in the fields of politics and economy.
Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee and Observer in the European Parliament Mr Milorad Pupovac held a number of meetings in July. Mr Pupovac met with Mr Erhard Busek, Special coordinator of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, who presented the proposal to open the Centre for Advanced Studies – Southeast Europe in Rijeka and asked for the support of the Croatian Parliament on this matter. Mr Pupovac held a meeting with Mr Richard Marles, MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to discuss the options of strengthening economic cooperation between Australia and Croatia. Croatia and Austria’s further cooperation in promoting the integration of Southeast Europe in the EU was the central topic discussed at Mr Pupovac’s meeting with Dr. Johannes Kyrle, Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs at the Austrian Foreign Ministry. Mr Pupovac and Mr Daniel Mondekar, Chairman of the European Integration Committee, held a meeting with Mr David Lidington, UK’s Minister of State responsible for Europe and the British Ambassador to Croatia Mr David Slinn. They discussed bilateral relations between the two countries, ratification of Croatia’s Accession Treaty in the UK, further enlargement of the European Union and Croatia’s relations with its neighbouring countries.
Chairmen of the Sabor’s committees organized several meetings in July: Mr Ivan Šuker, Chairman of the Committee on Croats outside the Republic of Croatia, received a delegation from the Austrian Centre for Ethnic Groups; Ms Jadranka Kosor, Chairwoman of the Committee on the Family, Youth and Sports received members of the Union of Homeland War Widows Associations; and Ms Biljana Borzan, Chairwoman of the Health and Social Welfare Committee, arranged a meeting with young people with autism and their guardians.
Mr Boris Blažeković, head of the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the NATO, held a press conference on July 5 to inform the public on the Delegation’s work in the current parliamentary term and to announce the Sabor was to organize and host the 59th NATO Parliamentary Assembly Session in Dubrovnik in October 2013.