Jandroković says Croatia wants EU to keep focus on Western Balkans

Zagreb - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said in Vienna on Monday Croatia would continue to insist that the European Union keeps focus on Southeast Europe, so that it too could be integrated with the EU system once aspirants meet the membership conditions.

Jandroković is taking part in a conference of European Union parliament speakers which is being held in Vienna on Monday and Tuesday.

Th conference will bring together parliament speakers of the EU member states, the European Parliament, EU candidate countries, as well as parliament presidents from Western Balkan countries -- candidates for EU membership -- as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina which does not have candidate status but was invited as a special guest.

The heads of parliament will over two session, organised as part of Austria's EU presidency, talk about the enlargement policy and challenges of the May EP election.

Jandroković told the press before the conference that it was exceptionally important to Croatia for the EU to realise how important its neigbourhood was.

"We want to see security, stability and economic prosperity in our neigbourhood. I will explain Croatia's position and underscore that we are prepared to support European prospects and future membership for all our neighbouring countries, after they meet the necessary criteria of course," Jandroković said.

Jandroković also said that Croatia wanted all potential members to be assessed according to their own merits, adding that Zagreb was prepared to assist them with its experience and knowledge.

Later today, the Croatian Parliament Speaker is expected to meet the President of the Austrian National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka. Apart from parliamentary cooperation, their talks are also expected to focus on the commemoration at Bleiburg.

Author: Hina