Zagreb - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and German Bundestag President Wolfgang Schauble on Wednesday announced the intensification of bilateral parliamentary cooperation during Croatia's presidency over the European Union in the first half of 2020.
During their meeting in Zagreb, the two officials also promised that the western Balkan countries aspiring to join the EU would be encouraged on their journey towards the Union.
"Of course, the most important part of the Croatian presidency is in the hands of the executive powers, the government, and our ministries. However, we have agreed that the parliaments can also give an important contribution to making connections between the executive authorities and citizens," Jandroković said after his meeting with Schauble, one of the most experienced and most popular German politicians, who has arrived in Zagreb for the congress of the European People's Party.
In the first half of 2020 Croatia will chair the EU and after that Germany will assume the rotating presidency.
Regarding the topic of the recent veto on the start of the accession negotiations of North Macedonia and Albania, many EU member-states are hopeful that the European prospects of those two aspirants will improve before the Zagreb summit meeting set for May.
"Both Croatia and Germany believe that the process of enlargement considerably impacts the stability and security, of not only this part of Europe but of Europe in general, the Croatian parliament speaker said.
As for Brexit, Schauble does not think that there will be any more delays in Great Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.
Great Britain is holding a parliamentary election soon (12 December) and regardless of the outcome of the vote, Britain will probably leave the EU by the end of January. I am sorry about that, but I think that this will occur during Croatia's presidency, said Schauble.
The two officials described Croatia-Germany relations as friendly.
Our bilateral relations are very intensive and we should continue strengthening them with the aim of strengthening the whole of Europe, Schauble said.
We have discussed the topic of young people and how to keep them and how to attract young people from other countries to come, he added.
Jandroković described bilateral relations as friendly and partner-like.
When it comes to trading, Germany is the top trading partner, and German companies are the third largest investors in Croatia, he recalled.