Zagreb - Addressing the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments in Tallinn, Croatia's Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković underscored on Tuesday that strengthening European cooperation in the field of defence will additionally strengthen the continent's security to the benefit of all its citizens.
Referring to a recent statement by NATO General-Secretary Jens Stoltenberg that the world does not have the luxury to choose its security challenges and must face them all and be ready for resolute action in preventing and combating them, Jandroković underscored that the "security situation in our neighbourhood is becoming more complex with new challenges emerging - from security matters in the form of terrorism, cybernetic attacks, conflicts, demographic changes and increased migrations - to those like climate change and social inequality as a result of globalisation."
Jandroković stressed the need for more efficiency and innovativeness in the "speed of recognising threats, in making decisions and in taking action," and welcomed the establishment of the Permanent Structure Cooperation (PESCO) as part of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of which, Croatia is a participant of and he referred to it as a historical step in strengthening Europe's defence. EU leaders first initiated PESCO in 2017 with all EU member states participating except Denmark, Malta and the United Kingdom.
"PESCO should be viewed as an opportunity to strengthen operational preparedness and as a contribution to one's own, national armed forces and promoting one's own defence industry through projects and, of its further development. That cooperation must be based on the principles of inclusiveness, solidarity and complementarity with NATO, without duplicating activities and with respect for the autonomy of member states in decision making," Jandroković said and added that PESCO will additionally strengthen security of the European continent to the benefit of all its citizens. Jandroković also reflected on issues that are important for Croatia such as strengthening internal security and the importance of protecting and efficiently managing the EU external border and to preserve the freedom of movement within the Union.
"One of the important steps in that area is to establish a European border and coast guard that has to tackle security and migrant challenges and help reinstate the normal functioning of the Schengen Area," Jandroković concluded. (Hina)