Zagreb - European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said in Zagreb on Friday that he would support Croatia's accession to the Schengen Area as soon as possible in light of threats facing the European Union.
I can confirm that I will certainly help so that Croatia can achieve that goal as soon as possible, Tajani told reporters after meeting with Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković. This was Tajani's first official visit to Croatia since taking office.
Jandroković said the talks focused on Croatia's future membership of the Schengen Area. "I'm very glad that President Tajani has extended his support to Croatia to join the Schengen system as soon as possible."
The two officials agreed that stability was very important, of the EU member states, in Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean region.
The EU is facing big challenges - high youth unemployment, the threat of terrorism, the migrant wave. It's very important that we all work together on the stability of the EU and on political stability. That's why it's very important that Croatia, as a member of the EU, retain strong political stability, said Tajani.
Stability in Southeast Europe is also very important and Croatia must play a key role in that. There are many dangers, including fighters coming from foreign war zones. That's why the stability of the region is important, he added. For all these reasons, the threat of terrorism, the migrant wave, it's very important that Croatia accede to the Schengen Agreement as soon as possible, Tajani said.
Croatia also has an important role in the Mediterranean region and we should all work together to stabilise the region. If we succeed, the migrant flow will decrease, he added.
Jandroković said they also talked about the current situation in the EU and the need for all member states to actively participate in building the future.
Tajani also met with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. He is due to meet with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and give a talk on Europe's future at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.