Zagreb - A delegation from the Irish National Parliament Joint Committee on European Affairs headed by the Committee Chairman Mr Dominic Hannigan visited the Croatian Parliament where they were received by the acting Parliament Speaker and Deputy Speaker Mr Josip Leko and where they held two other meetings with Mr Daniel Mondekar, Chairman of the European Integration Committee, and with Mr Milorad Pupovac, Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee.
The Deputy Speaker seized the opportunity to express his gratitude to Ireland for all the support it had been giving Croatia on its path to the European Union and for the Irish Parliament’s swift ratification of Croatia’s Treaty of Accession to the European Union. The bilateral relations between Croatia and Ireland are traditionally friendly, Mr Leko and Mr Hannigan agreed, but the economic cooperation should be increased and setting up the Irish Embassy in Croatia would represent an important step in that direction.
The Oireachtas’ delegation explained the scope of their Committee’s work to the members of the Sabor’s European Integration Committee, emphasizing its openness to the public. Chairman Mondekar described the preparations underway for the new role the Croatian Parliament was to assume within the framework of the European Union, among which finding the best version of the law regulating the relationship between the government and the parliament. Mr Mondekar announced amendments to the Sabor’s Standing Orders, by which the European Integration Committee would get larger and would consist of MPs from all the parliamentary parties.
Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee Mr Milorad Pupovac accentuated the importance of enlarging the European Union by integrating the countries of the former Yugoslavia with the objective of strengthening stability, peace and the democratic processes in the region. This constitutes one of the priorities of the Croatian foreign policy, Mr Pupovac added.
“We are leaving Croatia pleased with the positive message on Croatia’s proactive role in promoting the policy of reconciliation, stability and peace in the region” highlighted Mr Joe O’Reilly, member of the Irish National Parliament Joint Committee on European Union Affairs, adding that one of the priorities of the Irish presidency over the EU would be overcoming the economic crisis and solving Europe’s unemployment problems.