Rome – On Tuesday evening, in the presence of the Croatian Parliament Speaker Boris Šprem, the upper chamber of the Parliament of the Republic of Italy supported by a majority of votes the law ratifying the Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union. The lower chamber of the Italian Parliament ratified the Treaty on February 15. Italy thus joined Slovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary.
The President of the Italian Senate Renato Schifani explained they wanted to ratify the treaty as soon as possible because they were convinced it was important and because of their friendly and brotherly feelings for Croatia. "We hope this will be a signal for other countries to speed up the process of ratification", said Schifani accentuating that Croatia would be a stabilizing factor in the EU and in the region.
“Today’s solemn act of ratification is the supreme manifestation of the Italian people’s friendship towards the Croats”, said Boris Šprem talking about the friendly ambiance he could feel at the Senate session, where 216 Senators voted in favour of the Treaty, two against and 22 abstained from voting. Šprem thanked the Italian Parliament for their fast ratification, all the more remarkable since the decision adopting process in two-cameral parliaments is fairly complex and usually takes a long time.
When asked about the reforms in Croatia, Šprem informed Schifani that the new government had started implementing them, adding that today’s constructive debate in the Italian Senate encouraged Croatia to take a more active role as far as reforms are concerned in the country and in the region. Also, Šprem informed the Senate President of the reduction of budgetary expenses for public administration in 2012 and of a new investment cycle about to begin.
The Italian former Prime and Foreign Minister and now chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Policy Committee Lamberto Dini congratulated the Croatian government on the reforms thus far implemented as well as on the successful adoption of EU legislation and on the way minority rights are treated in Croatia. Before the beginning of the Senate session he predicted that during the debate on ratification some of the senators would underline the unresolved issues between Croatia and Italy, which, in his opinion, could be settled more efficiently once Croatia enters the EU. Dini accurately predicted that the Senate would vote overwhelmingly to ratify Croatia’s Treaty.
On Wednesday the delegation of the Croatian Parliament was received by the President of the Italian Parliament Chamber of Deputies Gianfranco Fini. Šprem thanked the Chamber once again for ratifying Croatia’s Accession Treaty as early as February 15. Šprem and Fini talked about the development of bilateral relations, primarily through parliamentary and cultural cooperation.
The Croatian parliamentary delegation headed by Boris Šprem included the chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee Milorad Pupovac, the chairman of the Committee on Human and National Minority Rights Furio Radin and the vice-chairwoman of the Interparliamentary Co-operation Committee Tanja Vrbat. Their host was Croatia’s ambassador to Italy Tomislav Vidošević. (Hina)