Zagreb – Mr David Lidington, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Minister of State responsible for Europe, visited the Croatian Parliament, where he was received by the Chairman of the Foreign Policy Committee Mr Milorad Pupovac and the Chairman of the European Integration Committee Mr Daniel Mondekar.
The main topics covered at the meeting were those of the two countries’ bilateral relations, British ratification of Croatia’s EU Accession Treaty, eastward enlargement of the European Union and Croatia’s relationship with its neighbouring countries.
The UK's Minister for Europe David Lidington hopes the UK Parliament will launch the process of ratifying Croatia's Treaty of Accession with the European Union in autumn and finish it by the end of May 2013. In the meantime, he stressed, the continuation of reform implementation, particularly those referring to justice system and human rights will be closely monitored. Mr Pupovac and Mr Mondekar both agree judiciary reforms in Croatia are in full swing.
As for further enlargement of the European Union towards the East, Mr Pupovac and Mr Mondekar highlighted its strategic importance for the Republic of Croatia. Croatia is willing to help all the countries in the region on their European path and has already proved so by tendering Montenegro the translation of the EU acquis communautaire. The UK has been supporting the process of enlargement ever since the era of Margaret Thatcher, Mr Lidington said, however under strictly controlled criteria and rules.
At the end of the meeting, the UK’s Minister for Europe invited the Croatian parliamentarians to make an official visit to London in October 2012 when the ratification process of Croatia’s EU Accession Treaty by the UK Parliament is expected to begin.