Joseph Daul.jpg
Joseph Daul
Photograph: Photo by European People's Party, used under CC BY

The President of the European People's Party (EPP), Joseph Daul, said in Zagreb on Thursday that the deferment of the admission of the leading Serbian party into EPP is not connected with the election in Croatia and that the decision was in the remit of the relevant EPP  task force.

The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), led by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, was to have been admitted as a member of the EPP, however a decision to that effect was postponed for "political reasons" unitl November.

Speculation arose that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which is a member of the EPP had lobbied with the EPP arguing that admitting the SNS, which is headed by a former associate to Slobodan Milosevic, would reduce HDZ's chances in Sunday's election.

Daul, who arrived in Zagreb to show support to the HDZ in the election, refuted such speculation.

"That decision was made by the presidency and the decision has been postponed for 13 or 14 November," Daul said at a joint press conference with HDZ leader Andrej Plenkovic.

"If I had to be concerned with elections in each of the 28 EU member states, that would be all I would be able to do. We have our rules, there is a task force that deals with the admission of parties. They are working on that and they prepare decisions when to admit or eliminate any party from the EPP," Daul said.

Daul commended MEP Plenkovic as being a "silent force that always knows how to gain support." "I decided to come and support Andrej because we have to work at the EPP level to preserve Christian-Democratic values, particularly in this region which is problematic and important with regard to security challenges," Daul added.

"The EPP needs a prime minister in Croatia like Plenkovic in order to ensure a safe future for the EU. We need men and women similar to Plenkovic who is honest, transparent and hard-working," he said.

Plenkovic said that the attendance of Daul and senior EPP official Doris Pack in the HDZ final election rally in Zagreb represented a strong boost from its political family and support for the direction HDZ is going in since he took the helm of the party.

"A modern, transformed HDZ with new rhetoric is involved with the same issues that are common to other countries, economy, competitiveness, social justice, new jobs, demographic policies and strengthening the rule of law," Plenkovic said.

He added that he conducted a quality and thoughtful campaign that will bring the party "far more seats than other parties," and expects the HDZ to be the relative winner and that it will form a stable parliamentary majority and government.

Latest news

Merkel calls for fewer EU regulations as nationalist sentiments grow

As voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany show increasing support for nationalist, euro-sceptic political movements ahead of this year's elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for limits on EU regulations.

French prosecutors transfer Fillon case to investigative judge

The French judiciary has opened a formal investigation in connection with presidential candidate Francois Fillon to examine whether the employment of his wife as a parliamentary employee was a sham, the country's financial prosecutors' office said Friday.

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

Major news organizations, which were Friday blocked by the White House from attending an informal press briefing, condemned the move just hours after President Donald Trump described parts of the media as "the enemy of the people."

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.