Oreskovic says today maybe new beginning for EU

Croatia's caretaker Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic on Friday participated in a European Union summit in Bratislava and said afterwards that the messages at the meeting were positive and that today was "perhaps a new beginning" for the EU.

"We heard the 27 EU member states, without Britain. The comments and messages were very positive. We know that we have challenges, but today is perhaps a new beginning where we defined the framework (for the next six months) until the meeting in Rome, where we will celebrate 60 years of the EU," Oreskovic told reporters after the summit.

He reiterated that the main topics of the summit were EU security and the migrant crisis and that a formal decision was made to help Bulgaria to strengthen its borders.

Oreskovic said that he would attend a mini summit in Vienna on September 24 on the migrant crisis. "We will expand the debate there to see how we can better control refugees on the Balkan route," he said.

"Ten countries that are most affected by the migrant crisis (have been invited to Vienna). It is necessary after the European summit in Bratislava to continue talks on important issues for the future of the EU, particularly migrants," an Austrian government spokeswoman said.

In addition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, the prime ministers of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Macedonia have been invited to the Vienna mini summit.

"Serbia has 5,000 refugees, we know the situation on the Greek border, Turkey has three million. We need to be ready for all options," Oreskovic said.

Asked whether Eastern and Western Europe had come closer concerning migrant quotas and relocation, Oreskovic said that quotas were not discussed today but rather "how we can cooperate." "I met with (Hungarian PM Viktor) Orban. He has been to Serbia and Bulgaria," Oreskovic said, adding that Hungary was very active on that front. "We focused on matters that we can initiate."

Oreskovic said that there had been a lot of talk about the economy, youth and digitisation, and the last topic was terrorism and how to share information better.

As far as European defence is concerned, that too was a topic. Oreskovic said there were no definite positions in that regard and that there are a lot of questions about possibly forming a new European army. "It's too early for any decisions in that regard," he said.

Ahead of the summit ,Germany and France announced that they would send their colleagues in the EU a strong message about European defence and it is known that Berlin and France advocate military cooperation in the Union.

Last update: Fri, 16/09/2016 - 20:47

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