Von der Leyen praises Croatia’s EU membership

CROATIA-ZAGREB-URSULA VON DER LEYEN-VISIT

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic (R) and President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen attend a press conference in Zagreb, Croatia, on July 30, 2019. Ursula von der Leyen said here on Tuesday that Croatia is a success story of the European Union (EU) and role model for other countries. (Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell via Xinhua)

ZAGREB, July 30 (Xinhua) — Ursula von der Leyen, the new President-elect of the European Commission, said here on Tuesday that Croatia is a success story of the European Union (EU) and role model for other countries.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic informed von der Leyen during their meeting of his country’s preparations for the EU Council presidency, which begins on Jan. 1, 2020.

Plenkovic emphasized that Croatia had met all the criteria for entry into the Schengen Area, expressing his hope that it would soon become part of area. He also briefed the guest on Croatia’s strategies for the introduction of the euro.

“I appreciate the great efforts Croatia has made to enter the Schengen Area and I will support it, but the consent of all EU members is also needed,” von der Leyen noted.

They also discussed the enlargement of the European Union, and Plenkovic outlined the Croatian plan to hold a summit of presidents and prime ministers of the EU member states during the presidency in Zagreb.

During her visit to Zagreb, von der Leyen said that her political goal was to balance east and west, north and south, especially the smaller and larger EU members.

Von der Leyen visited Croatia after France and Poland, and is expected to visit Italy and Spain by the end of the week.

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