State Secretary for Europe Andreja Metelko-Zgombić in Brussels attended a meeting of the General Affairs Council, which focused on preparations for the special meeting of the European Council on 30 and 31 May, when EU leaders will discuss Ukraine, defence, energy and food security.
Ministers exchanged views on the draft agenda for the European Council meeting on 23 and 24 June, which will take stock of the economic situation in Europe and discuss the political architecture of Europe pursuant to the Conference on the Future of Europe, as well as Moldova and Georgia’s membership bids.
Metelko-Zgombić underscored Croatia’s solidarity with and strong support for Ukraine as well as the continuation of political, diplomatic, humanitarian, legal, financial, technical and all other assistance. This includes helping in the post-war reconstruction of the country and supporting the efforts to bring to justice those that have violated international law and order. Croatia also continues to support Ukraine’s European perspective.
Croatia has supported initiatives for energy independence within RePowerEU. The state secretary applauded the fact that the plan had recognized the importance of the LNG terminal on Krk for the energy security of Central Europe. By further enhancing Croatia’s oil and gas infrastructure, which can be retrofitted long-term for alternative energy sources such as hydrogen, Metelko-Zgombić pointed out that Croatia could be part of the solution for Europe’s energy independence.
In light of the new realities in EU security environment, Croatia welcomed the initiatives aimed at strengthening the Union’s security and defence capabilities. Ministers discussed the impact of war on food supplies, voicing readiness to find measures to facilitate the export of agricultural products from Ukraine. The state secretary highlighted the advantages offered by Adriatic ports, emphasizing that this challenge required a global response.
Discussing the methodology of processing citizens’ proposal from the Conference on the Future of Europe, ministers underscored readiness to identify concrete measures for their implementation. Metelko-Zgombić underlined contributions from Croatian citizens.
The Council also held a hearing on Article 7(1) TEU procedure for Hungary. The exchanges focused in particular on the independence of the judiciary, the functioning of the constitutional and electoral system, freedom of expression and the fight against corruption.