Croatia and the Holy See share a concern over the situation in the European Union which needs ambition and a vision and it can prove that with its efforts in Southeast Europe, specifically in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac said in the Vatican on Tuesday.
Kovac told this to reporters after talks with the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in the Roman Curia and Camerlengo, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran and the Secretary for Relations with States within the Holy See’s Secretariat of State, Paul Richard Gallagher, by which he wrapped up his visit to the Vatican.
“We talked about relations between Croatia and the Holy See which are very good, the situation in the EU about which Croatia and the Vatican share a concern. The European Union needs ambition, a vision, and it can prove those by its engagement in Southeast Europe, specifically in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Kovac said adding that he informed the Vatican officials of Croatia’s position that Bosnia’s EU entry should be supported.
“We want Croats in Bosnia to be the engine of Bosnia’s integration with the EU, Kovac added.
He said this referred to all other Southeast European countries that have not yet launched the process of their integration with the EU, adding that the bloc “must show that it has enough strength and ambition ‘in its backyard’ to do the job for its stability and security and we, as a neighbouring country, to have strength and motivation to do a great job not only for ourselves but for the entire EU.”
Asked about the migration crisis, Kovac said that “unless we manage to put (the situation) under control, in the medium-term it can destabilise not only Europe but other parts of the world as well.”
“The migration crisis is linked to Syria, everyone knows that, and the EU must be more active and it must act globally. We must act where it is happening, in Syria,” he added.
“Although it is clear that we will never be able to stop all the refugees, we must act there and by providing development assistance we must more efficiently control external EU borders and we must treat those who enter the EU humanely,” said Kovac, who will continue his stay in Rome and meet top Italian officials on Wednesday.