For Diplomacy & Commerce magazine, we have asked officials, ambassadors, directors and presidents of chambers of commerce for their opinion on political and economic challenges that awaits Croatia in 2020 and the key challenges on a global scale.
H.E. Mr Risto Piipponen, Ambassador of Finland to Croatia for Diplomacy&Commerce says:
- What political and economic challenges await Croatia in 2020?
The Presidency of the Council of the EU that Croatia takes over from Finland in January 2020 presents both challenges and opportunities for Croatia. There will be many complex topics on the table: Brexit, the multi-annual financial framework, enlargement, security issues, economic growth, etc. However, I believe if you have a strategy and stay focused, you can overcome any challenge and even become a role model for others. As an example, improvements in equality, transparency, and rule of law have a positive impact on economic growth as they affect citizens’ trust in democratic institutions. Trust, then again, creates future optimism which, in turn, creates the willingness to invest. Finally, all these factors improve the competitiveness of a country and bring prosperity and wellbeing to its citizens.
- What will be the key challenges on a global scale?
The global situation has become unstable. There are conflicts and great-power competition on all continents. Among the burning issues are climate change, cybersecurity, trade wars, terrorism, migration, lack of democracy, rule of law and equality. Even the common European values are questioned. This calls for collaboration. I am proud of Nordic cooperation, the world’s oldest regional partnership. Nordic countries have made a joint commitment to listen to young people, promote clean technologies, safeguard democracy, inclusion, integration and mobility. We are changing our lifestyles, production methods and consumption patterns. Thus, by turning words into action, we are sending a clear signal to the world that positive development is indeed possible. As a Finn, I believe trust and cooperation play a key role in overcoming any future challenge.