Violeta Simenova Staničić, Head of the European Parliament Office in Croatia : With Europe about Europe

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.

Violeta Simenova Staničić, Head of the European Parliament Office in Croatia for Diplomacy&Commerce says:

  1. What political and economic challenges await Croatia in 2020?

 In the coming year, Croatia will be in the focus of the domestic and European public due to its presidency of the EU Council of Ministers. This is a very complex and demanding job for any administration, especially for smaller countries and members with less European experience. One needs to be adept at finding compromises between governments that sometimes want to go in the same direction and sometimes do not. Besides, I am quite certain that the consequences of Brexit will be on the Croatian Presidency’s agenda, however Brexit turns out, and that most discussions will be marked by negotiations on a future common EU budget for the period 2021 to 2027. Some Member States favour and changing funding priorities, some want more money to fight climate change, to digitize the economy, and others are looking for continued generous funding for the common agricultural policy


  1. What will be the key challenges on a global scale?

The danger of a new global financial crisis and recession are talked about a lot, as trade and technology tensions rise between the US and China. So, one of the challenges will be to preserve the stability of the economy, strengthen the “health” of the economy and develop “immunity” that helps with crisis management. The right answer to migration management has not yet been found, so this remains an important unresolved issue, especially for Europe. A lot of attention will have to be paid to combating climate change and sustainably managing natural resources. An enduring theme and challenge in international relations is also the preservation of peace and security, in which the Union plays a leading role. We often forget that just a few decades ago, the European continent was divided by the Iron Curtain and that it was impossible to talk about an open Europe. But this will likely be discussed again in the coming period, as we are soon marking the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and because we are going to have a conference on the future of the Union soon, following the proposal of the new Commissioner von der Leyen. We are talking about a two-year process that should answer the question of what EU citizens want and how the EU should be managed. The Croatian Commissioner-designate, Mrs Dubravka, Šuica, will be in charge of this process.


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