EU entry

President: Croatia won't lose its sovereignty by entering EU

20.01.2012 u 13:33


By entering the European Union Croatia will not lose its sovereignty and the Union will not govern Croatia but Croatia will be one of the bloc's 28 members which will manage the European Union, President Ivo Josipovic said in Zagreb on Friday, calling on Croatians to go to the polls for Sunday's referendum on Croatia's EU accession.

"Croatia will not stop being sovereign. By entering the European Union our sovereignty will receive a better, bigger and more important dimension than it has today," the president stressed.

"The EU will not govern Croatia. The EU is a community founded on an entirely different concept, not the concept of governing, but the concept of managing, and Croatia will be one of the 28 countries which will manage the EU," the president told the conference "Croatia's Accession to the European Union."

The conference was organised as the final pre-referendum event within the project aimed at informing the public of benefits of EU membership, implemented out by the Croatian Employers' Association, the Association of Croatian Cities, the Croatian Federation od Associations, with HINA and the 24sata daily as media partners and with the support of the European Union.

Stressing that by entering the bloc, Croatia will be able to participate in the decision-making process, instead of waiting for others to make decisions, Josipovic said this was an important and huge achievement, adding that Croatian citizens would have an opportunity to compete in all sectors - the economy, science and culture.

The president said the EU was a huge opportunity for Croatia adding that it was up to Croatia whether it would use it or not. "Courage, knowledge, capability, confidence and trust in our own strength are virtues necessary for the victory. I am confident Croatia has those virtues and I am confident our citizens will show that on Sunday," the president said.

Calling on citizens to go to the polls on Sunday, the head of the delegation of the European Union to Croatia, Ambassador Paul Vandoren, said at the conference that the decision on Croatia's EU entry was possibly the most important decision Croatia would have to make for its future.

Vandoren said the final decision was up to Croatian citizens and that the EU would respect it no matter what it was. He also said the public must be responsible and go the the referendum.

Croatia's possible EU admission can bring a lot of benefits to Croatian entrepreneurs. It is a golden opportunity, Vandoren said adding that one of the advantages was full access to the market of nearly 500 million people.

Asked what would happen if the Croatians rejected their country' EU entry at Sunday's referendum, Josipovic said he was not considering this possibility.

The conference was also addressed by Deputy Foreign and European Affairs Minister Josko Klisovic and the director general of the Croatian Employers' Association, Davor Majetic.