Croatian 2020 Presidency of the Council of the European Union - a Challenging Opportunity for Internationa Affirmation
Six and a half years after EU accession at first of July 2013 Croatia will take over on first of January 2020 the EU-presidency for the first time. This means honor and duty as well. Europe and the European Union are in a dynamic process of deepening, expanding or changing their structure. Above all the European Union is as never before in its history faced by new intra-European or geostrategic challenges. The youngest EU member state is faced by three dimensions of challenges: First challenge, Croatia-related, the completion of its EU-membership, finalized by two further pillars: Croatia´s joining into the Schengen-Area and into the Euro-Zone as quick as possible. On 22nd of October 2019 Croatia has already got some “green light” by the EU-Commission according to “Schengen” although it will take some further time to full-fledged integration. Croatia´s ambition to enter into the Euro-Zone must be seen as well as some logical consequence of Croatia´s growing responsibility within European Union by taking over the EU-presidency in the first half of 2020. Second challenge, EU-related, the contribution to the endeavor of solving structural, financial and other contentious internal issues of the European Union as the BREXIT debate and depth-crises. Beside of these challenges basic principles and common values of EU seem to be endangered. Third challenge, related to international affairs, the commitment of solving external challenges of EU like frozen conflicts on the eastern border line of EU, ongoing illegal migration, economic and scientific braindrain from states in South Eastern Europe to the West, the increasing “splendid isolation” of US-foreignpolicy, vice versa the re-definition of European involvement in international affairs and last but not least the growing tendency of the enlargement of influence of Russia, China, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in the Balkan region.
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