State Secretary for European Union travels to Croatia and Slovakia to step up bilateral relations

​The State Secretary for the European Union, Juan González-Barba, held bilateral consultations today with his Croatian counterpart, Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, in Dubrovnik and took part in an event leading up to the Conference on the Future of Europe, together with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Dubravka Šuica. He had previously visited Slovakia to meet with his counterpart, Martin Klus and take part in the European reflection forum GLOBSEC-Tatras.

During the bilateral meeting in Croatia, the two State secretaries addressed issues of mutual interest relating to the European agenda, including the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Pact on Migration and Asylum, questions relating to the Southern Neighbourhood and their respective National Recovery Plans. The State secretary also reiterated Spain’s firm support for the Enlargement of the EU to the Western Balkans and brought up Spain’s perspectives with a view to its Rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2023. He also had the opportunity with his Croatian counterpart to support Croatia’s interest in joining the Schengen Area and the Eurozone in the near future.

These political consultations follow on from the recent visit on 6 October by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez – the first visit by a Spanish President of the Government to the country - to meet with the Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic. Accordingly, a more fruitful period is opening up in our bilateral relations just a few months away from celebrating the 30th anniversary of their establishment.

Following that, the State secretary took part, together with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Dubravka Šuica, and his Croatian counterpart, Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, in a citizen discussion panel entitled, “Paving the way for tomorrow: the global and regional commitment of the European Union”, within the framework of the events relating to the Conference on the Future of Europe. The Conference was actually going to begin in Dubrovnik on 9 May 2020. Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented this. This event has served to bring the debate to the original starting point of the Conference. A great many young Croatians and Spaniards took part in the event.

Previously, the State secretary had taken part in a debate on the EU’s strategic autonomy at the GLOBSEC forum in Slovakia, held on 8 and 9 October in the Tatra mountains. He also held consultations with his Slovakian counterpart, Martin Klus, at which they addressed the enlargement and the Southern Neighbourhood of the EU, the future Spanish Rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU and cooperation between Spain and Central Europe.



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