Croatia takes over the presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2020 and one of the priorities will be the expansion of the EU into southeast Europe. The Parliament Speaker and HDZ politician Gordan Jandrokovic commented that the expansion of the European family to include new members in southeast Europe was crucial for the stability of the entire Union.
"Naturally, Croatia's support will be based on a credible, clear, strict and fair accession procedure, which it went through itself," commented Jandrokovic.
Although he mentioned the southeast Europe as a region he didn’t go on to explain which countries he meant exactly. It can be presumed that he was talking about Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia.
Croatia will take over the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on January 1, 2020. In fact, Brexit has brought forward Croatia’s turn to chair the council as the UK were planned to come before Croatia.
One of the reasons that the Croatian government is pushing for enlargement of the EU to include neighbouring countries could well be connected to the fact that Croatia is now on the front line of the EU border and is surrounded by countries that aren’t members, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. And even though Croatia became a full member in 2013 it still isn’t inside the Schengen zone, or the passport-free travel area, although this is expected to be addressed in the near future. However, being a full member of Schengen and being on the outside of the border zone would mean added complications.