Although Croatian officials announced they will support their neighbour’s EU membership efforts while presiding over the Union, it is unlikely that they will do so as Croatia has many unresolved issues with surrounding countries, the director of the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES), Zijad Becirovic, told N1 on Friday.
“Croatia is in dispute with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Slovenia, and its relations with Montenegro are not that great either. It has issues with Hungary over (oil company) INA,” Becirovic listed.
“Although it has ambitiously announced that it will advocate for the region during its presidency in the EU, Croatia can not do that because its efforts will be met with a silent boycott by all of these countries. They will not allow Croatia to patronize them at all, let alone the way Croatia wants to,” he argued.
Becirovic called Croatia’s approach toward Bosnia “humiliating,” especially considering the recent history between the two countries.
“The affirmation of retrograde political ideas and the return of current political structures to the time of WWII indicate the state of the spirit in the Republic of Croatia and what can be expected from such a country and its current leadership, headed by Andrej Plenkovic,” he said.
There is no point in expecting Croatia to help Bosnia and Herzegovina, he said, explaining that the current political relations do not allow one to expect anything good coming from Croatia.
“This must be made clear to Croatia’s patrons in the EU: that Croatia cannot represent the European Union, nor can it act as a caretaker for countries of the Western Balkans. Neither Bosnia nor Serbia or any other regional country will agree to that unless a relationship of mutual respect is established,” he concluded.