Event Recap

New Atlanticist

Mar 1, 2023

Croatia’s prime minister: There should be fewer roadblocks for EU enlargement to the Balkans—and Ukraine

By Nick Fouriezos

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković appeared at an Atlantic Council Front Page event where he spoke about the war in Ukraine, his country’s path to the EU, and more.

Economy & Business Europe & Eurasia

The Atlantic Council hosted an #ACFrontPage event with Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković on February 22, 2023.

On January 1, 2023, Croatia joined the eurozone and Schengen area of the European Union (EU), becoming the first EU country to join both clubs simultaneously and completing the process of European integration. This marks a significant moment in Croatia’s history of independence—it was the last country to join the EU in 2013—and presents a new opportunity to reflect on the future of the EU.

In parallel to Croatia’s success, the Russian war in Ukraine continues to rage. War has upended the transatlantic security order and unraveled assumptions about peace and stability in Europe. Faced with the Russian invasion, Western allies have intensified cooperation and reinvigorated discussions about the future of EU enlargement—resulting in the EU granting candidate status to Ukraine, Moldova, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Croatian government, together with Western allies, has been active and vocal about its support for Ukraine by sending military and humanitarian support as well as by welcoming over twenty thousand Ukrainian refugees.

Plenković joined the Atlantic Council to share his perspective on the implications of the war for Europe and the Western Balkans, Croatia’s foreign-policy objectives, its entry into the eurozone and the Schengen area, and how Croatia’s Euro-Atlantic journey can serve as a source of inspiration for the Western Balkan countries and Ukraine.

An #ACFrontPage Event

Atlantic Council Front Page is our premier live ideas platform for global leaders to discuss the defining challenges of our time. #ACFrontPage is a high-level event series featuring top newsmakers across multiple digital platforms. Harnessing the convening power and expertise of the Council’s sixteen programs and centers, #ACFrontPage leverages the Council’s capabilities in social media, press, and digital outreach to spotlight the world’s most prominent leaders and the most compelling ideas across sectors and engage new audiences eager for nonpartisan and constructive solutions to current global challenges. This widely promoted program features the Council’s most important guests and content serving as the highlight of our programming.

Introductory remarks

A conversation with

H.E. Andrej Plenković
Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia

Moderated by

The Europe Center promotes leadership, strategies and analysis to ensure a strong, ambitious and forward-looking transatlantic relationship.