Croatia Activates Protected Zone
With the first seconds of 2008, the Protected Ecology and Fishery Zone went into force and Croatia got a seat in the Security Council.
Lajla Mlinariæ & Daria Le¹iæ
The issue that filled Croatian newspapers today experienced the beginning of its conclusion. While we were ushering in the New Year, the Protected Ecology and Fishery (ZERP) in the Adriatic came into force. The story about the zone will get its epilogue after several diplomatic manoeuvres, primarily by Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.
The eyes of European Union countries are focused on him, especially Slovenia and Italy. Both are expecting an agreement. So, it is to be expected that the ZERP will be among the first items of the agenda of the first government session, which the European commissioner for enlargement, Olli Rehn, is wishing for.
Rehn voiced his conviction that Croatia would not apply ZERP to EU members. Croatias neighbours are hoping for the same. It is not in Croatias favour tha the Slovenes are chairing the European Union as of today. On several occasions the Slovenes said they would block Croatias negotiations with the EU in chapters relating to the freedom of movement and sailing.
Although Prime Minister Sanader avoided talking about ZERP in the past few weeks, he did agree with President Stjepan Mesics views that nobody can deny Croatias right to pronounce the protected zone, but that the issue should be agreed on with the neighbours.
Meetings are to be expected very soon and there is no doubt that ZERP will remain the hottest political subject in Croatia and wider.
On the other hand, Croatia entered the worlds most powerful organisation with the New Year, the UNs Security Council. Today Croatia officially got a seat in the UN and so achieved one of its greatest foreign policy successes. Ambassador Mirjana Mladineo will be representing Croatia in the organisation.
Published: January 01, 2008
Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljiæ
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