Dr. Ivana Zerec, Consul General of Croatia in Istanbul
Selim Lika, Consul General of Montenegro in Istanbul
Moderator: Prof. Dr. Özgür Ünal – Eriş, Jean Monnet Chair
In this kick-off event, the perspectives of Croatia, Montenegro and Turkey on the European Union and the opportunities of co-operation between these three countries -as one member and two candidate countries- have been discussed.
Montenegro Istanbul Consul General Selim Lika stated that the European Union contains a set of values and brings with it a very important cooperation. He underlined that a strong European Union is a great opportunity with Schengen, IPA funds and trade realities. Stating that Montenegro got important lessons in terms of European Union, Lika stated that free movement brings great benefits.
Stating that the European Union and NATO are of great importance for the Balkans, Dr. Zerec underlined that the European Union means security and stability for the Balkans, and also emphasized the undeniable importance of investments. Stating that membership negotiations can always have ups and downs, Dr. Zerec drew attention to the role of policy-makers at this point. Talking about his work during Croatia's EU presidency, Dr. Ivana Zerec stated that the Zagreb Summit is important for enlargement.
Stating that the European Union also brings important opportunities with its infrastructure investments, student exchanges and the principle of free movement, Dr. Zerec underlined that the EU has had a great success in terms of collectivity and that the presence of the European Union, especially during the pandemic, is important for multilateralism.