Mississauga, Ontario – Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs is reinforcing Canada’s engagement in South Eastern Europe at the annual Croatia Summit.
“I am glad to lead the Canadian delegation at the Croatia Summit where we are reinforcing Canada’s strong political links with key interlocutors from South Eastern Europe, a region where our engagement has been historically significant,” said Dechert.
“Given the number of high-level participants from over 27 delegations, the Summit is an excellent opportunity to meet and promote Canada’s perspectives on a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues, and particularly with regards to Canada-EU issues.”
The Croatia Summit, which was first held in 2006, is hosted by the President and Prime Minister of Croatia who both gave addresses at this year’s Summit; held annually in July (this year being the 7th). The Croatia Summit brings together senior officials from the Central European/Balkans region, and senior officials from various countries to discuss current issues.
With Croatia expected to join the European Union on July 1, 2013, the Summit is currently viewed as a way to help other South Eastern Europe countries on their Euro-Atlantic course by promoting regional stability, economic growth and political integration. By bringing together high-level officials the Summit’s chief aim is to allow participants to exchange frank views on Euro-Atlantic issues that are relevant to all South Eastern Europe countries.
Canada-Croatia relations have strengthened over the last few years particularly when Canada lifted the visa requirement for Croatians in 2009 and when Prime Minister Harper visited Croatia in 2010 and signed a Youth Mobility Arrangement.
Canada remains a natural partner for Croatia on many global issues including engagement in Afghanistan and human rights issues within the United Nations.