Development of Bilateral Relations

Political relations between the Republic of Croatia and the Hellenic Republic are very good and there are no outstanding issues. The two countries have been cooperating successfully at the bilateral level as well as in various multilateral fora and activities, such as the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative. All Greek administrations provided support for the conclusion of negotiations and ratification of the Accession Treaty between Croatia and EU and accession of Croatia into the EU on July 1st, 2013. This consistency has been demonstrated by the speedy and uncontested ratification of the Accession Treaty in the Greek Parliament on October 30th, 2012, for which all major political parties have voted, either those from the ruling coalition or from opposition. The accession of the Republic of Croatia to the EU has resulted in a positive perception of the country and its people in Greece and opening of new potentials in bilateral relations.

Croatian and Greek foreign policies have many similar or identical interests concerning EU, Mediterranean and the region of Southeastern Europe. European and regional policies in the Croatian and Greek approach are closely related to each other, because their common denominator is the orientation to establish good-neighborly relations with the adjacent countries in both Southeastern Europe and in the wider Mediterranean region. Both countries are as well supporting practical ways of EU enlargement and Euro-Atlantic integration of SEE countries which are underway. With the prospective of cooperation in the integrated maritime policy as well as regarding the issues of EU external relations, including enlargement in Southeastern Europe, the membership of the Republic of Croatia to the EU has opened the possibilities of cooperation and mutual support regarding the internal European issues, such as the use of funds and multi-annual financial framework. New chapter of this cooperation is of course to open with the Greek presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2014.

Economic cooperation is another field with many, in the past not always sufficiently used, potentials. Among the areas where there is the potential for enhanced cooperation the energy sector has special importance (project of Trans-Adriatic pipeline-TAP and its connection with the Adriatic-Ionian Pipeline-IAP) as well as the re-establishment of the cooperation between the Croatian shipbuilding industry and the Greek shipowners and renewal of traffic connections (the Adriatic-Ionian highway and the shipping connections between the ports on the west coast of Greece and the Croatian ports of Dubrovnik, Split and Rijeka).

Parliamentary cooperation

At the session of the Parliamentary Committee for Interparliamentary Cooperation held in July 2012 the Croatian-Greek parliamentary friendship group has been established. The chairman of the group is Dr. Željko Reiner. In December 2012 the Greek-Croatian friendship group was in return established at the Greek parliament. The group has nine members, five from New Democracy, two from PASOK, one from SYRIZA and one from Golden Dawn party. The chairman of the group is Mr Athanasios Bouras.