At the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Croatian Minister of the Environment and Energy, Mr. Tomislav Ćorić presented the program of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the field of environmental policy.
“I will speak in my native language, in Slovenian. Thank you very much for presenting your priorities, Mr. Ćorić. I’m here. The Commission has put Green Deal and tackling climate impacts among its top priorities in the current mandate. Croatia also included the Western Balkans as a priority during the Council Presidency. I wonder how the two seemingly different priorities would be combined? Because just these days, various organizations have published a survey that cities in the Western Balkans are among the most polluted in the world. There are several reasons for this, including poverty. Unfortunately. But to be specific. An important polluter in the Western Balkans is the 16 outdated thermal power plants that are polluting more than all 250 EU thermal power plants. As these countries still have a lot of coal in stock, they are announcing the construction of new thermal power plants with Chinese investment. I think that the EU should urgently, as much as possible, include countries in its immediate neighborhood in EU’s climate policy. Without clean air in the Balkans we will not have clean air in the EU. It also concerns your country Croatia, which is bordering these countries, and my country Slovenia, bordering on your country. I hope that the Croatian Presidency will also be able to address this aspect of EU policy in the Western Balkans. Thank you.”