As a country presiding over the Council of the EU in 2020, Croatia has a unique opportunity to open the discussion on whether we have forgotten that building and keeping stable, positive and sustainable peace is one of EU’s fundamental roles, and reminding us that “ever closer union” also means “pooling resources to preserve and strengthen peace”. Today, when the EU is increasing its funding of defense projects and when the arrival of people fleeing wars, poverty, and the consequences of climate change is seen as a threat to the Union, we feel obliged to speak out on the need for greater efforts to build peace, both within and outside our borders.
For these reasons, civil society in Croatia has decided to mark the beginning of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU by reminding the EU about the importance of building peace. In cooperation with civil society from the EU and Southeastern Europe, in Vukovar – a town that serves as a symbol of wartime destruction, on the date of the international recognition of Croatia and the beginning and completion of the peaceful reintegration of its Danube region, we gathered and discussed what further actions can be taken to strengthen peace – inside and outside the EU. This policy brief summarizes the conclusions and recommendations of the conference.
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