* Croatia. Undecided on vote regarding Poland and article 7.
Could Croatia be the next nation to defy Angela Merkel, who seems to be weakening by the day? Even in Zagreb, the government may be realizing that Merkel has been severely wounded.
** Our source in Croatia (on Twitter) explains it is a hard struggle at the moment in Zagreb. Pro-Polish President Grabar-Kitarovic, another leader of the Three Seas Initiative, is said to be urging the government to ignore the vote and to vote neutral.
While some circles around PM Plenkovic are thought to be afraid of being punished by Berlin & Brussels (how sad that this could be a factor), Plenkovic would also prefer to stay neutral. We shall see. Brussels, Paris and Berlin will be applying heavy pressure as usual and Plenkovic has a Brussels background and is close to Elmar Brok and EPP.
One must realize that Merkel and Macron have a great amount of interest riding on this vote. They want to weaken Poland (and Hungary) and keep the CEE region divided in order to project their influence. They know Poland – a leader of the Three Seas Initiative – is growing stronger and will seek every opportunity to diminish Poland’s growing influence in the region. This is one of the reasons why Angela Merkel was furious with Croatia over the Three Seas Initiative.
Brussels, too, has much on the line as it seeks to expand its power and scope over the internal affairs of the European nation states. They know there will be future battles, especially in regards to migration. If they cannot obtain 22 votes, this will be another severe blow to their credibility.
Both France and Germany came out early for punishing Poland. Their goal, despite Hungary’s veto pledge, is to commit as many governments as possible to their cause in order to isolate both Hungary and Poland.
We feel this vote is vital for the sovereignty and integrity of Poland. We also believe it can provide others outside of Visegrad the confidence to defy the EU in the future, especially on migration. Forcing the EU to back down could be another game-changer and a first step towards downsizing Brussels and returning power back to the nation states.
A strong CEE coalition will be needed in the future to challenge the influence of Germany/France and to defy the mass migration agenda that Brussels wants to “commit Europe” to follow.
*** In the coming days, we will also be analyzing what we have heard so far from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Romania and other key CEE governments. In some cases, like Slovakia, we have not heard any news.
Below are some excerpts from the linked article from Total Croatia News. The author is Vedran Pavlic.
– After abstaining at the United Nations, Croatia might decide against the formulation of a position.
– After additional consultations, Croatia will formulate its position on Poland, which has been threatened by the European Commission with the activation of the so-called Article 7, which could ultimately lead to the suspension of EU voting rights, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Thursday, reports Večernji List on December 22, 2017.
“Croatia will, after consultations, articulate its position, but for now, no one in the EU has announced their position particularly strongly,” said Plenković after a party meeting on Thursday. He added that the government should be cautious because something like this hasn’t happened in the European Union to date. “This issue has not yet come to the agenda of the Council at this point. It requires very careful attitudes from all members,” said Plenković.
Croatia’s traditional “we don’t have a position” position is unsurprising, given that the country is often unsure what to do when it comes to its foreign policy, despite the fact that the President and the Prime Minister are two supposedly “brilliant” former diplomats and foreign affairs experts. On Thursday, Croatia broke with most other EU members and abstained in a voting at the United Nations General Assembly about a resolution condemning US President Donald Trump’s decision to move US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.