ZAGREB, July 25 – The new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will visit Croatia, “the newest and strongly pro-European member state”, next Tuesday, her spokesman Jens Flosdorff said, adding that the Commission president was looking forward to cooperating with Croatia, which assumes the rotating six-month presidency of the EU in the first half of 2020.
Croatia is one of three countries which the newly-elected head of the EU executive has chosen to visit first. She visited Paris on Tuesday, she is scheduled to visit Warsaw on Thursday and is due in Zagreb next Tuesday.
It is expected that Von der Leyen and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic will discuss the priorities of the Croatian presidency, the EU’s multiannual financial framework and Croatia’s bid to enter the Schengen area and the eurozone.
During negotiations on the new Commission chief, Plenkovic was among those who insisted the most that the post belonged to the European People’s Party, the relative winner of May’s European Parliament elections.
Von der Leyen has asked the member states to submit their nominations for members of the European Commission by August 26. Sixteen of the 28 member states have done so to date, nominating only six women. The new Commission president wanted each member state to nominate two candidates, a woman and a man, but so far none has done this. Countries that nominate a woman have a greater chance of getting a department that they want.