Orange spoke to former Croatian president (2000-2010) Stjepan Mesić who was present at the AER Youth Regional Network meeting.
Orange: How will Croatia joining the European Union benefit young people in your country?
Stjepan Mesić: The fact is that this is a millennium activity, Croatia will join in this generation and young people will benefit through industry, education and health care. In all areas there will be more opportunities for young people to develop. Europe is going to be the biggest factor of peace in the world and that will be possible because European countries are going to open their borders, countries will remain the same, people will remain the same but the people of different countries will live in their own cultural body no matter where the border is. With Europe joining in such a way , war in a political sense will not be possible. After all the borders are open, there is no motivation for war, and that is the biggest possibility for young people.
Orange: What did you do for young people when you were President and what needs to be done in the future?
Stjepan Mesić: The most important thing I did was give all my force to improving education in Croatia and the development of science, fundamental science as well as practical science. I was trying to establish a framework to give young people more opportunities. In the future young people need to be more educated, organised and aggressive.
Orange: Does Croatia already feel a part of the European Union?
Stjepan Mesić: If it had not been for the politics of Slobodan Milošević for changing the borders, we could have already be in the European Union and joining Europe will remove such ambitions. The borders must be opened, not changed.
Orange: How close is Croatia to joining the EU?
Stjepan Mesić: Negotiations are going to be finished this year as there is no blockade by Slovenia, what is left is a matter of procedure and now it’s up to us to fulfill conditions and to get to the standards that exist in the most exclusive political organisation, that is the European Union.
By: Portia Nicholson