Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (55)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

55. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to open an embassy in Croatia, in view of its recent accession the European Union, if he will replace the existing honorary consul; his views that such an embassy would be able to manage the wider Irish interests in the Western Balkans, in view of the fact that numerous nations in the region are candidates for EU membership and will become EU member states in the years to come; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35687/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Ireland and Croatia enjoy excellent bilateral and diplomatic relations. This was underlined last month when President Higgins made the first State Visit during his term of office to that country. Subsequently I travelled to Zagreb on 30 June to participate in the celebrations to mark Croatia becoming the twenty-eighth member of the European Union. Croatia’s accession to the EU on 1 July can only strengthen the strong ties between our two countries further.

The Irish Embassy in Ljubljana is currently accredited to Croatia on a non-resident basis and there is an Honorary Consul of Ireland in Croatia. Diplomatic relations with countries of the Western Balkans are maintained by our embassies in neighbouring countries. This continues to prove an effective means for managing relations in Croatia and the wider region. Our mission network is kept under constant review.