Croatia’s new Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor met with EU officials in Brussels on Thursday (July 23rd), her first trip abroad since her election earlier this month. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Parliament President Jerzy Busek reiterated that Croatia and Slovenia must resolve their longstanding maritime border dispute on their own. The row has stalled Croatia’s EU accession bid for the past several months. The EU tried to mediate briefly, but decided last month to leave it up to Croatia and Slovenia.
Also on Thursday, Barroso met with Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic to discuss further steps in the country’s European integration process. Djukanovic’s visit came a day after EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn delivered a questionnaire on the country’s readiness to join the bloc. Barroso praised Montenegro’s progress in meeting the EU-required benchmarks and stressed the priority now should be “the effective implementation of laws”.