Today's hybrid conference on What comes next? - Croatian - French Discussion on the Priorities of the French EU Presidency, organized by the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb and in cooperation with the Embassy of the French Republic in the Republic of Croatia, was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb, Prof. Dr. Ivan Koprić, emphasizing that the priorities of the French presidency are connected to Croatia's strategic goals, along with European and global long-term challenges. Moreover, he emphasized all of the priorities that will be discussed in four panel discussions from the French, Croatian, European and global perspective. Additionally, he thanked all the speakers from France and Croatia, the panel moderators, and the large number of participants who followed the conference live and online, noting that such initiatives are crucial, both for the international cooperation of our Faculty, and for stimulating intellectual debates on some of the most pressing global challenges.
The Ambassador of France to the Republic of Croatia, Gaël Veyssiere, thanked the host and once again emphasized the importance of the priorities of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2022; Digital Technology, Ecological Transition and Social Europe introducing them in more detail. One of the keynote speakers, Vladimir Drobnjak, Special Adviser for Foreign Policy in the Office of the Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, expressed his contentment with attending a conference at the Faculty where he previously studied. He added that he was especially delighted that such important topics were being discussed within the academic community.
The first panel discussion covered the topic of Schengen and the migration policy in the EU. The focus was on a topic that has been in the spotlight for the last seven years, since the influx of refugees in 2015/2016, but also a topic that is of great importance for Croatian foreign policy. Given the current events in Ukraine, it was also an appropriate topic for the first panel. The Schengen and Migratory Policies in the EU panel discussion was moderated by Prof. Dr. Mihovil Škarica, from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb who had the honour to introduce the following speakers; Prof. Dr. Iris Goldner Lang from the Faculty Law of the University of Zagreb with the topic Croatian Accession to a Changed Schengen, Céline Grassegger from the International Security Cooperation Directorate - French Ministry of Interior with the topic The Schengen Acquis, Lab for Free Movement?, and Assoc. Prof. Araceli Turmo from University of Nantes who joined online with the topic The French Presidency’s Proposal for the Future of Schengen: Reform or More of the Same?.
The second panel discussion covered the topic of strategic autonomy and European defense policy. Among other things, due to the terrible aggression of Russia against Ukraine, this became a topic that unexpectedly took on an additional dimension and importance since the time when it was chosen as one of the priorities of the French presidency. The Strategic Autonomy and European Defense panel discussion was modereted by Asst. Prof. Ivan Obadić from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb, who had the honour to introduce the following speakers; Olivier-Remy Bel, Special Advisor for the French Presidency of the EU at the French Ministry for the Armed Forces, who joined online with the topic The Strategic Compass: One More Step Toward the European Strategic Autonomy?, as well as Assoc. Prof. Dunja Duić from the Faculty of Law of the University of Osijek with the topic Common European Defense: Myth or Reality?, and live speaker Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sunčana Roksandić Vidlička from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb with the topic Strategic Autonomy, Security Priorities and Criminal Law.
The third panel discussion covered the current social issues and the need to define a fair and decent European minimum wage, as one of the elements of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Social Ambitions of the French EU Presidency panel discussion was moderated by Prof. Dr. Jelena Matančević from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb, who had the honour to introduce the following speakers: Prof. Dr. Ivana Grgurev from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb, with the topic Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages in the EU as a Tool for Reducing the Gender Pay Gap and R.A. Klervi Kerneïs from the Jacques Delors Institute on What to Expect from the Social Ambitions of the French Presidency of the European Union.
The fourth panel discussion covered the topic of the Green Deal, whose creation was motivated by climate change and other environmental challenges, such as loss of biodiversity, water pollution, waste production and ozone depletion. Needless to say that these are not just French or Croatian issues, but global issues that need to be addressed for the benefit of all mankind. The Orientations and Implementation of the European Green Deal panel discussion was moderated by Asst. Prof. Mišo Mudrić from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb, who had the honour to introduce the following speakers; Asst. Prof. Melita Carević from the Faculty of Law of the University of Zagreb with the topic The European Green Deal - Current Perspectives and Challenges for Climate Change Mitigation, Mathilde Dupré, Co-Director of the Veblen Institute, who joined online with the topic Fostering Reciprocity in Trade to Achieve the Green Deal Objectives and SRA Dr. Mladen Domazet, Research Director of the Institute for Political Ecology, with the topic Can European Green Deal Survive the False Promise of Green Growth?
We are convinced that this conference has created a fertile ground for the exchange of opinions and further cooperation among Croatian and French experts.
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