Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier talks to Croatian Minister of Economy Darko Horvat about tackling the economic effects of COVID-19

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On 4 May 2020, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier met with Darko Horvat, the Croatian Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, to discuss the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on bilateral economic relations and on the agenda of the Croatian and German presidencies of the Council of the European Union. Minister Altmaier thanked the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union for its crisis management and its efforts to maintain the EU’s ability to function. He highlighted that both countries were working together closely to strengthen cohesion and solidarity between the EU Member States.

Minister Altmaier said: "In our successive presidencies of the Council of the EU, we are setting clear priorities to successfully manage the economic and financial consequences of the crisis. Germany and Croatia are closely coordinating their efforts on a continuous basis to push ahead with important EU dossiers. It is important to identify the lessons to be learned from the crisis and to safeguard and improve the competitiveness, innovative capacity and resilience of the European economy in a sustainable and future-oriented manner."

Croatia is the youngest Member State of the EU and has held the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time since January 2020. Since then, it has been engaged in close exchange with Germany which will take over the Presidency in July. Close coordination between the two countries is more important than ever in view of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the Presidency's programming. Minister Altmaier travelled to Croatia back in October 2019 where he met with various high-ranking government officials, including Minister Horvat and Prime Minister Plenkovic.

Germany is Croatia's most important partner in the EU. The two countries can look back on a long tradition of good and close relations which are not least reflected in their bilateral trade figures. Since Croatia's accession to the EU in 2013, Germany and Croatia have doubled their bilateral trade from 2.86 billion euros in 2013 to a current 5.52 billion euros.