Mr. Fabrizio Saccomanni, Director for International Affairs at the Bank of Italy and Chairman of the Working Table on Economic Reconstruction, Development and Cooperation, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, visited the Croatian National Bank on Tuesday during his two-day stay in Croatia. Mr. Saccomanni was invited to Croatia by dr. Marko Škreb, Governor of the Croatian National Bank.
On this occasion, the esteemed guest held a lecture entitled "European Economic and Monetary Integration and the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe", which was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of European Integration and Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Croatia, as well as by Croatian central bank officials.
Although European economic and monetary integration, crowned with the creation of common currency, developed during the period of almost fifty years, and the Stability Pact is a political agreement aged only one year, both processes share the same final objective: creating a framework for mutually rewarding economic relationships between neighboring countries with different histories, languages, religions and traditions, while simultaneously pursuing peace and prosperity, said Mr. Saccomanni in his lecture. Key words of the Stability Pact are reconstruction ("after a decade of conflicts, even hard destruction in the region") and reform ("since the transition into modern and competitive market economy proves to be more difficult and complicated than it appeared after the fall of the Berlin Wall").
The initiative taken by the European Union to launch the Stability Pact is an expression of the need for a comprehensive strategy in which the financial assistance needed for reconstruction would be coupled with a broad range of measures of institution-building to promote democratization and to establish law-based and market-oriented social and economic systems. Nevertheless, the message that goes along these intentions must be clear, emphasized dr. Saccomanni: the reform process must start with securing individual rights and protecting them from the predators, be they disguised as free riders, price fixers or bribers.