Tonino Picula

Last updated

Tonino Picula

MEP
Tonino Picula MEP.jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for Croatia
Assumed office
1 July 2013
Observer of the European Parliament for Croatia
In office
1 April 2012 1 July 2013
Mayor of Velika Gorica
In office
17 June 2005 17 June 2009
Preceded by Ivan Šuker
Succeeded by Dražen Barišić
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
27 January 2000 22 December 2003
Prime Minister Ivica Račan
Preceded by Mate Granić
Succeeded by Miomir Žužul
Personal details
Born (1961-08-31) 31 August 1961 (age 59)
Mali Lošinj, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
Political party Social Democratic Party
Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Spouse(s)Marijana Mikić
Children1
Alma mater University of Zagreb
(Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)
Website Official website

Tonino Picula (born 31 August 1961) is a Croatian politician currently serving his third term as a Member of the European Parliament for Croatia, having successfully run in 2013, 2014, and 2019 European elections. [1] He got involved in politics in the early 1990s and had served four consecutive terms as a member of the Croatian Parliament, having been elected in 2000, 2003, 2007, and 2011 parliamentary elections as a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP). [2] He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2000 to 2003 [3] under prime minister Ivica Račan, and as mayor of Velika Gorica from 2005 to 2009. [4]

Contents

Picula is a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) and sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament. [5] [6]

Early life and education

Picula was born in Mali Lošinj and completed both primary and secondary education in Šibenik, Dalmatia. He graduated sociology at Faculty of humanities and social sciences, University of Zagreb.

Political career

Career in national politics

After the 2000 parliamentary elections in which SDP, under Ivica Račan, won in a broad coalition, Picula was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and served a full term until 2003. During his term in office, Croatia had several important foreign-relation successes, including becoming a candidate for NATO and the European Union and joining World Trade Organization. He signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement on behalf of Croatian government, and submitted the country's application for membership in the EU.

During local elections in 2005, he was elected mayor of Velika Gorica. He also led the SDP branch in Velika Gorica from 1997 to 2000.

Member of the European Parliament, 2013–present

Picula in Maidan Square, Kiev, in 2014 Picula na Majdanu.jpg
Picula in Maidan Square, Kiev, in 2014

On 1 April 2012, as part of preparations for Croatia's full EU membership, Sabor appointed Picula to the European Parliament as one of the 12 "observer" members from Croatia. [7] At the first Croatian European Parliament elections in 2013, he was elected to the remainder of the Parliament's 2009–2014 term, and then again to two full terms in 2014 and 2019.

Foreign Policy

Picula has been a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) [8] since 2013 where he currently serves as a senior member responsible for coordinating the work of the Socialists and Democrats in the Committee. [9] He is a substitute member of the Delegation for relations with the United States of America (D-US), [10] and as such, in June 2020, had been appointed the European Parliament’s first standing rapporteur for relations with the USA. [11]

Picula has been a strong proponent of the EU enlargement, and has held it is EU’s most successful policy and most powerful tool for promoting democracy, prosperity and peace. [12] In November 2019, AFET appointed him to the position of the Rapporteur for Recommendations on the Western Balkans ahead of the May 2020 Summit in Zagreb. [13] The key recommendations of the Report were to ensure that the improved negotiation methodology has the full EU membership as its ultimate goal and that the EU provides clear and predictable rules and criteria and applies them consistently, thereby restoring its credibility. [14] His dedication to EU – Western Balkans relations is also reflected in his memberships in the Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo (DSEE) [15] as well as in the Delegation for relations with Serbia. [16] In 2019 he was named Co-Rapporteur for IPA III Financial Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance [17] and Standing Rapporteur on Montenegro. [18] As of January 2020 he is also the Chairman of the Working Group for the Western Balkans, one of the five AFET working groups. [19]

In the current 9th parliamentary term, he is also a substitute member in the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE), [20] and a full member of the newly founded Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation, [21] and the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly (PA). [22]

Regional Development and Islands Policy

Picula has dedicated much of his parliamentary work to regional development policies with a particular emphasis on European islands. In 2014, he helped establish the European Parliament Intergroup on Seas, Rivers, Islands and Coastal Areas (SEARICA). After serving a full term as its Vice-Chair in charge of islands, he was elected its Chair in 2019. [23] Picula gained prominence as island policy champion when in 2016 he secured 2 million EUR for establishing the Clean Energy for EU Islands (CE4EUI) Secretariat through an amendment to the EU budget. [24] In 2019, Picula proposed two additional amendments worth a total of 4 million euros. After an evaluation by the Commission and lengthy negotiations within the European Parliament and with the Council, Picula secured additional 2 million EUR for the CE4EUI Secretariat, and new 2 million EUR for the same model to be applied to all rural areas. [25] Success of these initiatives led to signing of The Memorandum of Split calling for a long-term framework for cooperation to advance the energy transition for European islands, and the inclusion of the Clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative in the European Green Deal. [26]

Picula has also been appointed EP Rapporteur for cohesion policy commitments on climate change, which will be one of the most important tools in the coming years when it comes to monitoring whether taxpayers' money is really invested in energy and environmentally sustainable projects and businesses. [27] He is a substitute member of the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) [28] and Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI), [29] and a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals. [30]

Earlier Parliamentary Terms

During the 7th and 8th Parliamentary terms he served as the Chair of the European Parliament delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo (2014-2019), substitute member of the Delegation to the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (2014-2019), and was responsible on behalf of the S&D Group for a number of reports such as those on the Accession Agreements with Ukraine and with Northern Macedonia, [31] and the European Defence Union. [32] He was briefly a substitute member of Committee on Petitions (PETI), and Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean in 2013 and 2014. From 2014 until 2017, he was also a member of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE). [33] [34]

Recognition

In 2017, The Water Saving Project, initiated and coordinated with ESIN and funded by MEP Picula, was awarded the “Greening the Islands Award” [35] The project aimed at taking action at the other end of the water problem: instead of encouraging water production, it aimed to reduce the use of freshwater through clever communication, smart engineering and wise governance, keeping in mind possible disadvantages such measures might have on people and businesses.The project initially gathered 8 islands from 4 different EU member states: Lastovo and Vis from Croatia, Houat and Sein from France, Ithaka and Tilos from Greece, Cape Clear and Inis Oir from Ireland. [36]

In 2018, Picula was voted “MEP of the year” by the European Small Island Federation (ESIN), an organization representing 359,000 islanders on 1,640 small European islands. [37]

In 2020, Picula was nominated for the „The Energy Award“ by the Parliament Magazine [38]

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References

  1. "Home | Tonino PICULA | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  2. "Arhiva izbora Republike Hrvatske". www.izbori.hr. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  3. "MVEP • Croatian Ministers for Foreign Affairs". www.mvep.hr. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  4. "Arhiva izbora Republike Hrvatske". www.izbori.hr. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  5. "SDP Croatia - Our MEPs". www.sdp.hr. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  6. "Our members". Socialists & Democrats. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  7. "Parliament to welcome Croatian "observer" members | News | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
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  9. "Our members". Socialists & Democrats. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  10. "Members | D-US | Delegations | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  11. "Picula appointed EP Rapporteur for US relations". N1 (in Croatian). 2 June 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  12. "EP Foreign Affairs Committee adopts Picula's recommendations on enlargement". European Western Balkans. 20 April 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  13. "REPORT on a European Parliament recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the Western Balkans, following the 2020 summit". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  14. "EP Foreign Affairs Committee adopts Picula's recommendations on enlargement". European Western Balkans. 20 April 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  15. "Members | DSEE | Delegations | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  16. "Members | D-RS | Delegations | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  17. "Croatian MEP appointed rapporteur for pre-accession funding to six countries". N1 (in Croatian). 24 July 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  18. EWB (22 October 2019). "Final EP Rapporteurs revealed: Bilčik for Serbia, Rangel for Bosnia and Herzegovina". European Western Balkans. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  19. EWB (10 January 2020). "Picula appointed as Chairman of the EP Working Group for the Western Balkans". European Western Balkans. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
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  23. "EP Intergroup Seas, Rivers, Islands & Coastal Areas - Chair and Board". www.searica.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  24. "Croatian MEP Tonino Picula Nominated for EU Energy Award". www.total-croatia-news.com. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  25. "EU to provide extra funding for clean energy on islands and in rural areas". The Voice of Croatia. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
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  33. "8th parliamentary term | Tonino PICULA | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  34. "7th parliamentary term | Tonino PICULA | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
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  38. "Shortlist | MEP Awards". www.mepawards.eu. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
Political offices
Preceded by
Mate Granić
0000 Minister of Foreign Affairs 0000
2000–2003
Succeeded by
Miomir Žužul
Preceded by
Franjo Sever
0Mayor of Velika Gorica 0
2005–2009
Succeeded by
Dražen Barišić