50 Years Ago, Key Declaration on Croatian Language Was Adopted

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The declaration was an important milestone for the preservation of Croatian national identity.

The adoption of the Declaration on Name and Status of Croatian Language was one of the key moments in the struggle of Croatian people for their identity, which also marked the beginning of the end of the tragic Croatian illusions about Yugoslavia and Yugoslav identity, said the president of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Zvonko Kusić in a statement to mark the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration, reports Jutarnji List on March 16, 2017.

“For centuries, Croats have guarded and defended their language, fighting for its use in public life and for the right to call it by their national name. It was not until the establishment of a free and independent Croatian state that the objectives of the Declaration became a reality”, said Kusić.

Kusić added that the Croatian language is exposed to globalization, but also to futile efforts to deny it the right to exist. However, the Croatian language is today not only the official language of the Republic of Croatia, but also one of the official languages ​​of the European Union, recognized and standardized as a separate language globally.

“Proud of this success, we should always remember with gratitude all those who participated in the brave patriotic act of Croatian cultural and intellectual elite, the drafting and adoption of the Declaration on Name and Status of Croatian Language. Let them be our role models and inspiration in dealing with the today’s challenges facing the Croatian language and in promoting the language culture in accordance with the Croatian tradition and the needs of a modern society”, said the president of the Academy.

The Declaration contributed significantly towards the protection of independence of the Croatian language inside then Yugoslavia. Most of its demands were later granted by the Yugoslav authorities. The Declaration was written by Croatian linguists and published in March 1967. Although initially the demands expressed in the declaration were rejected, many of them were incorporated in the new Yugoslav constitution adopted in 1974, which granted much more rights to individual federal republics, including Croatia, and was the basis for Croatia’s independence movement in early 1990s.


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