Government to Improve Cooperation with Croats Living Abroad

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Government’s Council for Croats Living Abroad held a meeting in Vukovar.

With the aim of improving and strengthening cooperation between Croatia and Croats living abroad, the third meeting of the Government’s Council for Croats Living Abroad was held on Friday and Saturday in Vukovar. The participants pointed out that status of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina as one of three constituent and equal peoples, care about Croatian minorities in other countries, the affirmation of Croatian diaspora and its return to Croatia were strategic tasks of the current government.

State Secretary of the Central State Office for Croats Living Abroad Zvonko Milas said that “recognizing the importance and the contribution of Croats outside of Croatia to the economic, scientific and cultural interests, as well as to the establishment and defence of our homeland, we will use targeted measures and proactive policies to create better links, deepen the connections and integration of Croats outside of Croatia into the Croatian social and political life. We will simultaneously work on raising awareness among Croats in Croatia and outside Croatia about the importance of this cooperation.”

It was pointed out that affiliation with the Croatian nation is not defined by geographic boundaries, but by shared culture, tradition, heritage, language, history and future. The government led by Andrej Plenković is open and ready for all constructive proposals and will take specific steps and actions.

One of specific measures discussed in Vukovar was an agreement on stronger co-operation in the field of science and education, with special enrolment quotas at Croatian universities for Croats living abroad and the provision of scholarships to members of Croatian minorities and of the diaspora during their studies in Croatia. The participants also stressed the importance of teaching and learning Croatian language and culture abroad.

One of the proposals is establishment of Croatian World Business Network which would contribute to the networking of entrepreneurs and businessmen of Croatian origin around the world and encourage their investments in Croatia. The participants also discussed the potential for cooperation in the framework of different programmes which are provided by EU funds.

At the meeting, the Council stressed the importance of the potential of Croats living abroad for the demographic renewal of Croatia, by encouraging the return of Croatian emigrants and their descendants, and in this regard it emphasized the need to make it easier for them to receive Croatian citizenship and solve other issues.

The participants also emphasized the need for the introduction of e-voting, which would enable the diaspora to exercise its constitutionally guaranteed right to vote.

The Council expressed strong support to the government in all its efforts and activities undertaken to preserve the truth about the Homeland War, to stop the criminalization of the Homeland War, and to provide overall (legal and financial) help to all indicted Croatian war veterans and to stop further persecution of Croatian veterans.


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