The 2019 assistance funding went to eighty-nine programmes and projects that are of particular interest for the Croatian component of Bosnia-Herzegovina, totalling 25.8 million Croatian kuna (34 programmes and projects in the area of culture, 17 programmes and projects in the area of education and research/the sciences, 12 programmes and projects in the area of healthcare and 26 programmes and projects in other areas).
A ceremony was staged at the Franciscan monastery in Tolisa on the 6th of September to sign agreements on funding assistance to state budget beneficiaries following on the Croatian Government’s decision, adopted on the 1st of August, to provide financing for culture, education, research/scientific, healthcare and other programmes and projects of interest to the Croatians of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The funds will come out of Croatia’s 2019 state budget. This is the second time the signing ceremony has been staged in neighbouring Bosnia-Herzegovina, with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on hand, joined by Dragan Čović, the first deputy speaker of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina and president of the Croatian National Assembly (also Bosnia-Herzegovina) Dragan Čović, ministers and other officials of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, representatives of the legislative and executive branches of government in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other society figures.
The 2019 assistance funding went to eighty-nine programmes and projects that are of particular interest for the Croatian component of Bosnia-Herzegovina, totalling 25.8 million Croatian kuna (34 programmes and projects in the area of culture, 17 programmes and projects in the area of education and research/the sciences, 12 programmes and projects in the area of healthcare and 26 programmes and projects in other areas). A reception was given following the signing ceremony at the Franciscan monastery and church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Tolisa, a national monument, that saw speakers express their gratitude above all to the Government of the Republic of Croatia for the assistance provided, which is vitally essential for the Croatian sovereign ethnic component in neighbouring Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Croatian state secretary Zvonko Milas congratulated all of the budget assistance beneficiaries on the agreements they have signed with the Croatian authorities and expressed his conviction that the implementation of these programmes and projects will improve the lot not only of ethnic Croatians, but also of all other citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina. “We are proud of our fellow Croatians that have applied with their projects, and this shows the determination of Croatians to fight for their survival in Bosnia-Herzegovina with high quality programmes,” Milas said.
Also on hand to greet the gathered guests and dignitaries were Croatian Prime Minster Plenković and Dragan Čović, the first deputy speaker of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina and president of the Croatian National Assembly. Plenković thanked the hosts for the cordial reception in Tolisa. “This is a nice gathering of the Croatians of Bosnia-Herzegovina,” he said, adding that, “A Herzegovinian evening in Posavina is always an excellent opportunity for the synergy of the Croatian people of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We are here in support of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the rights of its Croatians as the least numerous [constitutive] nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but no less important to the present, past and, even more so, the European future of Bosnia-Herzegovina.” Plenković also said the assistance would continue in the future and that Croatia was a friend to Bosnia-Herzegovina and to its Croatians. For his part Čović noted that synergies with the Government of the Republic of Croatia over the past twenty or so years had helped the completion of the Franciscan monastery in Tolisa. “We did something similar in Dubrava, and I hope that we will do so in Plehan in the near future, on which we have already started to work. These are three monasteries associated with the Sava River and are a part of the legacy of the Croatians of the Posavina region and of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole,” Čović said. Even more significant, he added, was that the Croatian Government and PM Plenković were standing with the local Croatian community.
The signing ceremony was also attended by ministers of the Croatian Government, members of the diplomatic corps, City of Zagreb assembly president Drago Prgomet, Božo Ljubić MP and Željko Raguž MP (members of the committee on Croats abroad of Croatian Parliament), Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina President Marinko Čavar, Borjana Krišto, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Vjekoslav Bevanda, the minister for finance and the treasury and the deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jelka Milićević, the deputy prime minister of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Zora Dujmović, the minister for culture and sports, Blaž Župarić, the president of the assembly of Posavina Canton, Đuro Topić, prime minister of Posavina Canton and his ministers, and many other leading society figures in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
The signing ceremony was followed by a culture and arts programmes featuring pupils attending the Fra Stipan Vrljić Elementary School, members of the Mali Princ dramatic arts group, and the Mir youth choir of the parish of Blagaj Buna. The entire ceremony was staged in the congress hall of the Franciscan monastery in Tolisa. The hosts of this event were carefully chosen in light of the fact that the Franciscans of Bosnia have for centuries been and remain guardians of the cultural and spiritual heritage of their region. Leading the hosts of the signing ceremony at the monastery in Tolisa was the guardian friar Mario Jurić.
During his visit to Posavina Canton Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met with the government of the canton, where he was cordially received for a working meeting with Posavina Canton Prime Minister Đuro Topić. The delegation from the Republic of Croatia also included the minister for state assets Mario Banožić, the Croatian ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina Ivan Sabolić, Zvonko Milas, the state secretary at the Central State Office for Croats Abroad, Zdravka Bušić of the Croatian ministry for foreign and European affairs, and Ivan Bandić, the Croatian general consul to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Tuzla. Among the representatives of Posavina Canton was the speaker of the assembly Blaž Župarić, Perica Jelečević, now a member of Croatian Parliament representing the diaspora and a member of the advisory body of the Government of Croatia on Croats abroad, ministers in the government of Posavina Canton, and mayors of the municipalities in Posavina Canton. Topics on the table included current affairs in Posavina Canton, its priorities and where collaborative efforts and joint projects that provide support to Croatians in Bosnia-Herzegovina should be directed, as is achieved with the agreements to fund culture, education, research/scientific, healthcare, and other programmes and projects of interest to the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina signed in Tolisa.
See and read more at: https://hrvatiizvanrh.gov.hr/vijesti/4586