The “Croatia and the Projects of the Ethnic Croatian Minority Enclaves—The Bonds That Connect Us” virtual conference linked representatives of ethnic Croatian minority enclave communities from eight countries.
“Croatia and the Projects of the Ethnic Croatian Minority Enclaves—The Bonds That Connect Us” is a virtual conference staged on 16 December by host organisation the Croatian Heritage Foundation.
Joining representatives of the State Office for Croats Abroad and the Croatian Heritage Foundation at the conference were representatives of the ethnic Croatian minority enclaves from eight countries (Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Italy).
Opening words from Croatian President Zoran Milanović, Croatian Heritage Foundation director Mijo Marić and state secretary at the State Office for Croats Abroad Zvonko Milas were followed by an address from Milan Bošnjak, an advisor with special status for ethnic Croatian minorities at the State Office for Croats Abroad.
In his presentation Bošnjak expounded on the many and diverse programmes in the Croatian minority enclaves supported by the State Office for Croats Abroad. The past few years alone have seen a doubling of the national budget funds earmarked for the ethnic Croatian minority communities in countries in our broader region, now amounting to seven million kuna (just shy of 93 thousand euro).
The conference continued with representatives of the minority enclaves presenting examples of collaboration with Croatian institutions. They highlighted in particular the importance of investing in the infrastructure of minority associations and organisations, of creating an institutional groundwork in the minority enclaves and increasing the staff numbers. Although they come from a diverse set of countries the representatives of the ethnic Croatian minority enclave communities face a similar range of issues.
Attending the conference were Stanko Horvat, president of the Croatian Culture Association in the Burgenland/Gradišće region in Austria, Hrvatske Novine (“The Croatian News”) editor Petar Tyran, Ana Vuksanović, the executive secretary of the Croatian National Council in Montenegro, Antonio Sammartino of the Agostina Piccoli foundation from Italy, Ivan Gugan, the head of the state-sponsored administrative organisation for the Croatian ethnic minority in Hungary (the Országos Horvát Önkormányzat), Petar Hategan, the head of the Democratic Federation of Croatians in Romania, Radoslav Janković, the head of the Croatian Democratic Federation in Slovakia, Đanino Kutnjak, the head of the Federation of Croatian Associations in Slovenia, Jasna Vojnić, the head of the Croatian National Council in Serbia, and Katarina Čeliković, the culture activities manager at the Institute for the Culture of Vojvodina Croatians.
Also taking part in the virtual conference were Dubravka Severinski, the head of the sector for legal status, culture and education for Croats abroad at the State Office for Croats Abroad, and Snježana Jurišić, the head of the culture department at the Croatian Heritage Foundation.
By/photography: Marin Knezović