The Congress is planned as a four-day working gathering of some 130 Croatian experts in the fields of anthropological and social studies and as an event that will encourage the resolution of burning issues among the Croatian communities abroad
The Croatian Emigrant Congress is the first expert gathering that focuses on and links the common themes of emigrant and homeland Croatia, and was declared open by Josip Leko, the president (speaker) of Croatian Parliament.
The Congress is planned as a four-day working gathering of some 130 Croatian experts in the fields of anthropological and social studies from the homeland and the emigrant communities on several levels, as an opportunity to meet and network across all fields of social life and contemporary mobility, and as an event that will encourage the resolution of burning issues among the Croatian communities abroad and propose a joint resolution on the future relationship of the homeland towards its emigrant communities in the current era of ubiquitous mobility.
Cardinal Josip Bozanić, the archbishop of Zagreb attended the opening of the congress, offering his blessings. Also there to offer their greetings were Vatican envoy monsignor Edward Robinson Wijesinghe, director of the Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees at the Holy See, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, vice president of Zagreb City Council Andrija Mikulić, deputies to European Parliament that hail from the Croatian emigrant communities, the ambassadors of Australia, Chile, Canada and Poland and the president of the organising committee of the 2014 Croatian Emigrant Congress.
The congress is organised by the Croatian Studies department of the University of Zagreb, the Croatian Heritage Foundation, the offices of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference and the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the faithful abroad, joined by many co-organisers: the Croatian World Congress, the State Office for Croats Abroad, the Croatian Club for International Cooperation, the department of Croatian language and culture at the University of Waterloo in Canada, the Centre for the Study of Croatian Emigration at Macquarie University in Australia, The Maksimir Centre for Culture and Information, the Croatian Catholic University, the Zagreb School of Economics and Management, the National and University Library, the Catholic Faculty of Theology and the Croatian Writers’ Society.
The congress was staged from June 23rd through 26th at several locations: at the Old Town Hall in Zagreb’s upper town, at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Institute at Kaptol and at the Croatian Heritage Foundation.
Speakers from the homeland and abroad will give lectures on several topics: CROATIAN EMIGRANTS – HERE AND NOW; SCIENCE IN THE DIASPORA: PERSPECTIVES FOR COOPERATION; CHALLENGES AND PERSPECTIVES; THE DILEMMAS OF THE SECOND GENERATION; LEARNING CROATIAN; THE CROATIAN FAITHFUL IN THE DIASPORA; DIASPORA AND IDENTITY; IMPROVING ECONOMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN THE CROATIAN DIASPORA AND THE CROATIAN ECONOMY; OPPORTUNITIES AND POTENTIAL FOR INVESTMENT IN CROATIA; INSTITUTIONS AND THEIR PORTRAITS.
One day one of the event Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandić received the participants at Dverci. An exhibition of Croatians Abroad serial publications was shown at the National and University Library on Tuesday, June 24th. A Catholic mass was celebrated by Cardinal Josip Bozanić at Zagreb’s cathedral on June 25th to mark Statehood Day. That same evening saw a gala concert for the congress participants at the Komedija theatre house.
On the 26th of June the congress saw the presentation of Vesna Drapač’s book Constructing Yugoslavia and the electronic version of the Leksikon hrvatskog iseljeništva i manjina (Lexicon of the Croatian Emigrant Communities and Minorities). The presentations and press conference were staged at the Croatian Heritage Foundation.
Video from the opening