As a regular reader of Nine o’Clock whose almost every day starts with your printed version I am happy that I can adress to your readers on the ocasion of the National day of the Republic of Croatia.
This year, we celebrate the 26th anniversary of the proclamation of the independence of the Republic of Croatia, decision passed in the Croatian Parliament on the same day as our friends from the Republic of Slovenia did so – on June 25, 1991.
At that date the modern Croatian state has been re-established, the national state of all Croats and the homeland of other nations, of the minorities living on its territory. It is also the state, the homeland of all Croats living outside the Republic of Croatia and unfortunately, through several generations, the number of Croats who are now living in Croatia is almost the same as it is outside.
We are a proud member of the European Union and NATO and we advocate for traditional European values. We are responsible neighbor with a significant role of bringing stability and peace in the region of South East Europe and we are advocating enlargement of European Union and NATO to all countries of the Western Balkan.
Majority of Croats are Catholics, but we are proud of other confessions that live together with us, the two Islamic communities of Bosnians and Albanians who were beside us during our hardest moments, orthodox communities, especially newly established Romanian orthodox parish in Zagreb. We are also proud of our Sephardic Synagogue in Dubrovnik, one of the oldest in the world, and the fact that the Republic of Dubrovnik is one of the first to establish contacts with the newly established United States of America.
We have a country with lots of natural beauties and very rich cultural heritage and Croatia is today closer to Romania than ever. From May 2017, “Croatia Airlines” has introduced direct flights from Bucharest to Zagreb, with connections to Split, Zadar and Dubrovnik. Direct connection gives the opportunity to bring not just more Romanian tourist to Croatia but it will be a possibility for Croatian tourist to explore natural beauties and historical heritage of Romania to greater extent.
This year, as well as many of our friendly states and peoples in Europe, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Croatia and Romania and it is the year of dynamic bilateral relations between our two countries. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs visited Bucharest, also Minister of Science and Education. Prime Minister of Romania was on an official visit to Zagreb last week, in October we are expecting also the visit of Madame President to Romania and by the end of the year also the President of the Croatian Parliament.
We consider Romania important country, with enormous economic potential, a state that is strategically very important part of the South East Europe with which we share common values and almost the same foreign policy priorities. Its economic development is the fastest in Europe which encourage us to work harder to boost our economical cooperation. For us, Romania is a very important partner. We hope that Croatia as well as Romania and Bulgaria will join the Schengen area and Euro zone soon.
As the sixth Croatian Ambassador to Romania I am happy and proud that Croatia and Romania are closer than ever geographically, strategically, regarding the business sector, tourism, cultural cooperation and sports.
Photo: Ambassador Davor Vidiš (R) and his spouse with the Croatian representatives from Caraș-Severin county dressed in national costumes