- Published: 03.04.2017.
Croatia and Ireland Share Many Similarities
„Croatia and Ireland, regardless of the distance between them, share many similarities, from a strong Catholic orientation and their long-standing struggle for independence, as well as historical waves of economic and political exodus of their populations,“ said the President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at a state dinner held in her honor by the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. “Croatia and Ireland are two friendly countries having many similarities, regardless of the distance between them they are bound together by a strong Catholic orientation and their long-standing struggle for independence, as well as historical waves of economic and political exodus of their populations,” said the President. Speaking of the proven friendship between the two peoples, President Grabar-Kitarovic indicated that this friendship will be reinforced during Croatia’s presidency in the European Union and through cooperation of Galway and Rijeka, the European Capitals of Culture in 2020. “We share common European values, look to our common European future with almost identical views, priorities and interests,” added President Grabar-Kitarovic. „Within the context of new global and internal challenges, developments related to Brexit and the rise in populism in a large number of Member States,“ she continued, „it is important to boldly work on strengthening the unity of all 27 countries and solidarity in the European Union.“ “It is necessary to reach consensus on imperative issues and, while respecting the interests of all Member States, find the best answer to challenges we are facing, in order to respond to the concerns of our citizens, because this is our shared responsibility,” said the President of Croatia. In her address she warned that economic cooperation remains insufficiently developed. However, there is great potential for further development in many fields, from tourism, digitalization and the IT sector, to exchanges of experience in the field of stimulating small and medium-sized entrepreneurship, reform of public administration, use of EU funds and integration of migrants. President Higgins said that cordial bilateral relations of the two countries are partly the result of many common experiences, including “hard-won national independence,” and emigration which is at the heart of their history. As two countries that now share the common European project he warned of “unprecedented challenges, external and internal.” “In parts of the Union there have been alarming security threats and grave political crises,” said President Higgins, singling out Brexit as an example. He warned that in responding to the crises and challenges we must not become “pawns of xenophobic populism.” “My conviction is that we must approach these multiples crises with hope, courage and renewed political will,” said President Higgins. For the European Union, he said that this is a great, yet unfinished project adding that all in the European Union are relying on Croatia as “good will ambassadors” for the former Yugoslav republics, whose peoples are today awaiting “to share in the promise of peace, stability and prosperity offered by the Union.” (Source: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia; Photo Source: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Filip Glas).