Minster of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman on Friday delivered a lecture at the University of British Columbia on Croatia’s responses to new security challenges in Europe. In addition, he reflected on the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Croatia and Canada.
“Our relations go beyond official commemoration. Croats have been settling in Canada for more than a century, and our transatlantic ties go beyond official structures and organizations. One of the strongest ties between countries is precisely people. Canada is home to more than 250,000 Croatian Canadians who are a bridge strengthening the ties between our two countries. Not only have they contributed to the political, economic, social and cultural development of Canada, but with the knowledge acquired in Canada they have also significantly contributed to the development of Croatia since its independence,” Grlić Radman underscored.
Reflecting on the security challenges of today, the minister said that NATO remained the backbone of our collective defence. He added that Croatia strongly supported the European prospects of all the countries of the Western Balkans, as well as the continuation of the EU enlargement process. “A stable neighbourhood with shared democratic values ??and a clear Euro-Atlantic orientation is extremely important to Croatia,” emphasized Grlić Radman.
A department of Croatian language is opening at the UBC, which in 2025/2026 will start teaching the first students, with the support from the Croatian government.
The minister also held talks with British Columbia’s Minister of State for Trade, Jagrup Brar. The two officials discussed the strengthening of transatlantic partnership and cooperation in the development of sustainable, innovative and resilient tourism, with a special emphasis on digitalization. In addition, Grlić Radman and Brar discussed using the advantages of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
The minister discussed energy with Georg Kovačić, a member of the Croatian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, underlining the great potential for cooperation with Croatia as a regional energy hub thanks to its LNG terminal.
Grlić Radman also visited the parish of St. Nikola Tavelić in Montreal, where he met with Croatian emigrants. He thanked them for contributing to the creation of a free and independent Croatia, as well as for selflessly contributing to the reconstruction in the wake of recent earthquakes in Croatia. He added that the Croatian government would continue to work on linking Croatia and Canada, as well as on preserving the Croatian culture and tradition in Canada. In that context, the minister announced the Croatian government’s decision to open a consulate general in Vancouver.