Croatia: Call for government advisors on diaspora may prove to be a dud

If you live outside Croatia and have had urges to want to contribute in an official capacity to the process of strengthening the ties between Croatia and the Croatian diaspora then this could very well be your chance and opportunity.  You have until 10th November 2012 to get “your act together” and go for it.

It’s been slow but it’s happening right this moment. The Croatian government has October 10 advertised (called) for positions of members of the Advisory to the government regarding Croatians outside Croatia. Applications, nominations actually, (and application forms) go through the relevant Croatian Embassy.

But – regretfully – it seems you cannot do this as an individual, you need to be nominated by your local Croatian community (club, association, institution etc). You need to be “reputable within that particular community body and engaged in the preservation and the strengthening of Croatian identity of the communities and in furtherance of relations with the homeland…

There’ll be 55 members of this Advisory. Set number from different countries,  and they’ll be part of the Government Office for Croatians outside Croatia, headed by dr. Darija Krsticevic. It’s even planned to ha a “Welcome” centre for those who return to Croatia.

All this was well planned by the former HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) government who initiated and set out the relevant legislation in 2011. (English version)

It’s all happening now. A good and positive step towards establishing and maintaining strong and productive ties between Croatians wherever they are.

However, the way that the advertisement for the Advisor positions has gone out does not instil much confidence that politics will not prevail and that the vision started by dr. Franjo Tudjman in the late 1980’s to unify all Croatians towards the interests of all Croatians will realised as intended. We’ve seen a great deal of alienation of the diaspora during the past decade or so. The alienation that started with Stjepan Mesic (former President of Croatia) who went out of his way to vilify the diaspora with lies that it promulgated “fascism”. Former communists, from former Prime Minister Ivica Racan onwards maintained the push for alienation.

And now, there’s a chance to correct this deplorable state of alienation and the Government puts the Call for applications for Advisors from diaspora to clubs, associations etc. To barely 1/3 of the actual diaspora, as multitudes of individuals keep working very hard on strengthening the Croatian identity within and among the World’s stage etc.; outside those clubs, associations. Given that there’s a great deal of politics between various clubs, associations etc. one can only imagine that nominations for Advisors may not be on real comparative merit but rather on politics or political affiliation.

It’s certainly not an advertisement or call for applications that encompasses all avenues of “being a good Croatian” in the diaspora but only concentrates on organised clubs and associations. In this way it’s an opportunity lost to harness the best talents on individual merits. Furthermore, the advertisement was disseminated in diaspora around 23 October (I discovered it yesterday by accident while undertaking some research on the internet) and at that it did not reach the majority of possible applicants. To make the matter worse applicants/nominees have thus been given about 3 weeks to get their act together, inquire further as to the “job description” etc, compose CV’s etc etc.

The badly promoted and lacking in clarity and breadth “Call” for Advisors to the Croatian government from the diaspora is regretful but it should not discourage anyone who wishes to pursue it further, as a deserving individual. For now, this Government Office for Croatians outside Croatia is the only one of its kind and it deserves a good start, at least. My personal view is that such or similar body should not be tied to any government but that a government should have an Advisor or two on these matters and that such Advisors should be open to receiving (taking or leaving) the “advice” and “opinion” from anyone, not just clubs or associations, which are in more cases than not, not representative of the Croatian community as a whole. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

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