Saturday, 19 October 2019

Montenegro's Croat Minority Contributes to Positive Processes in the Country

ZAGREB, October 19, 2019 - The Croat minority in Montenegro contributed significantly to the country's accession to NATO and has been contributing to its accession to the European Union, and the Montenegrin state has secured, primarily through its election laws, a privileged status for the Croat minority, Montenegro's Human and Minority Rights Minister Mehmed Zenka has told Hina.

"The Croat minority has contributed very much to all positive processes in Montenegro, notably integration processes. Also, a positive step was made through election laws facilitating the representation of the Croat minority in the Montenegrin parliament. Montenegro and Croatia have a joint intergovernmental committee monitoring the status of Croats in Montenegro and the status of Montenegrins in Croatia. We would like to have such cooperation with all countries in the region," Zenka said.

Croats are the smallest constitutionally recognised community in Montenegro. According to the last census, in 2011, they accounted for 1% of Montenegro's population. Owing to their privileged status, they have a guaranteed seat in the Montenegrin parliament.

Zenka also underlined the impact of the Croat community on Montenegro's cultural and historical heritage, "of which Montenegro is proud".

"We must not forget the history of navigation of Montenegrin Croats. They brought values they gathered all over the world to the Bay of Boka and Montenegro. That's why I say that even if there were not a single Croat in Montenegro, we must celebrate Croats because of the cultural and historical heritage which they brought and which Montenegro has inherited," the minister said, noting that one of such values was the Boka Navy, which this year marks its 1210th anniversary.

The Montenegrin government expects the Boka Navy to be inscribed on UNESCO's list of non-tangible cultural heritage by the end of this year.

"I believe that Montenegro and Croatia will find a common language and make sure together (the Boka Navy) is inscribed on UNESCO's list," Zenka said.

Speaking of the status of the Montenegrin minority in Croatia, Zenka said that he received "positive signals" from societies gathering Montenegrins but that there was room for the improvement of their status as well as for the improvement of the status of Montenegro's Croats.

More news about relations between Croatia and Montenegro can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

15th Anniversary of Classes in Croatian Language in Montenegro Marked

ZAGREB, September 29, 2019 - The 15th anniversary of classes in the Croatian language in Montenegro was marked in Tivat on Saturday, with the Croatian president's envoy underlining the importance of Croatia's institutional connection with expatriate communities around the world.

Croatia's consul general in Kotor, Jasminka Lončarević, conveyed President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović's message, which also underscored the importance of building national unity and solidarity with full respect for the states and nations where Croats live.

Lončarević congratulated, on behalf of Grabar-Kitarović and the Consulate General in Kotor, "all students, all teachers and their parents as well as everyone who, in these 15 years, have maintained the continuity of the Croatian language and culture in Montenegro."

Classes in Croatian in Montenegro began on 18 September 2004 at the initiative of the Croatian Cultural Association Napredak from Tivat, in cooperation with the Croatian Civil Society from Kotor and the Croatian Education Ministry.

More diaspora news can be found in the dedicated section.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Croatian Parliament Speaker Meets with Montenegro Croats

ZAGREB, March 18, 2019 - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković met with representatives of Montenegro Croats in Kotor and Tivat on Monday, saying he was pleased with the status of the Croat minority and highlighting its contribution to local tradition and culture.

"Croats are loyal citizens of Montenegro but they also want to highlight their contribution to the cultural richness and tradition of this country. Croats are proud of what they created here through the centuries and they are an important bridge between our two states. The Croatian minority is a recognised minority here. They cultivate the Croatian identity and have Montenegro's support in that," said Jandroković, who is attending an Adriatic-Ionian Initiative conference in Budva.

"We talked about the status of Croats in Montenegro and there are always some things we can improve financially. Croats in Montenegro want recognition for their contribution to the cultural and spiritual legacy of this country," he said.

Asked by Hina about the inclusion of the Bokelj Navy on UNESCO's cultural heritage list, he said it was Montenegro's cultural heritage but that its legacy was Croatian. "Through talks with the Montenegrin side, we will try to have it recognised... by UNESCO."

Speaking of Croatian-Montenegrin relations, Jandroković said they were friendly. "Montenegro recently joined NATO, we are partners there and expect even more substantial relations in the future."

He visited the Croatia House cultural centre in Kotor which is owned by Croatia and which Croatia plans to start renovating this year and put to use soon. "I expect it will house the Croatian consulate."

Jandroković said he was impressed by the cultural, spiritual and material richness of the Croatian people in Montenegro. In Tivat, he also met with the Croat business community.

More news about relations between Croatia and Montenegro can be found in the Politics section.