Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Friends of Croatia: Croatian Protocol Guide - Diplomatic Arrivals and Departures

June 23, 2021 - The ninth article in the series, "Friends of Croatia: Croatian Protocol Guide", brings you more details from the Protocol guide for diplomatic missions accredited to the Republic of Croatia issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to ease the arrival of the foreign diplomatic representatives to Croatia.

With diplomatic immunity already being mentioned in this series, we saw that the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) following the terms of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, dedicated a special part to diplomatic immunity in its Protocol guide for diplomatic missions accredited to the Republic of Croatia. This guide is another confirmation of how MVEP, as it previously explained to TCN, finds diplomatic relations very important, particularly representing the interests of Croatian companies and the Croatian economy, which back in March was evident in a successful agreements FM Gordan Grlić Radman achieved for Croatian entrepreneurs on the Egyptian market.

„In a constant effort to provide, in a timely fashion, quality support to diplomatic missions, diplomats, and other members of missions, the Diplomatic Protocol is happy to present a brief guide for diplomatic missions with useful guidelines concerning ceremonies and visits, and privileges and immunities. The guide is meant for information purposes only, and we hope it will help diplomatic missions and their members enjoy successful terms in office in Croatia“, says the opening of the Protocol guide. Guide also points out how „The Diplomatic Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is the principal address for diplomatic missions accredited to Croatia“.

Apart from previously mentioned diplomatic immunity, the guide also explains the details of welcoming new diplomats as well as the procedure of escorting the diplomats on their departure from Croatia.



Ground/air arrivals

So, when the Ambassador arrives in Croatia, the Diplomatic Protocol, Ceremonies, and Visits Department informs the competent authorities. What is interesting is that the rules in the protocol differ in practice pending how Ambassador comes to the country.

„If the Ambassador arrives by a road border crossing, then the head of the Ceremonies and Visits Department will schedule the earliest convenient date for a visit to the newly appointed Ambassador at the official residence or the Embassy of the sending state“, explains the guide.

The other option is by airplane.

„When the newly appointed Ambassador enters the state territory of the Republic of Croatia for the first time at a border crossing at the Zagreb International Airport, his/her VIP treatment will have been arranged and, during office hours, he/she will be greeted by the head or a representative of the Ceremonies and Visits Department“, says the guide.

The Embassy also sends a diplomatic note to the Diplomatic Protocol to arrange details and date regarding the presentation of credentials to the President of the Republic of Croatia and of copies of the credentials to the Head of the Diplomatic Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. This is important as it confirms the Ambassador is not just a visitor but a legitimate representer of his/her country and appointed by the authorities of the country that enjoys bilateral relations with Croatia. And proper goodbyes at the end of the Ambassador term are in order as well.

„When an Ambassador is to depart from the Republic of Croatia, his/her Embassy will send a note to the Diplomatic Protocol advising of the date and time of his/her departure. The Ceremonies and Visits Department then notifies the competent authorities of the time and place of his/her departure from the state territory of the Republic of Croatia. VIP treatment at Zagreb International Airport will be arranged“, explains the guide.



Friendly and safely

As foreign ministers frequently travel to other countries, embassies have a key role in making those visits.

„An Embassy in the Republic of Croatia notifies the Diplomatic Protocol in a diplomatic note of the visit of a Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Republic of Croatia. All further details concerning the visit are conveyed to the Diplomatic Protocol in a diplomatic note. In the case of an official or working visit, the Ceremonies and Visits Department is responsible for the logistic support. The Ceremonies and Visits Department will in further communication with the Embassy in the Republic of Croatia arrange the details of the organization of the meetings requested. This includes accommodation in the previously agreed format, transport, protocol and security. At the proposal of the Ceremonies and Visits Department, or at the request of the Embassy, free time will be organized as well. If the proposal is accepted, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs will cover the expenses of the proposed part of the program“, explains the guide.

There is even an interesting prescription regarding the safety of politicians visiting the country. As the guide points out, the arrival of a protected person, delegation and security staff needs to be announced at least 48 hours prior to entering the territory of the Republic of Croatia. Pending on the rating of the protected person varies the allotment of firepower allowed to be carried in Croatia by the security staff. Three pieces of firearms along with ammunition for the Head of State, 2 pieces of firearms for a Parliament Speaker or a Prime Minister, and one piece of a firearm for the Minister of Foreign Affairs or a Head of an International Organization and Institution. Of course, this norm can be changed pending „on the basis of the judgment of the security department in charge, or on the basis of reciprocity“.

„When announcing the arrival of a protected person, delegation and security staff, a detailed program of activities needs to be submitted“, informs the guide.

Info such as times of arrival in and departure from the Republic of Croatia, the border crossing to be used for entering and exiting the state territory of the Republic of Croatia, personal information including passport numbers of nationals of non-member states, ID numbers for citizens of EU Member States as well as brand, type and a serial number of firearms and quantity of ammunition that foreign security staff will be bringing into the Republic of Croatia must be provided in the program of activities.

It may sound a bit strict but easily manageable by professionals in a friendly bilateral relationship, allowing to conduct diplomatic relations without fuss. One such important recent visit to Croatia came from the US Department of Homeland Security Officials in Croatia regarding visa-free travel. No doubt, these established rules were vital for that visit as for many others to come in the future as Croatia continues to nourish diplomatic ties with its allies.

To read more from the series "Friends of Croatia", follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about diplomacy in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Friday, 6 September 2019

Former Croatian Diplomat Elizabeta Madjarevic Claims She Isn't Xenophobic

As Index/Gordan Duhacek writes on the 3rd of September, 2019, former Croatian diplomat Elizabeta Madjarevic, who was pulled from her post at the Croatian Embassy in Berlin recently, got in touch with Index with a request for the publication of a correction of the information the newspaper initially published last month, in which it uncovered some questionable social media posts from Madjarevic.

To briefly recap, Index was the first to reveal that Elizabeta Madjarevic, as the first secretary of the Croatian Embassy in Berlin, had been spreading racist, homophobic and all in all unsavoury views, which prompted the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) to react and suspend her, and it is now expected that it will carry out the prescribed disciplinary proceedings in line with dismissal.

The densely typed request for a correction is, in fact, the first more detailed public statement by Elizabeth Madjarevic about the affair that has tarred Croatia's international reputation, the affair in which she played the main role. Previously, she first announced on her Facebook that she stood by her views, and the day after, she claimed via one diaspora-oriented portal that she had actually been hacked. Naturally, MVEP considered this claim to be a complete lie.

In Elizabeta Madjarevic's letter to Index, she points out that her corrections refer to two articles. The first one, which first uncovered her eyebrow-raising posts on social media, and the second one, which speaks about what her views as a staff member of the MVEP says about, and indeed brings upon Croatia as a country.

"The text makes inaccurate, false, incomplete and abusive statements or information concerning me, that violate my rights and interests and harm my reputation and honour as well as that of my family. The text states that I've been: - spreading racist, xenophobic and homophobic views... That I spread racist beliefs, that I write about a "white Europe" and how only such a Europe is "pure", that I spread anti-immigrant theories... That I attack migrants and refugees by presenting them as a threat to Christian Europe etc; - That I'm a person who is a prominent part of the Croatian diplomatic mission in the German capital and that this ia a huge scandal and a detriment to Croatia's reputation in Berlin and in the European Union…'', writes Elizabeta Madjarevic in response to the first Index article.

Then she points out how she sees the problems with the second Index article.

"This text makes inaccurate, false, incomplete and offensive statements or information concerning me that violate my rights and interests and harm my reputation and honour as well as that of my family. The text states that: - I'm the voice of a racist movement that threatens Croatia as well; - My views are an expression of two different right-wing movements, which have been more closely linked recently; - That I've expressed racist, homophobic, xenophobic and anti-liberal views, which are a combination of what white nationalism advocates; - That white nationalists, to whom you've insinuated that I belong, are much more inclined to use violence than Christian ultraconservatives, and therefore you claim that I'm inclined to use violence, etc. Both of these texts were transmitted by almost all media in Croatia, both in print and in electronic form, as well as on many radio stations and television stations,'' Madjarevic writes.

This, however, is only partly true - all media outlets have indeed transmitted Index's story on the Croatian diplomat spreading racism, but not the story of Elizabeta Madjarevic as the ''messenger of a racist movement'' that threatens Croatia as well.

"I firmly dispute that I'm a racist..."

This is followed by a denial in which Elizabeta Madjarevic actually admits to having racist views, which she simultaneously tries to deny, with the infamous "I'm not a racist, but ..." defense.

"I most strongly dispute that I'm a racist, that I propagate racist, xenophobic or any other views that incite hatred and violence against any social group, including those about ''white Europe'' as was alluded to in the text, as well as the idea that I'm attacking anyone. My private posts, like my professional ones, don't contain such features, and only a malicious person can draw that conclusion from them, for the sake of cheap sensationalism and taking things out of context to increase media circulation, or to satisfy other incompatible tendencies with journalism,'' claimed Madjarevic.

With that said, she explains a new definition of what she meant when she said her Facebook profile was hacked.

''My Facebook posts, which are the basis for the above text, have been tampered with from my private and publicly closed profile (and in that sense I stated that my profile was "hacked"), so it's already clear here that I'm not spreading anything, not am I anyone's ''voice'', especially since I don't belong to any political party, nor am I active in politics,'' complains MVEP's now suspended diplomat.

My post does not contain racist or similar features, but it's expressing my personal attitude, which is in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, in particular the provisions on the right to freedom of speech and expression, emphasises Elizabeta Madjarevic in her recent letter to Index.

"Migration and multiculturalism are harmful in the long run"

''In my posts, I present my personal reflections, impressions, and judgments on certain socio-political and other issues, to which I, as a person, have an absolute right. I have the right to think about and disagree with the issue of migration or a multicultural society differently from a journalist called [Gordan] Duhachek. I have the right to think that this is, in the long-term, an adverse event for the future of Europe, with unprecedented consequences, bearing in mind that in my posts I address the problem of unnatural and mass, and thus uncontrolled, migration, rather than individuals which have been quite common so far. I don't consider myself to be a racist because in my position, there is no violence, it's about presenting argumentative values ​​or facts, shared by renowned scientists, public figures and a large part of the population. In doing so, I didn't endanger anyone's human rights or incite anybody to violence - that simply cannot be concluded from my publications,'' Madjarevic argues.

"It's a scientific and biological fact that Croatia is a white country"

"The controversial post was written during a holiday in a foreign country in the Mediterranean, and not in Croatia, as the media concluded, and it was the same sort of impression from a holiday on an island in the Ionian sea that at the same time awakened in me the memory, but also the joy caused by a sense of authenticity from the place I was in.

My judgment of what authentic Europe is (like it was 30 years ago) may be liked by some, and not by others, but it cannot be called racism, nor was it intended to be. I didn't call for hatred against someone, nor did I organise a lynch mob for a group of people, which implies racism, among other things. I don't see anything wrong with someone preferring a more authentic and traditional society, versus a multicultural society, for example.

It's a scientific, biological fact that Croatia is a white country, as is the rest of Europe, after all, it's a continent which has been inhabited by a white population throughout its entire history.

It's equally the same for Asia as the "yellow" continent and Africa, as the "black" continent. My judgment that Europe is a continent of whites is also based on the bare facts that I wrote in the second sentence ("only white Europeans, as it was 30 years ago").  It's a fact that not all countries are still like that and you cannot dispute the original biological fact on the origin of Europeans, nor the fact that this was the case 30 years ago in most European countries (major migrations to all of Europe began only in the late 1980s, although it also happened earlier in some colonial countries).

By loving Europe as it is, or has been, I don't consider myself a criminal who can be labelled a "racist". If the author had made an effort to contact me prior to publication in accordance with the rules of the profession, he would have realised that my professional interest was never related to racial issues, but to identity and migration, and thus indirectly to Germany as a key country in the resolving of the refugee crisis back in 2015.

By associating the word "pure" with racism, and with me, as well as with neo-Nazi groups, the author has disgraced me and distorted the meaning of my sentence, in which the most important part was to emphasise the authenticity of the tourist location I was in,'' Elizabeta Madjarevic said.

And at the end comes a veiled threat to Index. It doesn't seem like it will be an easy feat to forgive the portal for exposing these Facebook posts and other publications:

"I note that the publication of these texts has caused huge damage to my reputation and honour, both privately and professionaly, that a public lynch mob has been instituted against me and all this has had a detrimental effect on my family, too, and therefore I reserve the right to claim compensation for any damage that has been incurred to me, or that which, as a result of the publication of these texts, is yet to occur,'' concludes Elizabeta Madjarevic at the end of her letter to Index.

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Monday, 19 August 2019

Elizabeta Madjarevic Suspended and Pulled from Croatian Embassy

As Index writes on the 19th of August, 2019, Croatian diplomat Elizabeta Madjarevic, whose xenophobic, racist and homophobic texts on social networks were first uncovered and reported by Index, has been suspended and withdrawn from her position at the Croatian Embassy in Berlin.

In addition, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs' inspection suggested, and as Jutarnji list reports, the most severe disciplinary measure should be imposed on her, which is complete dismissal.

To briefly recall, Elizabeta Madjarevic championed the idea of a ''pure'' and "white Europe", expressed xenophobic and homophobic views, claimed she was against the idea of universal human rights and at one time accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of suffering from a "lack of her own culture".

The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MVEP) swiftly responded to Index's report and promised action, stating that diplomats are supposed to comply with Croatia's official policies.

Croatia's responsibility to protect its reputation abroad has seen severe action taken against Elizabeta Madjarevic.

We'll continue to update you on this situation as and when news becomes available.

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Saturday, 17 August 2019

Foreign Ministry Disgusted by Elizabeta Madjarevic, Summons Her, Promises Action

Yesterday, Index reported that Croatian diplomat in Berlin, Elizabeta Madjarevic, has been spreading racist, xenophobic and homophobic views on Facebook and on various portals, and accuses the German chancellor of having "a lack of her own culture". MVEP have now reacted sternly, calling her in and promising to take action.

Elizabeta Madjarevic is otherwise the first secretary of the Croatian Embassy in Berlin.

As Index writes on the 16th of August, 2019, on her Facebook profile, this Croatian diplomat has been spreading racist views, writes about white Europe and how only such a Europe is "pure". In addition, Index reported how she has been spreading anti-immigrant theories, attacks on the rights of the LGBT community, and even on the idea of universal human rights.

In addition to her Facebook profile, Madjarevic has published texts on several internet portals over the years in which she attacks migrants and refugees by presenting them as a threat to Christian Europe, and did not fail to attack the Istanbul Convention and Andrej Plenkovic himself and, more importantly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. In one text, Madjarevic diagnosed her with suffering from a "lack of her own culture" because of her statement that Islam belongs in Germany.

The fact that such a person is a prominent part of the Croatian diplomatic mission in the German capital represents a great scandal and damages to Croatia's reputation in Berlin and the European Union.

Elizabeta Madjarevic: ''I'm not a politician, I have the right to say what I want.''

After Index posted screenshots of her eyebrow-raising comments, she posted a status on Facebook in relation to the scandal she'd caused. As she puts it, "she is not a politician, so she has the right to say what she wants."

Here is her Facebook status, translated into English:

"On holiday outside Croatia, my friends call me and say that I've become the topic of the day. Moreover, Index published a ''nice'' story about me on my commentary about an authentic Europe that I posted on my private profile after visiting a Mediterranean country outside of Croatia. I am neither an official nor a politician, but an ordinary person who has the right to privacy, but I have my conservative views, which I do not deviate from and that I share freely because I live in a free country, and which are based on facts,'' Madjarevic wrote.

''It is unprofessional for journalists to destroy ordinary people in this way. Or should we no longer be thinking beings and have free speech? And if anyone needs to explain how Europe looked like, in a demographic sense, a decade ago, and throughout history, let's just turn the demographic statistics around,'' she added.

MVEP quickly responded to Index's report on the situation, released an official statement on their website, and have demanded Elizabeta come for an interview on the matter, after which they will react accordingly and in line with the law. Here is the English translation of MVEP's statement in full:

"The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs completely and utterly distances itself from the viewpoints that Index reported on that have been posted on social networks today (August the 16th, 2019), published by Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs staff member Elizabeta Madjarevic, who has been, since January 2019, on a diplomatic mandate at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Berlin.

Given the serious indications of a violation of the regulations governing the work of the Foreign Office of the Republic of Croatia, as well as of the Law on Civil Servants, this staff member was immediately summoned to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, where all facts related to the aforementioned publication will be determined without delay. Once the facts have been established, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs will take the appropriate measures prescribed by the Foreign Affairs Act and the Civil Servants Act,'' the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

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