15 February, 2015.
Kolinda Grabar KitaroviŠ Inaugurated as Croatia’s President
Kolinda Grabar KitaroviŠ officially became Croatia’s fourth elected president after being inaugurated at a ceremony in St. Mark’s Square in Zagreb at noon on Sunday…
Outgoing president Ivo JosipoviŠ, Prime Minister Zoran MilanoviŠ, a number of heads of states, diplomats, high-ranking state officials and several hundred citizens were in attendance as Grabar KitaroviŠ, accompanied by her husband, made her way down the red carpet to make her formal vow before members of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia.
“I will the president for all Croatian citizens, regardless of political, religious, ethnic or sexual orientation. You showed faith in me and I will repay that, I will be your voice. I will serve all Croatian citizens and will never work against the interests of Croatia. Only being united we can work towards a better Croatia. We must turn over a new page and look to the future and not the past if we want a better Croatia,”said Grabar KitaroviŠ, adding that it was time to make changes to create a positive business climate in the country to stimulate the economy.
“We have to be open towards new investment. We must open new markets and utilise our EU membership better. Croatia will become a richer country, there is no reason at all why it can not be. We are a winning nation, there is nothing that we can not achieve when we are united,” said Grabar KitaroviŠ, who said she would dedicate her mandate to the nation’s youth, who were the future of the country.
Grabar KitaroviŠ is the fourth president of the Croatian Republic since its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, following Franjo Tudjman (1990 -1999), Stjepan MesiŠ (2000-2010) and Ivo JosipoviŠ (2010-2015).
Grabar KitaroviŠ was born in Rijeka, Croatia before moving to the United States for part of her childhood. After graduating from Los Alamos High School in Los Alamos, New Mexico, she then attended the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, graduating in the study of English and Spanish language in 1992. Later she obtained a master’s degree in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Zagreb. After heading the North American department of the foreign ministry, and working as a diplomatic councilor at the Croatian embassy in Canada, she was elected to the Croatian parliament and eventually became the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Her duties as president begin officially on 2015. - 19.February - 2012.
The picute galery HERE
INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
My fellow Croatians in Croatia and around the world,
Dear guests and dignitaries,
With the oath that I have just taken, I have committed to serving the Croatian people
and all of the citizens of Croatia. I take over the duty of the Croatian president with
great pride, but also aware of its immense responsibility.
In this special moment let us remember all those Croatian sons and daughters known
and unknown, who, in the thousand years of fighting for Croatian independence, built
their lives in the foundations of the modern Croatian state. Let me express special
gratitude to the Croatian veterans, who have been, and will continue to be, the keystone
of our country. We owe deep gratitude to the first Croatian president, Dr. Franjo
Tuman, the front runner of this historic endeavour and the founding father of the
modern Croatian state.
The elections are behind us. Croatia has once again proved to be a democratic country.
Starting today, we have to turn all of our differences, that were evident in the campaign,
into our strength. I will be the President of all Croatian citizens, regardless of their
political affiliation, ethnic, religious and sexual orientation. I will uncompromisingly
protect those who are the most vulnerable in our society.
The role of the President of the Republic is clearly defined in the Croatian Constitution.
However, I am well aware of the responsibility I have toward the Croatian citizens, being
the only high state official elected directly by the citizens.
For that reason, in this special moment, I address you directly.
My fellow Croatians, citizens of Croatia!
You have placed your trust in me, and I will report to you! I will be your voice, I will be
your president. I am one of you and I will do my best to make Croatia a rich country, the
country that young people will not leave, the country which will have more births than
deaths, where people in their best years will reap the fruits of their work.
If I make a mistake, and those who work do make mistakes, I will have the strength to
acknowledge and rectify it. After all, we are only humans. But I stand here before you
and say this: I will never do anything against Croatian national interests!
Allow me to thank my predecessors, Mr Stjepan MesiŠ and Mr Ivo JosipoviŠ, for their
contribution in building the Croatian democracy. I will not hesitate to ask for their
advice, as even our differences should be used for the benefit of this country.
I urge us all to leave the divisions and misconceptions to history. Only united can we
build a better Croatia. Let us compete with ideas, solutions and innovations, and not
with the historic roles of our fathers and grandfathers. Ideological divisions will not
help us achieve a better life, nor will we become better people. We will only deepen old
divisions and create new conflicts, which have never done anyone any good. The same
way President Tuman reconciled the divided Croatian nation and created conditions
for the establishment of the Croatian state, today, we must turn a new page for a better
future through new Croatian unity. Let us look for a better life in the future, not in the
True patriotism, the one I believe in, the one I will fight for every day, while serving
my country and my people, is the foundation for building a better Croatia. Love of
one’s country is not reflected only by placing our right hand on our heart while we
listen to our national anthem. Patriotism is not just a national team’s uniform or a scarf
around our necks when our athletes compete. Loving Croatia is not only about hanging
the national flag on the window, nor is it only about a sense of pride on our national
holidays, when we remember our victories. Patriotism is expressed in many other ways,
but what needs to be in our hearts is what we do for our country: our work, effort,
knowledge, excellence, creation, complying with laws, raising children, helping the
elderly, showing solidarity to those in need, looking after each other, showing mutual
respect, offering a kind word and a helping hand. Those who love Croatia in this way are
Our economy and the standard of living of our citizens have been affected by the crisis
for the last six years. Tens of thousands of young people are leaving Croatia. Many of
them have university degrees, and they should be the ones generating development in
this country. We have highly negative demographic trends. As a nation, we are growing
old. Many companies have gone bankrupt, others are losing competitiveness, people are
losing their jobs, and families are without income.
We are witnessing deep problems that require fast and coordinated action by authorities,
unions, and employers. This is the moment when we have to reach a national consensus
on key issues. There is neither room nor time for divisions. We have shown that we
possess the strength necessary for such unity in several key moments during the last two
decades. It is high time we rose above individual or party interests and dealt with this
economic crisis. We must look to the future and carry out changes which cannot be put
off any longer. We must stop living off of the money borrowed from future generations.
Creating new jobs must be our strategic national interest. We must finally understand
that new jobs are not created by the state, but by private initiative, that is, entrepreneurs.
I am committed to zero tolerance for corruption, and I welcome all activities by the
authorities in rooting out that plague. In the process, we must not create the climate of
I urge the government to do everything in its power to motivate entrepreneurs by
through tax policy, and to create a better entrepreneurial climate by eliminating
administrative barriers, thus stimulating strong private initiative. We have to stimulate
the competition of business ideas and build a positive environment that will result in
Our sea and tourism, our agriculture, fisheries, forestry, water management, our farmers,
fishermen and peasants – they are our strength.
Family farms, crafts, small and medium enterprise, innovations, the use of clean
technology – they must be our strategic orientation. Let us finally become truly aware
of the comparative advantages of this beautiful country, and let us start using them
responsibly and efficiently.
We must be open to new investments and be proactive in finding new markets. I will put
all of my efforts into this, through active cooperation with entrepreneurs and investors.
Exports must be our permanent focus, and economic diplomacy an important leverage
in opening new markets. I will be this country’s first economic diplomat and I will
work relentlessly to encourage exporters to make steps forward, steps that may seem
impossible today. Above all, we have to take more advantage of our membership in
the EU, as well as of the free trade agreements, in order to open new and untraditional
markets to our exporters.
One of the preconditions of success and competitiveness in today’s globalized world is
high-quality education, science and research. Our schools and universities, our science
and research centres must be adjusted to the new era. We must turn to acquiring new
knowledge and skills and prepare our students for new challenges that lie ahead.
We must finally define the main elements of our development and start believing truly
in the sustainable development and what it really means – a development that takes care
of the environment, at the same time leaving room for progress and growth. Let us learn
from those who have protected their environment and their heritage, and let us open the
door to development.
After almost two years of membership I want us to finally start living the life of the EU
member state. We have to intensify efforts to make EU funds more available and absorb
them as soon as possible.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As a supreme commander, I want to emphasise strongly that we will develop and
preserve our armed forces. NATO membership guarantees stability, but the guarantor
of our existence and sovereignty will always be a modern and well-equipped Croatian
armed forces. Croatia is a peace-loving country and will never be a threat to anyone, but
today’s world brings new challenges, especially in the context of international terrorism.
Strong armed forces guarantee stability and strengthen our democratic values. Today I
want to recognize and honour our soldiers and our officers, in Afghanistan and in peace
missions around the world. We are very proud of them. We must never forget the fact
that the members of our armed forces are ready to risk their lives to defend this country’s
safety and universal values of the civilised world.
We cannot and we must not underestimate the developments in international relations.
New wars and conflicts are emerging, we are witnessing the collapse of the world order
as we know it in many parts of the world.
Croatia has its attitude, its policy and its interests. We will promote them more actively.
We will fight for them relentlessly on all levels!
For that we need national unity on strategic issues, a stabile economy, energy
independence, capable and active diplomacy, and a modern, well-equipped armed forces
integrated in the NATO system. These are the key components of national security.
Croatia will continue to develop its foreign policy through cooperation with our allies in
the EU and the NATO, as well as through cooperation with the neighbouring countries.
Our permanent strategic national interest remains integrating the entire area of South-
Eastern Europe into European and Euro-Atlantic integrations, because any other option
prolongs the uncertainty and can eventually lead to restoring the old lines of division.
I want the countries of South-East Europe to become members of the European family,
and in this we offer our hand. I expect to finally resolve open issues with our neighbours,
such as border disputes. In our relations with Serbia, the status of the missing persons
from the Homeland War shall have a special place, as well as the mutual protection of
the rights of minorities. National minorities are a Croatian national treasure.
I will develop and protect their rights, but also promote the rights of Croats in
One of the most important foreign policy goals is the position and the protection of
Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I see Bosnia and Herzegovina as a country with three
equal, constituent nations: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. I want to help wholeheartedly so
that Bosnia and Herzegovina strengthens its statehood on the basis of full equality of the
three constituent nations, and I will pay special attention to it.
I want to use this opportunity to send a special message to our emigrants around the
world. You are also Croatia, and I will never let anyone neglect your role and your
contribution in the formation of the Croatian state. You are an important link between
your country and the world, but you are also an important element of this country,
which will continue to contribute to our national development. The doors of Croatia are
wide open for you. Your knowledge and experience are valuable to your homeland.
It is our obligation to offer you honest and real opportunity for investment, education
Dear guests, ladies and gentlemen,
My term in office will especially be devoted to the young. We must make room for them
in economic life, politics and social life. We have to give them jobs. Their voice must be
heard – they are educated, they want to succeed, and they are unburdened with the past.
I see them as the leaders of the new Croatian unity.
I want to emphasise this as well.
As the first Croatian women president, I am proud to see that our society has made
a great step forward. Before I decided to run, many people had asked me why I was
running for president. They said Croatia was not ready for a woman president.
This was additional motivation for me because I knew that our people would make the
right decision. I will monitor closely the compliance with the Constitution, which puts
gender equality among its greatest values, along with other values that protect minority
social groups, as this is an indicator of the level of civility of a society and is a sign of
Ladies and gentlemen,
In this special moment I want to emphasise the importance of family, religion, culture
and tradition. These elements have preserved our identity. Throughout history our
nation has had great scientists, innovators, artists and athletes, contributing to the
development of our society. Great responsibility lies ahead of me, and all of us, primarily
towards our descendants, to continue preserving, promoting and developing our culture,
our identity and our name.
The inauguration will always be a celebration of the Croatian statehood, our nation that
we are so proud of, but also of our openness to others and to the world, in which we
will actively participate. With this oath I will continue to serve the Croatian people and
all Croatian citizens honourably. I will use my constitutional powers for the benefit of
everyone in Croatia, and I will be led by patriotism, inclusion, respect and the protection
of national interests. Croatia will be a rich country, there is no reason why it shouldn’t
be. I want to be able to tell my grandchildren one day about the time when we stood side
by side, just like we did in the Homeland War, how we fought for better life in Croatia,
and how we won that fight. Because we are a winning nation, an enduring nation, and a
hardworking nation. There is nothing we cannot do if we stand united. (predsjednik.hr)
I BELIEVE IN YOU, MY COUNTRY, MY CROATIA!