Diplomacy&Beyond: Dr. Gordan Grlić Radman

Diplomacy & Beyond talk series hosted H.E. Dr. Gordan Grlić Radman, ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Hungary. The discussion was moderated by Aslı Yurtsever. The topics of the talk were concentrated on career in diplomacy, the importance of cultural diplomacy, Croatian-Hungarian relations and current international issues.

Number of participants: 41

Date: 10 November 2015 | Tue | 6 pm

Venue: Kodolányi János University of Applied Sciences (1139 Budapest, Frangepán u. 50–56.)

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1056780401052975.1073741833.389448327786189&type=3

Summary: Within the series of talks entitled Diplomacy & Beyond, Institute for Cultural Relations Policy (ICRP), in cooperation with Kodolányi János Föiskola, organized a discussion with the Croatian Ambassador in Hungary Dr. Gordan Grlic Radman, on the 12 November 2015. The conference was moderated by Aslı Yurtsever, from ICRP, and took around one hour in the format of question-answer. In the end, the word was given to the audience.
The talk started with several questions regarding Dr. Radman’s character. How and when he decided to study Political Sciences and apply for the foreign affair office in Croatia, and the difficulties and challenges of being an ambassador, being him representative of his country in the outside.
After this brief introduction, the questions proceeded to more political issues. Considering the migration crisis that Europe has been facing in the course of 2015, this was an unavoidable question. When asked about the Croatian and Hungarian relations, with the last one closing the borders, the Ambassador defended this is not a Croatian or a Hungarian problem, but a European one. And Europe has not been able to solve it, since still does not have a common policy towards the problem. This was a position that Dr. Radman highlight during the entire interview.
In a different topic, the Ambassador did a retrospective analysis of the two year of Croatia in European Union. Croatians are proud of being a member of the community, which symbolized their proximity to Europe, after decades being considered a Mediterranean country. However, Dr, Radman did not hide his disappointment for taking so long to be accepted by the Union. In accordance to this topic, the Ambassador assumed his Europeanism, defending the widening to European Union, namely its opening towards Turkey’s integration, that would allowed creating a new European environment, in geopolitical terms.
The emigration of young people in Croatia was another point highlighted during the talk. With the opening of the borders, with Schengen Agreement, is challenging for young people to try and build a life outside. Croatia remains with one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe that two years in the community have not still mitigated. Actually, the Croatian transition is still facing old obstacles, being the unemployment just one of them.
Finally, in the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the signature of Dayton Accords, Dr. Radman reflected about the relation between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Even though both countries accept the other sovereignty, there are still some problems remaining. Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Constitution is dysfunctional, which makes it harder to reach a common agreement between the two parts that constitute the country. And European Union and United States do not have an answer for it.
In conclusion, Dr. Radman assumed to be a European enthusiast, but, at the same time, was not afraid to point out the weaknesses of the community and the urgent need to surpass them, in order to improve the project of a strong and integrated Europe.

Rita Ferreira & Ece Batman