Vukovar, 14th and 15th January 2020

FORUM 2020 – an informal network of civil society organisations coordinated by CROSOL – Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity, invites you to the opening event of Croatia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union on behalf of civil society, which will be held 14th and 15th January 2020, on the anniversary of the international recognition of Croatia and peaceful reintegration of the Croatian Danube region, in Vukovar.

Republic of Croatia is the youngest EU member state that joined the Union after direct experience of war. Even during the pre-accession negotiations between Croatia and the EU, it was obvious that there was an insufficient level of understanding within the EU in relation to all of the consequences of war which Croatia would bring into the EU. A typical example are the large minefield areas in Croatia whose demining was not a priority for the EU. Psychosocial and economic consequences of war were also not sufficiently considered and analyzed.

As a country presiding over the EU Council in 2020, Croatia has a unique opportunity to open the discussion on whether we have forgotten that peacekeeping is one of EUs fundamental roles. Today, when the EU is increasing its funding of defense projects and when arrival of people fleeing wars, poverty and consequences of climate change is seen as a threat to the Union, we are obliged to speak out on the need for greater efforts to build peace, both within and outside our borders.

For these reasons, civil society in Croatia has decided to mark the beginning of the Croatian presidency of the EU Council by reminding the EU about the importance of peacebuilding. In cooperation with civil society from the EU and South Eastern Europe, in Vukovar – a town which represents a symbol of war-time destruction, on the date of international recognition of Croatia and completion of peaceful reintegration of its Danube region, we will gather and discuss what further actions can be taken to strengthen peace – inside and outside of the EU.

Event agenda is available HERE.

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