ZAGREB, 26 Sept (Hina) – Croatia is open to all generations of Croat emigrants, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman told members of the Croat expatriate community in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was staying on Sunday and Monday.
The minister visited the U.S. state of Ohio on the occasion of the 129th anniversary of the Croatian Fraternal Union and its 26th national convention, the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
“The Croatian Fraternal Union is the oldest Croatian emigrant association which ever since its establishment has promoted the Croatian identity and Croatia, protecting and connecting members of the Croat community whom life took to remote parts of the world,” the minister said, adding that the government would continue providing support to all its projects and strengthen cooperation with it.
Croatia is open to all generations of Croat emigrants, the minister said, recalling that in 2020 the Croatian government initiated changes to the Croatian Citizenship Act to make it easier for them to obtain Croatian citizenship.
“A Croatian language test is no longer a requirement, what is crucial is proof of one’s ties to the homeland because the Croatian identity can be cherished in other ways, just as you do it here, through cultural societies and through ties with and cooperation with the homeland,” Grlić Radman said.
He underlined the indispensable role of the Croatian emigrant community during the 1991-95 Homeland War and its struggle for Croatia’s international recognition, as well as its assistance following the 2020 earthquakes, concluding that Croatian unity and solidarity had been proven in the most difficult of times.
During his stay in Cleveland, Grlić Radman also visited the Croatian Home and the St. Paul Croatian Church, which brings together members of the local Croat community and organises numerous educational and cultural events.
Great pleasure to be in #Cleveland with our friends from #CroatianFraternalUnion for their 26th Convention and 129th Anniversary of foundation – the biggest and oldest 🇭🇷 organization in North America, dedicated to preserving promoting Croatian identity and culture. pic.twitter.com/qOH86RLvPZ
— Gordan Grlić Radman (@grlicradman) September 25, 2023