Seminar for high school professors
'EUROATLANTISM AND CROATIA'
In cooperation with Gymnasium Velika Gorica, the Atlantic Council of Croatia held a seminar for high school professors ‘Euroatlantism and Croatia’, with the main goal to give more information and details to professors on international relations important for transatlantic community, on new security challenges and relations between the United States and Europe, with the special accent to the position of the Republic of Croatia in the euro-atlantic context, as well as refugee crisis.
The Head of the Gymnasium Velika Gorica Brankica Žugaj MSc welcomed the speakers and participants introducing the agenda and topics.
Ambassador Budimir Lončar talked about the contemporary geostrategic picture and Europe, while Ambassador Neven Pelicarić shared the perspective of benefits for Croatia being the member of the European Union and discussed the issues with the professors participants on topics that students could be most interested in. Professor Lidija Čehulić Vukadinović shared the news on refugee crisis and what is the role of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy in new conditions.
President of the Atlantic Council of Croatia Prof. Radovan Vukadinovic talked on the American policy towards Europe, since Obama became the American President, saying that the United States started to turn their foreign policy focus towards Asia, in order to control Chinese influence. However, that approach lasted until the crisis in Ukraine when Russian influence on European continent became a threat to international security. The history repeats in a way, showing how Russia becomes more influential in the international relations, and in its policy towards NATO. Therefore, Russian President Putin, as Professor Vukadinovic stressed, reminded on 3 obstacles in improving relations with the US and NATO: NATO enlargement policy, military basis, anti-missile defence in former communist countries. In such developments, Kosovo represents a precedent which helped Russia to take over Crimea, and that is: Russia will return Crimea to Ukraine, once Kosovo is returned to Serbia. These kind of events bring Europe additional destabilisation, and those tensions transfer to the Western Balkans countries. When NATO invites Montenegro to join this Alliance, strategically it will not be positive for Russia, since the Adriatic closes down by NATO countries, and the message is being sent to Serbia that its policy of neutrality should be more specific. It is a fact that all countries that aspired to enter the European Union, first became NATO members, and Serbia hopes it will not be a rule once it satisfies the standards. America wants to show that new changes in Europe go through the institutions, and those are NATO and the EU. Professor Vukadinovic expressed the concern that the 21st century will be more dangerous than the 20th, although, as he thinks, there will be no big wars, but there will be big instabilities (terrorism etc.) Even Putin invited for creation of a big antiterrorist coalition, which could be the only way to deal with new threats and instabilities coming from the Middle East.