President Milanović in Valpovo: My only task is to look after Croatia’s interests

07. December 2021.

The President of the Republic Zoran Milanović attended a special session of the Municipal Council of Valpovo on the occasion of Valpovo Municipal Day. In his address at the special session, President Milanović said that progress in the town of Valpovo is great and visible.

“I have been visiting this town for years and major changes have taken place. Even fifteen years ago, this was not a remote area. The presence of tradition was visible here and that the town had its own identity. Things are improving and moving forward, progress is happening. Construction is going on and the living environment seems more comfortable and attractive – a place where someone who has a clear plan about what they want to do with their life and does not have megalomaniac and crazy ambitions can live a decent, orderly and safe life, which is very important,” said President Milanović.

The President told the residents of Valpovo that there is no recipe for how to organize their community, but that in his opinion each local government unit, municipality and town in Croatia must set the goal of absorbing European funds that are worth at least a few times as much as the initial budget. He added that this was easier said than done, but also noted that an increasing number of towns and municipalities are achieving this. “Your area, with an industrial and agricultural tradition as a small but strong agglomeration of two towns, can be a very well organized living environment. I wish you that,” said President Milanović. 

He added that he repeatedly mentions European funds because he believes that the level of their absorption is the best measure of success. “European funds should be absorbed at all costs within legal limits and this should be the main goal, because there is no other big goal, no other destination on our journey. Our defenders, people who risked everything and died for Croatia, may have had a dream of some kind of European Union, but above all they had a dream of Croatia. This money makes the only difference between us, who are completely independent and decide about our affairs as much as a small state can, and us who are part of a large system in which the big players very often decide instead of us. If we are not aware of that, our interests will be at stake. Looking after our interests is our and my only task,” President Milanović concluded in his address.

Speaking at the special session were the Mayor of Valpovo Matko Šutalo, Head of the Municipality of Tisno Kristijan Jareb, Deputy Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Josip Miletić and Member of the Croatian Parliament and envoy of the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Goran Ivanović. Adviser to the President of the Republic for Human Rights and Civil Society Melita Mulić was alongside President Milanović in Valpovo.

PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Ana Marija Katić