Croatian Viewpoint
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Croatian Lobbying in the Modern Information Age

From Latin comes the noun lobium, which in English is 'lobby'. Lobbies are entrances in hotels, or parliamentary assemblies. The meaning of the word evolved to include the people who stand in the lobbies, 'lobbyists' who 'lobby' legislators to represent their special interests. Thus, lobby became a verb, not just a noun. Verbs suggest action and so logically you cannot have a lobby group unless it actively lobbies
The former Croatian Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Zdravko Tomac, gave lobbying a new dimension when he 'nearly crashed into' Lord Carrington on the footpath before he met him at the entrance to the building in London , where they had a meeting scheduled. In his book, 'The Struggle for the Croatian State', Tomac reveals how he lobbied Lord Carrington, in November 1991, with the help of wealthy Croats in England, in order to counteract what he calls, ' Lord Carrington's fascination by Milosevic ', (pub. By Profikon, Zagreb , 1993, pages 383-399).
It has been suggested that the famous Croatian writer Marko Marulic (1450-1520), 'probably wrote in Latin in order to reach as wide an audience as possible'. The use of Latin in the Croatian Diet to 1848, and by Croatian writers, was probably a double-edged sword, just as the use of English by Croatian lobbyists is today. (see 'Klokan Magazine', Feb. 1994, NSW, in article 'The Contribution of Croatians to Western Culture') Just as the use of Gaelic has rapidly declined, the same danger exists for the Croatian language. Nevertheless, in the case of 'lobbying' it is obvious that the English language must be used.
The whole argument for a Croatian lobby in Australia , as elsewhere, begs the question, 'what is it that we are lobbying for?' Firstly Croats in Australia lobbied for recognition of Croatia . Also they lobbied for an end to the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. Bilateral relations between the two countries, Australia and Croatia , are in hand, so what is next on the agenda?
Due to the concentration of the West's mainstream print media's ownership being in a few hands, Croatian migrants should focus on printing their own information in English and distribute it. Everyone must know a lecturer, a local politician, a concerned friend or neighbour, a librarian, a school teacher, or even a journalist, etc. who would appreciate more information about Croatia than what they see on the 6.30 news, or read during their morning coffee break. Investigate their special interest areas and inform them on relevant issues about Croatia .
Dr. Tomac's account about the chance meeting with ' Lady Net ', in London , who was the Slovenian-born wife of Prime Minister Thatcher's Minister of Defence is a case in point. Lady Net, according to Tomac had already been lobbying for recognition of Slovenia and Croatia . (Tomac) Obviously any additional moral support or information she received would be invaluable
Since January 1998 a newspaper from Zagreb in English is available entitled, 'Croatia Weekly' (note: no longer available in 2005) which contains everything the mainstream media censors in the West. Anyone who knows someone who would be interested, or who would benefit from reading this paper should make the effort to pass it on to them regularly. Lobbying does not have to be difficult. Note: This article was originally written in 1998. It is obvious that in the 21st century the internet has become the main source of information along with other new social media such as facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.
I will close with the appropriate words of T. Dean Reed, an American speaker at an international Symposium held in Zagreb in 1996, published in 1998, " . I do not believe that Croatia's role has been made known, has been communicated, has been explained clearly and correctly to the vast millions of Americans who know little about your country . I submit that Europe, the United States and the world do not know what you have done, what you have sacrificed, and what you have achieved . Many of our journalists do not really know . I must ask how can you 'not' communicate? How can you achieve any of your goals without communicating? My concern, and it should also be yours, is that if you do not tell the world about Croatia , someone is going to do it for you. The vacuum will be filled --- and filled with false information." (see ' Croatia as a Stabilizing Factor for Peace in Europe ', pub. By Croatian Centre of Strategic Studies, Zagreb , 1998, pages 39-46.)
Jean Lunt Marinovic
May 1998
(A condensed and updated version, 2016)
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