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(E) Convention of the Forum of Croatian Unity
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  02/19/2002 | Politics | Unrated
(E) Convention of the Forum of Croatian Unity
     Forum Hrvatske Sloge, the Forum of Croatian Unity, a citizens' association for tolerance, dialogue and national unity, held its first National Convention in the Small Theater of the Lisinski Hall in Zagreb on February 14, 2002. In front of a full house, several hundred people, the Forum was introduced to the guests and the media by its President, Dr. Davorin Rudolf. The Forum has attracted a number of well-known political figures, many of them once members of the famous Croatian war cabinet, the Government of National Unity (1991-1992), including its head, the former Premier, Dr. Franjo Greguric, and Vice Premier, Dr. Zdravko Tomac. The Forum has also brought together many outstanding figures from all walks (and parties) of Croatian public life, including former prime ministers, ministers, ambassadors, current and former Sabor deputies, university professors, museum directors, art figures, intellectuals, and professionals. To name just a few: Davorin Rudolf, Zdravko Tomac, Franjo Greguric, Josip Juras, Ante Klaric, Vesna Skare-Ozbolt, Ante Lauc, Osman Muftic, Vladimir Malekovic, Slobodan Lang, Lilijana Domic, Drazen Jurkovic, Zdravko Mrsic, Ivan Majdak... The Forum has also two outstanding foreign members, well-known Croatian activists Dr. Zdenka Ddelalic (U.S.) and Brian Gallagher (U.K.). 
       The Presiding Board of the Association consists of: Davorin Rudolf (President), Osman Muftic (Vice President), Josip Juras (Secretary), Marina Vokic-Zuzul, Zdravko Tomac, Ante Klaric, Franjo Greguric, Mirko Barišic (Members), and Ivana Pezo (Secretary to the Board). As stated by Dr Davorin Rudolf, the President of the Association, "the Forum is not a political party. It is not based on any leftist or rightist ideology, but on a program of peaceful, stable, progressive, democratic, and European Croatia. Our goal is to contribute, among other things, to a consensus concerning the key issues of Croatia and her future." President Rudolf outlined his hopes for the betterment of Croatia in such fields as economy, politics, values, treatment of the young, education, culture, etc. His speech was, according to one of the guests "the best, most consistent, if not the only true program any Croatian politician has proposed since independence." The gathering was greeted by Milan Bandic, Zagreb Mayor under resignation and Dr. Mate Granic, President of the Democratic Center Party. Present was also the President of the HSLS, Drazen Budisa. 
       Dr. Rudolf was followed by a dozen speeches by members of the Forum and guests. The topics discussed ranged from economic revival to the relations between the homeland and the Croats abroad. At the end, the Forum passed by acclamation two resolutions: one calling on the Sabor to define the spoils system when there is a change of government, in order to avoid revanchist moves which go so far as to replacement of school teachers and kindergarten directors, and a resolution asking for direct elections of mayors. 
       The Forum was mostly ignored by the media. No wonder. The Croatian media has become as biased and polarized as the Croatian body politic. And a body which advocates tolerance and cooperation is nothing short of menace for big party bosses on both the left and the right, and these are the factors that control the media. The Forum will obviously fight an uphill battle. But it has quality people who can carry the fight on. And getting the message through will be the first major task of the Forum's leadership. 
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