Cultural Diplomacy ConferencePublic diplomacy, country image and branding
The International Cultural Diplomacy Conference, organized by the MFAEI's Diplomatic Academy and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, was held in Zagreb. Apart from European experts, participating were Božo Skoko, PhD, Daniela Angelina Jelinčić, PhD, Nina Obuljen, MSc, Tomislav Šola, PhD, Seadeta Midžić, Zorislav Lukić and others.
The conference was held as part of the "Public Diplomacy, Country Image and Branding" series, organized by the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia and the Hanns Seidel Foundation from Germany. The intention is, through the exchange of experiences and concepts of Croatian and international experts, to initiate discussions and to establish permanent public dialog in various areas and aspects of foreign policy and diplomacy, including the field of cultural diplomacy.
Public diplomacy at the beginning of the 21st century is facing new challenges at the global political, educational and cultural level.
Furthermore, Croatia is on the verge of joining the European Union at a time when the landscape of cultural diplomacy is changing greatly. Therefore, the priorities and methods must be adapted to the new methods of political and cultural engagement, as well as communication with foreign and domestic audiences.
Participating in the conference were: representatives of the diplomatic corps, among others the ambassadors of Germany and Poland - Bernd Fischer, PhD, and Wieslav Tarka, representatives from the field of cultural diplomacy, such as the director of the Austrian Cultural Forum Georg Christian Lack and Katrin Ostwald-Richter, director of the Goethe Institute in Zagreb, as well as domestic and foreign experts.
Participating as part of the round table "Cultural Diplomacy: The View from Croatia" were: Božo Skoko, PhD, from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Daniela Angelina Jelinčić, PhD, from the Institute for International Relations in Zagreb, Zorislav Lukić, Secretary General of Matrix Croatica, Nina Obuljen, MSc, State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, and Petar Barišić, a director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. Among other things, Skoko spoke about the importance of culture as a Mecca of power in international relations, as well as the ever greater influence of culture on the image of a country, the placement of its products, attractiveness to tourists and so on. He criticized the insufficient promotional exploitation of Croatia's recent signing of the EU Accession Treaty in Brussels to present itself in a better light to its future European neighbors, and advocated for an improved cultural strategy of Croatia in EU member states before accession itself in 2013.
Professional experiences and positive and negative observations in this area were expressed by: Davor Bruketa, designer; Damir Fabijanić, photographer; Damir Gašparović, director of the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb; Prof. Tomislav Šola, PhD, museologist; Seadeta Midžić, musicologist and Daniel Riđički from the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia.