On March 24 the Croatian President Kalinda Grabar-Kitarović visited Lund University. The visit began at the Max IV followed by a meeting with Vice-chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz. The president and her advisors were given a presentation about Lund University and an informal discussion then followed. Before the president’s lecture in the university main hall she was presented by the Deputy Dean of Humanities and Theology, Sanimir Resic, who was born in Croatia.
Her lecture Southeast Europe: a proving ground for European and Euro-Atlantic resolve and solidarity was attended by approximately 300 student and faculty and received warm applauses. The president’s message was that the EU should stop regarding Southeastern Europe as Europe’s backyard and instead see it for what it is, the “gateway to Europe”. Right now the situation in the so called Western Balkans is very unsettled, and we see renewed Russian and Turkish interests in the region, which deepens the crises and has again created a powder keg.
She urged the EU to open up to new memberships and thus prevent these countries from falling into new armed conflicts where the great powers once again compete for global influence. Croatia became member of NATO in 2009, and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was Assistant Secretary General of NATO 2011-2014. Croatia became member of the EU in 2013.
The president also visited the Centre for languages and literature (SOL-Centrum), LUX and the Humanities laboratory. As a student Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has a background in humanities and political science. She has inter alia studied at the universities of Zagreb, George Washington, Harvard and Johns Hopkins.
The goal of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović five day-visit to Sweden was to strengthen political and economic relations between Croatia and Sweden. Her delegation also wanted to get a picture of Swedish technology and innovation. Sweden is seen as a very successful country in many different fields. Her delegation wanted to see and learn, create links and exchanges.