HB joined Croatian diplomacy in the early Nineties, at the time of highest expectations.
First, expectations that Croatia will endure an imposed war, regain full territorial sovereignty and come back to join the European family of nations after decades, even centuries, of having been subjugated and strangled by the noose that only just a few other European countries have experienced: mutually excluding choice between territorial integrity or freedom.
In addition, those were also the times of broader expectations and hopes that the spirit of Great Change will embarce the whole of Europe, bring about new continental cooperative security order, thus liberating the world of the burdens of former divisions and confrontations.
Croatia endured, won the war of liberation and finally joined the European family of nations – but, later on somehow strayed away as if not knowing what to do with freedom it strived for so hard and at great cost in human suffering. And, in parallel, the world as a whole also strayed away betraying initial expectations – widely held hopes, and even early euphoria about the possible birth of the Common New World without confrontation following the fall of the Wall and breakdown of the former international order, gradually spiralled into a reality of a maze of missed opportunities and chaotic disorder.
Aspirations failed the people, expectations were crushed, dark sides of globalization and quick technological advancement overshadowed their own advantages, democratic order based on rules and high principles began losing to the politics of force and confrontation, followed by the new culture of trivia and banality.
Fundamental pillars of predictability and decency are being eroded. Ours has become a world of permanent tensions, polarization, renewal of Cold War, growing confrontations and real wars – all interpreted and being presented to the public at large as reality shows. People lost clarity and understanding. Tolerance in dialogue is being lost, too. Debates and exchanges are fueled by partisanship, or particular and vested interests, not by competence and morality. More often than not, the media are a part of the problem rather then an effective tool of remedy. Politics of force is trying to deal a fatal blow to the politics of prudence and dialogue. Politics of deals in smoke filled rooms tries, and regretfully on too many occasions manages to win over politics of rules and balanced negotiations.
European values are being challenged, both from the outside and from within the EU. As someone noted, the world is being overtaken by hooligans or harlequins, both equally dangerous and both discarding rules and respect. Phony prophets are rising over the waves and tides of angry and frustrated crowds. Plain truth is: this has become a world of multipolar competitive disorder. People are overly confused or regretfully disengaged, facing a wicked, opaque, incomprehensible, inexplicable and unpredictable world.
And this is why international relations matter.
To know the world is to know the future and one’s own destiny – in politics, in business, in personal life. With the world crosslinked with atomic weapons of all kinds, with terrorism that knows no borders and intrudes into anybody’s life, with speculative financial breakdowns, our personal security, business forecasts, our lives and the lives of our children depend on our knowledge of international relations. To try to understand the world is the only way to try not to loose oneself. To try to understand the world is the only way to try to know what kind of world awaits our children.
Against this broad background, HB Diplomatic Country Club wants to provide a modest platform for a free, informative, educated and calm exchange of views and information on the international affairs and issues of interests to diplomats, journalists, businessmen, students, public servants and other guests and participants seeking clarity and fresh insight on current foreign policy issues and related topics.
HB DCC aims to work diligently on promoting better understanding, strengthening and spreading of the European values at this critical juncture in history when they are being challenged and questioned under various external pressures and different domestic reactions.
HB DCC offers various types of panels, circles and group forums, diplomatic debates and luncheons, wine and dine sessions with various invited high-ranking guests of the HB DCC, diplomacy-meets-business forums, seminars for students, gastro-diplomatic events, diplomats-meet- media panels, specific lectures, presentations, etc.
In offering and providing appropriate venue for such endeavours, HB DCC is building on a wide network of high level national and international friends and colleagues of HB himself, colleagues from his long and rich professional career, as well as on cooperation with a number of similar international clubs, diplomatic and academic institutions.
The vision behind the HB DCC is to fill the vacuum, to bridge the gap over the divisive and polarized public debates, to help re-building public trust, values and public engagement, to assist in gaining clarity over the confusing and chaotic international developments and related issues – simply, the idea is to bring diplomats, experts, media people, businessmen and all interested participants and guests together, to provide them with secluded and relaxing surroundings and an environment conducive to open, tolerant and earnest exchanges and friendly gatherings.