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The Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Giorgio Silli, attends the opening of the “Leonardo Da Vinci” High School in Buje, Croatia (19 December 2022)

The Undersecretary of State, Mr Giorgio Silli, participated today in the opening of the “Leonardo Da Vinci” High School in Buje, Croatia. This is one of the four institutions of equal rank in the Istria and Kvarner territories. The renovation and extension work of this school were co-financed by the Italian Government, as well as the Government of Croatia and the Istria Region.

“Italian schools abroad have always been multicultural places which support inclusion and dialogue among students of different origins. They are financed by our Government as a means of support to Italian communities in the world to protect the identity of our compatriots who don’t live in our Country anymore, and of foreign citizens of Italian origin,” said Undersecretary Silli in his speech.

These schools represent “a channel to promote the Italian language and culture. By accurately reflecting our identity, they are also the interpreters and mediators of our creativity, represented by our values, our style and our products,” said Mr Silli during the event.

The ceremony was opened by the Headmaster of the “Da Vinci” High School, Irena Penko, and the Mayor of the city of Buje, Fabrizio Vižintin. Participants included Hon. Furio Radin, Deputy Speaker of the Sabor, the Croatian Parliament, Boris Miletić, President of the Istria Region, and Jessica Acquavita, Deputy President of the Region.

Before the ceremony, led by the Undersecretary of State Giorgio Silli, the Italian delegation – which included the Italian Ambassador to Croatia, Pierfrancesco Sacco, and the Consul General in Rijeka, Davide Bradanini – met with the Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Sabor, Hon. Furio Radin, and representatives of the Italian Union.

The Italian Union brings together the Italian community of the Republics of Croatia and Slovenia to safeguard their cultural and linguistic identity and to represent their needs in the political, economic, cultural and social fields. On behalf of the Italian Union, the meeting was attended by President Maurizio Tremul, the President of the Executive Board and Deputy President, Marin Corva and Roberta Grassi Bartolic, and the Presidents of the Assembly, Paolo Demarin and Diriana Delcaro Hrelja.

On the occasion, Mr Silli said: “The large indigenous Italian community in Croatia plays a pivotal role in promoting bilateral relations between Italy and Croatia in the political, economic and cultural fields.”

The Undersecretary then emphasised how the strengthening of the educational offer in Italian in Croatia represents “a fundamental component for the protection of the rights of our indigenous community, enshrined in the 1996 bilateral Treaty on the rights of minorities.”