It was the beginning of 1999 when we met at the strategic planning workshop for the upcoming parliamentary elections and one of the tasks we got from the workshop leader was to design and edit the centrefold of a daily newspaper for the day after the elections. We liked the task and teams showed exceptional creativity in media representation of the electoral results, electoral process; politicians’ statements and the GONG’s role. But, what kind of Croatia did we imagine 10-15 years later, better to say, what kind of Croatia did we wish we could imagine?
If we, for example, got the task to design and edit a daily paper centrefold in 2013, or to describe what GONG will be doing in 14-15 years’ time, would we have had enough creativity or distrust in the future to imagine that religious concept of marriage will become part of the Constitution or that throughout Croatia signs with Cyrillic script will be trashed and signatures collected for yet another referendum aiming at diminishing rights of the Serb minority?
Would we have imagined GONG being one of the organisations making the coalitions “Citizens vote against” and “All of us – for Croatia of us all” fighting against the strivings of right-wing political initiatives strongly supported by the Catholic church?
Would we have planned the first elections for Croatian members to the EU parliament in 2013 or would that have seemed, at the time when the EU seemed attractive and accessible, over pessimistic?
Did we believe that 10-15 years after the gloomy 90’s Croatia would become less gloomy, and by all means a more stable and just place to live?
The answer to the last question was – yes, we did. And this answer made us work, plan, believe, want, hope and it made us frustrated. Because we cared.
And we still do.
We are presenting the GONG’s Annual Report for 2013 and inviting you to read what a group of people can achieve in one year. This alone may be the reason for optimism and hope that one day we indeed will arrive at that more stable and just society.. in good company.