Zagreb - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Wednesday extended best wishes on the occasion of Croatian Parliament Day and called on lawmakers to respect the will of the people, strengthen the culture of democratic tolerance, understanding and respect, underscoring that that was the only way to change the public perception of state institutions and restore the public's trust in them.
"Today we mark the day when the first democratically elected multi-party parliament was convened on 30 May 1990. That date is one of the turning points in the history of the Croatian people. Immediately before that - 22 April and 6 May - the Croatian people and all citizens of Croatia elected their representatives at the first free, direct and multi-party elections," he recalled in his address at a special ceremony in parliament.
In the past 28 years, the parliament has gradually developed into a representative body with all the necessary democratic parliamentary features such as representation of the diverse groups in Croatian society, transparency and openness to all citizens and the media, accessibility and inclusiveness for citizens and civil society organisations, responsibility toward voters and efficiency in fulfilling fundamental parliamentary legislative and supervisory tasks, said Jandroković.
"We the MPs must know that these principles that were once attained are not permanent but must be continually strengthened," he said.
In his address Jandroković also recalled everything done by the incumbent parliament to strengthen its democratic features, improve efficiency and prepare for challenges of the modern age. In that context he mentioned the new parliamentary Standing Orders, the introduction of digital working materials, and the parliament's new web site, to be launched soon.
He touched on the role of the parliament in international and European affairs and Croatia's five years of membership in the EU, saying that in the opinion of many foreign colleagues, the Croatian parliament had a clearly defined and good model of participation in European affairs.
Attending the ceremony in the parliament were, apart from its members, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, presidential envoy Andjelko Akrap, representatives of the judicial authorities, religious dignitaries and many other prominent guests.