The 16th annual Summer University of the European Ideas Network (EIN), chaired by EPP Group Vice-Chairman Paulo Rangel, will take place in Split, Croatia, from 29 June to 2 July 2016. During the opening of the conference the President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar Kitarović addressed those gathered via video message, while Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković and acting HDZ president Milijan Brkić also spoke.
The Summer University will gather more than 200 people, including policy-makers, opinion leaders, entrepreneurs, academics, political consultants, journalists and representatives of civil society to discuss the current challenges in the European Union and the world, including the recent referendum in favor Brexit. The working title of the Summer School is: ˝The Mediterranean - geopolitics and European integration - Challenges and Opportunities˝. The hosts of the conference is the Croatian delegation of the European People's Party and Members of European Parliament Dubravka Šuica, Andrej Plenković, Ivana Maletić, Davor Ivo Stier and Marijana Petir.
˝In 2015 and 2016 we organised over 20 meetings in which hundreds of our networkers and foundations participated. The European Union is living through difficult times and I hope that we in the EIN can keep contributing to the EPP Group's reflection on key issues in an in-depth way,˝ stated Paulo Rangel. ˝I am very happy to organise our 16th Summer University in Croatia because, given the challenging context in which we are living, Split is the right place to discuss geopolitics and European integration,˝ added the Chairman of the EIN.
˝The EPP Summer University has established itself as an important platform for the centre-right in European politics. It was envisaged as a meeting point for promoting new thinking on key challenges facing our European community today. Although there has already been a lot of interaction, we still have to share ideas and best practice on how to tackle the problems that have been dominating our discourse in previous months,˝ said Dubravka Šuica MEP, Head of the EPP Group's Croatian delegation in the European Parliament.
˝I am very pleased to welcome the EIN Summer University to Split, especially because we will mark the third anniversary of the Croatian accession to the EU on 1 July. As the youngest Member State of the European Union, it is truly a great honour to have them all with us. Events such as this give us a new incentive to work together for an ever-closer union,˝ concluded Dubravka Šuica.
Vice-President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Croatian MEP Andrej Plenković, for now the only candidate for the president of the HDZ, also addressed the conference: ˝I want for the HDZ to restore its political credibility and to regain the trust of Croatian voters.˝ Met with loud applause from 200 participants, including about a hundred MEPs, Plenković pointed out: ˝The HDZ shares the values of the EPP, and I expect that we will find answers to the political and economic challenges of Croatia and Europe.˝ The European People's Party has given its full support to Plenković for the election of HDZ party president, and especially for the upcoming parliamentary elections in September. ˝My mission is to work for the betterment of Croatia and the revitalization of the HDZ as the political mainstream,˝ concluded Andrej Plenković at the opening of the Summer University of the European Ideas Network.