Ivica Racan remembered by social democrats around the world

2 May 2007

The memory of the Croatian leader and former Prime Minister, Ivica Racan, who passed away on 29 April, was honoured today at a service in Zagreb attended by senior political leaders and prominent social democrats from the region and beyond, and a great number of citizens and members of the Social Democratic Party of Croatia. The Socialist International Secretary General attended the service on behalf of the organisation.

Social democrats throughout the world will continue to remember Ivica Racan for his contribution and dedication to Croatia, to Europe and to social democracy. He played a crucial role during troubled times of change and conflict in the region, pursuing a path that not only consolidated independence and secured peace but enabled a real social democratic alternative to emerge and flourish.

As a leading opposition figure in modern Croatia, Ivica Racan upheld the social democratic movement's common values and principles, remaining firm in the face of the policies he opposed and becoming the calm and reasonable voice of Croatia, for his fellow citizens, his European neighbours and the world.

Later, at the helm of his country from 2000 to 2003, Racan’s vital role and that of social democracy in this emerging nation had its full impact through the democratic, economic and social reforms that shaped Croatia into the stable and dynamic country of Europe that it is today.

Ivica Racan's achievements in opposition and in government will live long after him and the Socialist International remains convinced that the future successes of his party will bear testimony to this.

2 May 2007