Zagreb, (IKA) – The Information Office of the European Parliament in the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Parliament conducted a formal ceremony in the Ante Starčević Hall of the Croatian Parliament for the presentation of the European Citizen’s Prize, which the European Parliament awards for outstanding achievements by individuals and organizations who work to promote European values and identity. This year’s Croatian recipients of the European Citizen’s Prize are Fr. Tvrtko Barun, head of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Southeastern Europe, and the Croatian Transplant Association, for the promotion of the donation and transplantation of organs. The host of today’s celebration was the speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Gordan Jandroković, who presented awards to Fr. Tvrtko Barun and Tanja Watz of the Croatian Transplant Association.
Among the numerous guests were the minister of health, Prof. Dr. Milan Kujundžić; the chairman of the Committee for European Affairs of the Croatian Parliament, Domagoj Ivan Milošević; the member of the European Parliament, Željana Zovko, who supported the nomination of Fr. Tvrtko Barun; member of European Parliament, Tonino Picula, who nominated the Croatian Transplant Association, and other officials.
The head of the Croatian European People’s Party (EPP) delegation to the European Parliament, Dubravka Šuica, with the support of the members of the European Parliament Ivana Maletić, Željana Zovko and Ivica Tolić, had nominated Tvrtko Barun this year for the European Citizen’s Prize. “Today, we are living at a time when we are confronted daily by increasing challenges and problems. In our everyday struggles, we often forget to find the time, desire and initiative to help those in need around us, especially complete strangers. Nevertheless, there are numerous positive examples, among whom is Tvrtko Barun, the head of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Southeastern Europe. I am immensely proud of the fact that you have been awarded the European Citizen’s Prize and think that it could not have gone to a better recipient. With your selfless and dedicated work for people’s welfare, you have aroused admiration and provided an example for us all,” said Dubravka Šuica in the Croatian Parliament. Fr. Tvrtko Barun, a Jesuit priest and the head of the Jesuit Relief Service in Southeastern Europe, has been entrusted with leading the Jesuit Refugee Service and missions in Croatia, Serbia and Kosovo. During the refugee crisis, he selflessly devoted himself to helping refugees and actively participated in all the activities. The member of the European Parliament Šuica also said the following: “Too much public attention is occupied with issues of security, threats and defense, and too little with such activities by individuals and associations that are the only hope for people driven by extreme need and life-threatening circumstances to leave their homes and travel to the unknown. Caring for those on the margins has always been most difficult but also that which most ennobles the human heart in the knowledge that good has been achieved. I am pleased that through the presentation of the European Citizen’s award, we have helped to increase the media presence of the Jesuit Refugee Service and spread the good news about its activities.”