International Educational Centre (IEC) is a civil society organization which works to advance the political education of Croatian citizens and develop a tolerant and democratic political culture in the Croatian society. The IEC adheres to universal values such as personal liberty, equality, economic freedom and individualism, which we consider to be the cornerstones of the Western civilization. Due to our liberal background, much of the IEC’s activity is more specifically aimed at strengthening liberalism in the Croatian society and politics.
The IEC was founded by members of the Croatian People’s Party – Liberal Democrats (HNS) to bring its Political Academy closer to the public and add a new international dimension to its educational work. Since then, the IEC has continued to open new avenues for international cooperation for the Academy by joining networks of like-minded organizations and foundations, while recently branching out to actively participate in projects by providing invaluable technical support.
As their respective names would suggest; the primary concern of the International Educational Centre and the Political Academy is education, which is the most valuable capital a person can possess. We are of firm belief that for liberal democracies to function, its citizens must be politically engaged as well as adequately educated. Both formal and informal education should equip citizens with the ability to critically think of political and social ideas, thus producing autonomous individuals capable of deciding for themselves what their definition of “a good life” is and how to successfully and responsibly achieve it within an open society. Such individuals are ever more likely to safeguard liberty, rather than succumb to the call of populism which, once again, seems to be taking roots in Europe.
The IEC and the Academy, through their activities, continue to strengthen liberalism in Croatia by providing training opportunities to members of HNS, while sharing knowledge and expertise with other liberal parties in the region. In addition, by holding roundtables and conferences which discuss major issues on the political agenda, the IEC promotes liberal views in the public and provides Croatian citizens with a chance to further educate and inform themselves on important issues in the society. In the near future, the IEC hopes to establish itself as a liberal think-tank in the region, bringing together theorists and practitioners to discuss and propose solutions to critically important public policy issues.