Interview with Valentina Orbanić, president of the Istrian Democratic Youth, who strongly believes that active involvement in politics could be a catalyst for the transformation she envisiones

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Dear readers, we are excited to share with you another insightful conversation with a passionate young leader shaping the future of our region. It is our pleasure to present to you Valentina Orbanić, the President of the Istrian Democratic Youth.

1. Dear Valentina, please introduce yourself to our readers!

Hello, I’m Valentina Orbanić from Rovinj, Istria, Croatia. Since January, I’ve proudly served as the president of the Istrian Democratic Youth, concurrently holding the positions of president of the Youth Council in my city and vice president of the Council of Istrian Region.

2. Look back at the start of your political activism. What was your motivation? What was the reason behind your decision to be actively engaged in politics?

Upon completing my education at Medical School and returning home during the challenging times of the COVID pandemic, I found myself with ample spare time. It was during this period that I began to observe aspects of my community and society that left me dissatisfied. Motivated to instigate positive change, I recognized that active involvement in politics could be a catalyst for the transformation I envisioned.

3. What are the most valuable lessons you learned through political activism? What skills and knowledge helped you to acquire?

One of the most profound lessons I’ve leaned from my foray into political activism is the importance of resilience. The slow pace of change in politics necessitates patience, ambition, and unwavering persistence. Through setbacks, I’ve learned that perseverance ultimately yields results.

4. Share with us one memory, anecdote, or a story from your political experience that you cherish the most.

A particularly gratifying political experience for me occurred when our proposal advocating for the inclusion of dialects in the Draft Law on the Croatian language was accepted. This achievement resonates deeply with us because dialects, as integral components of any language, represent a cultural richness that does not pose a threat to standardized language but instead enhances it.

5.  Why did you decide to join the Political Youth Network? Have you previously had experience in regional cooperation? What does regional cooperation mean to you?

Our decision to join the Political Youth Network stemmed from our recognition of the potential for networking and exchanging experiences with parties that share similar ideologies. Drawing from our past involvement in regional cooperation, we believe that mutual support and shared experiences can contribute significantly to creating a better region for all.

6. Nowadays we are faced with global challenges that require much solidarity and responsibility. What is your desired vision for the region in the next 10 years? What message do you have for young politically active young people in the region?

Unfortunately, we are living in very chaotic times. I hope for peace and prosperity in our region and acceptance of our differences. In these times it can be difficult to stay positive if we look what is going on all around the world, but the important thing is to keep going.

In the end, my sincere advice for young politically active people in the region is to be patient and to pursue their dreams and ideas and strive to embody the best version of themselves every day.

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