On September 27 2019, the Croatian Society of Conference Interpreters (HDKP) celebrated the 45th anniversary of its founding with an event held at the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts (HOK) in Zagreb. The speakers were Zvonimir Frka-Petešić, Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gordan Markotić, ambassador and Croatian EU-Council Presidency Coordinator, Gintaras Morkūnas, acting Head of the Croatian Unit at the Directorate-General for Logistics and Interpretation for Conferences of the European Parliament, Tatjana Zagajski, Head of the Croatian Unit at the Directorate-General for Interpretation of the European Commission, Andreja Montani, language correspondent for Croatian interpreters at the European Parliament, Uroš Peterc, president of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), and Tamara Levak Potrebica, President of HDKP.
The topics covered included the importance of conference interpreters in the international political context of the EU and the world, their role during the Croatian EU-Council Presidency, and also the work of the Croatian booth in all EU institutions. Furthermore, speakers addressed the relatively new phenomenon of remote interpreting and the activities and projects of HDKP. Zvonimir Frka-Petešić pointed out the importance of interpreters in bringing Croatia closer to the world and the world closer to Croatia, while Gordan Markotić presented some concrete figures in relation to the meetings of all levels that will be held in Croatia during its EU-Council Presidency. In continuation, figures about the Croatian interpreters at the European Parliament were presented by Gintaras Morkūnas, who also pointed out the excellent quality of the Croatian booth at the EP and talked about the importance of professional associations for a quality culture in interpreting. Tatjana Zagajski introduced the audience to the organisation of the work of interpreters, focusing onthe work and composition of the Croatian booth at the European Commission and Council. Uroš Peterc, who, due to some unforeseen circumstances in European air traffic, addressed the guests via video message, talked about the challenges the profession faces in the form of remote interpreting, and about the role and activities of AIIC. Andreja Montani, long-time member of HDKP, moved everyone with her very emotional speech about the reasons she decided to become a conference interpreter, and by reminiscing about some of the pioneers of conference interpreting in Croatia who founded HDKP, some of whom are no longer amongst us. The beginning of the event was also dedicated to them, when Tamara Levak Potrebica, after her opening remarks, invited the audience to pay tribute to all the deceased members of HDKP. Tamara was also the one to close the event on behalf of the host with a speech which reminded the audience of some historical milestones of HDKP, and mentioned its ongoing and planned activities and projects. She also presented the Collection of HDKP’s Bulletins and thanked AIIC and HOK whose donations had made it possible for the collection to be printed. Hence, the Collection was promoted in the best possible way and in presence of the best possible company, who stayed on after the official part of the celebration for a chat and refreshments.