Ambassador Voskamp at UNIRI

09.12.2022. / news / Int. Cooperation

H.E. Mr. Hendrik Jan Voskamp, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Croatia, visited the University of Rijeka for the very first time on Friday, December 9, 2022. The Ambassador arrived at Campus accompanied by Ms. Lea Šiljak, Senior Policy Officer for Political Affairs at the Embassy, and Ms. Milou Makaske, Intern at the Embassy, where he was warmly welcomed by the University of Rijeka Rector, Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D.

In the year marked by war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, and consequences of the climate change, Rector Prijić-Samaržija and Ambassador Voskamp discussed how to deliver the proper message to the people, especially having in mind the clash between moral messages and fake news), and how to find the right balance between optimism and pessimism.

As an invited speaker, Ambassador always gladly holds speeches and lectures – especially at universities in Maastricht and Groningen – to the students of international law explaining international practices. Recalling past times when he was a student and there were no mobility opportunities, he is now a strong supporter of student mobility and the internationalization of academic life in general. Rector Prijić-Samaržija drew a parallel with the idea of integrated internationalization and pointed out the benefits of UNIRI being a member of the YUFE Alliance.

Rector Prijić-Samaržija and Ambassador Voskamp touched upon numerous up-to-date issues and challenges of modern times (e.g. consequences of wokeism, cancel culture, the question of national identity, and feeling of belongingness). Ambassador Voskamp shared how, upon his arrival to Croatia, he realized there is a huge similarity to the Netherlands in the overall atmosphere and public opinions.

Ambassador Voskamp was appointed Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Croatia in 2018. Although his four-year term officially ends this year, to make up for the time lost during the pandemic, he formally requested to stay in Croatia (Zagreb) for one more year and visit Croatian cities and Croatian universities to re-strengthen ties weakened and/or broken during the pandemic.

Ambassador Voskamp earned his Ph.D. in history at the European University Institute in Florence. Before his mission in Croatia, he was the Deputy Head of Mission at the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin. He also served as Deputy Director at the European Integration Directorate (The Hague), and also spent some time in Düsseldorf as Consul General of the Netherlands.

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