On 5 August, "we commemorate the moments of national pride, glory and unity and remember the courage and determination of the Croatian defenders. We are immensely grateful to them because without their sacrifice there would not be a free and democratic Croatia," Plenković said.
"It is therefore our lasting obligation and responsibility to ensure a dignified status for the Croatian defenders, protect the dignity of the Homeland War, and strengthen and modernise the Croatian military and police," he added.
Plenković noted that in the worst days of aggression the Croatian people had demonstrated their resoluteness, unity and patriotism.
"Under the leadership of Franjo Tuđman and thanks to the courage of Croatian defenders, the Croatian people realised their millennial dream of their own free and democratic state. The statesmanship of the Croatian leadership at the time and the self-sacrifice of our defenders, soldiers and police officers, are a lasting inspiration to us in working for the benefit of Croatia and every Croatian," he said.
The prime minister also pointed out that this year marks the achievement of Croatian strategic goals.
"We have opened Pelješac Bridge, realising the dream of generations of connecting the Croatian territory. We are soon to become a member of the euro area, which will make our economy better protected and more resilient to future crises. Accession to the Schengen area will facilitate the movement of people and goods, exports of our products and the arrival of European tourists. With this deeper integration into the European Union we will join the circle of the most developed European countries, strengthen our sovereignty and increase our influence."
Plenković said that the government would continue to do all in its power to protect the citizens and the economy against any challenges and crises, and would take advantage of all the benefits of EU membership to ensure that the country continued moving forward.