Representatives from all of ECMWF’s Member States used the occasion of the first Council meeting of 2016 to raise the flag of ECMWF’s newest member, Croatia.
The President of ECMWF’s Council, Gerhard Adrian, opened the ceremony on Thursday, 30 June.
He reminded those present of the importance of collaboration between national meteorological services to achieve their common goals.
He also stressed the role of ECMWF in supporting them to fulfil their duties as defined by the WMO.
Croatia became a Member State on 1 January 2016, having had a formal co-operation agreement with the Centre since December 1995.
The Croatian Ambassador to the UK, Dr Ivan Grdešić, raised the flag to fly alongside those of the other 21 Member States.
Dr Nataša Strelec Mahović, the Director of Croatia’s Meteorological and Hydrological Service, stressed that Croatia was committed to fully supporting the mission and performance of ECMWF:
The Government of the Republic of Croatia recognised the significance of the accession to ECMWF for the further growth and development of the Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Croatia (DHMZ). Full membership of ECMWF is of vital importance for Croatia, as it enables us to contribute to the key issues related to the development of ECMWF, which is in direct correlation with the strategic plans for the development of the meteorological profession and science in Croatia.
DHMZ is looking forward to the enhanced use of ECMWF's products and facilities to fulfil its official duty, in particular related to early warnings of extreme weather events and climate watch, thus significantly contributing to saving lives, reducing damage and supporting the sustainable development of Croatia. At the same time, we are committed to making an active contribution by supporting ECMWF’s potential and its position as an organisation and as a crucial part of the European Meteorological Infrastructure.
As a Member State, Croatia is gaining access to a share of the Centre's supercomputing and archive resources for its own use. This will improve the production of different weather forecasts and warnings in Croatia, and enable a broader scope and higher quality of research in the field of meteorology, including climatology, with a special focus on medium-range weather forecasts, seasonal forecasts and climate projections.
ECMWF Director-General Florence Rabier was delighted to welcome Croatia as a full Member State:
At this challenging time in Europe, we are proud in our meteorological community to show what collaboration can achieve, and to welcome peers and colleagues in our midst.
Of course, Croatia is not a newcomer to ECMWF as it has been a Co-operating State for many years, so it is already part of our family. We have had excellent Croatian scientists, such as Čedo Branković, who spent 18 years at ECMWF and contributed greatly to our research activities.
However, Croatia is now able to use a part of ECMWF’s supercomputing capability and, very importantly, is part of our Council, which sets the strategic direction of travel of the Centre.
This is the first meeting of the Centre’s governing body at which Croatia has been represented and had full voting rights. Nataša Strelec Mahović, Branka Ivančan-Picek and Vlasta Tutiš made up the Croatian delegation.
Find out more about ECMWF’s Member States.
Main photo (left to right): Gerhard Adrian, Florence Rabier, Nataša Strelec Mahović, Ivan Grdešić