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The Government adopts a Code of Practice on consultation with the interested public in procedures of adopting laws, other regulations and acts

At the 26th sitting held on the 21st November 2009 the Croatian Government adopted the Code of Practice on consultation with the interested public in procedures of adopting laws, other regulations and acts. The need to adopt the Code of Practice and encourage its systemic implementation stems from the goals and measures outlined in the ‘National Strategy for the Creation of an Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development from 2006 to 2011’, and the applicable Operational Implementation Plan, as well as the measures of the Action Plan and the Anti-Corruption Strategy. As a part of the Public Administration Reform Strategy 2008-2010 one of the planned activities is the development of a consultation model on programme, law, and other regulation proposals with NGOs and the public in general.

Adopting the Code of Practice gathers conclusions drawn from a wide array of consultations, which the Office for Cooperation with NGOs of the Republic of Croatia, in cooperation with the Council for the Development of Civil Society implemented with civil society organisations. The Code of Practice merges the aims and contents of various acts, which will give guidelines for efficient consultations with public institutions and the interested public on the methods of adopting laws and other acts, as well as the existing good practice consultations already being implemented by some state administration bodies. Apart from the general consultation principles, standards, and measures, the Code of Practice also envisages the creation of guidelines for its implementation, as well as a programme of methodical education for consultation coordinators. The coordinators should be named by all state administration bodies and government offices in charge of producing draft laws, other regulations and acts, and serve as a contact person for the purpose of tracking and coordinating of consultation activities with the interested public.
The contents of the Code of Practice are in large part coordinated with the European Commission Act ‘General Principles and Minimum Standards for Consultation of Interested Parties by the Commission’ COM(2002)704, which the Commission uses from 1st January 2003, as well as with the ‘Code of Good Practice for Civil Participation in the Decision-Making Process’ which the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe supported with its Declaration of 21st October 2009.
At the 26th sitting the Government of the Republic of Croatia a new Act, founding the Council for the Development of Civil Society, was adopted. This Act replaces the current Act on the founding of the Council by taking the articles of the current Act in parts referring to the Council duties, supplementing the contents and increasing the number of the Council members as well as introducing the role of the Council deputy members.
The need to modify the Council arises from the measures of the Operational Implementation Plan in the National Strategy for the Creation of an Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development. The modification means that more state administration bodies and sectors of civil society organisations will be represented in key chapters than was provisioned in the current Act. Furthermore the new Act enables civil society organisations in sectors such as sport and engineering to establish a regular dialogue with other representatives of civil society organisations and state institutions regarding common interests. Bearing in mind the increased dynamics of Council meetings, the introduction of the role of deputy members will improve the quality and efficiency of this advisory body. The new Act also envisages the appointment of three new Council members representing civil society organisations from foundations, trade unions and employer associations, which is in-line with European good practice models. This encourages horizontal dialogue of all civil society organisations.



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