Home Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs The Council for the Development of Civil Society Publications Documents EU Programmes Contact English Croatian


The conference “Europe for Citizens: First three years of Programme implementation in Croatia”, held on the 7th and 8th December in Opatija

The conference “Europe for Citizens: First three years of Programme implementation in Croatia”, organized by the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs, was held on the 7th and 8th December in Opatija.

The conference hosted more than 150 participants from a wide range of  local and regional governments, civil society organisations, public servants and other guests from Croatia, Italy and Slovenia.
 
Amongst the present at the opening ceremony at the Conference were Dejan Jović, Envoy of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, State Secretary for European Integration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia, Nataša Mikuš Žigman, Deputy State Secretary, Central Office for Development Strategy and Coordination of EU Funds of the Republic of Croatia, Igor Vidačak, Head of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs and Ivo Dujmić, Mayor of the City of Opatija.
 
In the opening speech Igor Vidačak pointed out the importance of Europe for Citizens programme in the light of fundamental values of European integration and efforts to connect people - citizens of European countries. Every year at the level of the European Union over a million people are directly involved in the activities of this Programme through their organizations, institutions or local governments, contributing to the creation of European public space. Three-year experience of the Office for Cooperation with NGOs in the implementation of this Programme, and work with the beneficiaries on the ground, shows that this Programme carries multiple benefits. First, it allows exploring and strengthening the mutual understanding and solidarity among the citizens of Croatia and those of other countries participating in the Programme, primarily the EU Member State countries. Strengthening contacts and networking creates the foundation for the development of future major projects and Programmes financed by the EU, as well as for various new forms of social and economic cooperation.
Ivo Dujmić, Mayor of the City of Opatija, welcomed all present participants and expressed his content for the conference being held in Opatija. Nataša Mikuš Žigman, Deputy State Secretary in the Central Office for Development Strategy and Coordination of EU funds, has sent congratulations for the positive results achieved within the Europe for Citizens Programme in which the highest ROI has been achieved in the context of EU Programmes implemented in Croatia – for this Programme it is 4-5 times higher.
Andrej Plenković, State Secretary for European Integration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, spoke about the importance of successful implementation of the Europe for Citizens programme, considering that it brings citizens closer to the institutions of European Union and establishing direct communication with citizens, which is one of the main focus of the Programme. He indicated that the Republic of Croatia is in the final stages of negotiations with the EU and only 3 remained chapters are to be closed during the next year. Dejan Jovic, delegate the Croatian President, spoke about the Programme in terms of promoting the idea of Europe as not only political but also cultural and social space and tool for promotion of tolerance, mutual understanding and respect.

The program has so far funded 30 projects in which the Croatian cities, municipalities and civil society organizations participated as applicants and project partners, and exhibition posters that were presented aimed to inform the public about the highly successful absorption of funds through this Programme of the European Union, and to promote the results and achievements of these projects, which aim to connect citizens of EU Member States and accession countries in strengthening of civic participation, intercultural dialogue, social cohesion and sustainable development.

Representatives of successful applicants presented their projects and experiences in implementation. Mrs. Cvjetana Plavša Matić, Director of the National Foundation for Civil Society, spoke about the possibilities of co-financing of projects implemented through this program, and Marina Buza-Vidas from the Office for Cooperation with NGOs, presented the activities and services that the Contact point for Europe for Citizens programme offers to in order to facilitate the application process and high-quality implementation of projects financed through the Programme.

On the first day of conference representatives of civil society organizations and local and regional governments from Italy, Slovenia and Croatia gathered in two separate thematic round tables, with the purpose to share experience in Programme implementation and intensify cooperation among these countries under Calls for Proposals under the Programme.

The program continued on the second day in the form of a Partner Search Forum for cities and municipalities of the three countries as future partners in town twinning projects, which are to be financed from the Europe for Citizens programme.

 
 
Public administration bodies
National foundation
Croatian companies’ donations
EU Tenders
Other donors