Thursday, 23 March 2023

Croatian Company Gepek Launches App, Aims for More Users

March the 23rd, 2023 - The Croatian company Gepek, which came to life back during the pandemic-dominated year of 2020, has launched a brand new application (app), with which it aims to attract more users throughout this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the Croatian company Gepek, an innovative startup that currently boasts 5,000 users, has announced the launch of its new application aimed at revolutionising the package delivery industry.

With the rise of e-commerce, the demand for fast, environmentally friendly and efficient delivery solutions has never been higher. the Croatian company Gepek, as stated by its founders, aims to respond to the current challenges faced by current delivery companies and provide users with a superior delivery experience.

At the end of last year, the Croatian company Gepek received half a million euros of initial pre-seed investment. The leading investor is John Lilic, one of the investors who, among other things, worked as an advisor to the board of Polygon, the tenth largest blockchain in the entire world. Before that, the Swedish-Hong Kong company Auki Labs, a leader in AR technology, invested in Gepek, which will allow them to expand their activities far beyond national borders using AR technology.

According to Carla Ferreri, the co-founder and CEO of the Croatian company Gepek, their newly launched app offers an end-to-end delivery solution that enables real-time tracking, eco-friendly packaging options and cost-effective pricing. Gepek's innovative approach eliminates intermediaries and fragmentation in the delivery process, making it the ideal solution for all package delivery needs.

“We're thrilled to be able to launch our new app and bring our innovative package delivery solution to the market. Our goal is to provide a superior delivery experience to our users, with savings for those who are sending those packages, and we believe that the new Gepek app is the first step in realising that vision," said brother and sister Carla and Dario Ferreri, the CEOs and co-founders of Gepek.

Kristijan Skarica, another co-founder of Gepek, emphasised that they're now starting a new chapter within Gepek's business and providing a platform that helps connect people with the things they love, whether it's sending gifts to family and friends, supporting local OPGs (Croatian family farms) by transporting their goods to their tables, or simply making life a little easier for working families.

"Our app is available 24/7 unlike traditional delivery companies and is now available for download on the App Store and in the Google Play Store," concluded Skarica.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Croatian Communications Market Enjoys 1.6 Billion Euro Revenue in 2022

March the 23rd, 2023 - The Croatian communications market enjoyed revenues of 1.6 billion euros last year, representing an increase when compared to the year before.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the total revenues earned by the Croatian communications market back in 2022 amounted to a very impressive 1.6 billion euros, which is 3.6 percent more compared to what was recorded back in 2021. On top of that, the continued trend of investment growth in mobile and fixed communications networks continued, as was announced last week by the Croatian Regulatory Agency for Network Activities (HAKOM).

HAKOM stated that in the aforementioned period, revenues from broadband Internet access services increased by nine percent, from network and cable rental by five percent, and from paid television by four percent, while at the same time, revenues on the market for telephone services in the fixed network decreased by more than nine percent.

On the electronic Croatian communications market, last year's investments in very high capacity networks (VHCN) increased by six percent when compared to 2021, and the trend of investments in base stations (BTS) in mobile communications networks also continued.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, as HAKOM pointed out, the migration of users to fiber-optic technology continued, which affected the growth of such connections by 27.5 percent in a year. In the same period, total data traffic via fixed and mobile networks grew by 15.7 percent on average. The share of users of broadband connections with a speed higher than 100 Mbit/ also grew and amounts to 35.7 percent.

In the last quarter of 2022, foreign citizens spent more than 95 million roaming minutes of calls, which is an increase of 8.9 percent compared to the same period in 2021.

The number of SMS and MMS messages sent however was significantly lower compared to last year (a drop of 21.6 percent and 27.7 percent, respectively). In the last quarter of 2022, 62.3 percent of households used some form of paid television, and the trend of revenue growth from this service continued.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Croatian Cyclotourism Huge, Seriously Underutilized Opportunity

March 23, 2023 - Entry into the Schengen area is a massive opportunity for Croatian cyclotourism - not even administratively do borders now exist. Croatian destinations can begin to see Europe as a single, large market that needs to be studied, its needs and wishes understood, and the huge Croatian cyclotourism potential fully valorized.

Croatia will hardly use this potential without significant investments in infrastructure, hospitality establishments, and stronger support from local and national tourist agencies, warns Karlo Kucan, organizer of the three-day Days of Cyclotourism conference from May 10 to 12 in Sinj, Poslovni writes.

Preserved nature is another trump card

It is the first and so far the only Croatian specialized professional conference intended for this segment of the tourist offer, and it gathers various representatives of Croatian cyclotourism stakeholders, from ministries, the Croatian Tourist Board, agencies, local self-government representatives to clubs and equipment manufacturers.

The conference is held in a different place every year, and the Adriatic and continental destinations alternate. The fifth edition of the Days of Cyclotourism is going to Sinj, given that Dalmatian Zagora has great predispositions for developing such tourist products.

"In addition, the proximity of the largest coastal tourist centers, good traffic connections to the main markets, preserved nature, a dynamic and diverse landscape, and a wealth of heritage attractions, as well as food and wine offers, make up the region's valuable resources.

We chose the theme 'No borders, no limits' because, after several challenging years in which particular forms of tourism, especially cyclotourism, have shown resilience, it is time to fully develop its potential by using the incredible opportunities provided by freedom without borders.

Suffice it to say that the cyclotourism market in Europe is worth 44 billion euros, which is more than the cruising industry, which receives significantly more attention than Croatian cyclotourism.

In addition, the pandemic has done a lot for the promotion of this segment of tourism because people have turned much more to outdoor activities, to destinations that are not overcrowded", states Kucan, founder of the company Spot and the brand Trail - Full Cycling Experience, who signed the organization of the conference.

The company is engaged in the development and promotion of innovative tourist products. The brand Trail - Full Cycling Experience covers all elements of developing a cycling destination, from tracing trails, designing routes, educating service providers, creating promotional content, starting and organizing events, and providing business consulting to offer a destination that is competitive and sustainable.

Many ungraded roads

"Croatia declares itself as a country that wants to invest in cyclotourism, but the Slovenians have invested more only in the Drava cycle route than Croatia has in the entire country's infrastructure. When constructing new roads, Croatia is oriented toward motor vehicle traffic, and the plans do not include paths that would serve tourists and local residents. There are many ungraded roads that could get such infrastructure if it were considered at the local level.

Another important factor is the offer. Bike tourists arrive outside the summer season, and in many destinations in Croatia, they have nowhere to sleep, no hotels, restaurants, or shops are open. It is a question of the cooperation of all involved at the level of local units, not a question of one ministry", Kucan claims.

In addition, agencies specializing in Croatian cyclotourism can still be counted on the fingers of one hand, so it happens that partners from abroad cannot find a local agency that will help them organize the trip.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Thursday, 23 March 2023

An Insight into Croatian Cocaine Snorting Habits - They Like it on Fridays

March 23, 2023 - Cocaine use has increased across Europe, a study of wastewater across the European Union has found. The study analyzed samples collected during a one-week period between March and April last year for traces of cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA/ecstasy, ketamine and cannabis. What about Croatian cocaine snorting habits, though? It seems they like it most on Fridays.

As 24Sata / Reuters report, the highest levels of drug residues were found in Belgium, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.

The study, which was largest to date, was conducted by the Lisbon-based European drug monitoring agency EMCDDA. The study analyzed daily wastewater in the catchment areas of treatment plants serving around 54 million people in 104 European cities.

They analyzed samples collected over a one-week period between March and April last year for traces of cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, MDMA/ecstasy, ketamine and cannabis and found that drug use was higher than in previous studies.

"Today's findings, from a record 104 cities, paint a picture of a drug problem that is both widespread and complex, with all six substances detected in almost all locations", said EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel.

The results showed a "continued increase in cocaine detections," a trend seen since 2016, and more cities reporting traces of methamphetamine.

More than half of the 66 European cities with data for 2021 and 2022 saw an increase in cocaine residues.

Ketamine was included in the analysis for the first time in 2022 due to "signs of increased availability of ketamine in Europe". The largest amount of residues was found in waste water in the cities of Denmark, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

As for Zagreb, a decrease in cocaine consumption was recorded, and the survey showed that the people of Zagreb most often take cocaine on Fridays.

If you'd like a more detailed insight, you can view the complete study here.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Slowest Race Against Time: Croatia Scrambling to Spend EU Funds

March 23, 2023 - Croatia is participating in the slowest race against time. It took three years to get here, but in the next 100 days, 403 million euros must be spent for the reconstruction after Zagreb and Petrinja earthquakes. A large number of projects are being implemented in the areas where the Zagreb and Petrinja earthquakes hit, and, according to Minister Bacic, this gives hope that they will be able to use this money.

Three years after the Zagreb earthquake, Branko Bacic, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Spatial Planning, Construction, and State Property, stated for Otvoreno/24Sata that the funds spent so far amount to 600 million euros.

"In the next 100 days, we must spend 403 million euros. A large number of projects are being implemented in the area of the Zagreb and Petrinja earthquakes, and this gives hope that we will be able to use this money. The works are in full swing, the construction sites are filled with workers, and we keep receiving requests for reimbursement of funds daily", said Bacic in Otvoreno.

He adds that in the last two months since he became minister, they have spent 230 million euros, but he is not satisfied with the construction of replacement houses.

"I announced that in the next month, we will start the construction of 21 houses, but we should not forget that 2,134 buildings in Zagreb have been renovated. By the end of the year, we will complete 250 structural renovations of multi-apartment buildings in Zagreb, and half of them will be self-renovation - says Bačić.

Rector of the University of Zagreb, Stjepan Lakusic: their forecasts were different

"It is standard for the first analyzes and examinations to be carried out in three months, and the employees of the faculty and all colleagues from our departmental chambers did this properly. They did everything possible; they created a database, archived the entire procedure, public tenders started for public buildings, and funds managed private houses. The key was to issue public tenders with quality, and we tried to do it as soon as possible. But we did not foresee a very long time for tenders that still go on after you gather all the documentation", Lakusic pointed out.

Luka Korlaet, deputy mayor of Zagreb, said that they are satisfied with the renovation in Zagreb.

"We spent HRK 42 million for household reconstruction; we formed mobile teams that helped citizens at 5,000 addresses from door to door to fulfill the requirements of the Ministry for constructive reconstruction..." stressed Korlaet.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated News section.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Happy Birthday! Josip Manolic Celebrates 103rd Birthday

March the 22nd, 2023 - Josip Manolic, Croatia's former prime minister and one of this country's most famous pensioners who seems to outlive just about everyone and everything else, is celebrating his 103rd birthday today. Happy birthday, Josip!

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the legendary Josip Manolic, former Croatian Prime Minister and one of the most famous retirees in Croatian history, turned 103 years old today.

Manolic was born in was born on the 22nd of March, 1920, in Kalinovac near Djurdjevac. He began to engage in politics in 1937, and the following year, he became a youth and trade union leader. During the Second World War, he became the organisational secretary of the PK SKOJ for Croatia. In 1944, according to the organisation of the UN, he was sent as the commander-in-chief to the operation to liberate Bjelovar and its surroundings.

In 1946, Josip Manolic lived and worked in Zagreb as the head of the department for the execution of criminal sanctions in the then Secretariat for Internal Affairs. In 1948, he became the head of the Secretariat of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. In 1960, he graduated from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, and in that same year he became the head of the SUP (Secretariat of Internal Affairs) of the SFRY.

In 1965, he was elected to the Parliament of the SR of Croatia and held the positions of president of the organisational-political committee, president of the legislative-legal commission, and was also a member of the Constitutional Commission. By the time 1969 rolled around, he had been elected to the Parliament of the SR of Croatia for the second time. After the damous Croatian Spring (Hrvatsko proljece), he became a dissident and became acquainted with Dr. Franjo Tudjman.

He is one of the founders of HDZ, and in 1990, he became the vice-president of the Presidency of the Republic of Croatia. In the early 1990s, he was the second man in the newly created Republic of Croatia, next to Dr. Franjo Tudjman, with whom he had become a very close associate. From August the 24th, 1990 to July the 17th, 1991, he held the office of Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, succeeding Stipe Mesic in that position, because the latter was elected as the Croatian member of the Presidency of the SFRY.

Since 1991, he had been the head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitutional Order (a body that coordinated all secret services). From 1993 to 1994, he held the position of President of the County House of the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia.

In 1994, Josip Manolic left HDZ due to disagreements about its policy towards neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1995, he founded his party, the Croatian Independent Democrats (HND), whose president he became the following year.

He is currently enjoying retirement after an extremely full and eventful life.

For more, check out our news section.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Croatian Returnee Reflections: Dejan Cuk, from Salt Lake City to Split

March 22, 2023 - Whisper it quietly, but more and more people are relocating to Croatia from the diaspora. In a new TCN series, we meet them to find out how they are faring and what advice they have for others thinking of making the switch. Next up is Dejan Cuk, who moved from Salt Lake City to Split. 

I was born in Gospic, Croatia, in 1991. A great time to be born in ex-Yugoslavia (sarcasm). It was around the heat of the war, and at that time, my family, like many people during that time, were either living with family or moving from place to place in order to survive. At one point, my family also immigrated to Serbia to live with family from my father’s side.

In 1998, my parents decided to move my older brother and me to the states for a chance at a better life. A decision that, when I look back at times, is one that really helped save all of us, as it allowed my brother and me a chance for a better life than the one we would have had we stayed; we lost everything.

I’m a graduate of the University of Utah with two bachelors (Sociology & Business Administration), and I’ve been working in Digital Marketing for 10+ years. 


You made the switch to Croatia. Tell us a little about the decision process and how long it took for you to get on the plane?

Flying from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Croatia was expensive for my family, especially during the peak summer months, when we would typically go, so we went every 5-6 years. In 2014, my brother and I went just by ourselves, and that was when we decided we wanted to be back in Croatia for good. One thing is having an idea; it’s a whole different thing planning it.

I was still in college at that time, so my plan was finish that first. Then I told myself I needed a remote friendly job and before coronavirus there were really like 2 choices at the time; digital marketing or to be a programmer, I went with the former because it was more aligned with my studies. Being the planner that I am, that wasn’t enough. I also had to save up some money for those “what if scenarios” so I did that as well. Once I ticked off the boxes, one by one then I made the decision in 2019 to move back for good.

What did your family and community back home think of your decision at the time?

My parents knew about this, and supported the idea. Truth be told, growing up they would keep me and my brother tied to the culture as best they could and that honestly helped me realized how much I did want to go back.

As far as my friends, some were surprised and some were I’m sure envious/happy because there is a large part of our community regardless of where they are from the Balkans, that want to go back but again back to that question and answer from earlier, don’t know how to make it happen.

Where did you get your information about the realities of Croatia prior to coming?

I kept in touch with some family members in Croatia. Also, my parents were like the anchor and co-anchor for me and my brother, giving us news on what happened that day in Croatia. I found it silly and useless when I was younger but as I grew older I realized how important it was and how it helped me stay informed, even when I wasn’t living there.


What were you most nervous about making the switch? What was your biggest fear, and how was the reality of what you found?

I think I was a bit shy speaking the language around locals because of my “American” accent, but also because I wasn’t sure how some would react given that my vocabulary was a mix of ex-Yugoslavian i.e., not Croatian specific words.

I quickly got over that because my personality is more “who cares” than anything else but it was in the back of my mind.

My other fear I guess would be the administrative stuff, yes, I know the language but I don’t know the law and how things “worked-worked” if that makes sense. One thing is to live here and be on vacation when all you need to do is order drink and food, but it’s a whole other thing figuring out how to get your health insurance. In the end, I can say it all came out good, because I made an effort to understand it and ask questions. I wasn’t shy to ask questions about whatever I needed to get done.

Think back to the time before you arrived. What were your perceptions about Croatia and how were they different from the reality you encountered?

Being born in Croatia, and parents born there as well, I never had that culture shock that perhaps others might get. I knew what to expect, for the most part. Sure, there were small things like “Oh I have to put my own groceries in the bags” but I realized that as cashier kept ringing items up and they weren’t being put into a bag. #spoiled   


You are still here, so obviously the pros outweigh the cons. Tell us about some of the things that you love about being in Croatia, as well as some of the things you don't like.

I like the slower pace of life in Split, the 2-3 hours of drinking coffee and just chilling and talking about what’s new in one’s life is so refreshing because in the states you don’t have that. If you do go out, its with friends on a Friday/Saturday to get drinks and repeat again, where as in Croatia you can see people throughout the week and I really like that.

While on the topic of friends, I value that people here REALLY do become friends and its not just surface deep as it is in the states. People actually help each other through the darkest times and remain friends for 10+ years, which again is a rarity in the states. I changed so many friends from high school to college, and from college to the work force. It must be nice knowing that you are friends with someone that saw so many phases of you and you of them.

The nature is second to none, and find it breathtaking throughout the country, not just in one region but throughout the country. One thing is pics you find on Google but it’s a whole different thing when your eyes sparkle and you just forget to blink.

I don’t like how some people treat the nature as their trash can, when I see people throw cigarette butts randomly on the beach or on the street, my blood starts boiling. When I first came back to Croatia, I would just be quiet but now I say something. I guess my inner-Balkan is waking up.

What advice do you have for others thinking about making the move from the diaspora?

I think like any place, you have to feel home and if you are of Croatian descent that is perhaps an easier path than those that have no connection to the country, but again its not impossible.

For the diaspora, I say this. Do you think you would be happier in Croatia, if so then make it happen. It doesn’t have to be one of those spurs of the moments that you go online to buy your tickets right now, rather think about. How will you pay for bills, how will you get income, will it be enough, etc. Sure, you don’t need to know the answers to everything but plan it out and if its looking good then you can decide to come here.

I say this because, moving from one country to another isn’t the easiest and its always much easier if you can immerse yourself in the country, without having to worry about financials.


How do you think Croatia can better assist those who are looking to return to the Homeland?

I think the youth is the future, but we can’t lose our youth to other countries because they don’t see hope in their own country. This doesn’t just apply to the diaspora but also to the ones currently in this country right now. Mate Rimac is an example of someone from Croatia creating a world-class level company, and without having to leave Croatia. Obviously not everyone will have this happen but imagine if the Mate’s of Croatia take their brains to Germany or Austria or anywhere else, because they don’t see potential in their own homeland. 

Nepotism must be wiped out. Doors must be open to those with ambition and not closed because they aren’t with XYZ political party or because they don’t have any friends/relatives in XYZ company.

Where can people reach you?

On LinkedIn

On Facebook

And on Instagram


Thanks, Dejan!

You can follow more stories in the Croatian Returnee Reflections series in our dedicated TCN section.

Would you like your returnee story - positive or negative - to be featured in this series? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Returnee.


What's it like living in Croatia, and where can you get the best survival tips? TCN CEO Paul Bradbury and TCN Editor Lauren Simmonds have teamed up to publish Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.


Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Picture of Croatian Unemployment Records Staggered as Seasonal Job Hunt Begins

March the 22nd, 2023 - As is the norm in the spring because of the hunt for seasonal workers, the picture offered on a county by county basis by Croatian unemployment records is staggered, with some counties experiencing large declines and others stagnancy and increases.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, quite traditionally at this time of the year, the domestic labour market is usually under the influence of increased seasonal employment, meaning that the number of unemployed individuals registered in the records of the Croatian Employment Service (CES) has decreased by about 3,500 over the last 20 days of March, down to the current 14,400.

Over more recent days, the aforementioned institute published a detailed picture of developments from within the Croatian unemployment records over the first two months of 2023. About 188,000 registered unemployed people at the end of February compared to the previous month means a drop of almost 4,400, and on the annual level, the number of unemployed individuals stood at about 12,500.

Although the number of unemployed women remains higher than the number of unemployed men, in year-on-year comparisons, a stronger decline has been recorded among women (11.7 vs. 6.8%). Percentage-wise, in that year unemployment decreased the most, by about 15 percent, among the older age groups (from 50 to 54 and from 55 to 59 years old), while for example, the rate of reduction among people between the ages of 25 and 29 years stood at 6.4%.

If employment trends are observed by level of education, in annual comparisons held in Croatian unemployment records, there are more unemployed people, and that's only slightly, only among those without school diplomas and among those who didn't complete elementary school, and the largest decrease has been recorded among those with a university education (more precisely a decrease of 12.6%) .

Likewise, out of a total of 21 counties, only three of them (Varazdin County, Medjimurje County and Virovitica-Podravina County) had more people registered as unemployed back at the end of last month than they did one year before, and the institute recorded the biggest relative decline in Vukovar-Srijem (by almost 20%) and in Lika-Senj County (-17%).

Back during February, 11,000 people registered with the CES unemployment register, or ten percent less than in the same month last year, and at the same time, 21% more, or about 15,400 people, left it. The majority of them left that status due to gaining employment. In that group, the largest number of people were employed in public administration, trade, processing industry and the tourism, hospitality and catering sector.

Based on other business activities, more than 460 people left the records of the enemployed last month. In the case of more than half of them, the reason was starting their own business by registering a trade or freelance profession, a fifth of them founded a company, and a quarter of them had their status terminated because they earn monthly income from another independent activity that exceeded the amounts of monetary benefits they're entitled to from the state for the year 2022. In the case of the other slightly more than 4,000 persons, deletions from the unemployment register are the result of retirement, non-compliance with legal provisions, self-deregistration from the register, and so on.

For more, check our our news section.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Schengen Accession Provides Opportunities for Croatian Cycling Tourism

March the 22nd, 2023 - Accession to the borderless, passport-less Schengen zone has been excellent for Croatia and will be for its strongest economic branch - tourism. One type of tourism, however, Croatian cycling tourism, is set to benefit the most.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, entry into Schengen is an enormous opportunity for Croatian cycling tourism, given that borders no longer exist even administratively, we can begin to see the whole of Europe as a single, large market that needs to be discovered, its needs and wishes understood, and the huge cycling tourism potential of this country fully valorised.

''That said, we'll hardly hardly be able to use this huge potential without making some significant investments in infrastructure, catering and hospitality services and stronger support from local and national tourist agencies,'' warned Karlo Kucan, an organiser of the three-day Days of Cycle Tourism conference, which will be held from May the 10th to the 12th in Sinj.

It's the first and so far the only Croatian specialised professional conference intended for this segment of the tourism offer, and it brings together various representatives of Croatian cycling tourism stakeholders, from ministries, the Croatian Tourist Board, agencies, local self-government representatives to clubs and equipment manufacturers.

The conference is held in a different place every year, and the Adriatic and continental destinations alternate. The fifth edition of the Day of Cycle Tourism is going to be held in Sinj, given that the gorgeous Dalmatian hinterland has numerous excellent predispositions for the development of this type of tourism.

"In addition, the proximity of the largest coastal tourist centres, good traffic connections, well-preserved nature, a dynamic and diverse landscape and a wealth of heritage attractions, as well as food and wine offers, make this region valuable in terms of resources. We chose the theme ''No borders, no limits'', because after several challenging years, in which special forms of tourism, especially Croatian cycling tourism, have shown remarkable resilience, it's now time to fully develop its potential by using the incredible opportunities provided by Schengen's freedom without borders.

Suffice it to say that the cycling tourism market in Europe is worth a massive 44 billion euros, which is more than the entire cruising industry, which receives significantly more attention in Croatia. In addition, the global coronavirus pandemic has done a lot for the promotion of Croatian cycling tourism, because people have turned much more towards outdoor activities, to destinations that aren't overcrowded,'' Kucan explained.

"Croatia declares itself declaratively a country that wants to invest in cycling tourism, but the Slovenians have invested more in the Drava cycle route alone than we have in the infrastructure of the entire country. When building new roads, we're oriented towards motor vehicle traffic and the plans don't include paths that would be not only for tourists but also for local residents on two wheels. There are a lot of ungraded roads that could get such infrastructure if it were thought about at the local level. Another important factor is the offer. Cycling tourists come outside the summer season, and in many destinations in Croatia, they have nowhere to sleep, hotels, restaurants, and shops are no longer open. It's a question of the cooperation of all of those involved at the level of local government units, and not merely a question of one single ministry,'' Kucan added.

In addition, agencies specialising in Croatian cycling tourism can still be counted on one hand, so it happens that partners from abroad cannot find a local agency that will help them organise a trip.

For more, check out our news and travel sections.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023

The Croatian EU Blue Card Scheme - How Do I Get One?

March the 22nd, 2023 - The EU Blue Card scheme is a special sort of status given to third country nationals (non-EEA/EU citizens) and British nationals who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement who are highly qualified. It allows them to live in an EU member state for the purpose of taking up gainful employment there. How does one go about getting a Croatian EU Blue Card?

Is there a difference between the Croatian EU Blue Card (plava karta) and a normal residence/stay and work permit?

Although they both allow the holder the ability to work and take up lawful residence, there are differences between the two.

If you're a highly qualified third country national and you fit the bill, you can apply for the Croatian EU Blue Card. You'll need to fill in form 4A (downloadable) either at the administrative police station responsible for their planned place of residence here in Croatia, or at a Croatian diplomatic mission abroad. There is, as touched on above, a difference between the Croatian EU Blue Card and a normal residence or stay and work permit, and that difference lies in some of the criteria a prospective blue card holder needs to meet. 

What does one need in order to apply for a Croatian EU Blue Card?

Unlike for the issuance of a residence permit (which is all an EEA citizen needs as they're free to work) or a stay and work permit for non-EEA citizens, the issuance of a Croatian EU Blue Card has some differences. Would-be Croatian EU Blue Card holders still need to meet the general requirements asked of other individuals applying for residence in Croatia, and they're all outlined in Article 59 of the Law on Foreigners (Zakon o strancima), but you'll also need to provide the following:

Proof that you meet all of the conditions the legislation of the Republic of Croatia asks of them in order to properly engage in a legally regulated profession. The details of that profession must be fully and clearly stipulated in your employment contract, and it all must correspond with the Croatian legislation on professional qualifications.

As made obvious above, you'll need to show proof of your employment contract for said highly qualified work position. The employment contract cannot be for a period shorter than twelve calender months (one year), and the issuer of the employment contract must have their company registered in Croatia.

You'll also need to prove your level of education (higher) from your home country or the country in which you gained said education. This can be done with your degree(s) diploma(s), certificate(s) and so on.

What are the costs?

There are admin fees implied with all processes undertaken at MUP (the Interior Ministry), and they vary. In the case of the application for and the issuance of a Croatian EU Blue Card, you will need to pay just under 75 euros for the issuance of the status/permit, and then just under 32 euros on top of that, for the issuance of the actual physical card (which comes in the form of a biometric residence permit/ID card). 

Please note that the aforementioned sum of just under 32 euros is for the issuance of the biometric card in what's called a ''regular procedure'' (that just means that it will take the usual amount of time to be made). You can pay more, more precisely just under 60 euros for the card to be issued to you in an ''accelerated procedure'', and you'll get it more quickly.

On top of that, you'll need to pay just under 10 euros to the state budget.

Payment details are specified here.

Can Croatian EU Blue Cards be renewed?

Yes. As long as you as the holder start the process at the same administrative police station which issued you the blue card no later than 30 days before it is due to expire. You're free to remain in Croatia until a decision on renewing the card is made and becomes legally enforceable. 

Can my family members join me, even if they aren't blue card holders or even applicants?

Yes! Your family members are free to join you using something called family reunification. Your family member simply needs to meet the requirements laid out in Article 64 of the Law on Foreigners in order to be granted temporary residence on the basis of family reunification with a Croatian EU Blue Card holder. They'll still need to provide some things to MUP, so here's a list:

They'll need to fill in form 1A.

They'll then need to provide: a photo of themselves, a copy of their valid passport, a residence permit to prove that they resided in the territory of another EEA member state as family members or life partners, a visa (if applicable at all), proof of them holding health insurance, proof of sufficient funds in order to not become a burden on the welfare system, proof that they haven't been convicted of any criminal offences in the country they resided in for more than 12 months immediately prior to arriving in Croatia.

There are other things to note and items to provide the Croatian authorities with based on who you are to each other in the sense of being family. This varies if the relationship is a parent/child relationship, if your husband or wife is in question, if you're not married but are in a commonlaw partnership, an informal life partnership, and so on.

Those more specific details can be found here.


As a Croatian EU Blue Card holder, you may only work for the company (registered in Croatia) for which the blue card has been issued for, and for the length of time it has been issued for. In other words, you're only permitted to work for the employer that you have entered into employment with and been granted a blue card for.

Your family members will be granted temporary residence on the basis of family reunification only for the amount of time your blue card has been issued for. The same is true for the renewal process.


For more on moving to and living in Croatia, spanning everything from rental car and ferry tips to getting health insurance and buying property, make sure to keep up with our lifestyle section. An article on living in, moving to or handling administrative tasks in Croatia is published every Wednesday.