National University Library to Be Turned in EU Convention Centre

By 31 August 2018

During Croatia’s presidency of the European Union, the library will host an EU summit and numerous meetings.

During Croatia’s presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2020, the central venue will be the National and University Library (NSK) building in Zagreb. Preparations have begun to transform the monumental building into a modern complex that will be the heart of the European Union for the six months, reports Večernji List on August 31, 2018.

By the end of this year, the land registry office will be moved from the NSK building, however, students using the library have no reason to worry – the library will be at their disposal all the time, except for a summit of heads of states and governments to be held in 2020. The reconstruction of the NSK areas will cost about 60 million kuna, which will be paid from the state budget. The conference hall will continue to be used after the EU presidency ends. In that way, Zagreb will finally get a much-needed conference centre, and the main hall will also potentially be used as the second venue of the Croatian National Theatre.

The decision to use NSK as the EU presidency centre has been adopted by the government. The building is deemed to be ideal for hosting delegations, meetings and summits since it includes an unused area of about 2,700 square metres. Architect Velimir Neidhardt had planned a congress centre to be located there, with a central meeting room of about 500 square metres, which could receive 400-450 people.

In addition to this area, the conference centre will also include the part of the building where the land registry office of the Zagreb Municipal Court is currently located. The total area of the convention centre will be around 7,200 square metres. In addition to the main hall, it will include a large number of smaller meeting rooms.

It is expected that, during the six-month EU presidency, Croatia will host about 200 expert meetings and 20 high-level meetings, as well as one or two summits of heads of states or governments.

Public procurement procedures will be launched in autumn, with works starting during the winter months. The students will be able to use the NSK reading room all the time, although some areas will be off limits. The building will be completely closed for students only during the EU summit due to security reasons.

The NSK building has been selected since it is one of the most successful examples of modern architecture in Croatia. It is relatively close to the airport and is not located in the city centre.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Sandra Veljković).