Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Conference Underlines Need to Better Exploit Eastern Croatia's Potential

ZAGREB, 24 November, 2021 - Slavonia and Baranja have economy, employment and population growth trends but further development requires change so that the region's potential can be utilised even more, a conference called "The Croatia we need" heard in Osijek on Wednesday.

Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak said the absorption of EU funds had certainly contributed to those trends.

In the last six years, she said, 740 enterprise projects have been contracted in Slavonia and Baranja, helping to create 2,000 and retain 11,000 jobs.

Both European and national financing should be utilised, Tramišak added.

She announced that a 2021-27 regional industrial transition concept is being planned.

"We wish to create strategic chains of value, connect small, medium and big producers, exploit raw materials, manufacture products and put them on the brand market," she said, adding that such an approach would make Slavonia and Baranja a more attractive region.

Osijek-Baranja County head Ivan Anušić said that for Slavonia to develop better, it was necessary to change some laws so that agriculture could create added value "by processing what we produce, not only to function based on incentives."

He also underlined the need for a different approach to timber exploitation and the management of the Danube and Drava rivers.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Croatia Reports 6,136 New Coronavirus Cases, 67 deaths

ZAGREB, 24 November, 2021 - Croatia has registered 6,136 new coronavirus cases and 67 COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national COVID-19 response team reported on Wednesday.

Currently, there are 33,563 active cases and 2,551 of them are receiving hospital treatment, including 323 who are placed on ventilators. 24,738 people are self-isolating.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 582,769 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 10,505 have died and 538,701 have recovered, including 3,047 in the last 24 hours.

A total of 3,382,082 people have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to date, including 15,177 in the last 24 hours.

As of Tuesday, 4,022,873 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 52.78 per cent of the total population, or 63.01 per cent of the adult population, having been vaccinated. 2,141,962 people have received at least one dose and 1,906,220 have been fully vaccinated, which is 56.33 per cent of the adult population.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

24Sata Reports on Lawsuit against Paul Bradbury by Croatian National Tourist Board

November 25, 2021 - I am very grateful to 24Sata for taking an interest in - and reporting on - the latest installment of my ongoing lawsuits from the Croatian National Tourist Board.

Monday was back in court at the third attempt. After twice double booking - leading to the case being postponed twice in May, the lawyer for the Croatian National Tourist Board did manage to show up, arriving with his suitcase halfway through the hearing. Much more on that in the latest edition of Diary of a Croatian Lawsuit shortly, as soon as I get a minute to reflect and report on what was an epic day in the twilight zone of Croatian justice. While you wait for that, here is the report from my kolegica, Laura Siprak from 24Sata. 

The Croatian Tourist Board sues Paul Bradbury for HRK 50,000 for damaging their reputation: 'They want me to apologize. What for?'

After being postponed twice, the first hearing was held in the CNTB lawsuit against an English blogger who has been living in Croatia for years. His lawyer says this is a textbook example of a SLAPP lawsuit

The Croatian National Tourist Board is suing a Briton living in Croatia, Paul Bradbury, for damaging their reputation. The first hearing was held on Monday, and they are asking a compensation of 50,000 kunas.

- One web portal asked me to compare the campaign of the Croatian Tourist Board during the pandemic with other countries, specifically Greece. I did that and explained my opinion. I pointed out a few issues around the ‘corona free’ campaign. More precisely, I wrote in my response that Greece came out with a strong message and a clear plan, and at the same time when you look at the foreign media, you see that Croatia is sending very bad messages. When it was announced that Croatia was opening their borders for 10 countries, it was an automatic message to all the other countries that they were not welcome. The Irish Times wrote that their citizens cannot come to Croatia, which was not true, but the Croatian government has created this confusion - Bradbury says.

He first came to Croatia as a tourist, bought a house in Jelsa, where he fell in love and got married. There he founded the portal Total Croatia News, through which he promotes tourism to foreign citizens, and since English is one of the most widespread languages, foreigners who come to Croatia often seek advice and recommendations there. In addition to promoting all that is good, he also warns of what he considers to be the mistakes made by the Croatian Tourist Board. He made the criticism, but he also contacted the Irish Times when they wrote the incorrect information that their citizens could not enter Croatia. The article was corrected within an hour after his intervention.

- It is insane that the article with my statement is still online, and as far as I know the CNTB did not ask for a correction from that portal, nor did they sue the journalist or that portal. Just me - Bradbury tells us and adds: - I never thought this was possible, that someone would sue me for my opinion, based on the evidence, that offended noone. It’s insane.

His lawyer, Vanja Juri

, says that this is a textbook example of a SLAAP lawsuit. The Ministry of Culture and Media defines SLAAP lawsuits as strategic lawsuits against public participation, ie proceedings initiated by powerful individuals in the society, aimed at intimidating and silencing critical voices in society, in matters of public interest that are contrary to the interests of plaintiffs.

- The lawsuit is obviously completely unfounded, and I think that much is clear to anyone who has dealt, at least minimally, with the topics of freedom of expression. It is an attempt to intimidate a man who is intensively and very successfully engaged in tourism, who has expressed his opinion on what the CNTB has been doing. That is why we are convinced that this is a textbook example of the so-called SLAPP lawsuit. Paul Bradbury has, while answering the question of the journalist of the portal, politely and reasonably brought the marketing strategy of the Croatian Tourist Board into question, ie the actions of a governmental body. I think that there is no doubt that this is the right of every member of the public and every media - Juri


Their defense is based on the fact that the CNTB cannot prove that Bradbury did something illegal, because he claims that expressing his opinion does not violate any laws.

- Paul will primarily defend himself by proving that the basic preconditions prescribed by law when suing someone for damages have not been met. The plaintiff, for example, has not and will not be able to prove that Paul did something unlawful, given that, in legal theory and case law, it is quite clear that by giving his statement, he did not violate any law, but exercised his constitutional right to freedom of expression, specifically to express an opinion on the actions and procedures of public authorities - says the lawyer.

Bradbury made the statement considered disputable by the CNTB on June 12, 2020, and the lawsuit was delivered to his home address in October of that year. However, the first hearing was held on Monday, November 22, 2021, because the law firm representing the CNTB twice postponed.

- Paul's rights were not violated in the proceedings, nor do I expect that they will be, that is what, after all, us lawyers are for. However, several hearings have so far been unjustifiably postponed, at the request of the CNTB, which can be treated as a delay in the proceedings, which, in this type of proceedings, certainly does not favor the defendants - concludes Juri


Bradbury also wanted to record the hearing, in order to broadcast it on his portal, but the request was denied.

- The first hearing was supposed to be on May 3rd, but they asked for an postponement with the explanation that their lawyer had accidentally arranged something else at the time. It was then postponed to May 31st. Couple of days before that, on May 26, I sent a request for media coverage of the hearing, but it was denied, explaining that their lawyer had again accidentally made an appointment at the same time, so the hearing was postponed to this Monday. The judge did not allow another postponement, so the hearing was held. They also had three months to give additional evidence that I had damaged the reputation of the CNTB, which they did not do. Their lawyer came to the hearing with three folders filled with evidence, but the judge rejected those because they broke the deadline, and all this 'evidence' has nothing to do with the statement for which they are suing me - Bradbury explains.

He is convinced that the lawsuit was filed solely because of ego. - I was told today that they would withdraw the lawsuit if I apologized. What for? I will not apologize for the stating my opinions based on facts and for preventing foreign media from disseminating information that is inaccurate and negatively affects Croatian tourism. I didn't do anything wrong, they are only doing this because of their egos, as I sometimes criticize them - he concludes.

This is not the only lawsuit CNTB brought against Bradbury. After this lawsuit, they sued him for toying around with their slogan 'Croatia full of life' and wrote 'Croatia full of uhljebs'. They are suing him for 50,000 kunas for that as well, although in that satirical creation he hasn’t even mentioned the CNTB.

We reached out to the Croatian National Tourist Board, asking them what they thought was disputable in the statements given by Bradbury.

- Since the court proceedings are ongoing, at this time we are not able to provide any details of it. However, we remind you that these are two proceedings, one for damaging the CNTB reputation by presenting incorrect and untrue allegations in the article, while the other proceedings are for damaging the reputation of the CNTB by unauthorized and illegal use of the official Croatian tourism logo, used by the CNTB and the system of tourist boards in the promotion of Croatian tourism, and which is additionally protected according to the regulations on intellectual property protection and registered as a trademark with the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia - CNTB says, adding that they were not obligated to require permission by the Tourist Council to bring these law suits, but that it was discussed in the meetings and they cannot produce the minutes.

- Regarding the lawsuit itself, it was initiated by the Croatian National Tourist Board, in accordance with the Law on Tourist Boards and the Promotion of Croatian Tourism, represented by a director who is also the only legally authorized person to represent. Although your allegation that any lawsuits must be considered by the Tourist Council is incorrect, the Council meetings where this topic was discussed are actually part of the ongoing proceedings and for this reason we are not able to submit the requested material.

We also contacted the Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac, who is also the president of the Tourist Council. - The President of the Tourist Council has not been sent anything for approval in this matter, so we ask you to contact the Croatian Tourist Board for any information – the Ministry says.


Wednesday, 24 November 2021

MIRET Launches Crowdinvesting Campaign on Funderbeam

November 24, 2021 - MIRET, a Croatian brand of ecological sneakers, has launched its crowdinvesting campaign on the Funderbeam platform. Funderbeam, a platform for buying/selling shares in private companies, enables the community to become investors and gain a stake in companies such as MIRET.

The MIRET Funderbeam campaign, which lasts from November 23rd to December 21st (or until the full amount is realized), was launched with the aim of raising investment in the amount of EUR 560k.

"First of all, we would like to thank Ivana Gažić from the Zagreb Stock Exchange for recognizing the project and the new head of Funderbeam SEE, Ognjan Despot, who was very passionate and engaged in strengthening Funderbeam in Croatia, and we are extremely looking forward to their future projects," said Domagoj Boljar, co-founder of the project.


After a successful Kickstarter campaign, MIRET wants to engage the community again. 

In 2020, MIRET launched its Kickstarter campaign that started the project, launched the product on the market, and created a strong community. Even back then, their long-term goal was to launch a Funderbeam campaign in the future.

The decision for this type of financing came from the desire to involve the entire MIRET community, which will participate in the further growth and development of the company. For a symbolic amount of only 250 EUR, each individual has the opportunity to become a shareholder in MIRET.

Increasing production and expanding into new markets

They have confirmed their product-market fit, and with this funding, they plan to multiply their growth. Most of the funds will be invested in financing further production and expansion towards new retail customers through advertising and B2B collaborations with other brands and companies. They plan to invest a small part of the funds in the development of new products and certification of existing and future products according to strict environmental standards in order to officially and scientifically back up their claims about the sustainability of MIRET products.


Danube Angels - leading investors, have recognized the potential of MIRET 

The leading investor in this project is the association of business angels from Austria, Danube Angels with whom they passed a rigorous selection in 3 stages. They choose MIRET within a large competition, as they finance only 1% of the best projects with which they make the first contact. MIRET is the first project from Croatia that Danube Angels supports.

Their potential was also recognized by the Global Footwear Awards, where they won three awards last year and this year - first place, gold and silver. The awards can be attributed to their thorough approach to choosing partners and the materials that led to their sneakers being made almost entirely of natural materials. Not only do they choose materials that are non-toxic, environmentally friendly and natural, but they also ensure that their supply chain is regional, which proved crucial during the pandemic due to the safety and strength of the supply chain. They also insist that their partners share the same core values that MIRET is led by.  

New materials, new designs, and new products are just some of the plans for 2022.

MIRET intensively prepared for this year, and they are currently working on the development of a completely new design of sneakers and types of footwear.


“This year, we have been committed to product development, team expansion, defining our impact, measuring our market potential and we are ready to increase production and sales next year. We have a lot of work to do to realize the goals we have set and promised to our investors, and customers can expect new models, new colors, and new products," said Domagoj Boljar, co-founder of Miret.

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

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Croatia Airlines Copenhagen-Zagreb Flights Boosted in December, New Ryanair Zadar Flights

November 24, 2021 - The latest flight news to Croatia as Croatia Airlines Copenhagen-Zagreb flights are boosted this December, while Ryanair has announced two new lines to Zadar Airport next year.

Croatian Aviation reports that Croatia Airlines is increasing the number of weekly operations between Zagreb and Copenhagen in December.

The Zagreb - Copenhagen - Zagreb line was among the first to return to traffic last year after the end of the lockdown in Europe. The line was operated daily in the summer season, and Croatia Airlines additionally operated in the summer flight schedule on the regular line between Split and Copenhagen.

At the beginning of the winter flight schedule, the number of weekly operations between Zagreb and Copenhagen was reduced, but there will be an increase in the number of weekly flights in December, and the capacity itself.

From November 29 to December 5, Croatia Airlines will operate on this route 5 times a week, every day except Tuesdays and Saturdays, while 3 out of 5 flights will be operated with A319 aircraft, significantly higher capacity than DashQ400.

Daily flights were announced from December 6 to 12, but with smaller DashQ400 aircraft, while a week later (December 13-19), 6 flights with the A319 and one with the DashQ400 were announced.

From December 20 to 26, 6 flights have been announced, and Zagreb and Copenhagen will not only be connected on Christmas, but four of the six flights will be operated with the A319. Five flights have been announced from December 27 to 31, with three flights currently scheduled with the A319.

From November 30 to December 31, Croatia Airlines will operate 30 return flights between Copenhagen and Zagreb, currently offering almost 6,900 seats, most on A319 aircraft. 

Furthermore, Croatian Aviation announced that Ryanair launched two new routes from the UK to Zadar next summer, both operating from the end of March next year.

Ryanair will now connect Birmingham and Bournemouth to Zadar. While there are already scheduled flights from Birmingham to Croatian airports, this will be the first flight from Bournemouth to Croatia.

The Birmingham - Zadar - Birmingham will operate from March 30 to October 29, 2022, twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday.

The Bournemouth - Zadar - Bournemouth line will operate from March 29 to October 29, 2022, twice a week, every Tuesday and Saturday.

There are an additional 45,000 seats between the UK and Zadar, or almost 130 more return flights from these two new routes alone. Zadar currently has 7 Ryanair destinations in the UK announced for next summer season.

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Dubrovnik Winter Festival Kicks Off This Saturday With a Magical Program

November 24, 2021 - This Saturday the program of the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival will begin with the lighting of the first Advent candle and the Christmas lighting in the city, which will last for 40 days.

As Turističke Priče reports, the program of the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival event will begin on Saturday, November 27, with the lighting of the first Advent candle. On the same day, the holiday lighting will be turned on, which will complete the magic of this year's holidays for 40 days, and there will be a concert by Nena Belan & Fiumens in front of the Church of St. Vlaho.

The center of events returns to Stradun where the people of Dubrovnik and their visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy six concerts. Thus, on December 11, the group Magazin will perform, and on December 29, Marko Škugor will sing. The celebratory atmosphere on the last day of 2021 will begin at noon when Dubrovnik bartenders will prepare New Year's cocktails in front of the City Café, and the rock New Year's Eve will be prepared by Silente and Vatra with spectacular fireworks at exactly midnight.

Traditionally, on January 1, a waltz will be danced on the Stradun with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, while the Rišpet klapa will take care of the evening entertainment on the first day of the new year on Stradun.

The charity concert for the Covid ward of the Dubrovnik General Hospital will be held on Monday, December 6, at the Valamar Lacroma Hotel. Music diva Tereza Kesovija, klapa Ragusa and Ženska klapa FA Linđo will perform accompanied by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. Under the direction of maestro Huta, the DSO will traditionally perform at the Dubrovnik Christmas Concert to be held on Sunday, December 19, and on that occasion soprano Valentina Fijačko, tenor Roko Radovan, vocals Goran Karan, Lucija Pećar and Nikoleta Ivanković and the klapa Ragusavecchia. As for the concerts on Stradun, entry will be possible upon presentation of the EU digital COVID certificate.

From 16 to 19 December, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, in cooperation with Dubrovnik restaurants, will organize the traditional "Cod Days" when many restaurants will be able to taste the holiday gastronomic treat cod, prepared in various ways.

Saturday mornings will traditionally be marked by the performance of the Folklore Ensemble Linđo with free tourist sightseeing organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, while Saturday afternoons will be reserved for also free, thematic guided tours called "Golden Age of Dubrovnik" organized by the Marin Držić Home.

For the youngest on Friday, December 10, the North Pole Station will open its doors in Lazareti, and Lapad Bay will be enriched this year by the "Colorful Winters" program as well as the Advent train, which will run its small passengers for free every day from 10 am to 4 pm. This year, too, there will be a visit by Moto Mrazova, who will arrive on Stradun on December 26. Last year's novelty Pop-up Kolenda bus will delight everyone who meets it, and passengers will delight the youngest with sweet gifts.

Dubrovnik kindergartens and primary schools will once again decorate the windows of the City as part of the Marin Držić Home project "Advent Calendar on Stradun", and all lovers of good photography, except for the "photo point" location under the Advent wreath on Luža, expect a new one in the Rector's Palace atrium.

Dubrovnik cultural institutions have prepared various contents for the Dubrovnik Winter Festival for all ages, from exhibitions, lectures, and workshops to plays, so the Marin Držić Theater will perform its favorite Nutcracker in November and December in the version of Lada Kaštelan.

All programs of the 8th Dubrovnik Winter Festival will take place in accordance with the current recommendations for the prevention of COVID-19 infection, published by the Croatian Institute of Public Health. To attend the events, it will be necessary to register in advance with the institution or organizer of the event that is planned to visit.

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

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Educational Workshops On Rural Tourism in Dalmatia Have Started

November 24, 2021 - The first of 12 educational workshops on rural tourism in Dalmatia, organized by the Croatian Rural Tourism Association and the Zagora Local Action Group, was held in Dugopolje on Monday. You can still sign up in order to receive more information to promote your services.

The workshop discussed the legislative framework and challenges, new tourism trends, the importance of cultural heritage, and the importance of regular digital communication, reports HrTurizam. Participants were also introduced to the Digital Catalog of Rural Tourism, which provides rural tourism service providers with free promotion in domestic and foreign markets. The catalog includes agricultural holdings that have registered wineries, tasting rooms, picnic areas, agritourism, rural accommodation facilities, and the like. 

“The digital catalog is an extraordinary opportunity to finally consolidate data on rural tourism service providers throughout Croatia. Not only is this important for their promotion, but it will also help us in the tourist boards, but also colleagues from domestic and foreign travel agencies who will be able to see the entire offer of rural tourism in a particular destination in one place", said Tomislav Balić at the workshop, director of the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Dugopolje. 

The participants of the workshop pointed out numerous problems of rural space that they encounter in their work, from basic working conditions such as water, sewerage, etc., to spatial plans that often change in a non-transparent way without taking into account the development needs of the real sector. 

Agriculture and tourism are the mainstays of rural development, and rural tourism provides a handful of opportunities to generate additional income, thus increasing the overall well-being of local communities. By joint cooperation of all actors, especially those involved in local action groups, these problems should be solved faster and more efficiently, which we will work on in the future", said Marijana Botić Rogošić, head of the LAG Zagora. 

The two-hour workshops are organized in cooperation with tourist boards and local action groups, with the financial support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and are led by Aleksandra Kuratko Pani, head of the Croatian Rural Tourism Association. 

Interested participants attend workshops on rural tourism in Dalmatia, in the Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva counties, which will be held until 3.12. they can apply via the form on the website of the Association, where they can also get additional information about the workshops. Applications for workshops in Zadar and Šibenik-Knin County will be possible from next week. 

The association invites all providers of services of rural tourism in Dalmatia, such as farmers who are also engaged in the provision of catering or tourism services to attend workshops in as many numbers as possible to get important information about opportunities for free promotion of their facilities.

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

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Health Minister says 6,136 Newly Infected, Pandemic Still Rages

ZAGREB, 24 November, 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said on Wednesday that in the past 24 hours Croatia had registered 6,136 new coronavirus cases, underscoring that while the epidemic was still raging there were people willing to build their political careers and score cheap political points on the deaths of their fellow citizens.

"Croatia has registered 6,136 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. The percentage of those who tested positive is 40%, which shows that the epidemic is still raging, that the virus is spreading, that we, as a society, are not cautious enough, that we are not observing the epidemiological measures and that we have not achieved the vaccination rate which would in a way prevent the spreading of the virus," Beroš told Croatian Radio.

He added that a share of the newly-infected would, over the next two to three weeks, end up in a hospital.

"The death toll in Croatia can also be expected to go up," the health minister said, calling on Croatian citizens to get vaccinated.

He said the COVID certificate "does not mean freedom restriction, on the contrary, it increases freedom."

"The only alternative is a hard lockdown," Beroš said.

Asked about possible new, stricter measures, the minister said the national COVID-19 response team was analysing the situation on a daily basis and would act accordingly.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Two Charged with Organising Saturday's Rally Contrary to Public Assembly Law

ZAGREB, 23 November, 2021 - The police have filed a report against Marko Francišković and Andrija Klarić for organising a rally of opponents of anti-epidemic rules in Zagreb on Saturday contrary to the law on public assembly.

The police said that the organisers did not announce the rally to the Zagreb Police Department and failed to take necessary measures to ensure the public order during the gathering of several thousand antivaxxers and opponents of mandatory COVID certificates.

Zagreb Police Department official Davor Posilović said on Sunday that the police were intensively searching for the organisers of Saturday's rally, as well as for attackers on an RTL television reporter who was covering the demonstration.

Steps are being taken to identify potential organisers and take appropriate action against them, Posilović told a press conference in Zagreb on Sunday afternoon. He added that pyrotechnic devices had been used during the rally, the organisers failed to bring security guards and the decision on the restriction of public assembly was breached.

A report on verbal and physical violence against RTL reporter Goran Latković has been lodged with the police in the meantime. CCTV and video footage of the incident will be examined to identify the perpetrators and the police will interview all witnesses.

On Saturday evening, a group of protesters led by Marko Francišković marched from Zagreb's central square to the headquarters of the HRT public broadcaster, calling for an end to "censorship" by the HRT.

Dissatisfied with the way the HRT covered their protest in the main square, the protesters shouted "We want elections", "Referendum and people's rule", "Thieves", "Treason", "God's law is above all laws", demanding to see the HRT director and have their rally covered live. "This is no vaccine, this is poison", someone in the crowd could be heard saying while some protesters said the world was ruled by "Bill Gates, Talmudists and Soros's followers".

The protesters were met by riot police, with a dozen police vehicles blocking access to the HRT building.

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

FM Welcomes Opening of Swiss Labour Market to Croatian Nationals

ZAGREB, 23 November, 2021 - As of 1 January 2022, Croatian nationals will have the same status as citizens of other European Union member states on the Swiss labour market, which will provide fresh impetus to Croatian-Swiss relations, it was said at a meeting of the two countries' foreign ministers in Bern on Tuesday.

The Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, was on a working visit to the Swiss Confederation where he met with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said in a press release.

Grlić Radman welcomed the decision by the Swiss Federal Council of 1 October 2021 under which, after applying Protocol III to the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons for five years, Switzerland will not request a further extension of the transitional period during which the access of Croatian nationals to the Swiss labour market was restricted.

In that way,  as of 1 January 2022, Croatian nationals will have the same status as citizens of other European Union member states on the Swiss labour market, which will provide fresh impetus to Croatian-Swiss relations, the press release said.

Grlić Radman emphasised the good and friendly relations between Croatia and Switzerland, firmly anchored in European values, noting that the Croatian community in Switzerland also contributed to this.

He thanked Cassis for the donation of 20 fully equipped mobile residential units and 12 sanitary containers for the earthquake-devastated Banovina region of central Croatia. In this regard, the possibility of further cooperation between the two countries' civil protection services was mentioned.

The two ministers expressed their mutual satisfaction with the ongoing implementation of the Swiss-Croatian cooperation programme, which will continue to be carried out through various projects until the end of 2024 and thereafter, once Switzerland pays its financial contribution to the EU cohesion policy.

The meeting also focused on EU-Swiss relations, migration, the situation in southeastern Europe and Ukraine, the possibilities of further strengthening cooperation in multilateral formats, and increasing economic cooperation and investment.

Another topic discussed was regulating the work status of teachers of Croatian-language classes in Switzerland. "Croatian classes are of vital importance for maintaining and fostering the linguistic, cultural and national identity of younger generations of Croatian emigrants in Switzerland," Grlić Radman said.

During his visit, the Croatian minister also met with representatives of the Croatian expat community in Switzerland.

"The 30th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations next year will be an opportunity to further deepen and expand Swiss-Croatian bilateral relations," Grlić Radman said. 

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