Monday, 13 February 2023

Croatian Customers Being Offered Electricity Savings of Up to 30%

February the 13th, 2023 - Croatian customers are being offered electricity prices with up to 30 percent slashed off the overall cost, representing a more than attractive offer for many during these crisis-filled times.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after having successfully attracted the first group of users, the company Nano Energies, which deals with optimising the production and consumption of electricity for business users and balancing the network, has started working right here in the Republic of Croatia and aiming its savings towards Croatian residents.

Its first users of all are biogas and biomass plants, which are now part of the company's virtual power plant with almost 20 MW of flexible electricity.

Among the key users is Energija (Energy) Gradec, which, as the largest producer of electricity from biogas plants in the Republic of Croatia, accounts for a fifth of the total domestic production of this type of energy.

Energija Gradec, with its five biogas plants, has a license to produce energy from a total of 9.8 MW of installed capacity, and annually produces around 80,000 MWh of electricity.

As Dominik Maricevic, the country manager of this primarily Czech company explains, Nano Energies can help users reduce their overall energy costs by 10 to 30 percent, without having to transform their daily operations.

"Out users don't even notice our actions because the whole process takes place automatically. For companies that work around the clock and whose energy consumption varies, the cost savings can be even greater," says Maricevic.

The move will certainly be attactive to Croatian customers, be they business owners battling rising costs or otherwise as we continue to try to find a reasonable path through this ongoing energy crisis in which everyone is going to have to tighten their proverbial belts.

For more on the energy crisis, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

Monday, 13 February 2023

SuperSport HNL 21st Round: Hajduk Gets Important Win, Osijek and Belupo Draw

February 13, 2023 - The SuperSport HNL 21st round was played from February 10 to 12, 2023. Another exciting round saw Hajduk score four goals against Varazdin for an important win, while Dinamo, Lokomotiva, and Rijeka also recorded 3 points. 

Dinamo v. Istra 1961 (1-0)

Dinamo and Istra opened the 21st round on Friday, February 10, at Maksimir in front of 2,412 fans. 

Josip Drmic missed a penalty for Dinamo in the 29th minute, though Ristovski found the back of the net less than 10 minutes later to make it 1-0 at halftime. The second half saw two disallowed goals for Dinamo - one in the 64th minute when Spikic's goal was called offside and another four minutes later when Petkovic's goal was called offside. The game thus ended 1-0 for Dinamo, who had 56% of possession throughout the match and three shots on target compared to Istra's zero. 


Dinamo remains in first place with 49 points and a game in hand, while Istra is in 5th place with 27 points and a game in hand. 

Varazdin v. Hajduk (1-4)

Varazdin and Hadjuk met in the first Saturday match in Varazdin in front of 5,881 fans. 

After a scoreless first half, Melnjak put Hajduk ahead for 0-1 in the 47th minute. Brodic equalized four minutes later for 1-1, but a red card for Elezi complicated Varazdin's chances as they played with a man down for the remainder of the match. Livaja found the back of the net in the 77th minute, Pukstas scored one minute after that for 1-3, and the young star scored again in the first minute of stoppage time for the final 1-4. Possession was even during this match at 50-50, while Hajduk had eight shots on target compared to Varazdin's 5. Both keepers also recorded four saves. 


Varazdin is in 6th place with 27 points, while Hajduk is in 2nd with 41. 

Osijek v. Slaven Belupo (0-0)

Osijek and Belupo met in the second Saturday match in front of 2,007 fans. 

The game went without goals and was overshadowed by a nasty injury for Osijek player Kristijan Lovric who claimed he couldn't feel his legs. In the 70th minute, Lovric was motionless after a tackle and was carried off the pitch by an ambulance. Fortunately, an MRI of his spine and pelvis showed that he was not seriously injured but received a blow to the lower back. Lovric hopes to return to training as soon as possible. 


Osijek is in 3rd place with 35 points, while Belupo is in 4th with 29. 

Sibenik v. Lokomotiva (0-4)

Sibenik and Lokomotiva opened Sunday's games in Sibenik in front of 628 fans. 

Kulenovic and Drum scored two goals within four minutes for 0-2 Lokomotiva in the first half. Gorican scored for 0-3 in the 77th minute, and Tuci scored for the final 0-4 in the 85th minute. Possession was relatively equal in this match, with Sibenik maintaining 47% to Lokomotiva's 53%. Sibenik had six shots on target to Lokomotiva's 7. 

(no video available)

Sibenik is in 9th place with 16 points, while Lokomotiva is in 7th with 25. 

Rijeka v. Gorica (2-0)

Rijeka and Gorica closed out the 21st round on Sunday at Rujevica in front of 4,479 fans. 

After a scoreless first half, Marin scored a penalty for 1-0, and Liber made it 2-0 in the 83rd minute. Rijeka maintained 54% of possession throughout the match and had nine shots on target. Gorica's goalkeeper had to make seven saves. 


Rijeka is in 8th place with 25 points, while Gorica is in last place with 9 points. 

You can check out the HNL table HERE

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Digital Nomads Love Croatia, But Longer Stays Need to Find their Way

February 12, 2023 - Digital nomads love Croatia, but for those who want to work online internationally and spend locally, longterm living in Croatia is not straightforward, reports HRT

Croatia, which is suffering from demographic decline, has become a "hot destination" for digital nomads - mostly young, highly educated and wealthy foreigners. There are thousands of them in the country, but a small number of those who want to stay have to manage because the law does not allow them to stay longer than a year.

Closing the laptop in Thailand and starting the next working day on a Costa Rican beach is a possible scenario for an average digital nomad's working day. Although this phrase - digital nomad, was popularized back in 1997, today, with around 35 million digital nomads globally, we can talk about a trend that is growing year by year. According to some estimates, their number in the world will reach one billion by 2035.

On the list of favorite destinations of digital nomads, in competition with exotic countries, world metropolises and locations that many will see only on postcards, Croatia ranks high. Although the data varies depending on the source of information and research, according to the one conducted by the Nomad List platform, Croatia is the first favorite destination of digital nomads - globally.

Croatia is a small country, but it has a diverse offer and thus attracts different groups of digital nomads, points out Jan de Jong, founder of the Digital Nomad Croatia Association. In 2020, this Dutchman with a Croatian address instigated legal changes thanks to which, among the first in Europe, Croatia introduced a visa for digital nomads that allows citizens of third countries to stay in the country for up to a year.

In Croatia, 10 thousand digital nomads per month

De Jong points out that one of the main reasons for coming to Croatia - apart from the infrastructure, which mainly includes the need for a good internet connection and the already established community of digital nomads - is the lifestyle that Croatia offers, which, in addition to all that, is extremely affordable for them.

And it seems it is, as the average digital nomad earns around €6,500 per month, according to NomadList.

In Croatia at the end of January this year, there were 595 valid visas for digital nomads, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior, but this is not even close to the actual number of digital nomads in Croatia, as it only applies to citizens of third countries who stay there for more than three months.

For a complete picture, one should take into account EU citizens who can freely and indefinitely stay throughout the territory of the Union, including in Croatia, but also add a large number of digital nomads from third countries who stay in Croatia for less than three months.

MUP says that it does not keep special statistics on the stay of the two latter categories of nomads, so the numbers can only be estimated.

Following the trends for individual cities - Zadar, Split, Zagreb on the Nomad List platform, de Jong concludes that approximately 5,000 digital nomads come to Croatia per month. If it is seen that every digital nomad stays in Croatia for two months, it can be said that there are about 10,000 of them in Croatia every month.

In the meantime, after Croatia was one of the first European countries to introduce this visa, other European countries did the same.

In addition to the basic conditions - that they work remotely, or are self-employed and have a certain minimum amount of monthly income, which, for example, is 2,300 euros per month in Croatia, and over 6,000 euros in Iceland, the maximum possible length of stay is also prescribed for nomads.

Croatia is one of the more rigorous countries, because if the nomads like it and want to stay longer than a year, they must leave the country for at least six months in order to be able to apply for a visa again. On the other hand, in other European countries it is generally possible to extend the visa, depending on the place, for example, in the Czech Republic, for a period of three years in total.

The purpose of the visa is to promote the country's tourism

Although de Jong comments that the digital nomad visa was never intended to allow permanent residency, he says there are a number of those who turn to the association for advice on what to do if they want to stay in the country.

When asked whether, in any legal way, that visa can be extended, in case someone wants it, the Ministry of Interior answers that there is no extension option. It cannot even be combined with a permit for an extended tourist stay.

MUP explains this by the fact that the purpose of the visa for digital nomads was nothing more than tourism promotion of the Republic of Croatia.

Steve Tsentserensky, a native of Ohio (USA), a copywriter who was among the first to successfully obtain a visa in Croatia, found himself in such a legal limbo. He fell in love with Zagreb, where he was staying, so much that after the six-month period expired, he decided to return there for a longer period of time.

When asked how, because the law limits how long he can stay there, unless, for example, he marries a Croatian woman, opens a company or gets a job, he says that he will do what works to regulate his status there, and probably re-apply for the same digital nomad visa. However, he points out that it would be good if it could be extended for a longer period of time. Without necessarily leaving the country, because everyone has the option to apply again after the expiration of the six-month period, and the conditions are exactly the same, says this expert in advertising texts. Tsentserensky, who is of Slavic origin, says that the cultural features of the Croats he met there reminded him of his childhood.

His compatriot, who wished to remain anonymous, shares the same opinion. This digital nomad is in Zagreb after the expiration of her visa, in Croatian style - she reached out to the connections she quickly acquired during her one-year stay there. She did not want to leave the country and return to it again, so, although she kept the same job for which she receives an American salary, she found a solution in fake employment.

Someone offered me a work permit, she says cautiously. She thought about other ways - starting a company, they also advised her to get married, but she thinks that with the work permit she also managed to find a way to contribute to the community where she lives by paying taxes, because as a digital nomad, she didn't need to. She doesn't feel, she says, as if she cheated anyone.

Both Americans similarly fell in love with Zagreb - for drinking coffee, socializing and a lifestyle in which people, in their opinion, devote a lot of time to leisure and to each other, which is why they want to stay there for a short period of time. How long - they do not reveal, but the American woman says that she is actively learning the Croatian language and is not thinking about leaving the country.

Caroline Hornstein-Tomić, a researcher at the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, talks about the characteristics of this group and points out that digital nomads are mostly highly educated people, mostly in their 30s, who are also excellent consumers.

Digital nomads, if they decide to stay longer, become a kind of immigrant, he points out, and adds that there is still no research in Croatia on how digital nomads affect local communities, but that the influence undoubtedly exists. They encourage tourism, but also other economic branches - they encouraged the development of infrastructure, the establishment of numerous hubs, but also services that respond to their needs for finding their way in a new country.

Interviewing some nomads who went to live on the Dalmatian islands, she says she had the opportunity to hear about positive experiences with the local community.

- Those who have decided to stay longer are also interested in local employment or business development, or are involved in volunteer work. So, in addition to financial resources, they also have knowledge that they like to share, says Hornstein-Tomić.

De Jong, the founder of the association, also referred to the demographic potential of this group, which keeps pace with new trends, that they no longer emigrate to those countries where they are better paid by work, but go to places where they like the lifestyle and their well-paid jobs. they bring with them.

- I think that this remote work revolution will never reverse, this revolution will remain, he says.

And that trend can be the biggest opportunity for Croatia, which has been left by about half a million people in 10 years in search of better-paid jobs, says de Jong, who himself has lived in Croatia for the past 16 years.

Read more in Croatia Tops Nomad List 2023 Survey as 'Most-Liked Country.'

Sunday, 12 February 2023

Open Air Museum: Murter Views

Promo - February 13, 2023 - The Development Agency of Šibenik-Knin County has established the open-air museum "Murter Views" on the island of Murter.

Murter, that unusual jewel bathed in the sea, decorated with numerous islands, bound by karst, and blessed by the resilience of its people, has been building its history for thousands of years. The continuity of the island's population can be traced from prehistoric times, when the sovereign rulers of the Adriatic, Liburni, built their port city of Colentum on this site, through the period of the Antiquity, when Colentum was settled by the Romans, until today.


With the aim of promoting and preserving the archaeological, natural, and traditional heritage of the Adriatic macro-region, as well as to promote green and slow tourism based on tradition, local agriculture, gastronomy, and lifestyle, the Development Agency of Šibenik-Knin County has chosen a pilot area on the island of Murter to establish the open-air museum called “Murter Views”.


"This project places a special emphasis on the revitalization of sites that are rich in culture and history but are lesser-known destinations and less touristic areas. We want to breathe life into such places, valorise them and make them more attractive for visitors during the whole and not only the higher season. In this way, we encourage the dispersal of visitors within the island and beyond and thus combat the seasonality“, said Mira Lepur, director of the Development Agency of Šibenik-Knin County.


By establishing the open-air museum "Murter Views", we want to tell the story about the vulture and history of the island and invite visitors interested in cultural heritage, in general, to pay a visit to these parts of the region and learn more about local people, places and traditions.


The "Murter Views" open-air museum is located on the Gradina peninsula near the two-hundred-meter-long archaeological beach and the former ancient city of Colentum, which flourished in the 1st century AD during the reign of the Roman emperors Nero and Vespasian.


The open-air museum has interpretive signposts and totems and together with the archaeological beach nearby, it forms a unique site on the island that combines historical, archaeological, oceanographic aspects and offers visitors cultural, sports, and recreational facilities.


An excellent destination for all visitors who, in addition to beautiful nature, can now enjoy cultural and historical content as well.

“Smart and Slow Tourism Supporting Adriatic Heritage for Tomorrow” (TAKE IT SLOW) is an over 3,7-million-euro worth strategic tourism project co-financed (85%) by the European Regional Development Fund through the Italy – Croatia Cross Border Cooperation Programme. The lead partner is Dubrovnik Neretva Region, while the project partners are Public Institution for Coordination and Development of Split Dalmatia County RERA, Public institution Development Agency of Šibenik-Knin County, University of Zadar, Region of Istria, PROMOTURISMOFVG, Veneto Region, SVEM - Sviluppo Europa Marche Srl, Molise Region, Apulian Theatre – Regional Consortium for Arts and Culture, Emilia-Romagna Region, Abruzzo Region, and Puglia Region. The project is designed to manage and promote the Adriatic Region as a green, smart, sustainable, accessible and slow cross-border tourist destination.“

Learn more about the TAKE IT SLOW project at:






Sunday, 12 February 2023

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from (February 12, 2023)

Febuary 12, 2023 - Looking for a job in Croatia? A new weekly feature on TCN, in partnership with leading job site agency,, who present a selection of weekly job listings.

How hard is it to find a job in Croatia, and what is on offer?

We spoke to Ines Bokan, director of leading jobs site, who kindly took the time for this excellent interview overview.  

This week's top 10 jobs from

Adecco Croatia Limited Liability Company is hiring a Business Development Manager (m/f). Remote work and flexible working hours. Send complete applications via link by Feb 16th.

Intra Lighting d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position Lighting designer (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. We offer participation in professional seminars in Croatia and abroad. Send complete applications via link by March 4th.

EMBL European Molecular Biology Laboratory is hiring a person for the position of IT Support Engineer (m/f). Place of work Heidelberg, Germany.we offer you the opportunity to work with the latest technology, being exposed to a fast-growing big data environment operating over 350 petabytes of scientific data and high-end computing across multiple centers to support science at EMBL. Send complete applications via link by March 9th.

Kempinski Hotel Adriatic (Skiper hoteli d.o.o.) is hiring a IT coordinator (m/f). Place of work Savudrija (Umag) - Croatia. We offer incentive income and additional bonuses for work. Send complete applications via link by March 1st.

Marina Punat Grupa d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of IT Administrator / Computer System Technician (m/f). Place of work Punat. The possibility of personal and professional development. Send complete applications via link until Feb 24th.

Pfizer Inc is hiring a person for the position of Medical Affairs Scientist Croatia (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Send complete applications via link by March 3th.

Skiper Hoteli d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of IT coordinator (m/f). Place of work Savudrija (Umag) - Croatia. We offer incentive incomes and additional work bonuses. Send complete applications via link by March 1st.

CCPORTER Sp.z.o.o. is hiring a Sales Advisor with Croatian (m/f). They offer you work from home, a competitive basic salary and an attractive bonuses depending on the sales. Send complete applications via the link by Feb 23rd. is hiring a Duty Manager (m/f) in Dubrovnik. They are looking for an inspirational leader committed to the development of others, passionate about delivering the highest standards of customer service and safety, with excellent administration skills and strong operational experience within an airport environment. Send complete applications via the link by Feb 20th.

Workforce, for a client, is hiring an IT Application Specialist (m/f) for remote work – within Croatia. They are looking for a good level of English, experience with ERP systems as a key user, and advanced knowledge of MS SQL. Send complete applications via the link by March 1st.


For more career options and job listings, visit


These weekly job listings will appear in the weekly TCN newsletter - you can subscribe here.


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Saturday, 11 February 2023

Inflation in Croatia: Prices in Shops Wild, Government Provides an "App"

February 11, 2023 - Inflation in Croatia is becoming increasingly apparent, with the prices in shops reaching new highs almost weekly. So the Croatian government invented yet another app. The ministry of economy and sustainable development presented the "application," which is really a website where, as they announced, Croatian citizens will soon be able to follow in detail the movement of product prices in retail chains.

As Index writes, Minister Davor Filipović presented more details about the application itself, the effect of white lists, and the movement of energy prices in Nova TV's Dnevnik.

"The application has been fully developed and is now in the test phase. Today we showed it to trade unions and journalists, and I believe that in the coming days, it will be available to all our citizens, and it will help them make informed decisions about purchases, '', said Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Davor Filipović.

Retail chains that did not provide data: "If you have nothing to hide, you will provide information"

"It is possible that because of this, because it would be clear how the prices moved, some of the retail chains did not want to provide their information," said the minister.

"If you have nothing to hide, you will provide all the information requested. We are not looking for this information for ourselves; we are requesting it for the sake of our citizens so that they can see how the prices moved and who has been fair to them, and then, of course, they could weigh it out when they go shopping'', the minister said.

Filipović pointed out that the goal was for citizens to see how prices in retail chains move transparently, and reiterated that they asked retailers to provide them with prices going back a year so that the Ministry could make a detailed analysis of what happened to prices, to which only three chains agreed - Konzum, Tommy, and KTC.

Filipović says that in the future, prices will be collected from the other chains via price listers in stores.

Fuel becoming cheaper

Regarding fuel price, Filipović said there is enough stock in Europe, announcing that next week, on Tuesday, there will be a significant reduction in the price of diesel by almost one kuna and a reduction in the price of petrol.

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

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Quietly Quitting Croatia - Has the Trend Reached the Country?

February 11, 2023 – Do we have a phenomenon of quietly quitting Croatia? The change in the approach to work, popularly called "quiet quitting," which marked last year as a trend, apparently has not quite reached Croatia.

The Moj-posao portal researched this, as Poslovni writes. Quiet quitting is a phenomenon where employees do not allow themselves to "burn out" at work but do their jobs to the extent they are paid. This is actually not a new phenomenon in the world, but it has only become more pronounced due to the chronic shortage of workers on the market. This opens up greater opportunities to choose and adjust life priorities, especially for younger people.

Gallup's research, for example, showed that in the USA about 20 years ago, slightly more than half of the workers had this attitude towards work, and that share has only increased now. According to research by the Moj-posao portal in Croatia, 57% of workers still do their best. This also means overtime work, proposing projects and solutions, taking their work home, and attending team building...

The category of people who practice "quiet quitting" in Croatia includes 28% of employees, who are engaged precisely as much as they have contracted with the employer. As the reason for such an approach to work, more than half (55%) state that they no longer care about work and perform tasks without emotion.

Slightly fewer (53%) point out that they put less effort into taking on jobs and wait for their superiors to delegate them directly. A third say that they are passive at work do not participate in creating new ideas, and do not think about improving work processes. One in five refuse to participate in the exchange of ideas and group discussions.

About 13% of workers put in the minimum effort, just enough to get the job done, and 1% work below the minimum and intend to keep this attitude "as long as it goes."

Money is not the main reason for such an approach to work, but the feeling that their superiors do not value the employees. Money comes in second, and the third reason is the balance of private and business life. Nevertheless, for 78% of employees, a higher salary would motivate them to change their attitude and do their best, while for 61%, recognition for their efforts would be enough to get them more engaged.

For a significant number (41%), more flexible working hours and a shortened working week would be encouraging. It is also interesting that more than half (53%) stated that employers did not notice changes in their attitude towards work, and only 7% of their employers "let them know that they see what is happening."

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

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Meet the Elite: 244 People Aged Over a Hundred Living in Croatia

February 11, 2023 – Meet the elite: the oldest citizen of Croatia is a 108-year-old woman who lives in Zagreb County. Most centenarians live in the City of Zagreb (59) and Split-Dalmatia County (31), and Zadar County (19).

Although the average life expectancy of Croatian citizens is below the average of the European Union, as many as 244 people living in Croatia are 100 years old or older. This is shown by the State Bureau of Statistics data obtained after the 2021 population census, write Večernji / Poslovni.

As expected, among citizens aged one hundred and more, there is an overwhelming preponderance of women, whose life expectancy is generally longer because among the 244 people over 100 years old, only 37 are men, so Joža Manolić, who will turn 103 in March, is an exception when it comes to men who live to such a high age.

Out of the 244 superstars, most of them have lived for exactly a century of life - 133 of them, followed by 70 people who are 101 years old, 21 people who are 102 years old, eight who are 103 years old, four people who are 104 and 105 years old each, and three people who are 106 years old.

The counties of Međimurje and Virovitica-Podravina have the fewest centenarians, only two each, and the counties of Varaždin, Koprivnica-Križevačka, and Vukovar-Srijem count only three people over 100 years old each.

It is not common in Croatia, nor is it easy to live to be one hundred, as shown by the data of the State Bureau of Statistics from last year's publication 'Women and Men in Croatia,' according to which the average age for women in 2020 was 80.7 years, and 73.8 for men.

The longest-lived people in the world are the Japanese, by the way, whose average lifespan is 85.3 years. The reasons for their longevity, in addition to a healthy diet, are healthy daily activities such as gardening, growing medicinal plants, and spending time together.

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

Friday, 10 February 2023

Zagreb Waste Disposal Issues Continue With Promise of Fines This Month

February the 10th, 2023 - The old Zagreb waste disposal issues and the endless problems surrounding getting people to use the blue ''ZG vrecice'' (rubbish bags allocated for mixed waste as of October 2022) are continuing. Threats of fines seem to have fallen on deaf ears for many and now promises of not only fines but proving who is dumping what with recorded footage are now on the cards.

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the now not-quite-so-new model of Zagreb waste disposal which came in the form of ZG vrecice/bags introduced just a few months ago in order to comply with the "polluter pays more" principle and to encourage high-quality recycling is showing its first results: there is almost 30% less mixed municipal waste here in the capital, and the amount of recycled material is increasing - there's been 50% more plastic, 30% more biowaste and 9% more paper.

However, in the application of this particular Zagreb waste disposal model, it has also been shown that the effects are not unambiguous because they actually depend on the existence of the infrastructure conditions that are necessary for this model. For example, boxes placed in public areas that are under the supervision of building owners and tenants when it comes to multi-apartment buildings are an issue.

Namely, even at the level of around 90%, the model showed its efficiency when family houses are in the middle, the same is allegedly true for the very heart of Zagreb, however, problems of a different nature have manifested in the segment of multi-apartment buildings. This is actually where the biggest impact of the full application of the previously announced contractual penalty on bills for February is expected because of various errors in the sorting and disposal of the waste.

It can be considered that the ''getting used to it'' period of the new Zagreb waste disposal model has now ended and that it is moving into full implementation, which means also through the procedures for issuing the foreseen individual contractual fines for violators who don't dispose of their municipal waste in the proper blue ZG bags.

Critics of the entire thing have claimed that it will be difficult to implement these fines in a legally sustainable form in a situation where the issue of proper disposal facilities for ZG bags hasn't been solved infrastructurally, and there are still no underground containers which were initially promised.

A professor of the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, Aleksandra Maganic, believes that, if the emphasis is now on individual punishments, then it would mean that they don't dare to apply collective punishments. In her opinion, people must also make an effort of their own if the blue bags are insisted on.

"The shift from collective to individual punishment is an interesting one, but the question remains as to how it will be determined," said Maganic. If they start by checking the contents of the bags, she says, it can't be said that it isn't a legitimate way, so if they manage to find something so that the guilt is individualised, then that can be evidence. It also raises the question of whether video surveillance must be highlighted as a means of catching those evading these blue bags.

"If it were a civil law sphere of responsibility, the courts could now also use evidence that was conducted in an illegal way, for example that such videos weren't obtained with the consent of the person who was recorded, but even in that case the court can use it if there is no other evidence. At the same time, the so-called the test of proportionality between the violation of the rights of the person who was filmed and didn't give consent, and the court's position that it has been done in the interest of a higher goal (justice) must be balanced out. You've got to prove that there's a balance there to show that the evidence should be used," said Professor Maganic, adding that municipal wardens do have the right to control the contents of these waste bags.

Thus, the emphasis on individual punishment in the first steps clearly proves to be a good incentive to move away from the concept of collective punishment, to which the legal profession had some serious objections from the point of view of constitutionality.

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

Friday, 10 February 2023

Large Croatian Textile Factories are No More - Can Green Transition Help?

February the 10th, 2023 - The European Union wants to put an end to practices such as destroying unsold clothes and misleading consumers about the ways and place of their production, and with no large Croatian textile factories to speak of anymore, could help lie in the much talked about green transition? Maybe.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, a part of the aforementioned wider EU process, Croatian member of the European Parliament Biljana Borzan was appointed rapporteur of the Socialists (S&D) for the opinion on the strategy of sustainable and circular textile products in the committee for consumer protection and the common market of the Parliament. The EU strategy aims to make the textile industry more sustainable, socially just and healthier for people and the environment by 2030.

As Borzan explained, the textile industry employs 60 million people across the world, the vast majority of whom are women. The wages earned by women workers in the garment industry are often significantly lower than living wages, and the working conditions can be terrible.

A former pillar of the economy

Where is the Croatian textile industry in all this? Just one decade ago, Croatian textile factories were one of the pillars of the domestic economy and employed more than 100,000 people. In short, Croatian textile factories fell short and are now history.

According to the official statistics of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), 346 companies from the textile and/or clothing industry segment operate in Croatia with a total of 3,615 employees. However, although there has been a visible growth in the number of companies over the last decade or so, there has also been a visible change in the structure of it all, meaning that now - small and micro companies predominate, and the number of employees is also falling.

Of the listed 346 companies, there is not a single one that the statistics, either in terms of revenue or the number of employees, would record as large. The country has thirteen medium-sized companies, 48 small and 285 micro companies. There are several reasons for this decline. The textile, clothing and leather-processing industry, both locally and in the EU as a whole, is extremely vulnerable, it is labour-intensive, low accumulative and employs a predominantly female workforce.

As Jagoda Divic from the Sector for Industry and Sustainable Development of HGK explained, generally low wages and poor standard for work are naturally not attractive for the young workforce, and the lack of workers on the labour market as a whole is also very much in evidence.

"The high age of employees in these sectors directs companies to simply import labour from abroad. In addition to that, high labour costs prevent companies from increasing the net salary of their workers, which is particularly important for retaining workers and preserving export-oriented production sectors. In addition, funds for the acquisition of new technologies and the implementation of organisational changes for the purpose of optimising production processes, as well as the education of the company's professional workforce, are almost exclusively financed by their own funds," stated Divic, adding that Croatian textile factories and other such companies need engineers, seamstresses, tailors, constructors, upholsterers and machine maintenance specialists who aren't in sufficient numbers on the domestic labour market, primarily due to the abolition of such courses in secondary schools or insufficient interest on the part of students to enroll in these courses.

The result is an insufficient number of necessary qualified personnel, which is why many companies from the industry are forced to import labour. HGK also explained that a large number of companies in labour-intensive activities have more than 250 employees, most of them in finishing jobs and, although they don't have projects for research and development, they recognise the great need for investments in new technologies and marketing activities in foreign markets. However, the size of such as company acts as a limiting factor when applying for tenders financed from EU funds, because in most cases large companies are simply not eligible beneficiaries.

The application of automation

On top of all of the above, at least according to HGK, the goals of the textile and clothing industry in the coming period are linked to the EU Strategy for Textiles and Clothing. In the next ten years, companies will have to invest resources in the application of new technologies with an emphasis on digitalisation, innovative textiles, and solving the problems of microplastics and recycling, thus contributing to the digital and green transition.

The clothing industry is labour-intensive and it is impossible to replace some of their operations with machines, while in the textile industry there is a greater possibility of applying automation and new technologies that determine profitability and a higher rate of exporting one's own product.

"The National Development Strategy of Croatia 2030 defines that Croatia will base its sustainable growth and development on a better utilisation of its own resources, an export-oriented, greener and smarter economy and on the innovation of people, clean industries and new technologies that have great potential for opening new and better paid jobs,'' said Divic.

The Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) has warned of identical challenges, where Ana Falak, the director of the HUP Leather and Textile Association, stated that the situation in the domestic leather sector is much better than it is in the textile sector.

"Trends of returning production to Europe are already being felt in Croatia, and the demand for textile industry services has increased, as has employment. However, the collapse of a large number of large Croatian textile factories, the impossibility of financing projects from EU funds, the lack of labour, especially when it comes to skilled workers, are the reasons why this sector is recovering only very slowly,'' believes Falak. However, she is convinced that the textile industry in Croatia definitely has a future.

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