Thursday, 16 February 2023

Sustainable Zagreb: Everyone is Invited to Vrbani Clothing Exchange Party

February 16, 2023 - The Vestigium association in Vrbani in Zagreb has an interesting tradition - eco day Saturday. As part of this weekly event, they sell ecologically produced food and have an exchange party for books and clothes.

"The association was created out of necessity for mothers from the neighborhood about ten years ago because we did not have any social and cultural facilities for 15 thousand inhabitants. We decided to create this space where the things we needed could happen. We have a free exchange of books, a small library where you don't need to write down who borrowed what, but people simply take books out and bring some of their own. There are various workshops and lectures, and on Saturdays we organize an eco market, clothing exchange, and socializing events for people in the neighborhood and beyond", said Irena Borovina, president of the Vestigium Association for HRT.

She pointed out that they did not invent the exchange party, but that it has been happening as a movement in the world for a long time, and "in fact, it is a response to what is happening in the world."

"There used to be fashion collections that came out spring/summer, autumn/winter, so twice a year, and these days new fashion collections come out every week and because of that, a lot of clothes end up in the trash. We all know that a lot of resources are spent to produce new clothes, and this is our answer to the problem of fast fashion - we don't buy clothes, but exchange them among ourselves", said Irena.

"On Saturday mornings, we organize a clothing exchange in Vestigium; everyone can bring up to ten pieces of used clothing in good condition and choose something from our collection, something they like. We have women's, men's, and children's clothing; we have everything you need depending on the season - coats, t-shirts, shoes, and bags. I would also like to mention that our volunteer Vanja refreshes used clothes by adding some of her creative work to the clothes we receive and creating some original pieces from used clothes", said Sonja Nerat Eppert, a volunteer at the Vestigium Association.

"This exchange was already happening here among the members of the association spontaneously all the time - for example, something we would outgrow, we would exchange for a piece of someone else's clothing, especially for children, and when we made it into an open event which other people could join, we were surprised that a lot of young people came. So it's great for young people - they like that they can find something maybe retro, or vintage, or they don't have to pay a lot of money for a piece of clothing with an expensive brand on it, but they can find something different. You can build your style. Older people also come, a lot of families as well, but we are delighted that we regularly have young people over", said Irena.

In addition to the Vrbani space, clothing exchanges also take place in the Green Action Association in Frankopanska, and the movement is becoming a hit in all of Zagreb.

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

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Croatia Above European Average for Childhood Cancer 5-Year Survival

February 16, 2023 - The five-year survival rate of children with malignant diseases in Croatia is above the European average, and according to data, in 2021, 16 children under the age of 19 died from malignant diseases in the Republic of Croatia, according to the announcement of the HZJZ on the International Childhood Cancer Day.

As 24Sata / HINA writes, according to the latest data from the Cancer Registry of the Republic of Croatia, in 2020, 159 children under the age of 19 were diagnosed with malignant diseases in Croatia, out of which 67 were female.

In the past ten years, an average of 157 children under the age of 19 were diagnosed, and 27 died of malignant diseases.

At the national level in Croatia, out of a total of 159 children with a newly diagnosed malignant disease in 2020, 49 were under the age of 4, 27 were between the ages of 5 and 9, 34 were between the ages of 10 and 14 and 49 between the ages of 15 and 15. up to 19 years.

The most common diagnoses of malignant diseases in children were leukemia, lymphomas and malignant brain and spinal cord tumors.

In treating malignant diseases, it is difficult to define a cure, but it is common to take five-year survival as a measure of cure. Data from the extensive global observational study CONCORD-3 published in the Lancet journal show that five-year survival from malignant diseases in children in Croatia is above the European average. It is 95 percent for childhood lymphomas, 85 percent for acute lymphatic leukemia, and 73 percent for brain tumors.

Malignant diseases in childhood have significant social and medical consequences. The diagnosis and the changes in everyday life due to the new situation represent a significant stressor for the child and their family. To overcome the daily difficulties they face in caring for their child, it is necessary for parents to have help: equal access to care and modern treatment procedures and, just as importantly, families need psychological support in a timely manner, the Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) points out.

They also emphasize that support is needed even after the end of therapy because patients and their families can face the physical and psychological consequences long after a diagnosis of a malignant disease and the often very intensive treatment.

International Childhood Cancer Day is celebrated on February 15 with the aim of raising awareness about malignant diseases in children and providing support to ill children and adolescents, as well as their families and survivors.

Based on the decision of the Croatian Parliament, since 2006, February 15 has been celebrated in Croatia as National Childhood Cancer Day.

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

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

10 Things Croatia Does Better Than Anywhere Else

February 15, 2023 - It is a small country which consistently overachieves in many different ways. 10 things Croatia does better than anywhere else.


A tiny country of less than 4 million people.

But a country which punches above its weight on the global stage on SO many levels.

Having lived here for 20 years, I am constantly astounded about how much this small country has achieved in so many areas of life. Here are 10 things that - at least in my opinion - Croatia does better than any other country in the world.

Do you agree? Are there any other things? Answers in the comments below the video, please.

You can read the original article, 10 Things Croatia Does Better Than Anywhere Else on Total Croatia here.


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia & Balkan Expert YouTube channel.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.


Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Priča o Jednoj Lopti by Marta Huber: Story of First Football in Croatia

February 15, 2023 - In the packed hall of the Multicultural Centre in Županja, there was a promotion of a special picture book, an educational museum publication for children and young people, "Priča o jednoj lopti" by Marta Huber.

As Glas Slavonije writes, Marta is a curator at the Regional Museum, and her book is about the first time football was played and the first time a ball was even held in Croatia. It is about a segment of the past of the city on the river Sava, about the time from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, when industrialists from England arrived in Županja and built a tannin factory there because of the rich oak forests. And with the English, the first football arrived. The picture book tells the story of love between the industrialist Fred and Šokica (traditional local lady) Katarina, as well as the story of life in a Slavonian village about a hundred years ago. 


The promotion guests were greeted by Hrvoje Tkalac, director of the "Stjepan Gruber" Museum, asserting that his colleague Marta had decided to show the city's past in a charming way with her excellent work. The author of the afterword, Katarina Bušić, museum advisor from the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, said that, both as a museum worker and as a Županja native, she is proud of the local team that decided to prepare a picture book, the first museum publication of its kind in Croatia. The story is told in a straightforward, understandable, and suitable way for children, providing a lot of data and information. She concluded that this small, truly local picture book contains all the topics a story must have. Nothing in it is made up; all the events really happened in Županja.


The collaborator on the picture book, professor Katarina Berać Vuić, is the author of the glossary that appears on each page, as well as the quiz at the end of the picture book. She presented the picture book through a conversation with Marta Huber and academic painter Mislav Lešić - Đurakov. The author admitted that she had been carrying the idea of writing for a long time. In the Museum, she often meets kindergarten and school children, so she tries to adapt the historical narrative for their age. She thought that with good visualization, all the events, years, and circumstances would be more understandable to children. She succeeded in this, thanks to vivid illustrations with a multitude of local natural and ethnographic peculiarities and details hidden on the pages, which were brought to life by Mislav. Congratulating the authors, an excerpt from the picture book was read by Mayor Damir Juzbašić at the end of the promotion.

The book can be purchased in the Stjepan Gruber Museum in Županja.

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

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Croatian Labour Market Strong Regardless of Crisis, Unemployment Falls

February the 15th, 2023 - Despite the economic crisis that we're still stuck in owing to not only the negative effects left behind by the coronavirus pandemic but also the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Croatian labour market is coping well. There's even been a considerable drop in the unemployment rate.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, it's to be expected that the start of seasonal employment will break the trend of the increase in the number of unemployed people on a monthly basis, as it always does each and every year. In January, 122,369 unemployed people were registered with the Croatian Employment Service (CES), meaning that on a monthly basis, the number of registered unemployed persons continued to grow for the fourth month in a row. Compared to December, it increased by 4553 or 3.9%.

However, at the annual level, as RBA analysts point out in their analysis, the downward trend that began back in April 2021 has continued, and compared to the same period in 2022, a decrease of 8,624 persons or 6.6% was recorded.

"Compared to January 2021, the number of unemployed people registered at the CES is lower by 42,976 people or 26%, while compared to January 2020, it's lower by 17,555 people or 12.5%. This is a reflection of the recovery of economic activity after the coronavirus pandemic, but also of generally positive trends across the Croatian labour market, which has been reflected in the improvement compared to the period before the outbreak of the pandemic," the analysis states.

Under the influence of these processes, the Croatian labour market is active and the demand for workers definitely hasn't decreased, and according to RBA analysts, the lack of labour in certain industries is also reflected in the increase in the number of workers coming into Croatia from third countries.

According to the Institute's data, the number of received applications for residence and work permits for foreign (non-EEA) workers in 2022 stood at almost 130,000, and 109,241 were granted by MUP. During January, 12,653 applications were received for 163 occupations, and the most requested were from the construction industry. Most of the requests received came from the City of Zagreb, followed by Istria and Split-Dalmatia counties.

However, reliable statistics on the total number of workers from third countries don't yet exist, so we can only talk about estimates, the analysis emphasises. Economist Damir Novotny has drawn attention to the fact that it isn't a question of the general robustness of the Croatian labour market, but of the sectoral one, because the Croatian labour market is quite shallow and there's a big difference from sector to sector, as well as territorially, so one type of trends applies to Adriatic Croatia, and the other for the continental part of the country, and especially for the City of Zagreb.

"The whole of eastern Slavonia has a weak offer of jobs spanning all sectors, while Istria has a trend of immigration because it has a very strong offer of jobs in the tourism sector, but also in the accompanying activities that supply it with food and various services, which is why Istria is the most developed Croatian region after Zagreb,'' explained Novotny.

Of the total number of unemployed registered back in January, 12,996 (77.1%) came from previous employment, and the most common reason for their job termination was the expiration of a fixed-term employment contract (52.4%). Back at the end of January, there were almost 28,000 vacancies, which is 77.5% more than there were back at the end of 2022 and 5.3% on an annual basis.

According to RBA analysts, the Croatian labour market is continuing to show very strong resistance to unfavourable economic and geopolitical trends so far in 2023 - this is a characteristic of the entire EU, which is contributed to by the already present labour shortage. In the coming months, they expect the continuation of positive trends, but at a lower intensity due to the slowdown in economic activities.

Novotny notes that tourism, despite the global slowdown in economic activity, will continue the strong growth that began last year as new capacities are opened and investments are being made, and this is similar to the construction sector, which is facing an investment cycle funded by the EU. Processes on the Croatian labour market in the upcoming period will also continue to differ greatly from sector to sector.

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

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Croatian Hotels "Attend" First Virtual Fair - Virtual Hotel Job Fair

February the 15th, 2023 - Croatian hotels have been present at the very first virtual job fair in this region, which promises to ''make things easier'' for those in this particular sector in Croatia and also across the immediate region.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, four larger hotel chains and three luxury resorts from the Republic of Croatia, along with several leading companies from neighbouring Montenegro and Serbia, have been participating in the first regional virtual job fair, the Virtual Hotel Job Fair, which opened on Tuesday and will last two full weeks, 24 hours per day.

This is otherwise the very first virtual edition of the job fair that the employment agency Friendly HR from the Serbian capital city of Belgrade previously organised in a live edition, but the advantage of this concept is that the fair is accessible at any time and to anyone. It also significantly simplifies the process of getting information and ensuring the application of potential workers to jobs that interest them.

"The situation on the labour market is equally difficult for everyone across the region, quality accommodation facilities that want to provide top-notch service don't have enough professional staff as they have gone to Western countries in search of better salaries, or it's simply that increases in capacity haven't been accompanied by an increase in the number of educated staff.

We're here to make it easier for everyone in the region, and at the fair we have companies from Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia, which we help to make contacts with potential workers or employers. Thanks to technology, we have the ability to provide them with information on the platform and enable direct contact via chat, as well as direct applications for specific jobs", explained Tamara Danojlic, project manager of the Friendly HR agency, which also organises fair for future students in Serbia.

The Friendly HR agency provides a wide range of services in the field of human resources, from finding talent, evaluating and educating employees, employer brand to the organisation of team activities and corporate events. The idea is that the Virtual Hotel Job Fair will take place twice a year, and this first one is important because it is taking place before the summer season, when the search for workers for Croatian hotels is in full swing.

There numerous Croatian hotels present - The chains Falkensteiner, Liburnia Riviera Hotel, Losinj Hotels&Villas and Aminess and the resorts Maslina from Hvar, Marina Novi from Novi Vinodolski and the Obonjan Resort are all participating in the fair.

The platform has a rich animation that gives visitors the impression of a virtual walk through the fair, and in addition to visiting company stands and talking to representatives of hotel companies, visitors can attend a series of lectures in the fair's conference hall.

"We wanted to add this educational component as well, by offering content that candidates would otherwise have to pay for, and here all the content is free. There will be training sessions and lectures in the field of catering, where participants will be able to learn new things, expand their knowledge and gain additional experience in this exciting and dynamic business. These activities will allow visitors to learn more about the hotel industry and to better prepare for their future jobs," stated Tamara Danojlic.

That the demand for workers across Croatia is stronger than last year was shown by the recently held online seasonal job fair, which recorded more than 200,000 visits and more than 1,200,000 page views, as well as more than 7,200 applications for their advertised jobs. Those interested could apply for a record number of more than 200 job advertisements, and according to tourism sector estimates, 10 to 15 percent more tourism workers will be required in Croatia this year than last year.

The search will be more difficult than it has been over the past few years, given that tourism is returning to all countries in an environment without public health restrictions. Looking for workers from third countries will be a little easier for employers than it was in previous years, given the new rules regarding the employment of seasonal returnees and faster procedures have been announced.

For more, check out our dedicated news section.

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Accommodation in Croatian Luxury Villas in 2023 20% More Expensive

February the 15th, 2023 - Croatian luxury villas are always in demand, but staying in them this year will typically see you forking out as much as 20 percent more.

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, bookings for Croatian luxury villas (in reference to short-term rentals for tourism) have been in full swing since December 2022, despite prices being about 20 percent higher than they were last year owing to continued inflationary pressures. Rather unsurprisingly, the Austrians are the most numerous guests of all in this luxury segment, the British are also making a strong comeback, while Croatia's most faithful visitors, the Germans, are opting for Greece in larger than usual numbers this year.

Bookings from outside of Europe and from distant destinations are also growing, as evidenced by the agency My Luxoria, one of the three largest agencies specialising in the rental of Croatian luxury villas and other sorts of holiday homes. My Luxoria boasts more than 700 Croatian luxury villas in its portfolio, and annually they bring about 20,000 guests to the Republic of Croatia, most of which have considerably higher purchasing power (read: deeper pockets).

Ankica Caleta, the owner and director of the My Luxoria agency, revealed that half of the booked accommodation they've secured so far this year is for stays of seven nights, the Germans stay on holiday the longest on average, around ten days, and guests stay in Istria the longest of all Croatian regions.

Istria and Kvarner are mostly being booked by Germans and Austrians. Europeans who fly by plane, such as from the UK, more often choose to land at Split Airport and then head to their accommodation in various Dalmatian villas. In this segment too, seasonality is still a problem, because most catering and hospitality establishments, attractions and other entertainment facilities are still closed.

"Guests who book the most luxurious homes in which to stay while they're here have nowhere to spend their money outside of their accommodation facilities at this time of year, and it is up to us to respond to that demand in order to retain guests within the elite tourism segment," says Caleta.

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

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Moving to Croatia - How to Obtain Temporary Residence as an EU/EEA National

February the 15th, 2023 - In this edition of Moving to Croatia, I'm going to take you through the ways of obtaining lawful residence in Croatia as a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) national. Good news if this is you - you've got it a lot easier than third country nationals.

What is an EU national?

An EU national is a person who holds the national citizenship of one of the 27 European Union member states.

What is an EEA national?

An EEA national is someone who holds the national citizenship of an EEA member state, which doesn't have to also be an EU member state. Norway, for example, is an EEA country, but it isn't a member state of the EU.

Jargon buster

As stated, the EEA includes the 27 European Union member states and Norway, Iceland, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Just like third-country nationals, as an EEA citizen, you can be in Croatia on a short-term stay, or obtain temporary and then permanent residence in Croatia. When granted a permit, you're obliged to carry that permit with you at all times or face a possible 100 kuna fine.

Short-term stay: 

As a citizen of the EEA/EU, you have the right of entry into the Republic of Croatia without a visa, you also enjoy the right to reside in the Republic of Croatia for up to three months from the date your initial entry into the country if you hold a valid travel document or government issued identity card.

Temporary residence:

Contrary to popular belief, the type which fuelled Brexit, you do not have the right to simply stay in another EEA country without providing several things to the powers that be. Freedom of movement is exactly that, movement, it is not the right of residence unless you are able to fulfil certain requirements that the host country seeks from you. If you're moving to Croatia, you must register for temporary residence no later than eight days before your initial 90 days of visa free stay come to an end in Croatia. You can do so by submitting your application for temporary residence with your local police station which is responsible for the area of your residency in Croatia. Failure to do this will result in a fine, typically of 100/200 kuna, this can vary. You can also now make the application online by finding your local police administration's email address. Click here for a list.

What you'll need to provide as part of your application as an EEA/EU citizen:

Your birth certificate

A copy of your birth certificate (this isn't a legal requirement anymore, but many smaller administrative police stations still ask for it, so it's better to have it than to not have it)

A valid passport 

A scanned copy (its wise to make several copies), of the photographic ID of the page with your details in your passport

A colour 35x45mm photograph (passport style, not passport size - MUP will either take your photo there or direct you to a nearby place where it can be done to the correct measure)

Proof of health insurance (this can be obtained by going to a HZZO office or by showing you have an EU health card. In some circumstances, EEA nationals are not asked to provide proof of health insurance. Please note that due to the EU's double taxation laws, you cannot be publicly insured in two EU countries at the same time, and should you be required to show proof of health insurance, you'll need to provide proof of release from your old EU provider in your country of origin. Once again, EEA nationals are being asked to provide proof of health insurance less and less frequently). An EHIC should be sufficient.

Proof of funds to sustain yourself for the foreseen length of stay in Croatia (this can be proven with a printed statement from the bank showing and attesting to the amount in the account. Please note that while you once had to open a Croatian bank account in order to do this, you no longer do. You can show the funds in your local bank account. You'll need an OIB (personal identification/tax number) to open a Croatian bank account, however, and this can be easily obtained at the local tax office (porezna uprava).

Proof of the justification of the reason behind your request for temporary residency

Proof of having somewhere to stay (this can be proven in several ways, from proof of having purchased property, to a notarised rental contract, to the friend, partner or family member you're living with coming with you to the police station)

As an EEA/EU citizen, you'll be approved for temporary residence in Croatia if:

You're coming to work or carry out your activities as a self-employed person

You have sufficient means of subsistence for yourself and your family members (if applicable) so as not to become a burden on the social welfare system during your stay in the Republic of Croatia

You have health insurance (again, this may not even be asked of you)

If you're attending higher education or vocational education and you have adequate health insurance, and by means of a bank statement, you can prove that you have sufficient means to support yourself and any of your dependents should that be applicable in your case

If you're the non-EEA family member who is joining an EEA citizen who meets the above conditions, you can get temporary residence granted to you, too

You can get the form you'll need to fill in from MUP when you go there or by emailing them making your request. When you provide this and all of the documents listed above, you'll need to show your original passport or travel document which you entered Croatian territory with. The scanned copy of it will be verified by the official dealing with your case upon seeing that it matches the original.

Once approved, you'll be given a slip of paper (registration certificate) attesting to that fact. Don't lose it as you'll need to present it when coming to pick up your card. It can take a few weeks, but you'll be contacted to come to the police station and pick up your card, which will have a validity of five years if you make sure to ask for that time period.


As an EEA/EU citizen, you're afforded many more travel opportunities than third country nationals when it comes to moving to Croatia and subsequently living here. You aren't tied into the 30-day rule and there is a much more relaxed approach. EU law, by which Croatia is bound, states that EU/EEA citizens can leave Croatia for up to six months in any one calendar year without endangering the validity of their residence.

You're also free to work without the need for a work (work and stay) permit.

After you're granted permanent residence after five years of lawful temporary residence (which we'll explore in another article) the perks get even better.


For more on moving to Croatia, living in Croatia and conquering everything from snake bites to health insurance, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Is Croatia Becoming Dependent on American Liquefied Gas?

February 14, 2023 - For the first time in the thirty-year history of the Croatian state, the United States of America has made its way into Croatia's four most important foreign trade partners when it comes to importing goods, all thanks to the import of American liquefied gas.

As Poslovni / Večernji List write, in the first 11 months of last year, goods worth 2.88 billion euros were imported from America, in contrast to the year before, when imports were only 415 million euros. More significant goods imports were recorded only from the traditionally strongest Croatian partners of Italy, Germany, and Slovenia.

The value of goods imported from the USA is seven times higher than that of goods imported in 2021, all thanks to the liquefied gas that ended up in the liquid natural gas terminal in Omišalj.

How much of last year's imported liquefied gas remained in Croatia and how much was exported to other countries is currently impossible to read from the first commodity exchange data because such analyses are published afterward.

It is possible that the gas was going to Hungary and Cyprus because exports to those two countries stand out. However, while the import of expensive liquefied gas from America exploded, the export of Croatian companies to the US decreased by around 9 percent compared to the year before, which is contrary to the general trend in the foreign trade exchange of Croatian entrepreneurs.

The value of merchandise exports in 2022 was 23.9 billion euros, which is 30 percent more than in 2021, while imports increased by 46 percent, to 41.6 billion euros, announced the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DZS).

The figures are dizzying and are mainly the result of inflation and rising energy prices, and judging by the dynamics with which exports grew; it seems that inflation is also slowing down, writes Večernji list journalist Ljubica Gatarić.

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

Tuesday, 14 February 2023

Geothermal Potential Assessment Currently Underway in Vinkovci

 February 14, 2023 - Geothermal potential assessment is underway in the Vinkovci area in order to determine the actual state of the thermal water reservoirs for their use for heating.

"The town of Vinkovci has a heating system to which about 1,700 households are connected, and - if this research proves to be fruitful - we could turn to renewable energy sources. However, it is not only a question of heating but also industry, especially agriculture, which could benefit when it comes to greenhouse production," said the deputy mayor of Vinkovci, Josip Romić, on his Monday visit to the locality where the geothermal potential is being assessed, writes 24Sata.

According to the mayor, the benefits of using geothermal energy sources are multiple, from sustainable circular management of renewable energy sources to energy independence, all for the sake of long-term economic profitability.

"It is estimated that citizens' heating bills would be 50 percent lower by switching to heating from geothermal sources," said Romić.

Through the National Recovery and Sustainability Plan, the geothermal potential assessment project for use in heating is being implemented in six locations in Croatia.

In the area of Zaprešić, Velika Gorica, Sisak, and Osijek, the assessment has been completed; in Vinkovci, it is in progress, and the next one will take place in the area of Vukovar, said the director of the Geothermal Energy Sector of the Agency for Hydrocarbons, Martina Tuschl.

She explained how seismic recording is performed by observing the movement of the seismic wave from its source on the surface to the geological elements in the underground, from which it is reflected, and its return to the receiver, the geophone. By returning the wave to the surface, where the wireless geophones are located, a clear picture of what is under the ground is obtained.

The assessment is carried out by the Polish company Geofizika Torun.

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

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