Thursday, 16 March 2023

2022 Saw Record Number of Croatian Startups Receive Investments

March the 16th, 2023 - Last year was a record year for Croatian startups receiving investments, some of which involved enormous sums of money. What will 2023 be like?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, there is no winter rest period or a sense of being ''out of season'' for Croatian startups, and despite investors' caution towards making any particularly risky investments, as much as 958.3 million US dollars were invested in Croatian startups in the first three quarters of last year alone. The aforementioned was concluded at the Algebra startup meetup, which was recently held at the Algebra campus in the City of Zagreb, on the Algebra Spark Event Space premises.

Bernard Ivezic, the editor of the Startup Report magazine, said that the appearance of unicorns such as Infobip and Rimac, as well as big exits like Nanobit and Gamepires, and now Photomath's astonishing success with Google, encourage an increase in investor interest in Croatian startups. Last year seeing a record number of Croatian startups receive investments proves that. "However, due to the war in Ukraine and the hectic exit from the coronavirus pandemic, investment values are lower than they were before, although for Croatian conditions they're still very good. 2022 was the second best year so far," Ivezic pointed out.

Four new venture capital funds are coming to the Croatian market, and over the next five years, the amount of money that will be made available to Croatian startups will be 10 times higher than it was in the past - standing at about 300 million euros. A lot of money also means more problems for funds that are going to need to start competing for startups, which makes the entire ecosystem quite dynamic and competitive, especially in an environment of crisis and economic uncertainty.

"In a crisis, it's important to always lead by example, and that's what the leaders of every startup should focus on. Investors expect this period to last 24 to 36 months. It's the most difficult for seed stage startups that aren't yet in the portfolio, because for them the risks are the greatest, as is their dependence on investors.

This is precisely why good networking with potential investors is most important - my advice is not only to look at them, but also at their portfolio of companies and the companies with which they're connected, because building that network of acquaintances is the key to future success," Miryana Joksovic from Arcion Labs pointed out, before reflecting on recent layoffs in the tech community.

"Most of those who were previously employed in large companies can hardly adapt to the new startup culture, so the question is how we can connect this talent to the startup ecosystem, because they're used to different work standards, atypical for the dynamics of those entrepreneurs who are only just starting to build their own companies,'' explained Joksovic.

Matija Nakic, the founder of Farseer, saw that every crisis, including this one, can also double up as an opportunity. "Our process of getting investments wasn't dramatic and we got the hang of it quickly. Investments have slowed down if we look at the environment, while in the last two years there has been a lot of capital and a significant jump in employment and investments in IT companies. I love crises and I think they're a good opportunity to rethink things like business models. People who left large IT companies like Google will surely find a job quickly because they have excellent knowledge and will return to the ecosystem and bring this new knowledge to young companies. I believe that we have an interesting couple of years ahead of us, especially with the increasing influence of AI".

"In 2021 and 2022, capital was cheap not only for startups but also for funds. In the last quarter of 2022, there was a significant drop in investments. There is money, investments have been shaken up, but they haven't stopped", emphasised Vedran Blagus from South Central Ventures.

Despite the data on the reduced investment wave as a result of global economic events, the panelists agreed that the challenging period facing the domestic and global startup scene is only a prelude to the continuation of a fairly prosperous period. Namely, Croatian startups now face new challenges in the form of investment in research and development, as the basis of new innovations that can help them to overcome these times of crisis.

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

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Zagreb Stock Exchange Expecting Stagnation After Credit Suisse Collapse

March 16, 2023 - Cautious trading is expected on the Zagreb Stock Exchange on Thursday, where the Crobex index could stagnate, and the focus of investors will be events on world stock exchanges, which could recover after yesterday's sharp fall.

As Index reports, all analysts who participated in the Hina survey today expect Crobex to stagnate.

The Crobex index sank on Wednesday by 1.76 percent, to 2,218 points, and Crobex10 by 1.73 percent, to 1,267 points.

It was the biggest daily decline of these indices in the last two months, and they slipped to the lowest levels since February 27.

At the same time, all sector indices also fell, with Crobextransport seeing the most significant change of 4.87 percent.

Regular share turnover amounted to approximately 1.37 million euros, about 100 thousand more than the day before.

"The main stock indices on the Zagreb Stock Exchange ended yesterday's trading in the 'red', following the negative sentiment that prevailed on foreign markets. The total turnover amounted to EUR 1.4 million. Almost the total amount related to the trading of shares, while bonds were traded in the amount of only 5 thousand euros," points out Miso Kalajzic, head of brokerage trading at OTP bank.

The highest turnover achieved by the HT share

The highest turnover, 177 thousand euros, was achieved yesterday by the HT shares, whose price fell by 0.78 percent to 25.50 euros.

With a turnover of 163.5 thousand euros, Span shares followed, whose price sank by 2.58 percent to 49.1 euros.

The focus was also on the Podravka shares, with which EUR 146,000 was realized, with the price falling by 2.17 percent to EUR 90.

Shares of Atlantska Plovidba achieved more than 100,000 euros in turnover, whose price fell by almost three percent to 58.6 euros.

The biggest loser was the share of Alpha Adriatic, with a price drop of 10.5 percent to 23.8 euros.

The share price of the Zagreb Stock Exchange rose the most, by 2.7 percent, to 3.8 euros.

A total of 37 shares were traded on the Zagreb Stock Exchange yesterday, of which the price of only four rose, 25 fell, and eight stagnated.

"For today, we predict stagnation in the movement of stock indices, whereby the direction could largely depend on the sentiment on foreign markets," said Miso Kalajzic.

Fear of a banking crisis weighed on world stock markets

Thus, yesterday, Crobex followed the sharp decline of European stock market indices. The London FTSE slipped 3.8 percent, while the Frankfurt DAX sank 3.3 and the Paris CAC 3.6 percent.

Stock indices suffered sharp corrections on the most important European stock exchanges yesterday. The biggest losses were in the shares of the banking sector, continuing the crisis that started last week with the collapse of the SVB bank in the USA. Of yesterday's more important announcements, the growth of industrial production in the Eurozone stands out, which was somewhat better than expected, while in the USA, a drop in the rate of producer prices was recorded, as well as a drop in retail sales.

Stock prices fell on Wall Street on Wednesday. The Dow Jones lost 0.9 percent, and the S&P 500 lost 0.7 percent. The Nasdaq index gained 0.05 percent.

Recovery is expected

This morning, European futures indices are positive, which heralds the market's recovery after yesterday's sharp decline caused by the problems of the second-largest Swiss bank, Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse's share price sank about 14 percent to record lows yesterday after the bank reported weaknesses in its financial statements for the past year, and the bank's biggest investor, Saudi National Bank, said it could not provide any further financial support aid to this Swiss bank.

This, along with the collapse of SVB at the end of last week, caused speculation about which other banks could be in trouble.

But fears of a banking crisis eased somewhat this morning after news that the Swiss central bank will open a nearly $54 billion credit line to Credit Suisse.

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

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Obesity in Croatia: This Epidemic Could Cause Some Big Problems

March 16, 2023 - If we continue like this, in 2060, 3.5 percent of our GDP will go away, and we will be spending around 5.8 billion euros on something preventable," warned Music Milanovic while discussing the problem of obesity in Croatia.

As Poslovni writes, Croatian citizens are the fattest in the European Union, and treating diseases related to obesity costs 1.7 billion euros annually, it was pointed out on Wednesday at the 7th conference on obesity at the Institute for Public Health "Dr. Andrija Štampar".

"About 35 percent of children and 65 percent of adults in Croatia are overweight or obese. Children are in the high fifth place, while our adults are European champions, both men and women," said Sanja Music Milanovic, head of the Health Promotion Service of the Croatian Public Health Service (HZJZ), before the conference.

She also stated that in 2019, 2.7 percent of the GDP was spent on obesity-related diseases.

"1.71 billion euros. If we continue like this, in 2060, 3.5 percent of our GDP will go away, and we will be spending around 5.8 billion euros on something preventable," warned Music Milanovic.

She also asserted that obesity is the result of the environment in which we live and which forces us to consume more while using less energy.

The conference was held on Croatian Obesity Awareness Day, and this year it was dedicated to young people, changes in habits and behavior.

When asked if the Government stimulates weight gain by protecting the prices of foods that make you fat, such as fatty meat, white flour, and oil, Music Milanovic said that any food is fine; it's just a matter of moderation.

Obesity is a disease and a risk factor for numerous other diseases – cardiovascular, locomotor system diseases, mental health, and certain types of cancer.

The problem of obesity at "Štampar" is approached in a multidisciplinary way; they have three counseling centers with a nutritionist, a kinesiologist, a doctor and a psychotherapist.

Last year, the Ministry of Health launched a working group to draft a proposal for an action plan to prevent obesity.

The representative of the Ministry, Ivana Portolan Pajic, reported that the coordination of the action plan, which will be followed by e-Consultations, is still ongoing and is expected to be adopted in the middle of this year.

The primary level of health care should be more concerned with obesity monitoring, said Ino Protrka, director of the Zagreb Center Health Center.

Following this lead, the Health Center Center launched two obesity prevention projects this year; at the diabetes center, they brought together a nutritionist, a pharmacologist and a diabetologist, and they're planning to introduce exercise as a doctor's prescription.

Psychiatrist Veljko Dordevic concluded that obesity was once considered an aesthetic problem, but today we know it is a health problem and one of the leading causes of mortality.

"Obesity is a deadly disease that we need to prevent, treat and monitor throughout life," he said.

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

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Chinese Tourists to Continue Helping Croatian Tourism, Excellent Relations

March 16, 2023 - Starting tomorrow, Croatia will be officially included in the second series of group trips for Chinese tourists, as announced by the Chinese Embassy in Croatia.

As Poslovni reports, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Croatia held a press conference at the Esplanade Hotel, where the internal and external policy of the People's Republic of China in 2023 was discussed, as well as the Chinese point of view on various issues related to international relations between Croatia and China, current world events, changes and challenges in politics, economy. In addition, some main points from the "Two Sessions," an important event in China's political life, held these days, were also discussed.

Two sessions

H. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin, Ambassador of China to Croatia, emphasized four key points of this year's "Two Sessions". One is a reform, strengthening the optimization and adaptation of the responsibilities of institutions in the fields of science and technology, the financial regulatory framework, and big data, and reducing the number of staff in central government bodies by 5%. Another is development - in the past five years, China's GDP has increased to about 18 trillion US dollars, with an average annual growth rate of 5.2%, which ranks it second in the world. This year, stability will be a priority. The goal is to increase the GDP by 5%, which aligns with the consensus forecasts of international financial institutions. Looking ahead, relying on China's huge market size, complete industrial system, abundant human resources, solid foundations for development, and outstanding institutional advantages, China's economic growth will have unlimited prospects, which also provides more new opportunities for Croatia and other countries in the world. The third is openness, the fundamental state policy of China. In the past five years, China has decided to open up even more to the outside world and deepen mutually beneficial international economic and trade cooperation. The fourth is China's modernization, which strives to achieve shared prosperity for all instead of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This means an increase in the Chinese people's purchasing power and scope of market consumption.

Chinese foreign policy

The meeting discussed China's foreign policy. H. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin emphasized that in the face of the complicated international situation, China's overall foreign policy remains unchanged, and China will continue to implement an independent foreign policy of peace and a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up; China will always be a builder of world peace, contribute to global development and defend international order. China will keep in mind the interests of the world, look at internationalism, and actively participate in global governance. Over the past ten years, President Xi Jinping has put forward several important initiatives and proposals, the Belt and Road Initiative, the shared values of humankind, the Global Development Initiative, and the Global Security Initiative. The main message of these initiatives is that countries are interdependent, humanity has a common future, and the international community must unite for cooperation.

This year, China's diplomacy will be carried out in the following five aspects: follow the guidelines of diplomacy at the highest level, and defend China's core interests. China opposes any form of hegemony and power politics, and Cold War mentality. It will build an extensive partnership relationship. The goal is openness and development. It will encourage high-quality development and openness to high standards. It will champion an open and inclusive world economy and create new opportunities for the world. It will move towards multilateralism. It will promote the building of a community with a future for all humanity, promote greater democracy in international relations, and make global governance more just and equitable. It will offer more, better Chinese insights and solutions to help solve humanity's common challenges.

Relations between China and the EU

Relations between China and the EU were also discussed; Mr. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin stated: "China has always seen the European Union as a comprehensive strategic partner and supports European integration. We believe that our interactions are an independent choice of the two parties based entirely on our respective strategic interests. The relationship between China and the EU is neither directed against any third party nor subordinated to or controlled by any third party. Trade and investment between the EU and China continue to grow. According to Eurostat data, the trade volume between China and the EU reached 856.3 billion euros in 2022, with an increase of 22.8%. China is the second-largest trading partner of the EU, the largest source of imports, and the third-largest export market. In the future, it is important to maintain good relations between China and the EU."

Relations between China and the USA

Mr. Qi Qianjin referred to the relations between China and the US and commented on the recent incident related to the drone. He emphasized that it was entirely an accident caused by force majeure. He stated that China does not pose a threat to the US and that China does not want to create problems. China is dedicated to promoting the healthy and stable development of relations with the US in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and mutually beneficial cooperation.

The Taiwan question

Mr. Qi Qianjin also touched on the issue of Taiwan: "Taiwan is part of the territory of the People's Republic of China." It is the inviolable duty of all Chinese, including our compatriots in Taiwan, to carry out the great task of reunifying the motherland. This is our position on the Taiwan issue. Solving the Taiwan issue is a matter for the Chinese people, and no other country has the right to interfere."

The war in Ukraine

The crisis and the war in Ukraine were also discussed. China's Position on the Political Resolution of the Ukraine Crisis was recently published, which comprehensively and systematically explains China's position and proposals on the Ukraine crisis, which can be summed up in one sentence: to promote peace and negotiations.

The ambassador emphasized that China firmly rejects the use or threat of nuclear weapons, advocates that nuclear weapons should not be used, and that nuclear wars should not be fought. Last week, China donated 200,000 euros to Ukraine's nuclear safety technical assistance project through the International Atomic Energy Agency, supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency's efforts to strengthen the safety of Ukraine's nuclear facilities through practical action.

Chinese-Croatian relations

Since establishing diplomatic relations between China and Croatia 30 years ago, China has always considered Croatia a good friend and partner. The two sides have always respected each other, setting a good example of friendly cooperation between countries with different populations and social systems.

Economic and trade cooperation flourished. Last year, the trade volume between China and Croatia reached 2.42 billion US dollars, increasing more than 60 times in just 30 years. The Peljesac Bridge, a project of trilateral cooperation between China, Croatia, and the EU, opened to traffic as scheduled last year, becoming a symbol of friendship between the two nations. H. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin pointed out: "Since I arrived in Croatia a year and a half ago, Croatian friends from all walks of life have been full of praise, stressing that the bridge has helped Croatia achieve its long-awaited desire to connect the north and south of the country, strongly promoted local economic and social development, embodied China's speed and showed a good image of Chinese companies. Croatian government officials aptly call it the brightest pearl in the crown of Sino-Croatian relations."

The Senj wind farm, built by Chinese companies, annually provides about 530 million KWH of clean electricity for Croatia, helping the country achieve a green energy transformation and better cope with the current energy crisis. Chinese companies like Huawei and Xiaomi are dedicated to providing more high-quality products and services for Croatia. At the same time, high-quality agricultural products from Croatia, such as wine, olive oil, and truffles have been put on the tables of Chinese families. In the future, more high-quality food will enter the Chinese market, which is one of the priorities of the Chinese embassy, as well as work to strengthen mutual deepening and friendship between the two sides.

H. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin emphasized: "Croatia will be officially included in the list of the second series of group trips by Chinese citizens from tomorrow, and we believe that the number of Chinese tourists will recover this year or even exceed the number from 2019. In the future, we will constantly strive to strengthen the exchange and cooperation between the two countries at all levels and in all kinds of areas and to deepen the friendship between the two peoples. In particular, by hosting the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, we will use the potential for deepening cooperation and advancing practical cooperation in infrastructure, green energy, digitization, and agriculture as an opportunity. We also hope that our Croatian friends will take the opportunity and make good use of the benefits of China's rapid economic recovery and its large middle-class market of over 400 million people

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

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Vukovar Card to Be Presented at Dangerous Ideas 2 Zagreb Conference

March 16, 2023 - So what are the ideas to build a better Croatia? An innovative conference in Zagreb on Saturday - the second edition of Dangerous Ideas.

This is turning out to be a hugely positive week for me. 

Firstly, I welcomed on board my first official partner to try and realise my concept of the Dalmatian 'Olympics' of Traditional Dalmatian Games, an attend to preserve and celebrate the individual heritage of Dalmatian villages before some of these traditions are lost. You can read more about the concept in Introducing the Traditional Dalmatian Games Olympics: Get Involved!


Yesterday's fun was at Kaptol Cinema for the annual 3T - Tourism, Travel and Technology conference, which was a very inspiring and GREAT networking event. In addition to presenting Unlocking Croatia's 12-Month Authentic Tourism Potential, there was a great chat with conference organiser Oleg Mastruko on how Croatia can compete in the modern multi-polar tourism world. Great energy and an awesome list of speakers. 

Tonight is one of my favourite events of the year, where seemingly all the positive energy in Croatia gathers for one night - the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award. It always feels as if the future of Croatia is gathered in one room for an evening. 

And as if that was not enough fun, a nice addition to the weekend at Hotel Westin in Zagreb on Saturday, for a conference which is bound to throw out some very cool suggestions. Dangerous Ideas 2, an initiative from the Centar party nd FNF (and no, I am not interested in Croatian politics, but I do support cool ideas) to invite people to pitch their ideas for a better Croatia.

"All the good stuff you wish could happen in Croatia but nobody dares to implement."

Each speaker will have just 10 minutes to get their points across, and there is a very impressive list of speakers, and I am grateful for the invitation to contribute my 10 minutes. You can see the timetable and list of speakers below. Everyone is welcome, and the event will be streamed live here


I will be presenting my concept, the Vukovar Card, a New Deal for Eastern Croatia, which you can learn about in this video from my channel.

The conference is open to all, and entrance is free, starting at 10:00 at Hotel Westin.

The latest sprinkling of positivity in Croatia - there is a lot of it about these days. 

See you there!


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel 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.

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



Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Hajduk U19s Make History and Advance to UEFA Youth League Semi-final!

March 15, 2023 - Hajduk U19s are in the semi-final of the UEFA Youth Champions League!

In the quarter-final match at Signal Iduna Park in Germany, Hajduk U19s defeated Borussia Dortmund on penalties. After 90 minutes it was 1-1, and Marijan Budimir's team won 9-8 on pens after a wild shootout.

Dortmund maintained possession throughout the match while Hajduk had more chances. Hajduk had its first serious attempt in the 21st minute when Roko Brajković's left-footed shot went just short of the goal post. Hajduk missed an even bigger chance in the 64th minute. 

A more concrete game by Hajduk finally resulted in a goal in the 72nd minute. Brajković precisely crossed from the right side to Mate Antunović who found the back of the net with a beautiful header for the lead! 

However, Borussia came back only four minutes later. Julian Rijkhoff accurately executed the penalty kick after Tomislav Arković fouled Michel Ludwig.  Hajduk was not swayed by that goal, and they were close to winning even before the penalty shootout. Brunner almost shook his own net after Hrgović's cross hit the top of the crossbar and was saved by the Dortmund defense.

The drama of penalties did not prove to be a problem for Hajduk. During the eight rounds, both sides were infallible, but in the ninth, Hajduk's goalkeeper Borna Buljan saved Filippo Mane's shot, while Ante Kavelj scored for the big celebration! 

With this victory against Borussia Dortmund, the Hajduk U19s qualified for the semi-finals of the UEFA Youth League. Hajduk has thus made history and became the first Croatian club to reach the semi-finals of this competition. 

The final tournament will be played in Nyon, Switzerland, from April 21 to 24. In addition to Hajduk, Sporting, AZ Alkmaar, and AC Milan advanced to the semi-finals.

On April 21, Hajduk will play against AC Milan, while Sporting and AZ will compete in the second semi-final. 

The final is scheduled for three days later, on April 24. 

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

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

My Greatest Achievement in Croatia: a Seat on the Dalmatian Bench

March 15, 2023 - Life in Dalmatia is amazing. The pace of life, the polako, the pomalo, the laganini.

Over the years, I became fixated with the wise elders of Jelsa, as they gathered each evening on the white bench under the Mayor's office to discuss the weighty matters of the day.

I can't explain it but I became a little bit obsessed, and all I wanted was an invitation to sit with them on the bench, an honour that is never bestowed upon foreigners, I was assured.

And then one day, after 13 years...


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel 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.

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


Wednesday, 15 March 2023

How to Authenticate/Legalise Foreign and Croatian Documents

March the 15th, 2023 - In this edition of How to Croatia, I'm going to take you through the process of authenticating both foreign-issued and Croatian documents. For documents issued by certain countries, no such procedure is required. Read on.

First things first, why do you need to have certain foreign and Croatian documents authenticated, and what does that even mean?

Authentication is the legalisation of certain documents that Croatia requires to go through that process, such as diplomas, certificates, or public documents such as records.

Let's say you're an Indian national and you have documents issued to you officially by the Indian authorities and you need to have them authenticated for use here in Croatia. You'll need to have the authentication done by the Indian authorities, not the Croatian ones. This is usually done with an official stamp and/or mark such as a signature.

The process of authentication verifies the authenticity of the stamp and/or signature on the document, but not the content the document contains

So, back to being an Indian national with Indian documents which need to be authenticated by the Indian authorities - you'll need to do this in order to legally use said documents and have them be valid for Croatia. In order to exercise some sort of right that said documents afford you here in Croatia, an apostille stamp will be required from the issuing nation (in this case, India).

What about public Croatian documents?

If you need to have a public document issued by a Croatian authority authenticated, you'll need to request an apostille stamp from the municipal court in Croatia competent for the territory on which the issuing authority is located.

A German document requires the German authorities, a French document requires the French authorities, a Croatian document requires the Croatian authorities, etc.

The legalisation process for Croatian documents issued to you by the Croatian authorities:

If you have public Croatian documents which require legalisation by the powers that be and you're abroad, with the intention of exercising a right that document affords you abroad, you'll need to do the following:

First and foremost, you'll need to have that document or documents translated by a court interpreter in Croatia.

Then, you'll need to have it authenticated by the municipal court competent for the territory where the issuing authority is located, as touched on above.

You'll then have to request legalisation of a judge's signature and a court stamp from the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration

Last but by no means least, you'll need to then request legalisation of both the official signature and stamp of the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Sound like a headache? It can be. So be prepared to do a bit of running around. If you've spent any considerable amount of time in Croatia and dealt with anything remotely administrative, you'll already be aware of that. With that, I'll get into the next bit which will likely contribute to any headaches already being suffered. You'll need to request all of the above by paying a physical visit to the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration. Lucky you.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Administration authenticates documents for use abroad on:

From Monday to Thursday from 09:00 to 11:00 and then from 13:00 to 15:00.

On Fridays from 09:00 to 12:00.

Are there any countries and their documents which are exempt from this process?

Yes. Thanks to European Union (EU) regulations, more specifically the one which promotes one of the main pillars of the functioning of the bloc - freedom of movement - some countries and some documents are exempt.

Since the year 2019, certain (but not all) public documents and their certified copies issued by an EU member state are exempt from needing to go through the legalisation or authentication process within another EU member state. As stated, this doesn't mean every single document is exempt, and for some of them, you can ask for what's known as a multilingual standard form to avoid translation requirements.

You can find the list of countries which have some of their public documents exempt from this requirement by clicking here.


These exemptions only apply to documents and their certified copies issued by an EU member state's public authorities which are being presented to the public authorities of another EU member state. For example, if you're a German national with certain German Government-issued documents, and you need those documents in Croatia, you won't need to have them authenticated or legalised by the use of an apostille.

As stated above, this applies in certain cases only, such as for the establishment of facts like death, birth, marriage, civil partnership, divorce, legal names and so on. More detailed information and other such items can be found by clicking here.

Costs can be accessed by clicking here.


SOURCES: Courts of the Republic of Croatia and the European Justice's e-Justice portal


For more on moving to and living in Croatia, which covers everything from ferry, pet and parking tips to getting residence, health insurance and a job, make sure to keep an eye out for our dedicated How to Croatia articles in our lifestyle section which are published every Wednesday.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Green Future Startup Challenge Powered by Infobip: Win 10,000 EUR!

March the 15th, 2023 - The organisers of the Green Future conference invite interested startups to submit innovative solutions in the field of sustainable development by May the 1st, 2023 to be in with a chance of winning 10,000 euros!

For the second consecutive year, Green Future is hosting a conference on ecology, energy, and smart cities at the beginning of June in Split's Croatian National Theatre. As part of this conference, the Startup Challenge will be held for companies that develop innovative solutions in the field of sustainable development. In addition to the lucrative main prize, there are also the Green Communication Awards awarded by Infobip for its products and services in the amount of 100,000 euros.

The Startup Challenge 2023 will allow representatives of ten startups to present their eco-ideas to the jury, and in addition to prizes and expert advice, be given the opportunity to network with industry titans and potential investors. The concept of the competition is also praised by last year's winners:

"By participating and winning the Startup Challenge, we received important support from the business and professional community, as well as confirmation that our application is something the market needs and wants to use. What impressed me the most was the incredible energy of the lecturers, participants, and organizers, their desire to go beyond the established framework of business and do something for the benefit of the environment, while at the same time enjoying themselves," said Duško Radulović from Climatig, last year's winner with an application for predicting climate risks.

The winner of the main Green Communication award last year was the Italian startup Must Had, whose mission is to speed up the transition towards sustainable fashion by selling high-quality clothes, created from the surplus of the fashion industry.

"As an international startup, the win enabled us to present projects to many people focused on sustainability and the circular economy. Just participating in the conference was an excellent opportunity for growth, thanks to networking opportunities and access to technical tools to improve our abilities," said Eugenio Riganti, co-founder of Must Had.

Marked as a tech event not to be missed, the Green Future Conference 2023 will be held in Split's HNK, on ​​June 1 and 2, with domestic and international speakers addressing the topics of green transition in the context of technology, finance, energy, environmental protection, public politics, and e-mobility.

"Green Future is a unique platform for connecting and encouraging changes towards a sustainable future, where everyone has the opportunity to network with experts from different industries, exchange experiences, and explore new business opportunities," said Ivan Burazin, Infobip board member for developer experience, emphasizing that the Startup Challenge is an opportunity to learn about the latest ideas on the market, and at the same time help young entrepreneurs on their way to success.

The first Croatian unicorn, Infobip, is also this year's main partner in the startup competition:

"We are proud to be part of the Green Future conference, as a fantastic platform for the exchange of ideas, where young developers get the opportunity to learn, progress and make key contacts." - said Nikola Pavešić, Infobip's director for the startup ecosystem and head of the Infobip Startup Tribe, and invited all young companies and individuals to apply for participation in the Startup Challenge.

Those interested can register here, and you can follow the news about the Green Future conference and the Startup Challenge 2023 on the official website.


For more, check out our business section.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Dina Levacic Becomes First Croatian to Complete Oceans Seven Challenge

March 15, 2023 - It's over. Or just starting, who knows, it's up to Dina to decide. Top Split swimmer Dina Levacic swam across the Cook Strait in New Zealand and thus completed the Oceans Seven.

As Slobodna Dalmacija writes, this Croatian long-distance swimmer swam the 23-kilometer-wide Cook's Strait in New Zealand, becoming only the 23rd person in the world and the first in Croatia to swim all seven major world marathons. The first person to swim all seven channels was Stephen Redmond in 2012, while the last was Adrian Sarchet in February 2020.

Dina Levacic's story began in 2017 when she swam the Catalina Channel in California, then the English Channel in Europe, the Moloka'i Channel in Hawaii, the Tsugaru Strait in Japan, the Strait of Gibraltar, and the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland. The young woman from Split announced her latest success on social media on her 27th birthday, after 11 hours of swimming, with high waves and an ocean temperature of around 16 degrees. The Cook Strait is located between the North and South Islands in New Zealand, and due to the low temperature of the ocean and strong currents, it is considered one of the most difficult swimming challenges.

"I would be overjoyed if it happened on my birthday, but it could also happen in the next few days," the optimistic Dina Levacic said at a recent press conference. Her birthday wish ended up coming true.

"Thank you to everyone who was by my side, not only in swimming but also in education, my professional and private life. This is the success of everyone who stands behind me; I am proud that my name will stand next to 22 others who completed all seven swims. And that the Croatian flag will stand next to those who swam the Oceans Seven. Now I just need to blow out the candles on my birthday cake before midnight", said Dina Levacic.

She shared how the sea felt and what she was going through.

"Greetings to everyone after the final adventure and project that began in 2017 with the Catalina swim. Today was quite challenging, which was expected, although I was hoping for the weather to be a bit calmer, but that's how it is in this sport. Unpredictable. The waves were quite strong, and we hoped the sea would calm down during the day, but it didn't. It was merciless, but the most important thing was that I reached the South Island and touched the coast, and the main goal was fulfilled. Now I can start realizing some new projects. This is a great success and the crown of 23 years of swimming training. All the sacrifice, work, and effort paid off. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way.

She still wants to swim...

"From Vis to Split, I hope that I will finally succeed," she announced at the press conference before leaving for New Zealand.

Dina's Oceans Seven

2017 - Catalina Channel in California

On August 3, 2017, Dina Levacic became the first person from Croatia to swim the 34 km long Catalina channel. She swam from Catalina Island to Los Angeles. The start was at night, at 11 pm local time. Dina crossed the finish line after 9 hours and 47 minutes, reaching the beach below the Trump National Golf Club.

2017 - The La Manche

Dina swam 45 kilometers in 11 hours and 42 minutes. The main challenge was beating herself, to spend a long time in the icy water with a temperature of 16.5 degrees. Although the channel is 34 kilometers wide in its narrowest part, more swimming is needed due to unfavorable conditions.

2018 - Moloka'i Channel in Hawaii

The Moloka'i channel in Hawaii is 42 kilometers long. The weather conditions for swimming the channel were far from ideal, a strong wind with gusts of 50 km/h, high waves that made swimming even more difficult, and even a jellyfish that burned her badly. However, none of these was an insurmountable obstacle, and this marathon lasted 13 hours.

2019 - Tsugaru Strait in Japan

Tsugaru in Japan is located between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido and connects the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean. Dina started at midnight local time and swam almost 31 kilometers to Hokkaido in seven hours, 13 minutes, and 15 seconds.

2022 - Strait of Gibraltar

In 2022, this was Dina Levacic's fastest swim of 15.3 kilometers that, separate Europe from Africa, that is, Spain from Morocco. A total of 84 male and female swimmers swam across Gibraltar last year, and Dina swam across it on June 18 in just 3 hours and 3 minutes.

2022 - The North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland

Dina Levacic became the first person from Croatia to swim the 34-kilometer-wide North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland; it took her 10 hours, 26 minutes, and 58 seconds.

2023 - The Cook Strait in New Zealand

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