Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Future of Europe: Successful Croatian Stories

ZAGREB, 11 May, 2021 - Successful Croatian stories and a plan to include citizens in Europe's development were presented on Tuesday at the Croatian parliament, during the first part of the "Conference on the Future of Europe - A Vision of Croatia," during which Speaker Gordan Jandroković entered a debate with a robot.

The Conference on the Future of Europe is a pan-European, democratic project during which citizens have an opportunity to decide on how the EU should develop.

This is a project in which "citizens are in the centre," European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography Dubravka Šuica said.

Citizens can participate in panel discussions, debates and the plenary session, in which 108 seats are reserved for citizens.

An equal number is allocated to representatives of national parliaments and MEPs.

The plenary session will also include 54 Council representatives (two for each member state), three members of the European Commission, and representatives of the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Council, social partners and civil society.

"If we miss out on including citizens, we will leave room for populist ideas," said Šuica.

The conference provides a digital platform where citizens can exchange ideas, connect, make recommendations and launch initiatives.

Šuica warned that according to forecasts, by 2070 Europeans will account for only 4% of the global population and she believes that demography will be a point of interest for citizens.

Robot  argues with Jandroković

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković was the conference's host and during his opening address he was interrupted by Pepper the robot who warned him that he had violated the Standing Orders.

Pepper was made at the Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering in Zagreb.

Pepper and Jandroković then debated about parliamentary procedures. 

Jandroković explained that this is a demonstration of what the future holds.

"If we are not smart enough, robots will manage us and not the other way around," he said.

Successful Croatian stories 

Several successful Croatian stories were then presented to the parliament, including a project by the Sisak-Moslavina County Development Agency (SIMORA) promoting the town of Novska as the centre of the gaming industry in Croatia.

SIMORA director Mario Čelan said that the gaming industry, particularly now during the pandemic, had surpassed the film and music industry with regard to total revenue generated.

He added that the project had already launched 49 start-ups and that a new, four-year study programme for gaming technicians had been developed as well as that the National Recovery and Resilience Plan envisaged a gaming industry campus.

This has motivated young people to settle in Novska and the town now has the largest number of companies in its history, he said.

Dragan Schwarz spoke about Radiochirurgia, a special hospital for oncology patients in Zagreb.

More than 45,000 patients have been examined in the five years since the hospital's establishment and more than 4,000 operations were performed, said Schwarz.

"Our results put us at the very top of the global scene," he added.

Sven Lončarić spoke about the Artificial Intelligence Centre (CAI) of the Zagreb Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering (FER), which consists of 19 research laboratories, with FER currently implementing around 260 projects financed from national and international sources.  

Boranka campaign, Toljanić family awarded with Croatian Sabor medal

Scouts Croatia and the Toljanić family from the island of Krk were awarded with the Croatian Sabor medal.

The Boranka project, implemented by the scouts' alliance, has been awarded with the European Citizen's Prize by the European Parliament in 2020.

Boranka is the largest reforestation project in all of Europe. To date more than 7,000 volunteers have planted more than 85,000 new trees in fire-devastated areas of Dalmatia.

The Toljanić family was named European Family of the Year in 2020. The family has 12 children and has developed a successful winery and hospitality business.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

 

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Boranka Afforestation Campaign Won the European Citizens' Prize for 2020

February 16, 2021 – The Boranka afforestation campaign, an initiative for afforestation of burned areas, has won the European Citizens' Prize for 2020, a recognition awarded by the European Parliament for promoting European values and unity.

Since 2018, when the Croatian Scout Association started implementing it, the Boranka afforestation campaign has gathered more than 7,000 volunteers who have planted more than 85,000 new trees in the burned areas of Dalmatia. That is why Boranka has become the largest volunteer afforestation action in the whole of Europe, but also the most awarded non-profit campaign ever.

As the European Parliament office in Croatia reports, Dan Špicer, the Croatian Scout Association's business director and the Boranka campaign's main coordinator, pointed out that the European Citizens' Prize is a great honor and a great recognition.

"Our Boranka campaign showed how love for nature and the homeland could unite the whole of Croatia, but also be a great example to other European countries of how to treat the environment and the community responsibly. The Croatian Scout Association continues efforts to preserve nature in the future, and such awards are just an additional motivation for us to involve even more citizens and return the greenery to the black fires," said Špicer.

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Source: Boranka

The Croatian Scout Association is the heir to the centuries-old tradition of the scout movement in Croatia. Besides, it is the largest organization for children and youth in the country.

The European Citizens' Prize has been awarded since 2008 to individuals and organizations for initiatives that strengthen the European spirit of solidarity, creativity, and motivation. It is also awarded for initiatives that specifically express the values contained in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Citizens and associations can apply for this award independently, and European Parliament members can also nominate candidates. In each Member State, the national jury selects the finalists. An Award Committee, chaired by the President of the European Parliament, chooses the final winners.

Previous winners in Croatia are: Martina Čuljak with the Help Balkans project, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS), the humanitarian association Fr. Mladen Hrkać, which helps people with health problems and their families who come to Zagreb for treatment, the Transplant association that promotes organ donation and transplantation, and Tvrtko Baron, the director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Southeast Europe.

For more news from Croatia, check out the TCN lifestyle section

Monday, 26 October 2020

Boranka Volunteer Campaign: 4000 New Trees Planted Over Weekend

October 26. 2020 – As part of the largest Croatian afforestation project in Dalmatia – Boranka volunteer campaign, about 200 volunteers planted 4,000 new trees on Saturday and Sunday.

As Hina reports, the afforestation of the places where the fire raged in Dalmatia continued this year in Žrnovnica. Volunteers planted holm oak, cypress, pine, and maritime pine trees in seedlings and seeds, while black pine was planted in seeds.

"The action was attended by scouts from Split and Trogir, members of the Croatian Navy, mountaineers from HPD Mosor and Mountaineering Club Split, members of the Association of Homeland War Veterans Brodosplit, HGSS volunteers, and other volunteers from Split and the surrounding area, including a group of foreigners from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Canada. The Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Croatia, HE Alan Bowman, also joined the action,“ reads the statement.

"We have strongly supported Boranka from the beginning. COVID-19 has not stopped climate change. We need to plant forests in both Croatia and Canada. I am proud that Canadian Canadair aircraft have put out fires in Croatia," said Ambassador Bowman.

This is the third year in which the Boranka campaign has been organized by the Croatian Scout Association in cooperation with Croatian Forests, the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, and the Split Scout Association, and with the support of the Civil Protection Directorate, the Split Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross. Embassy and the City of Split.

So far, more than 6,300 volunteers from all over Croatia have taken part in afforestation actions in the past two years, planting about 65,000 trees in seedlings, seeds, and acorns. Thus, Boranka has already become the largest volunteer action of afforestation of fires in Europe.

The next afforestation actions will be organized for the weekends of November 7th and 8th and November 14th and 15th, in the area of ​​the Split settlement Sitno Donje.

 

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Croatian "Boranka" Campaign Wins Prestigious European Award

The Boranka campaign, conceived by the Imago Ogilvy Agency for the Scout Alliance of Croatia, won the Golden EuroEffie, the most prestigious European award for marketing effectiveness, in Brussels last night.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/VLM writes on the 16th of October, 2019, last night, the most prestigious European marketing performance awards - EuroEffie - were presented in Brussels. One of these valuable statues, the golden one, is coming to not only Croatia, but to the whole region for the very first time thanks to the Imago advertising agency and the Boranka campaign, designed for the Scout Alliance of Croatia.

Having brought the first Cannes Lion to Croatia three years ago, Imago Ogilvy is the first Croatian agency in history to receive EuroEffie for its domestic campaign.

Last year, Boranka encouraged tens of thousands of people to join the largest reforestation volunteer action ever held in the Republic of Croatia. Large forested areas in the vicinity of Split and Solin which were devastated by fires during summer have had trees planted, and this year, that afforestation action is expanding to Zadar County. The Scout Association of Croatia, as the main organiser of the Boranka campaign, plans to gather more than 4,000 volunteers this year in their afforestation campaigns.

The campaign for Boranka has so far been crowned with numerous national and international awards. At the Communication Days (Dani Komunikacija) in Rovinj, Boranka won awards at all of the competitions and was the most awarded Communication Days campaign.

The Golden EuroEffie is just the crown of this year's huge success and acts as a great motivation for everything still to come as Boranka gets bigger every season.

In order to more easily perceive the value of this award, it should be borne in mind that EuroEffie prestigious statues are competed for by the world's largest brands from major European markets, with media and production budgets that we in Croatia can only dream of.

''Any creative who works in advertising will tell you that there is no successful campaign without good creativity and that creativity drives sales.

I don't know, but I stick to the principle that the only good creative is the one that has market results. Even before EuroEffie, we knew that this creativity did a good job because we saw thousands of trees planted around Split and Solin and tens of thousands of people involved in the Boranka campaign.

However, this award is yet another beautiful proof that our creativity is not only effective but appreciated and relevant worldwide. I'm glad that this award happened exactly with the Alliance of Scouts of Croatia who started this wonderful action and who are our true partner in this project,'' says Igor Mladinović, Chief Creative Officer at Imago Ogilvy.

"The interesting thing about the Boranka campaign is the innovative way it has touched people. In the campaign, we produced black ash from the trees burned in the summer fires, with the help of the company Karbon, which was then used as a unique ingredient in the production of crayons called - Boralice. It's a great compliment for us as an agency that this campaign not only touched people in Croatia who are emotionally attached to the story, but also members of the jury of a prestigious communication festival, who come from different European countries. This is an indication that we, from small countries, can not only compete with the big ones, but also be better than them,'' explains Darko Bosnar, Creative Director at Imago Ogilvy.

''Smart creativity, strong insight, a lot of persistence and faith in the project - proves a recipe that has been fruitful. The incredible mutual support of the client and the agency has resulted in a truly positive change for the coming generations, which is also the biggest reward for the team that worked on the project. The European Effie is an additional testament to the quality of the agency's work at the international level and a testament to the fact that everything is possible when a client approaches the agency with a truly partner and open mind,'' adds Hiam Hamed, account manager at Imago Ogilvy.

''To us Croatian scouts, all these awards, and especially now the EuroEffie, which is a gold, are a truly incredible success, but also recognition that we're doing something good and useful for society and the community.

At the same time, this is our additional motivation to encourage and involve even more people in the actions of restoring the nature that has been destroyed. We couldn't just stand by and watch the thousands of acres of forest disappear, we had to react, and the Boranka campaign and the great Imago crew made this possible.

But perhaps more important than all the awards in the world, we now have the opportunity to enable thousands of citizens, especially the youngest, to take responsibility for protecting our nature and the environment through personal action,'' concludes Dan Špicer, Business Director of the Scout Alliance of Croatia and Chief Coordinator of the Boranka campaign.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If you're interested in seeing how Croatia works to protect its environment, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

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