Thursday, 2 September 2021

Croatia, Slovenia and Italy Have Best Ever Cooperation in the Adriatic

ZAGREB, 2 Sept 2021 - Cooperation between Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy in protecting the Adriatic Sea is at its highest level in history, the foreign ministers of Croatia and Slovenia, Gordan Grlić Radman and Anže Logar, said at the Bled Strategic Forum.

Logar and Grlić Radman participated in a panel discussion on cooperation in the Adriatic, which was originally to have been attended online also by Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.

"The Adriatic Sea obliges us to cooperate," said Grlić Radman addressing the panel discussion and adding that the three countries were working to connect ports in the northern Adriatic and care for the blue economy and environmental protection.

Logar said that the three countries had shown that they could cooperate on something "common and very valuable" and that that cooperation had been raised to a completely new level.

The Exclusive Economic Zone is a good way to preserve the Adriatic, however, the Trilateral is even more important, Logar said, referring to cooperation between the three states.

"If anyone pollutes the sea, it will be polluted for all three countries," said Logar.

"We need to cooperate and find a way to preserve that ecosystem," he concluded.

The three countries signed two declarations in December last year and April this year related to protecting the Adriatic and the two documents envisage, among other things, defining and protecting bio-zones in the Adriatic and preserving the sea in general.

After the panel discussion, Grlić Radman and Logar left for Brdo pri Kranju where they will attend an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 6 August 2021

Croatia on G20 Summit: First Quantum Communication with Italy and Slovenia

August 6, 2021 - What the country lacks in terms of economy, it makes up for in science. This was proven during the Croatia on G20 Summit. Along with their counterparts from Slovenia and Italy, Croatia's Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) scientists conducted the first quantum communication, presenting new and safe communication technology.

Unfortunately for the Croatian economy, the country is far from being a member of G20, let alone the prestigious G7, but with the European Union being a member of G20, it's a bit like Croatia is also on the team, too.

Croatian businesses may still face issues, but Croatian science saves the nation's reputation, particularly the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB). As they reported in their press release, Croatia participated in the first public demonstration of quantum communication, along with Italy and Slovenia on the fifth of August. This transmission took place between Trieste, Ljubljana and the Croatian city of Rijeka, and thanks to their scientific expertise, attention was given to Croatia during the summit of the wealthiest countries on the planet.

Dr. Mario Stipčević (head of the IRB's photonics and quantum optics laboratory) and Dr. Martin Lončarić from the IRB handled the transmission from the Croatian side with the support of his colleagues from the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences from Zagreb University and in collaboration with the OIV company which is enrolled in digital signals and networks.

''The quantum connection between Trieste (Italy) and Croatia's Rijeka-Zagreb knot is 100.5 kilometres long and is expanded from Rijeka to the capital of Zagreb via quantum induced communication. The first demonstration of its kind has been made possible with the cooperation of the Croatian academic community and industry,'' said Dr. Stipčević.

According to the website of PicoQuant, a German company dedicated to research and product development, quantum communication is a field of applied quantum physics closely related to quantum information processing and quantum teleportation.

''Its most interesting application is protecting information channels against eavesdropping by means of quantum cryptography,'' says PicoQuant.

The IRB explains that quantum communication satisfies the need for safe communication, which is a priority of every government worldwide.

''This technology achieves maximum security thanks to the quantum encryption that works on the photon exchange, which allows for the instant detection of hacking attempts,'' they pointed out from the IRB.

''Today, we're part of the cornerstone of the new European quantum infrastructure“, said Tommaso Calarco, the president of the European Quantum Community Network (QCN). He added this is the crown of the first phase of the Quantum Flagship programme which offers European Union citizens such privacy protection infrastructure.

Croatia, by all accounts being involved in the shaping of The European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) Initiative, shows the country will not lack behind its other European partners.

''With the success in realising this demonstration, our scientists and experts broke the ice and paved the way to the realisation of quantum infrastructure in the Republic of Croatia,'' concluded Dr. Stipčević.

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated TC page.

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

Friday, 9 July 2021

REPLACE Project Presented at JOINT SECAP Workshop in Rijeka

July 9, 2021 - The REPLACE Project was presented at the JOINT SECAP workshop in Rijeka on June 23. There is no better way to end a year and a half-long Interreg project for Croatia, which was one more ecosystem-concerned cooperation between Italy and Croatia.

When it comes to energy efficiency in Croatia, there is no doubt anybody cares about it more than the scientific community working and associating with Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar (EIHP).

Not only is the EIHP building on its way to becoming the first nearly zero energy building in the whole of the country, but EIHP's expertise also plays a big role in REPLACE Project from Horizon Europe. As TCN previously covered, the project aims to make Primorje Gorski Kotar County energy-renewable territory, and the ongoing meetings about the project (in collaboration with the University of Rijeka) see slow but steady progress in those respects.

As EIHP reports on its website, June 23 saw REPLACE Project presented in the congress hall of Rijeka's Jadran Hotel as part of the final workshop of the JOINT SECAP project.

„On behalf of EIHP, Antonia Tomas Stanković presented REPLACE in the second half of the event. The goal is to support European energetic, climate, environmental, economic, and social goals by 2030 and 2050 by encouraging the gradual replacement of inefficient and outdated cooling and heating systems with new, energy-efficient systems based on renewable energy sources“, informed EIHP.

JOINT SECAP, part of Interreg Italy-Croatia strategic program (much like the CASCADE Project TCN previously wrote about) aims to improve the climate change monitoring and planning of adaptation measures tackling specific effects in the cooperation area.

„The project idea reflects the necessity to operate at a wider district level and better define strategies and actions for climate change adaptation, especially for those weather and climate changes and hydrogeological risks affecting coastal areas. The first phase is developed to build the common methodology for Joint Actions definition and implementation and to share the basic knowledge about issues concerning climate change adaptation strategies and energy efficiency measures. The second phase starts upon the analysis uploaded in the web platform, acting as a useful tool for the development of scenarios for the Joint Actions to be implemented in the Joint SECAP plans, those last constituting the main project deliverable“, explained JOINT SECAP on its website. The workshop in Rijeka was the conclusion of the project as JOINT SECAP ended on June 30 after it began on January 1, 2012, with a budget of € 2,094,857.

The workshop in Rijeka, writes the EIHP website, was organized by Primorje Gorski Kotar County Office for Regional Development Infrastructure and Project Management and by Kvarner Regional Energetic Agency. Representatives of local authorities of Primorsko-Goranska county that were enrolled in creating an Energetic and Climate Sustainable Development Action Plan. These local authorities include towns such as Opatija and Kastav and the districts of Čavle, Matulji, and Viškovo.

„Joint SECAP analyzed energy spending for the included towns and districts, their risks and vulnerability regarding climate change, yearly emissions of CO2 in sectors of building construction industry, public lighting, and traffic. Concrete measures with the goal of adjusting to the effects of climate change and CO2 emissions down to at least 55% by 2030 were suggested“, stated EIHP.

With measures identified, the race with time begins as these measures should be in place as fast as possible to tackle one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing, and Croatia isn't able to be isolated from the threat.

Learn more about Rijeka on our TC page.

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

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Croatia's Tourism Presented at BMT Fair in Naples

ZAGREB, 20 June, 2021 - The Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) and its Italian office are promoting Croatia's tourism at the most important international fair of tourism professionals in southern Italy, the first to be held there in person since the start of the pandemic.

The Borsa Mediterranea Del Turismo is taking place in Naples on 18-20 June, the HTZ said on Sunday, adding that Croatia's national shipping company Jadrolinija presented its Croatia-Italy lines to the travel agents in attendance.

"There is big optimism at the fair as well as the wish to restart tourism and tourist travel," said Viviana Vukelić, director of the HTZ's Italian office.

She said the HTZ informed the travel agents and media representatives at the fair about the coronavirus situation in Croatia, the conditions for entering the country, the "Safe Stay in Croatia" label, the Enter Croatia web portal, the eVisitor system for nautical guests, and the "Trust me, I've been there" promotional campaign.

Vukelić met with officials of the Italian Federation of Travel and Tourism Business Associations and representatives of the Vueling and Volotea airlines and the MSC Crociere and SNAV shipping companies.

The talks underlined that there is interest in Croatia as a destination, notably for group travel, youth travel, nautical tourism and the islands.

RAI TV crews recently filmed along the Croatian coast while journalists of Nautica, a magazine with more than 100,000 readers a month, today began a tour of the northern Adriatic Kvarner region to report on what it offers in nautical tourism.

Croatian Ambassador to Italy Jasen Mesić attended the opening of the fair, which drew more than 200 exhibitors, including from Greece, Spain, Malta, Slovenia, Tunisia, Dubai and Japan, the HTZ said.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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Friday, 4 June 2021

CASCADE Project: Italy and Croatia Collaborating on Ecosystems Monitoring

June 4, 2021 - With the scientific community in Croatia busy and involved in international projects, meet the CASCADE Project. Learn how Italian and Croatian scientists are working together in monitoring ecosystems.

Croatian scientists in Croatia are running various projects which either don't get reported on by journalists, or if they are reported on, they sadly don't get too much attention from the public.

One such project is the Projekt CASCADE which started back on January first, 2020, and will continue until the very end of 2022.
As reported on the website of The Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (IOR), the 5,817,547 euros, 85 % of that capital (4,944,914.95 euros) is secured by The European Regional Development Fund (ERFD).

CASCADE is short for „CoaStal and marine waters integrated monitoring systems for ecosystems protection and management“, and is part of the Interreg Italy-Croatia 2014-2020 strategic program. Assess the quality of coastal marine ecosystems in order to restore the habitats of endangered species and provide support for integrated management is the main goal set by 2022.

For the next three years, the project team from the Laboratory for Plankton and Shell Toxicity and the Laboratory for Chemical Oceanography and Sedimentology will work on monitoring, gathering knowledge about habitat and ecosystem biodiversity in the field of project cooperation (Adriatic Sea). It will participate in the establishment of new, as well as the improvement, of existing coastal systems for monitoring and management of coastal and open water ecosystems. Joint actions will assess and protect coastal and marine biodiversity and establish restoration actions. The pilot area of ​​the Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (IOR) within the EU CASCADE project is the mouth of the Neretva River“, explains the IOR website.

There are eleven pilot areas in Croatia and Italy where the researches will be conducted: lagoon Grado and Marano and Gulf of Trieste, coastal belt of the Italian region Emilia-Romagna, marine protected area Torre Guaceto (natural reef), Punta Della Contessa, Melendugno in the Italian region of Puglia, the mouth of the Neretva river, the coastal zone of the Italian region of Veneto, mouth of the river Miljašić Jaruga, coastal belt of the Italian region of Molise, the northeastern part of the Adriatic Sea in Croatia, mouth of the river Cetina, Torre del Cerrano and Pineto Marine Park on the Abruzzo coast, and finally, the coastal zone of the Italian Marche region.

„At the mouth of the Neretva River (P4 pilot area), the IOR team members will sample sediment, shells, and seawater, depending on the type of matrix, they will analyze various parameters such as salinity, oxygen concentrations, heavy metals, and nutrients, with the aim of establishing an optimal system of observation of coastal and open waters“, added IOR.

The head of the projects within the IOR side is Dr. Sc. Ivana Ujević and various Italian and Croatian regions/counties, regional development agencies, scientific institutes, and two ministries from Italy and Croatia are included as associated partners.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

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

Friday, 30 April 2021

FM Gordan Grlić Radman: "Cooperation Between Croatia And Italy Reinforced"

ZAGREB, 30 April, 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said in Petrinja on Friday that the cooperation between Zagreb and Rome has been reinforced bilaterally and trilaterally, thanking Italy for its latest aid following last year's earthquake.

At a working meeting at the "Colonel Predrag Matanović" barracks in Petrinja, the ministers talked about Southeast Europe and agreed that EU enlargement to the Western Balkans is a guarantee of strengthening the stability of the neighbourhood and Europe as a whole, the Croatian minister said.

Both ministers visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in recent weeks, and Croatia and Italy together strive for a stable and institutionally functioning Bosnia and Herzegovina and for its Euro-Atlantic integration, Grlić Radman said.

The ministers discussed Croatia's non-paper on Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was agreed with Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus.

The document stresses the importance of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Euro-Atlantic path and says that it must remain at the centre of EU's attention. It underscores that the country's membership in the EU is a priority and an aspiration, and in order to achieve it, a comprehensive transformation of the entire society is needed.

The topic will also be discussed during the debate on the Western Balkans on 10 May at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, Grlić Radman announced.

The cooperation between Croatia and Italy has been strengthened in a trilateral format with Slovenia, the Croatian minister said, recalling last week's meeting of the two ministers with their Slovenian counterpart Anže Logar. Last week, the three ministers signed a joint statement on the protection of the northern Adriatic in the Slovenian mountain resort of Brdo Pri Kranju.

The next meeting should take place in Croatia in June, Grlić Radman said.

The Coordinating Committee of Ministers met in late November 2020 and guidelines for the development of bilateral relations were agreed then. In several months, it will be possible to check how much those forms of cooperation have improved, Italian minister Di Maio said.

Croatia expects Italian tourists in summer

Grlić Radman said that Croatia was committed to the safety and health of visitors and tourism workers, especially through the Safe Stay in Croatia project, so he is convinced of the return of Italian tourists.

"We believe that this year we will accommodate many Italian friends again," Grlić Radman said.

He thanked Italy one more time for its selfless help, which he sees as another indicator of closeness and cooperation.

Italy on Friday donated to Croatia containerised housing units for the accommodation of 50 families who had lost their homes in the earthquake that hit Banija at the end of last year.

Italy was among the first countries to help Croatia by sending 100 military tents immediately after the 29 December earthquake which affected Petrinja, Sisak and their environs the most, and shortly thereafter Italy sent members of the Blue Helmets of Culture to help salvage the artistic heritage affected by the earthquake.

Italy itself faced devastating earthquakes in the recent past, so it decided to help immediately, Di Maio said.

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

 

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Croatian Ferry Company Jadrolinija Participating in EU Project E-Chain

April the 3rd, 2021 - The Croatian ferry company Jadrolinija has joined in with a European Union (EU) project called E-Chain, which deals with the advancement of ticket sale processes and much more.

As Morski writes, the Croatian ferry company Jadrolinija has announced its participation in the aforementioned European Union project, created in cooperation with Interrg Italy - Croatia, E-Chain (Enhanced Connectivity and Harmonisation of data for the Adriatic Intermodal Network).

The Interreg E-Chain ​​project represents cooperation between Italy and Croatia and brings together ten partners from across both Croatia and Italy. The leading partner of the project is the Municipality of Ancona, and the other partners are Amateurs of Interestate S.R.L., Brusutti S.R.L., G.M.T. S.P.A., the University of Trieste, Prosoft d.o.o., the Croatian ferry company Jadrolinija, the City of Split, Rathmann d.o.o. and the University of Rijeka, Faculty of Maritime Studies.

This means that this project seeks to develop innovative software (the E - Chain platform) for the management of intermodal transport services in port areas that would integrate passenger carriers into one interconnected network.

Such a network would improve the ticketing system through the integration of several passenger carriers, enable the improvement of the quality of service for passengers, speed up the transfer of travel-related information, and also work to open up more new marketing tools and collaborations.

E-Chain will test and develop these services at selected pilot locations - in Venice, Ancona and in Split.

The Croatian ferry company Jadrolinija is a partner in this project as a shipping company that has been connecting the Italian and Croatian coastlines for many years now, and this is an opportunity to improve the service even more.

The duration of the project is 30 months; from January the 1st, 2019 to June the 30th, 2021. The total project budget for the Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka stands at 181,942.60 euros, while the total value of the project is 2,307,748.45 euros. The project is otherwise being co-financed from the Interreg program V-A Italy Croatia 2014 - 2020.

For more on Croatia's participation in various EU projects, follow our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Only Six Percent of Croatian Adriatic Sea is Protected - Not Enough

February the 21st, 2021 - The Croatian Adriatic sea is the country's stunning natural wealth which attracts endless amounts of tourists from across the world each and ever year. Well, at least it did before the coronavirus pandemic struck. However, despite the fact that the Adriatic looks crystal clear and beautiful, only a mere six percent of it is actually protected. This is far from enough.

As Vecernji list/Jolanda Rak Sajn writes, the main goal of the InnovaMare project is to create a common maritime surveillance system which will work to further protect not only the Croatian Adriatic sea but that of the Italian side, too.

''Sustainability is a current topic at both European Union and national levels, as well as a topic for the future. A system change and cooperation from all stakeholders through environmental innovation will reduce pollution, while cooperation between the public and private sectors is key,'' said the Secretary General of the Union of Chambers of Commerce of the Veneto region Roberto Crosta at a round table of the Union (Unioncamere del Veneto), and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) within the InnovaMare project.

The project is designed to develop and establish a model of innovation for the ecosystem in the field of underwater robotics and sensors for the control and monitoring of pollution in the Croatian Adriatic sea and the Italian Adriatic sea.

The vulnerability of marine habitats and the role of the blue economy is also recognised in numerous EU policies. Vedran Nikolic from the EC's Environment Directorate and Eleni Hatziyanni from the EC Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries warned that marine habitats are very complex and fragile ecosystems, vulnerable to pollution, overfishing and other human activities that hinder their sustainability. Nikolic explained that 81 percent of habitats and 63 percent of species in European habitats are no longer in good condition, and that situation is even worse in marine habitats, especially in the Mediterranean.

''This clearly shows that we're in a crisis of biodiversity, ie in a climate crisis that requires urgent action. This has been being and will continue to be addressed by the EU Biodiversity Strategy until 2030, which is one of the pillars of the European Green Deal. The main goals are the protection of 30 percent of the sea and the strict protection of at least a third of marine habitats. Currently, only 6 percent of the Adriatic sea, which fall primarily on the Croatian side, are protected, but this percentage now needs to grow by at least five times in order to achieve the set goals.

We aren't interested in the word protection, which is a dead letter on paper, but in actual practice, and for that we will need innovation and new technologies. We have ambitious plans for their realisation and we will need the cooperation of all parties involved,'' said Nikolic. Hatziyanni added that the development of new technologies could bring Croatia an increase in the share of the blue economy in the amount of 10 percent to 18 percent.

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Monday, 14 December 2020

Croatia and Italy to Declare Exclusive Economic Zone in January

ZAGREB, Dec 14, 2020 - Croatia's government on Monday adopted the decision on declaring an exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which will happen formally in January after a trilateral ministerial meeting with Slovenia and Italy.

The government adopted a draft proposal of the decision on the declaration of an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic Sea, and the parliament would put it to the vote at an extraordinary sitting on Thursday, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said.

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said that "an understanding has been reached" in discussion with his Slovenian and Italian counterparts that Croatia and Italy would declare an EEZ after a trilateral meeting in January 2021.

Grlic Radman added that they would also discuss strengthening cooperation in the Adriatic area, with the aim of its environmental protection and blue economy management.

Earlier, Croatia's Foreign Minister had announced the declaration of the EEZ to the Council of Ministers of the European Union and neighbouring countries, and spoke about it at the Mediterranean Dialogue videoconference.

He underscored that the EEZ was being declared in line with the Maritime Code, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and EU legislation, and that the zone would remain a maritime area where all countries would enjoy freedom and rights guaranteed by international law, without prejudice to the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Croatia.

Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic said that the EEZ would further improve an already "deep, lately even excellent cooperation with Italy" on the issues of fishing fleets and resource management.

Prime Minister Plenkovic earlier said that the EEZ would, compared with the existing Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone (ZERP) declared in 2003, bring two new rights - the construction of artificial islands and the use of the power of the sea, wind and currents.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs last week said that the declaration of the EEZ was the result of implement the common fisheries policy of Croatia and Italy, as well as of cooperation in the field of environmental protection.

Monday, 31 August 2020

MARLESS Project: Scientists Develop Autonomous Mobile Network for Waste Collection

August the 31st, 2020 - This small country is abound with talent. From the sporting world to the arts, medicine, science and beyond - Croatia excels in its ''production'' of great minds and impressive skills. Croatian scientists are absolutely no exception and a group from Dubrovnik are developing something that will help to reduce the worrying amount of waste that ends up in the Adriatic sea. Meet the MARLESS project.

As Morski writes on the 30th of August, 2020, the University of Dubrovnik is one of the partners in the praiseworthy MARLESS project - "MARine Litter cross-border awarenESS and innovation actions", which began back on June the 1st, 2020.

The MARLESS project will address the problem of waste in the Adriatic sea from various aspects, which includes monitoring the amount of waste in the sea, raising citizens' awareness of this problem, pilot activities aimed at testing experimental processes of removing waste from the sea, as well as transboundary management to reduce waste which reaches the Adriatic sea, according to a report from the local Dubrovnik Portal.

As many as thirteen partners from several regions of the northern and southern Adriatic are participating in the project worth a massive 4,244,726.00 euros. The main partner is the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection and Prevention of Veneto, and the project involves the regions of Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Apulia and Emilia-Romagna, the University of Bologna and the Cetacea Foundation from Italy, while the Croatian team consists of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the Centre for Marine Research of the Ruđer Boskovic Institute, the University of Dubrovnik, the Regional Development Agency of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the Istrian Regional Energy Agency and Istria County.

The scientific team from the University of Dubrovnik consists of teachers from the Department of Aquaculture and members of the Laboratory for Intelligent Autonomous Systems from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computing. With a budget of 399,860.00 euros, they will develop an autonomous mobile network for floating waste collection and contribute to activities which will work to properly monitor the amount of waste in the Adriatic sea and raise citizens' awareness of this growing problem.

This strategic MARLESS project lasts from the 1st of June 2020 to the 31st of December 2022, and is implemented within the INTERREG cross-border cooperation program Italy - Croatia 2014-2020.

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