Sunday, 8 May 2022

Microsoft: Croatia's Digitisation Level Below Central and Eastern Europe Average

ZAGREB, 8 May 2022 - Croatia is nine percentage points below the average for Central and Eastern Europe on the Microsoft Digital Futures Index, which measured the level of digitisation in 16 European countries, Microsoft Croatia said earlier this week.

The Microsoft digital index, also known as the digital pulse of a country, provides data on the level of digitisation and detects the most successful areas and areas where more work should be done to speed up the digital transformation process.

The digital index measures fives categories of digital development - digital business, digital government and public sector, digital infrastructure, digital sector, and human capital.

Croatia’s total digital development level is 91 out of 100 points, which is the number of points defined as the average for Central and Eastern Europe.

Croatia ranked above the average on talent and the digital skills of young people aged between 16 and 29, as 48 per cent of the people in this age group have digital skills that are above the average of other countries. The digital skills level of the general population is also high.

The best results were scored in the Human Capital category, which is related to greater innovation, productivity, and salaries, while the results in all the other categories were close to the average for the Eastern and Central European countries.

“Our research has shown that digitally advanced countries are greener, wealthier, more innovative, and more competitive, and we believe that Croatia has strong potential and all prerequisites for becoming the digital hub of this part of Europe, which will base its economic development on innovation and modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence,” said Tatjana Skoko, the director of Microsoft Croatia.

Croatia scored 84 points In the Digital Business category, 90 points in the Digital Government and Public Sector category, 93 points in the Digital Infrastructure category and 87 points in the Digital Sector category.

In order to become a fully digital society, Croatia should focus on advancing the digital skills of people in all age groups, encouraging the digital transformation of small and medium-sized businesses, and promoting the digitisation of public services.

In addition to Croatia, the Digital Futures Index measured the level of digitisation for the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Slovenia. The index also included countries considered leaders in digitisation - Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Portugal.

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

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Croatian Notary Public Services to be Streamlined Through Digitisation

ZAGREB, 23 Jan 2022 - In 2022, notaries are expected to ease the workload of land registries through the further digitization of some services such as the registration into land registries and online issuance of documents, the head of the Croatian Chamber of Notaries, Zvijezdana Rauš-Klier said in an interview.

The continuation of the digitization of notarization services will not be conducted on commercial platforms but in a sort of "a safe virtual room", that is a separate IT system, Rauš-Klier said in the interview published on Sunday.

Starting a company online to be possible as of this summer

As of this summer, the notarization system ought to offer full online service for the digital registration of the newly-founded companies.

Upgrading digitization of notary public services will make it possible for clients not to go to notaries' offices but to be provided with digital services necessary to start a company or to register changes in the existing ones, Rauš-Klier explains.

Croatia to apply German model of digitization of services

Local notaries, supported by the Croatian Ministry of justice and public administration, are due to implement the German model of digital notarisation services. An agreement signed by the Croatian chamber and the German Federal Chamber of Notaries in 2019 will facilitate these efforts, she told Hina.

She said that this model of digitization will enable notaries to establish the identity of clients, that is parties, and their serious intention, as well as to provide them with advice for the best ways to implement their plans. 

The model includes the combination of video conferences, electronic identification, and remote identity proofing.

Rauš-Klier underscored the importance of electronic power of attorney for the business sector. and cross-border interoperability.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.

Friday, 18 September 2020

PM: Digitisation and Green Deal Centrepiece of Economic Recovery

ZAGREB, September 18, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who on Friday presented an economic recovery plan to county prefects and representatives of cities and municipalities, said that digitisation and the Green Deal were the centrepiece of Croatia's economic recovery.

"Digitisation and the Green Deal are the centrepiece and framework for projects that will be financed," Plenkovic told the press in the city of Gospic after meeting with county heads and representatives of the associations of cities and municipalities.

Plenkovic added that participants in the meeting were also informed about the allocation for Croatia within the Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union.

The government is consulting prefects and mayors on more than 5,000 projects submitted to the Ministry of EU Funds and Regional Development, and the consultations will help step up the absorption of funds as of 2021, he said.

This will enable the return of the country's GDP to the pre-coronacrisis levels, which is the point of the government's programme, Plenkovic said.

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric informed the prefects and mayors who attended the Gospic meeting about plans for the tax reform and fiscal decentralisation.

Public Administration and Justice Minister Ivan Malenica outlined a plan for the overhaul of the system of cities and municipalities.

Malenica told the press that preparations were underway for amending the law on local self-government, legislation on local elections and on the City of Zagreb, noting that those changes would be undertaken for cost-cutting purposes.

He said the number of office-holders would be reduced and the remuneration for county and city assembly councilors would be cut.

Malenica said that the aim would be to achieve the functional merger of some of the municipalities and to digitise local authorities, rather than reducing the number of cities and municipalities.


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Friday, 26 June 2020

IDS: Croatia at Bottom of Ranking in EU for Digitisation

ZAGREB, June 26, 2020 - Member of European Parliament Valter Flego of the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) has said that a key point in the IDS's platform for the July 5 parliamentary election is the digitisation and efficiency of the public administration system and that Croatia is at the bottom of the EU ladder for digitisation.

"Unfortunately, according to the latest survey of economic and social digitisation for 2020, Croatia is at the very bottom in the European Union for digitised public services, whereas Pula, for example, is an absolute champion in digitisation in Croatia," Flego underlined.

Noting that Europe is offering concrete help through EU funds and that Croatia must not let that opportunity pass by, Flego stressed that Croatia has a realistic opportunity to be at the very top in this field even though it has fallen to the very bottom due to the consequences of the government's negligence and ignorance when it comes to innovations, science, and digitisation.

"The Digital Europe programme has more than €8 billion at its disposal and it is up to us to absorb as much of those funds as possible. That is why it is exceptionally important to do that together with national, regional and local government units and that is why it is exceptionally important to know who will be sitting in the Sabor, which needs to adopt a series of laws towards that goal," concluded Flego.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Digital Croatia: 2020 Bringing Less Queues, Less Drama, Less Uhljebs?

A digital Croatia was once a pipe dream and not much more. This country is worryingly infamous for its senseless, draconian bureaucracy and its love of turning what should be one sheet of paper into ten.

This love of paper, waiting, queues, being abused by salteruše (women who work behind counters in state administration buildings) and taking a number and waiting for hours is as masochistic as it is sadistic. Such is life in this country, Uhljebistan, from time to time.

It's difficult to understand how an EU country in the 21st century, where computers actually exist, still finds it acceptable to make people take entire days off work to sit and wait in queues in windowless, airless offices with numbers for their turn to be belittled by an unqualified salteruša who only has that job because she's someone's cousin's friend from school - just to get their hands on a piece of paper they're perfectly entitled to. A digital Croatia could prevent at least some of the idiocy of these types of experiences.

The tax office, MUP, HZZO offices and everything along those lines sends shivers down the spines of the experienced, who set out of their houses, having to drop all of their obligations, ready to be greeted with the expressionless pan face of an administrative clerk behind some dirty glass, prepared to have an argument over absolutely nothing after said salteruša reels off outdated or indeed completely false information as apathetic onlookers also awaiting their fate watch.

Could we finally be approaching the tail end of all of that utter nonsense and entering with the new decade into the era of digital Croatia? Maybe. 

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 1st of January, 2020, this year, life will become much easier with the digitisation of the dreaded Croatian administration. Registering a newborn baby, applying for a permit to build a house or the issuing of ID cards and passports are part of 77 new services from e-Građani (e-Citizens).

Applying for access to land records, applying for construction and location permits, purchasing vignettes for a boat, and giving consent for a passport or child's ID card are all part of the new public e-services recently made available to citizens thanks to the birth of digital Croatia.

From the comfort of their own homes, as opposed to being trapped in a poorly decorated room with other victims of Uhljebistan, citizens will now be able to perform 77 e-services through the e-Citizens system, which was established back in 2015 and used by 804,881 citizens, as 24sata reports.

In order to be used, one must register with the central government portal. When e-Citizens started operating, only a few services could be used and there were few ways to sign up, but now things are beginning to expand, finally.

Each service that can be used through the e-Citizens system states what level of authentication is required, or in what way a person must be logged in to use it. More and more banks are making use of the e-Citizens system with registration through their token or m-token. Such registration has a security level of 3. It is sufficient, for example, to obtain a certificate of impunity or to report dependents and so forth.

A newborn baby can also be registered from home via the e-newborn (e-novorođenče) system, but the baby's mother must have a new ID card with an electronic signature verified in order to do so. If the father also has a new e-ID, he can confirm the mother's application from home as well, and if he does not have one, then it still needs to be done the old way, by going to the registry office. In addition to obtaining documentation without going to offices, the e-Citizens system also sends messages to your Personal Inbox to update you.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more on digital Croatia.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Digital Croatia Finally Arrives for Company Founders: Meet Start.Gov.Hr

The user of this, the currently most advanced public service so far in Croatia receives accurate documentation from public registers. Meet, the first real step into Croatia's desperately needed digital transformation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes on the 2nd of December, 2019,, a new digital service launched by the Ministry of Economy to help people start a business, is designed to support as many as 200,000 users.

It has been available for public since the 1st of December, 2019, and it remains to be seen how many of the otherwise 15,000 new Croatian companies will choose to use this new service annually. It is currently Croatia's most advanced public service, integrating numerous partners, databases and registers, so it will only take two to three days to start a new business, as opposed to waiting in line after line and being asked for things which can only be described as insane by pan-faced state employees. At this stage, only what are known as ''physical'' persons from Croatia can use the service, but in 2020, it is expected that foreign company founders will also be able to utilise it.

IT solutions for have been developed by Fina and will maintain and develop a system whose benefits for the founders of small companies are enormous. In addition to being fast and significantly shortening the average of about 25 days to register a company, as well as skipping numerous visits to notaries, just one entry and one step is required. The e-citizen (e-građanin) system is accessed by the user themselves (there's no power of attorney) with a Level 4 credential to authenticate the certificate. Stepping into creating your own business now means merely filling out a unique online form that takes up to half an hour to complete.

What's form is, is a type of registry with the name of the company (there is a search engine to see what is taken and what isn't), activities and the TC amount, and a set of statements, one of which needs to be able to show the absence of any debts to the state. Specifically, the tax debt check is left for the first phase of the upgrade. For everything that follows and what sets the system apart from the rest of the market and from, is that the user receives accurate and standardised documentation from public registers. This is an result of the interconnectedness of the relevant institutions, and the startup business is simplified.

After the application is completed, from the next click, everything is done by partner institutions, ie, for the first time all stakeholders are integrated, from the CBS, to the Tax Administration and HZMO onwards, in total there are about 10 institutions which are all connected. The cost is minimal and excluding the share capital payment (TC), the startup fee is 30 kuna for a simple d.o.o., 200 kuna for a normal d.o.o. and 250 kuna for an obrt. In order to reduce the possibility of errors, all fields filled in by the user, along with the instructions, have logical controls, and in order not to enter information for other persons there are ample security settings.

In the case of more than one founder, they receive a message from one that the documentation has been prepared and an invitation to sign a social contract with their OIB and to pay the TC. For this, a special account is opened to which the money is paid via credit or debit card (Visa, Maestro and Mastercard). The transfer of money will go to the transaction account as soon as it is opened, which is already possible with PBZ and Erste Bank, and according to announcements, will also soon be available with RBA, Addiko Bank and Zagrebačka banka.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Less Chance for Corruption as Bjelovar Becomes Digital City

As writes on the 24th of September, 2019, the City of Bjelovar is the first Croatian city to be fully digitally transformed. This was confirmed at a recent presentation of the Bjelovar project - the first digital city, where several months of work on internal processes towards citizens was presented to the public.

The idea was to keep up with new technologies, open things up and make things more transparent to Bjelovar's citizens and simplify their communication with the city government, and also to allow the city's employees to be more efficient and make their jobs easier overall.

In the last few weeks, there have been about fifteen internal digital processes going on in Bjelovar's city administration building that officials have been working intensively on. In total, eighty digitised processes have been implemented by a company called IN2, which will soon be automated, following the education of city employees themselves on the matter. It is expected that the digitisation of all of Bjelovar's work processes will improve precisely the efficiency in the work of officers and, of course, drastically reduce all costs involved.

''We can't build a new modern society which belongs to the 21st century on the old, outdated bureaucratic model of the last century. We want to be a small, fast and efficient city administration with no things just left lying around and forgotten in drawers, we will introduce standardised behaviour towards citizens and entrepreneurs, and the treatment of each party will be the same. The system is very precise, measurable, and we will be able to evaluate each city employee through their work, since it will be clear exactly how much each person has done during the year,'' said the Mayor of the City of Bjelovar, Dario Hrebak.

One of the eighty implemented processes was presented to the media, pertaining to the request for financial assistance for a newborn child in the family. This will enable citizens to obtain the cash benefit of 1,000 kuna provided by the City of Bjelovar for newborns from the comfort of their own home.

Therefore, they will be able to provide the necessary documents from home - the identity cards of both parents, the birth certificate of the child, a certificate of residence, and the details of the current account to which the payment is to be made, of course, all with a completed application form. Even the application form will be able to be sent digitally via a standardiaed procedure, with maximum security and protection of personal data, without waiting in the hallways of the city administration. It almost sounds like Croatia is being dragged into the 21st century.

Soon, the City of Bjelovar will present other processes such as the request for one-time financial aid, scholarship applications, grants, enrollment in kindergarten, and so on.

''The City of Bjelovar wants to re-set the standards in the public resource management model. It has been proven that GDP is growing in line with the digital transformation of society and that investments go to places where there is legal certainty and where public service is very fast and efficient. Estonia, for example, has made a major leap forward even though it was far below Croatia in terms of development.

Today, it is one of the leading countries in development, and because of the digital transformation of the public sector, they have made a big step forward in terms of development. I don't see why Bjelovar, or Croatia, could not do the same. With this project, we're sending a message to everyone that we're taking things seriously and that the money invested in Bjelovar is worth more than it is anywhere else in Croatia,'' said Mayor Hrebak.

When it comes to executing projects, it is important that the leadership and team are ready to change their ways of working and replace their old business processes. This is actually what makes digitisation successful. We are fortunate to have found this in Bjelovar,'' said Katarina Siber Makar, CEO of IN2, the company which worked with Bjelovar on the project.

Tatjana Skoko, director of Microsoft Croatia, a partner in the project, emphasised that technology is a major driver and force of change in society, and that projects like this presented by the City of Bjelovar are excellent news because such projects make life and society better, and technology is what makes all of that possible.

It is important to note that thanks to digitalisation, the City of Bjelovar now has the transparency application, which makes Bjelovar the first, or the most transparent city in Croatia in this area. Through the application, all citizens have a transparent view of payments made from the budget of the City of Bjelovar, including payments to legal and natural persons, as well as expenses such as, for example, the daily allowances of all city employees.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.