Sunday, 28 April 2019

Zagreb Startup's Mundus Project - Australians Want Croatian Product

This Croatian startup from Zagreb is a real mix of classical and virtual mobile games, but also has an educational mission.

As Ivan Tominac/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of April, 2019, today, virtual games have replaced classic ones like ''Čovječe ne ljuti se'' (Ludo) or ''Monopoly'', but when classically associated with a digital game, you end up with a smart social game - Mundus.

A passionate love for technology is shared by three students from Zagreb. They all came together two years ago, and their project is Mundus. Social games are undervalued today, these guys agree, and although industry experts might say that their project isn't in demand in this day and age, the fact is that they entered the startup world directly from their school desks and are learning in parallel with the development of the project.

"We had to combine what was unknown knowledge to us back then. But given the fact that we love to learn and to develop technology, it wasn't difficult for us,'' stated of Mundus's members, Filip Hercig, who was the one to kick off the project initially.

The idea for Mundus was quite spontaneous back at the end of 2015 when Hercig, who is now in charge of business development, showcased the very first concept of this clever game during a competition for young technicians and young entrepreneurs. The name changed several times - at the earliest stage it was called ''Zabavan put Hrvatske'' (A fun journey of Croatia) and then ''Svijet na dlanu'' (The world in your palm), before taking on its current name.

"In the summer of 2017, when we came to the CROZ company to develop our ideas, we decided to shorten its name from Svijet na dlanu down to just Svijet, but as it didn't sound good, we decided to translate into Latin, and that's how Mundus began,'' said Filip Hercig.

It seems that Mundus isn't just your regular type of game, and the focus of the project today is on the application of this technology within the scope of formal education. It's actually an educational system, and the game is just one of the solutions the Mundus team is working on. A mobile device acts as a kind of gaming agent, where players choose the theme for the game and launch a quiz, and everything else is played on the game's board, like with classic games before the Internet age.

Things became much more serious for this Croatian startup back in September of last year, when they won the Good Game Liftoff startup competition.

"They chose us as the best startup and besides giving us their trust, they also gave us 100,000 kuna. We can't forget to mention the Good Game Global company that actually organised the competition and raised all the funds for that prize,'' added Hercig.

After winning the Good Game Liftoff, this Croatian startup managed to secure numerous collaborations, is currently working with 48 schools across the Republic of Croatia, and interest in the game has stretched far beyond the borders of the country, and even beyond the borders of the EU and the European continent.

"There's interest on the Australian and New Zealand market, specifically in the education sector. We're currently conducting tests that are a prerequisite for serious moves in these markets,'' said Hercig. Mundus is actually still a non-profit organisation, explained Hercig, and in 2019, it should turn into a real company.

"We're oriented towards cooperating with educational institutions, but of course we're not closing the door to purchase options for private users. We've got potential there tool, and in order to best explore the mass market, we plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign in September 2019,'' concluded Mundus' Filip Hercig.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Ivan Tominac for Poslovni Dnevnik

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Croatian Fruit Arriving in Slovenia and Austria Just 24 Hours After Harvest

The Croatian fruits and vegetables are being sold through the FinotekaDostava.com website, in order to successfully cut out the middleman.

As Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of April, 2019, Croatian fruit and vegetable producers, as well the producers of other Croatian value-added products, have begun to use the benefits of the common EU (single) market and the ability to place and sell products in Austria and Slovenia, for now. On the FinotekaDostava.com website, customers from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria are able to order products from Croatian OPGs from the comfort of their own homes. Once ordered, the produce is freshly and carefully packed and delivered to their addresses directly from Croatia.

"Finoteka's specificity is that we don't store our fruit and vegetables, but we function with the ''from the field to the table within 24 hours'' principle. This literally means that some fruit or vegetables that are growing right now in a garden in Croatia are going to be sent out in package delivered to someone's doorstep in Vienna, Ljubljana or Zagreb the next day,'' said Hrvoje Kolman, the owner of Finoteka Dostava.

Kolman has been placing and selling products from Croatian OPGs since back in 2008 in this manner. However, his website first became the most well known a few years ago when, through his search engine, a huge amount of fruit from the Neretva Valley ended up being sold and sent throughout Croatia when a ban on exports of agricultural products to Russia from the EU was first introduced.

"Our delivery is as good on the islands as it is on the mainland. The quality of the service and the delivery speed is the same regardless of whether you live in the city or in the most remote place. All our fruit and vegetable packages arrive within 24 hours of harvest, whether you're in Croatia, Slovenia, or anywhere in Austria,'' says Kolman. He explained that the Austrian market has been being tested over recent months, while they have been present on the Slovenian market for more than a year now.

"We deliver about 100 packages per month to Slovenia. Asparagus have been doing well these days, and strawberries, cherries and other fruits and vegetables will begin soon,'' says Kolman.

The prices of Croatian quality products are, however, slightly lower than those on sale in Slovenia and Austria, which is why it is expected that such sales from Croatia could become very attractive indeed. Croatian farmers deliver their products to Finoteka, the products are carefully reviewed, and depending on the order, they're packed on that same day and then sent out. Croatian farmers get to cut out the middleman, and consumers don't have the worry of eating food which is of unknown origin, it's also GMO free, it hasn't been stored, and it hasn't been sprayed.

"It's very important for us to know who we're cooperating with. We choose good producers above all, those to whom agriculture isn't just a business but also a pleasure. We choose those whose eyes shine when they talk about their products. Finding and selecting such people is are biggest challenge," says Kolman.

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia and business pages for more information on Croatian products, Croatian companies and OPGs, Croatian services and much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Miroslav Kuskunovic/Agrobiz on Poslovni Dnevnik

Thursday, 25 April 2019

All is Set for Cooperation Between the USA and... Međimurje County!

''For the start of cooperation between Croatia and the USA, Međimurje County is perhaps the best place for some new opportunities,'' stated US Ambassador HE. W. Robert Kohorst on Wednesday in the continental Croatian town of Čakovec.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of April, 2019, the visit began with a working meeting in Međimurje County, Božena Malekoci-Oletić said for Međimurske Novine. The US Ambassador visited the Međimurje Polytechnic where he attended the marking of the eleventh anniversary of the Polytechnic, the Technological Innovation Centre, and he also met some of Međimurje's young basketball players.

American Ambassador Robert Kohorst, together with the Prefect of Međimurje County, Matija Posavac, addressed the present representatives of the media.

The American Ambassador said that the US Embassy is working on a program to connect different American companies to the companies here in Croatia. Over the next six months, certain measures and suggestions on how to achieve it will be implemented. The most important thing is to feel welcome in an environment where it's easy to do business without too much bureaucracy.

He expressed his satisfaction with Međimurje's attitude that every problem can be solved. He stressed that this is the most important thing that can be done to attract investors. What is equally important for potential investors is a well-educated and cooperative workforce who are ready to engage in work. In such an environment, companies are more than happy to do business.

"I like the way you work and prepare for investments and for the companies coming from the United States, and we'll try to present this story to the American companies,'' Kohorst stated.

Međimurske Novine asked Kohorst what the special reason for his arrival to the smallest Croatian county was all about.

"I heard it was the most beautiful county, and mayors have told me that the towns here were the most beautiful,'' Ambassador Robert Kohorst diplomatically. But afterwards, he added that he was not a career diplomat, but that he's there for business reasons and putting business cooperation at the forefront is his aim. He added that cooperation between the US and Međimurje County was a great start for new opportunities.

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

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

What is it like to Work in One of the Top Croatian Startups?

Although the Croatian economic situation isn't the most promising one in the world and you’ll encounter and many young people are leaving the country in search of better future, not everything is as bad as the news might suggest.

Croatia is full of young, driven, educated and ambitious individuals who want to create something for themselves in their own country by founding startups.

On a very long list of successful Croatian startups, TalentLyft, is a name you should remember. It was recently recognised as the best Croatian startup by Global Startup Awards. EU-Startups, the leading online publication with a focus on startups in Europe, has also found TalentLyft to be the most promising Croatian startup you should look out for in 2019 and beyond.

Founded in 2015 in Zagreb by two developers, Mario Buntić and Nikola Biondić, TalentLyft is a startup that developed a recruiting software that modernises and simplifies the recruiting process, in other words, it is a recruiting tool that helps companies find, attract and hire the best talent. It offers both recruitment and marketing solutions to attract the best candidates, and an applicant tracking system to solve post-application problems such as effective candidate communication, a database with all the applicants and their profiles, candidate assessment kits and scorecards, and interview scheduling all in one place.

Today, TalentLyft boasts thirteen full time employees and is currently located at Technopark (venue for startups at Velesajam).

In a brief interview with Total Croatia News, they revealed that startup life in Croatia isn't easy. There are many barriers to overcome in order to enter the market and start a business, starting from bureaucratic conundrums to finding capital investors, which is difficult to do in this environment. There is not much support for small firms and startups, so you’re very much on your own. Instead of focusing on new, promising sectors such as IT, the Croatian Government still invests in outdated industries.

Times and job markets are changing, and so should their investments.

‘’There's always a solid chance that your product will fail,'' they say. The startup life is risky, challenging and uncertain and requires a lot of hard work, devotion, persistence and compromise. However, despite, or exactly because of that, working in a startup offers a unique chance for personal and professional skill development and career advancement. When you are a small startup, you need to deliver a game changing solution and product in order to compete with the big guys. The only way to do that is by having all of your employees constantly learn new things, experiment and innovate.

‘’Since TalentLyft is a small group, every employees’ opinion is important; changes are embraced rapidly making us more agile’’, they state.

They are also proud of the fact that they're working with latest technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning, emphasising the fact that their employees’ knowledge needs to be up to date and that you can lose good people if they’re stuck working with old technologies.

‘’Yes it’s the employees’ responsibility to keep learning, but it’s our responsibility to provide them with the tools necessary for that,'' they state from this Croatian startup.

They love the fact that they are a small team because it means there's a better connection: ‘’You know everyone by their name, you work hard together, you share your struggles and the laughs, and you get the chance to build something from the ground up.’’

The startup life is for those who embrace challenges, seek new ways of doing things, and question the status quo.

‘’When you manage to gather together a group of people like that, every day feels like an adventure and there is no challenge you can’t tackle in the end.’’

Let's hope we'll see more examples like this across Croatia in the near future.

Follow our dedicated business page for more information on Croatian startups, Croatian companies, products and services, and doing business and investing in Croatia.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Croatia's Fortenova Group Collaborating with Cambridge University

Close cooperation between Britain and Croatia as Cambridge University students join forces with the Fortenova Group.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of April, 2019, consultants from the University of Cambridge are working on a project to find the best solutions in the field of artificial intelligence and automation for Fortenova's operative companies. It seems that Croatia's Foretnova, the former Agrokor, is entering a new era indeed.

Fortenova Group's values ​​also include a leading role in the implementation of new technologies and cooperation with leading educational institutions in Croatia and across the world. Within this direction, Collaboration with the University of Cambridge, whose team of consultants, presented selected solutions in the field of artificial intelligence and automation to the management of the operative companies of the Fortenova Group. At the same time, companies with great potential to be partners of Fortenova in this area were presented.

Today, artificial intelligence and automation are used in 40 percent of large retail chains and consumer goods manufacturing companies, and it is expected that by 2021, their share will grow to as much as 80 percent. Since these solutions have a significant impact on both revenue and company operating costs, their implementation is totally unavoidable in any company that wants to really be competitive and a have a chance at being a market leader.

Therefore, Fortenova's management has started collaborating with the esteemed British Cambridge University in order to find proper solutions in the field of artificial intelligence and automation that have the greatest potential.

The collaboration of Fortenova's management team and a team of consultants from the University of Cambridge resulted in a detailed review of the international ''ecosystem'' of artificial intelligence and automation and a short selection of potential solutions, and after that, a meeting with the management teams of Fortenova's operative companies and an attempt at identifying the solutions with the greatest potential for application in those companies in the future took place.

Preferred solutions come from the field of image recognition, frameworks, image optimisation, shop-based optimisation on customer-led shopping, advanced customer analytics, which are focused on personalised access and micro segmentation, an extensive insight into market trends and the needs of consumers, and finally, inventory management optimisation. The team of consultants from the University of Cambridge will elaborate business cases for selected solutions in the next stage, followed by the implementation of the chosen pilot project.

Dragan Mrkajić, Fortenova's strategy director said on this occasion: "This cooperation supplements Fortenova's values, which wants to be a leader in the implementation of new technologies and to broaden its cooperation with educational institutions both in Croatia and the rest of the world. As leaders in its business areas, we're privileged to be able to cooperate with Cambridge University's MBA study consultants, as this business management study is considered to be the world leader in education. I consider this cooperation to be extremely productive and useful to our company, as it will definitely bring added value to our way of selling our products and the services we offer to our customers, as well as our supply chain.''

Ivan Babić, director of Fortenova's transformation, expressed his satisfaction with selected solutions: "The quality of final solution choice largely depended on the fact that consultants from the MBA study at the University of Cambridge were able to gain a comprehensive understanding of the way Fortenova does business. This was of crucial importance to the success of the project, including its organisational structure, its business objectives, its operational business and its product portfolio. The project has brought significant benefits to both sides in understanding key global trends, players, and case studies where artificial intelligence has improved business performance in the retail and food industry.''

Antonija Kožul, senior project manager at Fortenova, said: "The gathering together of the best talent and the most advanced technologies together with the enthusiasm of Fortenova's operative companies in their adoption make up the fundamental values ​​of our group. This project is about just that and this is precisely why I consider it to be a privilege that I'm the head of it."

Chayanika Ranasinghe, an MBA consultant from Cambridge University, described the collaboration as follows: "I was very interested in participating in this unique transformation which the Fortenova Group has begun to work on, with a highly motivated and dynamic team.''

Shuntaro Horiuchi, an MBA consultant from the University of Cambridge said on this occasion: "The Fortenova Group's project is striving to introduce new value in established and sophisticated work based on the latest technologies. I'm excited to have had the opportunity to take part in this ambitious project and I expect that this opportunity will accelerate further increase of value for buyers.''

Slaven Štekovic, an MBA consultant at the University of Cambridge, also stressed the regional impact of the project: "The focus of the Fortenova Group's introduction of state-of-the-art technologies in its business to enhance value for its customers was a key factor which motivated me to join this dynamic and intellectually stimulating environment. Along with the experience I've gained at the core of some of the leading high tech innovation projects, I recognise the tremendous value of cooperation with such an influential company in building a pilot project for the entire region of Central and Eastern Europe, and South East Europe.''

This project is the beginning of collaboration between Croatia's Fortenova Group and Britain's University of Cambridge, which will continue in the future through the transfer of knowledge, experience and the best business practices.

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

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Croatia's AD Plastik Contracts Job Worth 48.6 Million Euro for EU Market

While bleak and uninspiring stories about the state of the Croatian economy and doing business in Croatia continue to circulate across news and media portals as well as in newspapers, not everything is so bleak, you just need to look a little harder. Croatia's AD Plastik has contracted brand new jobs for the European Union market worth a massive 46.8 million euros.

As SEEbiz writes on the 16th of April, 2019, Croatia's AD Plastik d.d. has contracted the new jobs for the European Union for the PSA and FCA Group.

The job of the production of speaker carriers for the Citroen Picasso and C-Elysee PSA Group cars was contracted, which is worth 1.7 million euros, with the start of production scheduled for 2020 with a projected eight-year duration. With the very same buyer, the production of side panels for the Citroen C3 in the value of an additional three million euros, with the start of production planned in 2020, is also in the works, with a projected duration of four years.

New operations for the production of guardrails/handrails for several PSA Group vehicles (Peugeot 208, Peugeot 2008, Citroen DS3 Crossback and Opel Corsa) have been agreed with a total value of 20 million euros attached to them, with a projected ten-year duration, and the works begining during 2019. The Opel Adam Crossback is yet another vehicle from the aforementioned group, for which the engine manufacturing, costing 1.4 million euros, has been contracted with Croatia's AD Plastik, with the anticipated start of serial production being next year, and the duration of the project standing at seven years.

Croatia's AD Plastik d.d. also arranged and contracted 20.7 million euros' worth of new jobs for the FCA Group for the Jeep Compass and Fiat 500e cars. For the Fiat 500e, interior components and air intakes will be produced at AD Plastik's factories, and the total value of the project is 13.9 million euros. The project duration is projected at eight years and serial production is planned for 2020.

For the Jeep Compass, handgrip production contracted at 6.8 million euros has been agreed and the start of serial production is planned for next year with an estimated four year project duration.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on doing business in Croatia, products and services from Croatia, manufacturing in Croatia and much more.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Croatia's Nocturiglow Begins Creating ''Low Tech'' Products for Elderly

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 14th of April, 2019, Croatia's Nocturiglow is currently the biggest startup ''surprise'' in the Republic of Croatia. The story of this startup, which won best pitch at the first Investors Conference @ Algebra Lab, has accelerated beyond all possible expectations.

The Nocturiglow team has developed a low-tech care product for the elderly and infirm which has the same name as the company itself, for those who struggle to get up to go to the bathroom to urinate, or for those who simply cannot for whatever reason. The only, conditionally speaking that is, "technological" thing that Nocturiglow's ''bowl'' possesses is that it has fluorescent elements which make it glow in the dark, which is why it's easy to locate and use during the night. There is a female and a male version.

Nocturiglow's Ivan Babić politely declined to show an image of the design of Nocturiglow's new product, because he is currently in the process of having this intellectual property protected for sale on the EU market.

"We're completely low tech. That was our whole goal, because our competition doesn't focus on quality and user experience, and that's why we think we have room for success," Babić says. He added that Nocturiglow will develop other care products aimed at the older generation in the future, and they will also incorporate sensors, which of course means adding more technology.

Like most millenials today, unsatisfied with the potential income and opportunities that he could accomplish with a master's degree in logistics and management here in Croatia, he was looking for a stroke of luck which would take him down a different path, and so he left Croatia. For three years, he worked as a carer for people with disabilities over in Germany, a job which helped him arrive to this idea in the first place.

"When the STEP-RI startup incubator issued a tender, I applied, I resigned from my job in Germany and came back to Croatia to develop my own business," Babić says. In the past six months, he has made a prototype on his computer with his partner Sara Gunjača and his designer, Ivo Blažinčić.

Now he is preparing to create the very first functional prototype. His plan is to make fifty copies to be shared by test users. Previously, this type of thing was tested through surveys among employees of private and public healthcare institutions.

"We have also noticed that our product is not only good for patients but also for healthcare institutions, because it facilitates jobs for caregivers, as well as insurance companies," added Babić.

He noted that he wants to start selling Nocturiglow's brand new product through his own web store by the beginning of 2020, while the ''attacking'' the EU market through Amazon. He also wants to develop sales to various  healthcare institutions. He has even been in talks with an American company, a partner of Kickstarter, about production. Currently, however, investors haven't come knocking at his door, yet.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Bernard Ivezic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Monday, 15 April 2019

Croatia's Woes Leave it Second Only to Bulgaria in Underdevelopment

The problem of emigration in Croatia has been further underlined by weak economic indicators, after Bulgaria, Croatia is the most underdeveloped country in the EU, explains economist Zdeslav Šantić.

As Tomislav Pili/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 14th of April, 2019, bringing Croatian average salaries closer to the average salaries of Western Europe, and strengthening institutions, are major factors which could significantly reduce the outflow of people from Croatia to work overseas, according to a study by the Brussels think tank, Centre for Economic and Political Studies (CEPS), which was published last week.

In a piece of research entitled "Mobile Workers of the European Union: A Challenge for Public Finance?" authors Cinzia Alcidi and Daniel Gros discuss current trends in labour mobility within the European Union, and the challenges faced by the countries from which such a workforce leaves.

The research suggests that in the last ten years, the mobility of workers has increased considerably in the EU. While in 2007 only 2.5 percent of workers had left their home countries, in 2017, the share of the mobile working population of the European Union grew to 3.8 percent. Increasing the mobility of European workers is the result of two factors, states CEPS. The first is the enlargement of the EU to the east having occurred in two waves, and mobility has increased much more, especially after the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU back in 2007. Apart from the east-west direction, recent years have seen more labour force mobility from the southern EU member states to the north, due to debt crisis and unemployment growth.

The latest data referenced by CEPS shows that Romania, Lithuania and Croatia have the highest share of workforce abroad, far above the European average. Nearly 20 percent of Romanian citizens earn their money in other EU member states, in Lithuania it is 14.8 percent, and in Croatia, 13.9 percent. For Croatian economists, such data doesn't really come as a surprise.

"Increasing emigration over the last few years was expected, and the experience of other new EU member states has shown that after EU accession and the labour market opening, emigration strongly increased, and in Croatia, the problem of emigration is further underlined by weak [domestic] economic indicators.

Croatia had one of the longest recessions in Europe, lasting six years in total. At the same time, even after recovery began, the growth dynamics remained insufficient in bringing Croatia closer to the EU's economic growth. Today, Croatia, after Bulgaria, is the least developed country,'' says OTP banka's economist Zdeslav Šantić.

"The accelerated outflow of the working-age population is particularly evident with the opening up of [Croatia's access to] the single European market since 2013, which was further strengthened by the deep recession in Croatia. However, with the exit from the migrant crisis, emigration from Croatia, especially among the working-age population, has not diminished but accelerated. Migration motives can be different - from differences in incomes, to employment opportunities, to structural factors,'' emphasised Zrinka Živković Matijević, an analyst from RBA.

"The very last factors - a weak institutional environment and (unfavourable) expectations of future economic prosperity (quality of education, satisfaction and trust in politics, future opportunities for generations to come) - are the most common motives for migration of citizens of a particular state who have a higher level of education. In that context, it isn't surprising that the countries which the most emigration are those with the lowest social progress index.

Regarding the convergence of wages, the fact is that at the very beginning of the transition process, Croatia had a high exchange rate, ie, a higher level of wage adjustment with the EU compared to other new members, following only Slovenia, the RBA analyst said.

"Meanwhile, the pace of wage growth and the standard of measured purchasing power parity in other countries has increased considerably since 2004, while GDP measured by the purchasing power parity in relation to the EU 28 average remains at approximately the same level (around 60 percent of the EU average), stagnant or comparatively behind,'' explained Živković Matijević.

Unfortunately, in Croatia, the problem of emigration is not a consequence of current economic trends, Šantić added, saying that the high perception of corruption and nepotism, inefficient state institutions, the huge importance the state carries in overall economic trends and the lack of transparency in the public sector further encourage young people to leave.

"When talking about the emigration of young people, it's worth mentioning that there's a lack of a housing care strategy. There's no regulated rental market yet, but young people have only the option of buying property through multi-year borrowing, and government measures are aimed solely at boosting property purchases,''

An interesting detail in the CEPS survey is the share of faculty-educated mobile workers. Although the usual theory often claims that those who find it the "easiest to leave'' are the highly educated, research shows that this is not the case, especially in the case of new EU members such as Croatia.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and politics pages for much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Tomislav Pili for Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Eurostat: Croatia's Youth Live with Parents Until 32 Years of Age?

As SibenikIN writes on the 13th of April, 2019, Croats have taken yet another EU record, and it isn't the most encouraging one economy-wise. This time, Croatia has taken the crown when it comes to the age until which young people continue to live with their parents, Eurostat's data shows.

The only country in which young people leave the parental nest later than Croatia is Malta. While Maltese youth tend to leave the parental home at 32.2 years of age on average, the average is 31.9 years old in Croatia, according to Eurostat's data on the matter.

In comparison, in Sweden, the average age at which people leave the parental home is 21 years old, in Denmark it is 21.1 years old, Luxembourg id 21.4 years old, and in Finland, people tend to leave at around 21.9 years old. At the other end of the scale, after Malta and Croatia, come Slovakia (30.8 years old), Italy (30.1 years old), Greece (29.4 old), and Spain (29.3 years old), reports Index.

While this is immediately rather discouraging generally, in Croatia, however, the situation has slightly improved compared to how the situation was back in 2015, when the country took first place, and Malta came second. Back then, the average age that Croats left the parental home was 31.4 years old, and for the Maltese, 31.1 years old. A map of the European Union, published by Eurostat, also clearly shows that at least in this respect, Croatia is at the forefront of the EU - just where it shouldn't be.

According to Eurostat data for 2016, more than half (58.7 percent) of young Croats aged between 25 and 34 were still living with their parents, putting Croatia in first place for this statistic. The average at the EU level is only 28.5 percent, twice as low as it is in Croatia, reports Index.

The Nordic countries which are part of the EU have done the best by far in this respect: Denmark (3.8 percent), Finland (4.3 percent) and Sweden (6 percent). After Croatia come Slovakia (55.5 percent), Greece (55 percent), Malta (51.5 percent) and Italy (48.9 percent), at the extreme opposite end of the scale.

Eurostat also found that in each EU member state, females tend to move out of their parental homes earlier than males do. The biggest gender difference was recorded in Romania, where the age for women is 25.6, and 30.3 years for men. The second is Bulgaria with 26.5 for women and 31.1 for men, while Croatia is once again very close to the top, in third place: the average age for leaving Croatia is 30.4 years of age for Croatian women, and 33.4 years of age for Croatian men.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and politics pages for much more.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Croatia in Plus of 14.4 Billion Kuna from EU Membership

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of April, 2019, in terms of the use of EU funds, the Republic of Croatia has a total of 10.7 billion euros available to it, and at this moment in time, 66 percent of allocations have been contracted, almost 85 percent of the tenders have been announced, while 21 percent of the funds have been disbursed to their respective beneficiaries.

As one of the members of the European Union, Croatia has paid 19.7 billion kuna into the EU's joint budget since its accession back in the summer of 2013. The Republic of Croatia has since received 34.1 billion kuna in the same period, resulting in a welcome plus of 14.4 billion kuna, the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds stated.

''With the faster and better absorption of EU funds available, this difference will continue to grow. At present, more than 80 percent of all public investments and 8,306 private companies in Croatia are funded by the European Union's non-refundable funds,'' the aforementioned ministry added in its recent press release.

For the purpose of achieving economic and social growth and the development of Croatia at all levels, the financing of large infrastructure projects in the areas of transport, health, science, entrepreneurship, environmental protection [have taken place], such as the construction of Pelješac bridge, currently the largest and most important project in Croatia, the upgrading of Dubrovnik Airport, the upgrading and the electrification of the existing Vinkovci-Vukovar railway line which is of significance for international traffic, the modernisation of tram infrastructure in Osijek, investment, the equipping and reconstruction of hospitals and health centres, the construction of computer and data clouds, the research and education centre for health and medical ecology and radiation protection, the construction and renovation of student homes, the construction of business zones, the management centre for Krka National Park, the Vučedol archaeological park, etc...

''Since joining the European Union, the general economic trends in Croatia show that they're going in a positive direction: the increase in gross domestic product (GDP); the reduction of unemployment; the growth of exports, especially in the European Union, as a result of Croatia's free access to the EU's single market which consists of 500 million inhabitants.

The stable environment within the EU also favours the development of tourism as an extremely important economic branch [for Croatia]. With regard to fiscal policy, a major step forward has been made, and significant efforts have been made in the field of public finances, while trends that have been extremely unfavourable have also been reversed, along with the many opportunities that are offered by EU funds,'' the ministry said in its statement.

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

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