Thursday, 15 July 2021

Croatian Coast No Longer Green on ECDC Corona Map!

July 15, 2021 - Not the best news for the peak season - the Croatian coast is no longer green on the ECDC corona map! 

The Croatian coast is no longer green on the new corona map of the European Union published by ECDC, reports Index.hr.

The entire Adriatic part of Croatia is now in orange.

The ECDC map is updated every week. Colors for individual areas are determined by a combination of the number of confirmed cases in the past 14 days per 100 thousand inhabitants and the percentage of the population tested. The latest map was released today.

It is the most important coronavirus map in the European Union, and it is considered a reference because EU member states adopt measures and determine the conditions for entry from a particular country according to the color that the country has on the ECDC map.

The vast majority of Europe is still in the green zone. The Croatian coast, parts of Greece, part of the Netherlands, part of Sweden, Ireland, and the south of France are now marked in orange.

Spain, Portugal, a small part of Greece, part of Denmark, and part of the northeast of the Netherlands, as well as Luxembourg, are red. 

Parts of Spain, as well as a very small part of the Netherlands, are dark red, symbolizing the worst epidemiological situation.

The headquarters announced that 139 new cases in Croatia were recorded in the last 24 hours, and the number of active cases in Croatia today is 653.

Among the active are 110 patients on hospital treatment, of which 9 patients are on a respirator.

The headquarters also announced that no deceased persons had been registered in the last 24 hours.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centers across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Friday, 25 June 2021

SDA, Džaferović, Komšić: Croatia Defeated In EP Regarding Ethnic Divisions

June 25th, 2021 -  The leading Bosniak party, SDA, and two members of the Bosnian Presidency, Šefik Džaferović and Željko Komšić, said on Thursday that Croatia and the concept of ethnic divisions were defeated in the EP with the rejection of an amendment on constituent peoples to a Bosnia and Herzegovina progress report.

At a plenary on Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a report on BiH, rejecting amendments by Croatian MEPs on the rights of constituent peoples, which the European People's Party supported but not the Liberals, the Left, and the Greens.

"The rejection of the amendment by the parliamentarians from Croatia and ultra-right European parties, which asked of BiH to additionally deepen discrimination in the election process... is a clear message as to which direction future reforms of the Constitution and electoral legislation in BiH should take," the SDA said in a press release.

Komšić called the result of the vote in Brussels a clear message to Zagreb.

"That was as expected given the fact that the allegedly legitimate representation of the constituent peoples has no basis in European Court of Human Rights rulings. That's a message Zagreb should take note of well because it's clear now that the ethnic concept they are forcing in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not acceptable to the EU," he said.

Džaferović said Croatia's idea to introduce "the rhetoric of ethnic divisions" in the EP resolution was rejected.

"After NATO's refusal at the past summit to include similar formulations in its declaration, this is the second important message after which Zagreb should... start changing its policy on Bosnia and Herzegovina. Any attempt by Zagreb to impose solutions on Bosnia and Herzegovina will fail and an unnecessary decline of Croatia's reputation," he said.

Džaferović said BiH should reform its Constitution and electoral legislation based on ECHR rulings and European Commission recommendations to eliminate discrimination and ensure equality for all its citizens across the country.

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

Friday, 25 June 2021

European Parliament Adopts Kolakušić Report On Better Law Making

June 25th, 2021 - The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a report by Croatian MEP Mislav Kolakušić, which underlines that it is necessary to oversee better the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality in the adoption of EU policies and to introduce the EP's right to legislative initiative.

Presenting the "European Union regulatory fitness and subsidiarity and proportionality report on Better Law-Making covering the years 2017, 2018 and 2019," Kolakušić said the expansion of EU powers harmed the EU's democracy and functioning, and that it was necessary to protect better member states' possibility to make decisions and act without European institutions interfering whenever possible.

620 votes adopted the report in favor, 20 against, and 51 abstentions.

The EP stresses that acting at the EU level must be justified concerning possibilities available at a national, regional, or local level while respecting retroactive assessment, impact assessment, and consultation with stakeholders.

MEPs call for reviewing the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and introducing the EP's right to legislative initiative, given that it directly represents European citizens.

Kolakušić said the report contained an important call on MEPs, all member states, and EU citizens that the EU must change and that the power to move bills must be given to citizens and their representatives in the EP.

The resolution presents solutions to the weakened regulation of compliance with subsidiarity and proportionality principles.

MEPs push for better participation by national parliaments in legislative procedures at the EU level.

The EP calls for more open access to the drafting of legislative texts and enabling the independent moving of bills.

To have better regulations, it is essential that the European Parliament, Council, and Commission be included in more structured cooperation to assess the application and effectiveness of EU law to improve legislation, the resolution says.

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

Monday, 21 June 2021

Milanović: We Need To Utilise EU Grants To The Maximum

June 21st, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović visited the town of Popovača on Monday and attended a special City Assembly meeting on the occasion of the town's day, where he welcomed efforts by local authorities to absorb EU grants to the maximum in order to realize essential projects for economic and demographic revival.

We have to utilize the benefits of membership in the European Union, he underscored.

"That is why for me, the only criterion for any city, municipality, and the state is to absorb the last euro possible. But for each one that we didn't, I want to see who was responsible and not just as the president of this country, but as a citizen," said Milanović.

We owe that to ourselves. Otherwise, we will once again be in some large conglomeration where we have no influence, he underscored.

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

Monday, 14 June 2021

Government Denies Report On One Billion Kunas Less For Croatia from EU

June 14th, 2021 - The government on Monday refuted as untrue the allegations by the Jutarnji List that after the European Commission perused through its National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO), imprecision detected in relations to the costs have resulted in one billion kunas less for Croatia from the EU.

The amount of grants set aside for Croatia under the Recovery and Resilience Facility is €6.3 billion (approximately 47.5 billion), as also carried in the relevant regulation adopted by the European Parliament and the Council establishing a Recovery and Resilience Facility on 18 February. The mentioned amount has never been questioned since the adoption of the said regulation, the government says.

In the same vein, the elaboration of the 2021-2026 National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO) was conducted so that the total value of the reforms and investments set out in the plan should not be below the target of HRK 47.5 billion, the government says.

The government's decision on defining the draft national recovery and resilience plan 2021-2026, prepared for the fine-tuning with the European Commission on 29 April, defined the draft in the amount of HRK 48.7 billion, which was above the allocation of HRK 47.5 billion set aside for Croatia.

The subsequent contacts with the European Commission aimed at hammering out the document resulted in the amount of HRK 48.2 billion, which is still above Croatia's allocation defined by the above-mentioned regulation adopted by the EP and the Council, the Plenković cabinet says.

The reduction of sums "is a consequence of hammering out the assessed costs for certain investments, such as adjustment of VAT treatment and adjustment of eligibility of costs."

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, follow our business section.

Monday, 14 June 2021

After Revision Of NPOO, Croatia To Get HRK 1 Bn Less From EU

June 14th, 2021 - The European Commission has revised Croatia's National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO), and for now, no items have been deleted. However, imprecision and errors related to the costs shown are being corrected, which has resulted in one billion kunas less for Croatia from the EU.

A brief analysis shows that Croatia set the cost of its recovery and resilience plan at HRK 49 billion to be used for reforms and investments. After the EC went through individual items, the amount was slashed by around HRK 1 billion, the Jutarnji List daily says in its issue of Monday.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan have adjusted to the situation because the EU has made Croatia around €6.3 billion or HRK 47.5 billion as part of its Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The prime minister's advisor on the NPOO and its coordinator, Zvonimir Savić, said the government was satisfied with the evaluation of national recovery and resilience plans so far because even though the total amount had been reduced, "the plan's concept, its thematic units, and reforms have been preserved to a large extent," which, he said, was not the case with some other countries.

Asked what specifically had been reduced or changed, Savić said that none of the envisaged investments was removed from the plan but that there had been technical errors in the costs shown, resulting in the reduction of the total amount for the sub-component for a resilient, green and digital economy, which is particularly interesting to entrepreneurs, by around HRK 500 million.

Croatia originally envisaged around six billion kunas for that purpose, to be obtained through various financial instruments. Still, after the costs were reviewed with EC experts, the cost was set at HRK 5.5 billion.

Savić said that the reduction of funds referred mostly to various financial instruments but that the amount to be made available in the form of grants had, in fact, been increased.

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

Friday, 11 June 2021

Croatia and 4 More Members Ask EC to Extend Time for Assessment of Recovery Plans

ZAGREB, 11 June 2021 - Croatia and another four EU member-states have asked the European Commission to extend a deadline for the assessment of their national recovery and resilience plans, the Commission's spokeswoman Marta Wieczorek said in Brussels on Friday.

The EC has two months to assess these plans that set out the reforms and public investment projects that each Member State plans to implement with the support of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

The rules envisage that member-states can request a reasonable extension of time for the assessment of national recovery and resilience plans after the documents are submitted, the spokeswoman said.

The extension has been requested by Croatia, Slovenia, Poland, Sweden and Romania, Wieczorek said.

The extended time frame is perceived as an opportunity to settle some outstanding issues, she said, declining to specify those outstanding issues that are the cause for the requests from the five members.

The Commission received Croatia's plan on 15 May, and Zagreb "has requested a total of almost €6.4 billion in grants under the RRF", the EC says on its website.

The Croatian plan is structured around five components: green and digital economy, public administration and judiciary, education, science and research, labour market and social protection, healthcare. It also encompasses one initiative on building renovation. The plan includes measures to improve business environment, education, research and development, energy-efficiency in buildings, zero-emission transport and the development of renewable energy sources. Projects in the plan cover the entire lifetime of the RRF until 2026. The plan proposes projects in all seven European flagship areas, the EC added.

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

Thursday, 3 June 2021

45,000 EU Digital Covid Certificates Issued in Croatia So Far

June 3, 2021 - There have been 45,000 EU digital COVID certificates issued in Croatia so far. 

All Croatian citizens who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, have a negative test, or have recovered from COVID-19 in less than six months can get their digital covid-certificates now, reports Dalmacija Danas

Citizens can get certificates in printed or electronic form, proving that they have received one of the vaccines registered in the European Union, through the portal e-Citizens or in one of the branches of the Croatian Health Insurance Institute throughout Croatia, except at five HZZO locations - and in Zagreb where certificates are not issued: Margaretska, Mihanovićeva, Kruge, Ivekovićeva, and Branimirova.

Croatia is the first EU member state to establish a system for issuing EU digital covid certificates. Together with Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Poland, it has linked up with the EU's accession to verify the authenticity of certificates.

More than 45,000 covid certificates were issued in Croatia yesterday, of which 90 percent are with vaccinations. Of these, only 4,000 certificates were requested and issued in paper form.

“All citizens who have been vaccinated according to the vaccination program adopted by the Croatian Institute of Public Health must be registered in the central register of vaccinated persons, which is the basis for issuing a digital COVID vaccination certificate. If it turns out that one of the vaccinated citizens is not in the register, we ask them to contact the doctor or health institution where the vaccination was performed with a card and a certificate of vaccination to make a subsequent enrollment of citizens in the list of vaccinated persons," said the Ministry of Health.

Namely, the largest number of citizens who have received the vaccine so far are registered in the central register of vaccinated persons and can easily obtain their COVID certificates in a very short time. However, for various reasons, part of the citizens remained unregistered or registered with incomplete or incorrect data, making it impossible to issue certificates promptly.

As of yesterday, citizens also have the opportunity to check for themselves on the Health Portal whether their vaccination data have been recorded correctly. The fastest way to eliminate these problems is to direct citizens to doctors and institutions where the vaccination was performed. Only the doctor who performed the vaccination is authorized to enter data on the vaccinated person or another doctor of the health institution.

Also, some citizens ask for additional information to obtain a COVID-certificate of recovery, so it should be emphasized that it is issued to a person who has suffered from COVID-19 on the 11th day from the date of the first positive PCR test recorded in the system. Such confirmation shall be valid for 180 days from the date of the first positive PCR test recorded in the system. A certificate of illness is not issued based on a rapid antigen test, as established by the proposal for regulating the EU digital covid-certificates.

Under the Decision of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia amending the Decision on temporary prohibition and restriction of border crossings of the Republic of Croatia from 1 June 2021, entry into the Republic of Croatia is also possible for persons unable to exercise digital covid confirmation in the following cases:

- by presenting a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 and receiving a single dose of vaccine within six months of the onset of COVID-19, and vaccination carried out less than 180 days ago,

- by presenting a positive rapid antigen test (listed on the Joint List of EU Member States) confirming that the person has recovered from SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, with the test performed 180 days ago and older than 11 days from the date of arrival at the border crossing or upon presentation of a medical certificate issued by a doctor, determination of self-isolation upon arrival in the Republic of Croatia and for a period of 10 days or until receiving the results of a negative test.

At the European Union level, there are continuous discussions on digital covid-certification, and adjustments are possible in the digital covid-certificate at the EU level, depending on current scientific knowledge and consensus of the profession. Also, like Croatia, each member state can bring additional conditions for entry into its territory that are not covered by the digital covid-certificate, which are then confirmed by presenting appropriate medical documentation when crossing the border.

For all, you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border, and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centers across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

EU Digital COVID Certificates in Croatia are LIVE! Here's How to Get One

June 1, 2021 - EU digital COVID certificates in Croatia are LIVE! Here's a look at what you need to do to get one. 

As of today, the EU digital covid certificates in Croatia are live, or what you may know better as the Covid passport. The Croatian government set up a national certification system on Monday, which began operating on Tuesday,  report Jutarnji List

"The Croatian national system for issuing the EU digital COVID certificate is ready for operation on June 1 and the integration procedure with the European gateway has been carried out, which ensured their cross-border interoperability," they announced in a statement yesterday.

A website has also been launched where citizens can get all the necessary information. But the process of issuing a Covid certificate is actually quite simple; you can request it through the e-Citizens system (eGrađani) or at HZZO branches. Regardless of the version, the certificate will contain a QR code with basic information and a digital stamp to ensure the authenticity of the certificate.

How to access the certification system?

You can access the system for issuing EU digital COVID certificates via the website www.eudigitalnacovidpotvrda.hr via the link REQUEST A CERTIFICATE at the top of the website (see header photo). You can also access the system directly via the e-Citizens (eGrađani) page by selecting the HEALTH area from the service catalog. In this area, select the EU Digital COVID Certificate e-Service and follow the application steps.

What documents do you need to download the certificate from the e-Citizens (eGrađani) portal?

Apart from level 2 credentials - significant security levels or level 3 credentials - high-security credentials, it is not necessary to provide additional data and documentation to access the e-Citizens (eGrađani) portal. The system retrieves user data from the databases of the Ministry of Health and the confirmation is generated by clicking on the option "Request confirmation".

You can save the confirmation that you download via the portal to your computer, print it out, or send it by e-mail to your e-mail address.

How to apply through e-Citizens (eGrađani)?

In case you decide to get the certificate through the eCitizens system, you must first submit a request by entering your OIB and e-mail address to which the COVID certificate will be delivered in PDF format.

After that, a request will be created for you, and in the e-Citizens system, you can check what its status is, i.e., whether it is still being processed or is ready.

Once you meet the criteria for issuing a certificate, the info will arrive at your e-mail address. 

Can the certificate be used via mobile phone?

You can save the certificate in the form of a PDF file and present it to the person responsible for reading the QR code and other important data. The EU digital COVID certificate contains a QR code with a digital signature for protection against forgery, which is based on the ICAO PKI specifications. When checking the certificate, the QR code is scanned and the digital signature is checked.

How will this help you freely move?

In addition to facilitating the movement of citizens when crossing the border crossings of the Republic of Croatia and border crossings of EU member states with which bilateral agreements will be concluded, this certificate can be used for other purposes in accordance with decisions that could be made in the foreseeable future.

The Government notes that the certificate will be used in accordance with data protection regulations and exclusively for downloading and processing the data contained in the certificate.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including travel, border and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of vaccination points and testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Monday, 17 May 2021

EU Ministers Push For Creating Equal Opportunities For All in Education

May 17, 2021 - Education ministers of the European Union's member states on Monday called for creating equal opportunities for children in primary and secondary education regardless of their social status, Croatia's Science and Education Minister Radovan Fuchs said. 

The ministers met in Brussels to discuss equity and inclusion in education and training.

There are still differences between member states regarding equal opportunities, which became more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fuchs said after attending the ministerial meeting.

The Council of the EU education ministers concluded that the education system is supposed to provide a socially inclusive, equitable, successful, and high-quality education system and training for all.

Despite certain progress in creating equal opportunities in education for all, the data show that in the EU, there is still a high percentage of children with difficulties who drop out of school, and one in five of them fails to finish their education.

Children of non-natives are at a higher risk of dropping out of school than children with native-born parents, 22.2% to 8.9%.

Member states are called to increase the availability of digital tools and resources at all levels of education and training.

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

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