Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Future of Europe: Successful Croatian Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robot  argues with Jandroković

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

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

Pepper and Jandroković then debated about parliamentary procedures. 

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

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

Successful Croatian stories 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boranka campaign, Toljanić family awarded with Croatian Sabor medal

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

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

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

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

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



Thursday, 22 April 2021

Parl. Speaker Gordan Jandroković For Sanctioning Ustasha Insignia and Regulating Communist Symbols

ZAGREB, 22 April, 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Thursday condemned the crimes committed by the 1941-1945 Ustasha regime and called for legally sanctioning the use of the Ustasha insignia and also for regulating the treatment of Communist symbols, including the five-pointed Red Star.

"We must make a clear distinction between the insignia of the Ustasha regime and the heritage of the (1991-1995) Homeland War and regulate the treatment of symbols of the Communist regime," said Jandroković after he laid a wreath in Jasenovac on the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the breakout of inmates from the Ustasha-run concentration camp. 

Jandroković called for consistency in regulating the treatment of the five-pointed Red Star which was displayed by people who committed horrendous atrocities in Bleiburg in the wake of the Second World War, on the Croatian island of Goli Otok during the Yugoslav Communist rule as well as in the Croatian towns of Vukovar and Škabrnja in 1991.

Jandroković said that he would like to see all those who participate in discussions about such insignia to be objective and to have understanding for the victims on all the sides.

"Croatia's history has been fraught with conflicts. Therefore, in all these years, no appropriate legislative solutions were found," he underscored, adding that Croatia's society is now mature enough to find, through democratic discussions, solutions that will protect each victim and deplore every criminal and totalitarian regime.

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



Thursday, 8 April 2021

Parliament Speaker Issues Message For 50th International Romani Day

ZAGREB, 8 April, 2021 - Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Thursday congratulated the Roma national minority in Croatia on the 50th anniversary of International Romani Day.

"The Republic of Croatia has from its beginning been committed to the full protection of members of national minorities, which has also been strengthened by the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities. Since then we have been working intensively with members of the Roma community on social integration and affirmation of Roma in the Croatian society," Jandroković said in the message.

He underscored that the Roma are today active participants in political life and have their representative in the Croatian parliament.

Also, the Croatian parliament was part of the initiative to establish the World Day of Romani Language on 5 November, which further contributes to preserving Romani culture, the parliament speaker recalled.

"Our common task is to continue helping, in a systematic and concrete way, members of the Roma minority in Croatia to become more strongly involved in society, and children and young people in the education system," the message said.

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


Friday, 26 March 2021

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković Expects Authorities to Look Into Mamić's Accusations

ZAGREB, 26 March (Hina) - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Friday he expected all the accusations levelled by convicted former Dinamo football club boss Zdravko Mamić against Supreme Court President Đuro Sessa and other judges to be investigated by the competent authorities.

"As for the accusations, I have no knowledge of them, but I expect the competent authorities to get to the bottom of them," Jandroković told a press conference after a meeting of the Parliament Presidency.

If the allegations of violation of the law, preferential treatment and bribery are proved, the people in question should be punished, he added.

Jandroković admitted that he was concerned that some of the judges confirmed what Mamić said. "That raises concerns and citizens must certainly be concerned about that segment of the judiciary."

Speaking of the possibility of Sisak-Moslavina County prefect Ivo Žinić running in the forthcoming local elections, Jandroković said that the HDZ's candidate there was Ivan Celjak. "When an HDZ member goes against the HDZ, he can no longer be an HDZ member," he said.

The Croatian Parliament wrapped up its session on Friday. MPs will be on a recess until 7 April when they return to the parliamentary benches. Parliament will then be sitting until 15 July, with a break between 7 and 19 May for local elections.

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

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

President Zoran Milanović: MPs will Have to Vote Because it is Their Constitutional Obligation

ZAGREB, 24 March, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Wednesday that Parliament would have to vote on his candidate for Supreme Court President, Zlata Đurđević, because that was its obligation under the Constitution.

"They will have to take a vote not because I want them to, but because that is their obligation under the Constitution," Milanović told the press during a visit to the northern Adriatic island of Cres.

Milanović has sent a letter to Parliament calling on MPs to fulfil their constitutional obligation and vote on his proposal to appoint Zlata Đurđević the Supreme Court President.

He accused Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković of concealing the document he had sent to Parliament, adding that Jandroković would not be punished for this theft. "What he did is unprecedented. The HDZ is trying to set up a dictatorship."

Milanović said that the Constitutional Court, which did not support Milanović's position, was a political body consisting of "mainly washed-up HDZ members.

Commenting on the statements by former Dinamo football club boss Zdravko Mamić, who accused some of the judges of corruption, Milanović said: "Always the same story, the same people. Mamić provided some evidence, but those people are no-goods. People who administer justice in such cases and who behave like that cannot be called anything else but no-goods."

Milanović said he did not believe that Mamić had financially supported former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. "One should be careful when making such direct accusations. She was accused of serious corruption and I think she will seek satisfaction in court," he added.

Milanović said he believed that judges such as those who had accepted bribes from Mamić were in a minority and that the majority of judges were honourable.

He said that the HDZ-controlled justice system was designed by senior HDZ official Vladimir Šeks. "They are destroying this country and I will fight against that," the President said.

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

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Andrej Plenković (PM), Gordan Jandroković (MP) and Vili Beroš (Health Minister) Get Vaccinated with AstraZeneca

ZAGREB, 24 March, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and Health Minister Vili Beroš were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine at Government House on Tuesday, and Beroš said that they had sent a message of confidence in medical science and the medical profession.

"Today we have sent a strong message of confidence in medical science, the medical profession, primarily because we were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. We will continue to work diligently on vaccinating Croatian citizens so that they could continue living and working with as little risk of infection as possible. Every vaccinated individual contributes to the protection of the population and is definitely a step towards our old normal, and a step closer to a successful tourist season," Beroš told reporters after the vaccination.

He added that there were still many challenges ahead and that it was important to think about future challenges such as new variants of the virus.

"I believe that with this message we have encouraged citizens to follow us on that path, to curb the epidemic and return to our normal life," Beroš said.

For more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 12 March 2021

President Zoran Milanović: "Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković Has Done the Impermissible"

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Friday said that Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković has done something that is unprecedented and impermissible by asking him, as the proposer, to supplement his draft decision on the selection of the Supreme Court president.

Jandroković sent back Milanović's draft decision after identifying some shortcomings.

Milanović said that Jandroković put his recommendation for the Supreme Court candidate "in a drawer," underscoring that Jandroković has no right to do so.

"He has no right to do that, whatever the HDZ majority in the Committee on the Constitution, thinks," Milanović told reporters in Požega after attending an oath giving ceremony by the 29th generation of volunteer army recruits.

Only thing protecting Jandroković from consequences is his immunity

Milanović said that the Speaker had done something he is not allowed to and the "only thing protecting him from the consequences is his immunity."

"He stole the document I sent to the parliament and allowed himself to interpret it... and assess the legality of my recommendation," claimed Milanović, adding that only the parliament can decide on the legality of something and not Jandroković.

"In future too he or anyone else can do what they want with documents and proposals. That is (ruling party) HDZ's message to parliament and its partners in the government... and if they want to agree to Jandroković shelving issues at his discretion and conducting a legislative analysis of a proposal's admissibility, let them do so. That is the road to tyranny," underscored Milanović.

Jandroković has privatised the position of Parliament Speaker

Milanović called out Jandroković for "privatising the position of Parliament Speaker," which the "HDZ majority in the parliamentary Committee on the Constitution gave him the right to do."

Milanović underscored that his recommendation for president of the Supreme Court, Zlata Đurđević, is a good choice, reiterating his stance that a public call for applications for the position is not transparent and that he as the president of the country has the authority to recommend a candidate.

"If you don't like it, abolish it, but it exists - all my authority and duty is to make a recommendation and I did so and that is the most transparent way possible. The public call is not transparent. Hundreds of Croatian lawyers are perhaps scared and don't want to participate in a travesty... Professor Đurđević is my candidate. Reject her, I dare you!" said Milanović.

He also commented on criticism by some constitutional law experts of his refusing to support one of the candidates that applied for the position, saying that these were people who wish to become Constitutional Court judges and are just waiting outside the Constitutional Court door waiting for a public call so they "can jump in."

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

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković Asks President Zoran Milanović to Supplement Supreme Court Chief Justice Motion

ZAGREB, 10 March, 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Wednesday called on President Zoran Milanović to supplement his motion concerning the nomination and election of the Supreme Court President.

The request to amend the motion ensued after some shortcomings were noticed in the submitted motion, a source from the Office of Parliament Speaker said.

Under Article 170 of the legislature's rule book, the sponsor of a motion can be asked to resubmit the amended motion within 15 days, after the parliament speaker establishes that the initial motion has not been submitted in accordance with the rule book of the national parliament.

Otherwise, the motion shall be considered null and void.

On Monday, Milanović announced his plan to nominate the Zagreb law school's professor Zlata Đurđević as his candidate for the Supreme Court President, and said that he would send the relevant proposal to the Sabor on the same day.

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

Monday, 8 March 2021

Parliament Speaker Issues Message on International Women's Day

ZAGREB, 8 March, 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Monday that although a lot had been done in including women in public, professional and political life, further efforts should be made to reach the highest standards in gender equality.

Observing International Women's Day on 8 March is an opportunity to express our gratitude and respect to all women that make our society better and more developed, Jandroković said in his message.

On this day we remember all social, economic, cultural, political and scientific achievements made by women in the past, he said adding that Croatia is among countries in which women's rights are protected to a high degree. He underscored that gender equality is a fundamental value of the Croatian constitution.

Jandroković called for further efforts to reach the highest standards in gender equality, including the protection of women against verbal humiliation and violence.

The status of women in politics, society and the enterprise sector is one of the fundamental civilisational values and a mirror of a mature democracy, he said, wishing women all the best for International Women's Day.

Friday, 29 January 2021

No Voting in Parliament Due to Lack of Quorum

ZAGREB, 29 January, 2021 - Due to the lack of quorum in parliament on Friday the usual voting on discussed items was postponed, including on amendments to legislation related to post-earthquake reconstruction, the declaration of an Exclusive Economic Zone in the Adratic and so on.

Voting is postponed until conditions allow and that won't be today, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said after establishing that conditions to conduct voting did not exist as only 75 MPs were present instead of the necessary 76.

Prior to that, MP Zvonimir Troskot (MOST) called out Jandroković for allowing the parliament to turn into a circus because he did not allow voting on MOST's motion to abolish the mandatory membership fee paid by members of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), thus reducing the burden on entrepreneurs.

"We did everything according to the relevant procedure but you put the debate on our motion on the agenda late last night," Troskot said, accusing Jandroković of not allowing the vote on his party's bill.

Jandroković denied the claims, reiterating that the bill would be put to the vote after party groups making up the parliamentary majority completed their consultations on the matter.

Earlier Jandroković underlined that it was the Speaker who decided on the agenda and voting.

The item regarding amendments to the HGK Act was put on the agenda after a long debate on the National Development Strategy, Jandroković told Troskot.

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