Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Two Palaces Complex in Zadar Officially Open to Public

April 21, 2022  - On Wednesday, April 20th, the Two Palaces complex in Zadar was officially inaugurated in the presence of the Ministries of Culture and the Regional Development and EU Funds. A new home for Croatian culture and Modern art has settled in the centre of Zadar.

Citizens and tourists of Zadar will finally get into the heart of the old town, a new space intended not only for culture but also for exciting events. The Zadar City Library is returning to the city’s heart, and the Zadar Concert Office and the Zadar National Museum will find their place in the Two Palaces complex.


The Main Entrance of the complex (Image: Total Croatia News)

With the slogan “Past and Future of Culture in Zadar”, the inauguration of the Two Palaces was held in the Great Hall with the participation and exhibition of the hosting organizations: Radio Zadar, Zadar Music School, Zadar Chamber Orchestra, Croatian Singing Music Society Zoranić, Zadar Dance Ensemble, Zadar City Music.

On the first and the second floor, the public can admire until June 20th the great exhibition “Make them face the truth” by the ironic and anti-conventional Croatian sculptor Ratko Petrić.


A Ratko Petric sculpture in the Two Palaces (Image: Total Croatia News)

In the exhibition halls of the Rector’s Palace (ground floor), the public will find a selection of exceptional works from the holdings of the Art Gallery of the National Museum of Zadar (NMZ) through the exhibition Modern – Postmodern (until June 4th).


One of the halls of the exhibition Modern – Postmodern (Image: Total Croatia News)

In the new Polyvalent Hall, through the lens of Ante Brkan, we will take a peek into the life of the Dešpalj family. Finally, in the Rector’s Palace, visitors will have the opportunity to go through a permanent exhibition entitled Six Salon Stories NMZ.

The main outdoor stage hosted the Split duo Banana Sound and Alejandro Buendia & Sons, a project by Saša Antić from TBF. Throughout the evening in the Rector’s Atrium, from 19:30 to midnight, there was an entertaining music program with a concert by Oridano Gipsy Jazz.

During the ten days of celebrating the grand opening of the Two Palaces, a series of concerts, film screenings, workshops, lectures, and literary gatherings are scheduled. Among these, we’d like to highlight the performance of the HRT Jazz Orchestra accompanied by American saxophonist Victor Goines, the screening of “Prova d’orchestra”, a discussion on literature with Julijan Matanović and Pavle Pavličić, and a lecture “On Pavle Dešpalj through the prism of musical contribution in Zadar”. You can find the full program here

Most of the space in the new complex is intended for exhibition and gallery activities. At the same time, a large Polyvalent Hall is reserved for music and film events, also thanks to the cooperation with the year-round cinema “Kino Zona”, an independent film association cooperating with Two Palaces since the beginning with its own screenings and programs. 

Find here the official Facebook page of Two Palaces.

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Thursday, 24 March 2022

Tramišak Confirms She Has Reported Threats To Police

ZAGREB, 24 March 2022 - EU Funds and Regional Development Minister Nataša Tramišak confirmed on Thursday that she had reported the threats she had been receiving since last summer, to the police,  however, she stopped short of revealing the identity of who was making the threatens.

"The threats started in early September, I cannot say who made them," she told the N1 broadcaster on Thursday, explaining that the threat in reference to blood-shedding was made in January.

The minister said that it was unpleasant to hear such things, however, they did not make her hesitant to continue conducting her ministerial duties.

As for the media reports that she said she would seek political asylum in Brussels in response to the person who made the threats against her, the minister explained the statement was taken out of context.

"I do not plan to leave Croatia. Sometimes things are said in the heat of the moment," she said.

Tramišak also explained that she did not contact the police or other authorities since the threats had were not direct.

She admitted that she could not deny the media reports about the threats when this became breaking news on Wednesday.

As for speculation that the threats were the outcome of internal wrangling inside the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) after she did not extend a contract for the engagement of the private Omega Software company,  she only said that media outlets had already commented on that in the past.

The Wednesday issue of the Jutarnji List daily said that the problems for Minister Tramišak started when she decided not to extend a contract for the eFond information system with the Omega Software company and awarded it to the state-run Financial Agency (FINA).

Fina was awarded this job after it already started working on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

"It was logical that we should not advertise a public call for that job, as there were indications that only one company would apply, and in those situations, we cannot comply with the principles of public procurement. Also, Fina is capable of doing the job. As a result, we signed the relevant agreement with Fina," she said.

As for media claims that former HDZ official Milijan Brkic threatened Tramišak and that Prime Minister Zvonimir Savić was also implicated in conveying the threatening messages, Tramišak told the N1 that she had never met with Brkić, and that Savić was also a special adviser to the ministry and that he had never threatened her.


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Wednesday, 1 September 2021

National Plan for Island Development, Island Register Presented

ZAGREB, 1 Sept, 2021 - Representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds presented the National Plan for Island Development and Island Register in Preko on the island of Ugljan on Wednesday, saying these were strategic documents that should enable a better quality of life on all Croatian islands.

"The National Plan for Island Development is a comprehensive document, presenting various sources of financing and aims, priorities, measures and projects for the development of the islands in the period from 2021 to 2027," the ministry's state secretary, Šime Erlić, said.

The document covers many areas, from social and cultural to traffic and other areas vital for people living on the islands, Erlić said. It underscores the key issues that bother islanders and they will be resolved with the help of national and European funds, he added.

Some of the key problems are transport connectivity from the islands to the mainland, access to health care, water supplies and environmental protection, he said.

"This plan is a basis for negotiations with the European Commission. Croatia is negotiating a new financial envelope and preparing priority investments," said Erlić.

Asked about the problem of water supply, he said that owing to legislative changes, the quantity of water available to islanders had increased from 45 to 85 cubic metres per person but he underlined the importance of building water supply and drainage systems on islands. He added that funding for those investments would be available as well.

He said that measures under the National Plan for Island Development were estimated at HRK 7.8 billion.

Speaking about the Island Register, Erlić said that this was the first time all the islands had been listed and categorised in one place - all 1,244 islands, islets and rocks.

"We have created a database that will serve as the basis to prepare analytical reports necessary to direct and manage efficient policies for island development," he said.

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Friday, 20 August 2021

Over €1Bn To Be Set Aside for Development of Islands Until 2027

ZAGREB, 20 Aug, 2021 - EU Funds and Regional Development Minister Nataša Tramišak said on Friday in Split that HRK 7.8 billion would be earmarked for development projects on Croatian islands until 2027.

The national plan for the development of islands will provide a scope for investments, and we have assessed that 7.8 billion kuna will be necessary for the implementation of measures envisaged by the plan. However, that amount is not definite and other ministries are expected to make contributions to additional investments in compliance with the money made available in EU funds until 2027, Minister Tramišak told the press.

Tramišak held the news conference after she awarded seven contracts, worth HRK 22 million in total, on regulating the state's co-funding of the EU-funded projects.

The total value of those seven projects which will be implemented in Split-Dalmatia County stands at 223 million kuna, and 140 million will be covered by EU funding.

After Split, Tramišak travelled to Hvar for a ceremony of awarding HRK 4 million worth of contracts on that island.

The registry of islands and the national island development plan will be presented at that ceremony.

More than six billion kuna was invested from national funds into different activities and projects for the islands in the 2016-2020 period.

Croatia has 1,244 islands, and 45 islands are permanently or temporarily inhabited, with 51 maritime routes, 58 community health centres, 102 primary and 13 high schools, and 23 care homes.

(€ 1 = HRK 7.482172)

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Thursday, 27 May 2021

"New Generation of the EU and Croatian Path to Recovery" Hybrid Conference Held in Zagreb

May 27, 2021 - An introductory hybrid conference called "New Generation of the EU and Croatian Path to Recovery" was held on the Croatian Employers' Association premises.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan with EU funds is expected to be a real lever for growth, recovery, and resilience to future crises.

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Regional Development and European Union Funds and with the support of the Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs and the Italian Embassy in Zagreb, the Italian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Forca Digital Agency, in cooperation with PwC Croatia, organized an introductory hybrid conference at the Croatian Employers' Association. The sponsor of the conference was Zagrebačka banka dd.

The conference discussed the national recovery and resilience plan and the new generation of the European Union.

Damir Zorić, Director General of the Croatian Employers' Association, gave a welcome speech at the conference and pointed out:

"I am thrilled that we all gathered today around the topic of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which is very important to HUP and in the focus of employers' interests in the last few months. We want to continue to remain a constructive partner to the Republic of Croatia's Government in this topic to make the most of the opportunity of the generation provided by the NPOO. If we do not create at least 100,000 jobs in the coming period, we will not give future generations a decent opportunity to live."


The introductory discussion, as well as the round table, were attended by numerous eminent persons, including Zvonimir Savić, Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia and State Secretaries Šime Erlić from the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds and Zdenko Lucić from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and Hrvoje Balen, ICT Vice President - HUP and coordinator for NPOO.

"In the next few months, we expect that there will still be room for NPOO corrections and enabling the involvement of the private sector in certain investment programs. We recognize the efforts of the Government, which negotiated more favorable conditions and a map of regional aid, which opened the space for encouraging private investment and sustainable employment, and we must praise the new dynamics of communication with the Ministries of Economy, Labor, Tourism and Regional Development," said Hrvoje Balen.

All present agreed that the Republic of Croatia is truly living a historic moment. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan with EU funds for the next multiannual financial framework is expected to be a real lever for growth, recovery, and resilience to future crises.

The Ambassador of Italy in Zagreb, HE Pierfrancesca Sacca, and entrepreneurs members of the Italian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce expressed their opinions not only on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan but also on investments and obstacles faced by investors and employers. The Ambassador of Italy in Zagreb, HE On this occasion, Pierfrancesca Sacca presented several activities that Italy and Croatia are carrying out, strengthening the cooperation between our two countries in all fields, and pointed out:

"I don't think we are fully aware of the consequences of the paradigm shift. Now no one thinks globalization can continue as if nothing has happened. There will be efforts to relocate trade and investment flows. The Italian system of promotion and internationalization of companies in the past looked a lot at distant markets. Still, now with increasing attention, it looks at markets and partners much closer to Italy, especially neighboring countries, especially towards Croatia.

An interesting discussion was joined by Mr. Alessio Cioni, Vice President of the Italian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Deputy CEO of PBZ dd, Hrvoje Dolenec Director for Macroeconomic Analysis and Market Analysis of Zagrebačka banka dd, and John Gašparac, President of the Management Board of PwC Croatia, who, with his extensive knowledge and experience, gave a special review of the event.

"Operating costs, although they remain an important criterion, are no longer crucial. We look at productivity, the market, and the recycling capacity in production to minimize the impact on the environment. I also emphasize the slowness of the bureaucracy and especially the legal system, which must be facilitated and simplified especially for the technological infrastructure and in the field of digitalization," said Alessio Cioni.

"We need to focus on two things - to enable entrepreneurs to get funds for their projects as soon as possible, and with the help of the synergy of the private and public sector, to achieve that. The realization of this potential is a historic opportunity for us. We definitely need to be careful about possible risks because others will be involved in it," said John Gasparac.


The conference continued with a presentation of "Possibilities of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan" by Nataša Mihoci, senior consultant for EU funds at PwC Croatia, who presented a cross-section of opportunities and sectors and potential financial allocations.

Digital and Green are two concepts that run through the entire National Recovery and Resilience Plan and need to be addressed in project preparation.

"It has never been more important to invest in human resources because without that we cannot reach 24.4 billion euros in the Republic of Croatia. Therefore, investment in human capacity and quality preparation is key to reach the mentioned amount. Prepare your ideas for projects now, and don't forget "digital" and "green," said Natasa Mihoci.

The closing speech at the conference was given by the Secretary-General of the Italian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce and event moderator, Andrea Perkov, and concluded:

"Today's conference showed that this was a synergistic effect of a public-private partnership with the common goal of presenting, influencing and creating a new generation of Europe in Croatia through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan."

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