Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Croatia Introducing German DGNB Certification For Sustainable Construction

ZAGREB, 5 Oct, 2021 - An NGO called Croatia Green Building Council on Tuesday signed an agreement with the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), a Stuttgart-based non-profit organisation, on the DGNB system for certification of sustainable buildings, building interiors and districts.

The DGNB Certification System, a second-generation system compared to other international certification systems, includes assessment which revolves around ecological aspects, DGNB says.

DGNB-certified buildings consume fewer resources during construction, have lower greenhouse gas emissions and largely can be recycled.

The DGNB director, Christine Lemaitre, said today in Zagreb after the agreement-signing ceremony that she was glad to see that Croatian partners opted for promoting the DGNB system.

The head of the Croatian NGO, Dean Smolar, explained that the system was adjusted to EU regulations and the Life Level(s) project which is being implemented by the Croatia Green Building Council.

To date, over 8,200 public and private buildings and districts in 27countries worldwide have acquired DGNB certificates.

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

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Awareness Campaign About Women's Unpaid Household Work Launched

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - A network of civil society organisations called "Fourth Shift - Invisible Work" on Tuesday launched a campaign to raise awareness of women's unpaid household work and encourage the creation of public policies to achieve a work-life balance for women and men.

The campaign is part of the project "The impact of public policies on the quality of family and working life and on the demographic picture of Croatia," led by the women's civil society organisation B.a.B.e.

The value of the project is HRK 3.6 million (€480,000), of which 85 percent is provided by the EU and the rest by the government. Its duration is 36 months, and it is being conducted in Zagreb and eight other regions.

The organisations have invited women to join the campaign by sharing their stories on what happens when they stop doing their everyday chores. They can share their stories and photographs on the Instagram and Facebook accounts of B.a.b.e. and the Twitter account of Iskra B., or if they want their post to remain anonymous they can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The organisations wonder what kind of chaos would happen if women in Croatia stopped ironing, cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry and taking care of children. They say that such a scenario is indicated by the results of a 2017 survey carried out by sociologist Ksenija Klasnić.

The survey revealed that in 83 percent of the cases examined all or the majority of routine household tasks are performed by women, in 16.6 percent of cases partners equally share household chores, while men do housework on their own only in 0.4% of cases.

In 58.4 percent of cases, all or most work relating to child care is done by women, while men take care of children on their own only in 0.2% of cases. In the rest of the cases women and men share their child care duties.

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

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

AEPO-ARTIS: Croatia Making Position of Performing Artists Difficult

ZAGREB, 3 Aug, 2021 - AEPO-ARTIS, a non-profit organisation that represents over 650 performing artists, has sent a letter to the Croatian culture minister criticising Croatia for being late with the adoption of new copyright legislation and missing a deadline for the implementation of two EU directives, the Croatian Musicians Union said on Tuesday.

The organisation said that the implementation of the Copyright Directive and the Directive on online transmissions and retransmissions was being delayed because Croatia was late with the adoption of the new Copyright and Related Rights Act.

The letter, signed by AEPO-ARTIS secretary general Ioan Kaes, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap between the growth of profit by online giants and individual artists because the latter do not participate in the fair distribution of this turnover.

The situation is particularly dramatic because in the new business circumstances the turnover of online platforms has become a dominant source of income for the music industry. For over a year and a half, performing artists have been denied their basic source of income - live performances, while at the same time the use and turnover of their recordings increased and performers could not enjoy their rights equally with others. Although their works still reach wide online audiences, artists receive small or no remuneration for them, according to the letter.

The institute of performers' inalienable right to remuneration is not incorporated into the proposal for the new Copyright and Related Rights Act, and under the proposal, record companies would be given an additional three years to adjust their business. This would allow Croatian record companies to continue their unfair and unethical practice of blackmailing performing artists and not paying them for the performances that have been used by online services for years, the letter said.

AEPO-ARTIS concluded by saying that introducing the inalienable right to remuneration, which artists would be able to exercise through their collective management organisations, is the best, if not the only, solution that guarantees that artists receive appropriate and proportionate remuneration for their work.

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

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

HRW, AI And Other NGOs Criticise Croatian Border Monitoring Mechanism

ZAGREB, 3 Aug, 2021 - Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and six other NGOs on Tuesday criticised the new Croatian border monitoring mechanism, expressing concern about the body's independence and efficiency.

Recent media reports and official statements about the newly established border monitoring mechanism raise serious concerns, especially over the body's mandate, efficiency and independence, Amnesty International, Are You Syrious, the Centre for Peace Studies, the Danish Refugee Council, Human Rights Watch, the International Rescue Committee, Refugee Rights Europe and Save the Children said in a joint press release.

The Croatian government announced that the negotiations on the mechanism have concluded, but has not publicly disclosed further details about its structure or functioning, according to the press release.

The independent mechanism should monitor the treatment of illegal migrants by police officers, following several reports by NGOs of violations of migrants' rights at the border, which the Croatian government denies. The establishment of the mechanism was earlier proposed by the European Commission.

"Any border monitoring mechanism should be independent in law and practice and have sufficient resources and a robust mandate to monitor border-related operations anywhere on the territory of a state," the NGOs said.

The source of contention is the fact that according to the NGOs, the mechanism's mandate would be limited to police stations near the border and border crossings, while most contentious actions of the Croatian authorities take place further away from them, the press release says.

The objection also referred to the involvement of other institutions and organisations.

"To ensure that the mechanism is credible and effective, it needs to involve independent institutions or organisations that have monitoring experience – such as civil society organisations, United Nations agencies, and national human rights institutions – that are not financially dependent on the government;" they said, adding that any mechanisms that do not meet such standards could undermine the European Commission's efforts to end violence on the Union's external borders.

"The Commission should actively review and assess the mechanism to ensure that Croatian authorities put in place a system that can credibly monitor compliance with EU law in border operations and should provide political and financial support only to a system that meets the above standards," the NGOs said.

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

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Two NGOs to File Report Over Burning of Rainbow Flag

ZAGREB, 11 May, 2021 - The Rijeka-based LORI lesbian association and the Rainbow Families association of LGBTIQ couples and individuals who have or want to have children will file a report with the local prosecutorial authorities over the burning of a rainbow flag on the City Hall building.

In the night between May 7 and 8, a video of the burning of the flag was posted on the Instagam profile "riječani.1987", which is linked with the Armada football fan group, with the message: "This is the response to the newly-adopted law on adoption by same-sex couples."

LORI and the Rainbow Families said they would file a report for incitement to violence and hate and causing damage to another's property.  

The two associations said they expected a prompt reaction by the competent state institutions, with LORI recalling that in 2020 it filed a report with the Rijeka prosecutor's office over graffiti saying "Kill faggots", sprayed on a window of the Rijeka City Hall after an exhibition dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the association was staged there.

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

 

Friday, 7 May 2021

GONG Criticises Parliament For Not Publishing Information On Voting

ZAGREB, 7 May, 2021 - The Croatian Parliament is the only parliament in the European Union that, on the pretext of the coronavirus pandemic, has not been publishing reports on the voting of MPs for a year, the non-governmental organisation GONG said on Friday, considering this to be an attack on democracy.

"The epidemic has seriously affected the democratic standards in the work of the Croatian Parliament. It is unacceptable that since March 2020 and the declaration of the state of the pandemic, the Sabor has denied the public key information on the work of lawmakers, hiding behind the epidemiological measures and the shortcomings of the electronic voting system, which is designed for use only in the main chamber," GONG said in a statement.

The governing parties are relying on a slim majority of 76 MPs in the 151-seat Parliament, and the information on how each lawmaker voted on a bill is of great interest to the public, it noted.

GONG said that Parliament has been neglecting the basic democratic standards in adapting to the epidemiological measures, recalling that the Constitutional Court had found the provisions of Parliament's Rules of Procedure limiting the number of MPs at plenary sessions to be unconstitutional.

It said that after the Constitutional Court ruling Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković had announced a possibility of forming a task force to draw up amendments to the Rules of Procedure, but that six months have gone by since then and there has been no mention of amendments any more.

GONG appealed to Parliament to start looking for a way to regain the public confidence it has lost and urged MPs to demand greater accountability from Parliament.

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

 

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

PM Andrej Plenković, Women's Room NGO Talk Measures Against Violence

ZAGREB, 10 March, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Wednesday met with a delegation of the Women's Room NGO to discuss measures to curb violence against women and they agreed on the preparation of a national strategy to combat sexual violence.

Maja Mamula and Anamarija Drožđan-Kranjčec from the Women's Room informed the Prime Minister of the activities of their organisation, which includes the Centre for Victims of Sexual Violence which provides direct help and support to victims of sexual violence.

The talks underlined the need for raising public awareness of the problem of sexual violence, strengthening prevention and implementing education about that problem at all levels.

The two sides agreed on drafting a national strategy for the prevention of sexual violence, which will involve all relevant departments and civil society organisations.

There was also talk of amendments to the Criminal Code regarding the combatting of sexual violence, which have been prepared and should soon be put to public consultation.

The main amendments concern redefining the prosecution of sexual harassment to enable its ex-officio prosecution, which is something the government has already announced.

Under the amendments, there will be no statute of limitations on child abuse.

The meeting also discussed activities implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy in order to establish shelters for victims of violence in all counties, the related media campaign and cooperation with civil society organisations.

The Women's Room delegation welcomed the fact that the need for a strategic document to combat sexual violence had been recognised as well as the announced legislative amendments.

Prime Minister Plenković thanked the delegation for their cooperation and work on raising awareness of the problem of violence, notably their activities in providing support to victims of sexual violence.

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

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Petition Against Chaining Dogs Signed by More Than 40,000 People

ZAGREB, 9 March, 2021 - The Friends of Animals association said on Tuesday that its petition, launched to ban chaining dogs, had so far been signed by more than 40,000 people and that its initiative had also been supported by associations of veterinarians. 

The NGO said that it had sent a letter to the government calling on it to urgently amend the Animal Welfare Act and that it expected a positive response.

It said that its initiative had been supported by the most important veterinarian associations, including the Croatian Veterinary Chamber.

In a letter of support for the campaign, Croatian Veterinary Chamber head Ivan Zemljak says the campaign will contribute to raising the standards of animal protection and welfare in Croatia.

Veterinarian Tatjana Zajec has said that dogs are social animals so their long-term confinement or chaining can cause serious damage to their physical or psychological well-being.

Dogs that are chained lack sufficient play and activity, are not taught to happily co-exist with other animals and humans and are therefore frequently dangerous for everyone around them, veterinarians warn.

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

Thursday, 4 March 2021

B.a.B.e. NGO Calls on Women to Report Online Violence

ZAGREB, 4 March 2021 - The B.a.B.e. women's NGO launched its "SURF and SOUND" project on Thursday aimed at a comprehensive fight against online violence against women and at the same time called on women to report online violence.

Women who need help can contact: (+385) 1 4663 666 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

"Every fifth young woman aged between 18 and 29 suffers sexual harassment online and a vast majority of them suffer sexual and physical violence by an intimate partner," B.a.B.e. warned in a press release.

The NGO underlined that women have 27 times more chance that they will be harassed online and that online violence occurs at a very young age.

A survey conducted indicates that NINE million girls in Europe suffered some form of online violence by the time they turned 15.

The "SURF and SOUND - Support, Unite, Respond, Fight to Stop Online violence" project is a comprehensive, systematic approach towards all important stakeholders in an effort to reduce the occurrence of online violence against women in society.

The project will be implemented over a period of two years in partnership with the Electronic Media Agency. The project is valued at just over HRK 1.5 million and 80% is being financed from the  EU's Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme (2014-2020), the press release said.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Women's NGO Implementing EU Project for Improving Work-Life Balance

AGREB, October 30, 2020 - The B.a.B.e. women's civil society organisation and its partners are implementing a HRK 3.6 million  EU project aimed at identifying the biggest obstacles to achieving work-life balance, which is one of the keys to prevention of negative demographic trends and the emigration of young people.

The project on the impact of public policies on the quality of family and working life and on the demographic picture of Croatia will be financed with an EU grant covering 85% of its value and 15% will come from the state budget. The 36-month-long project is being implemented in Zagreb, Sisak-Moslavina, Koprivnica-Krizevci, Osijek-Baranja, Vukovar-Srijem, Primorjre-Gorski Kotar, Zadar, Split-Dalmatia and Istria counties, the B.a.B.e. NGO as the project holder said in a press release.

The project will investigate the needs of women and men during working life and young people to analyse and recommend public policies that will enable a work-life balance. 

The project will be used to build a network of civil society organisations and strengthen their capacities for partnership and inter-departmental cooperation in establishing sensible, comprehensive public policy to enable a work-life balance depending of the specific developmental circumstances in each county where members of the network are active.

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