Saturday, 23 April 2022

Plenković Supports Janša Ahead of Slovenia's Parliamentary Elections

ZAGREB, 23 April 2022 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has expressed his support to his Slovenian counterpart Janez Janša who is seeking a second term in office in parliamentary elections on Sunday.

"Ahead of parliamentary elections in Slovenia, I give my strong support to my friend, Prime Minister Janez Janša, and the Slovenian Democratic Party," Plenković said on Twitter on Friday.

Plenković said he had had excellent cooperation with Janša over the last few years in advancing relations between the two countries.

"We have improved economic cooperation, addressed unresolved issues and tackled together major crises such as COVID and the present energy crisis," the Croatian PM said, adding that he was confident that Janša would win.

Janša's Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) and Plenković's Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) are both members of the European People's Party (EPP).

Nearly 1.7 million Slovenians are going to the polls on Sunday to elect a new 90-member parliament and choose between the policy pursued by Janša and the alternative promised by business manager Robert Golob.

According to surveys published by the Dnevnik and Večer newspapers earlier this week, Golob's Freedom Movement enjoys the support of 26.3 per cent of the electorate, while Janša's SDS is backed by 25.5 per cent.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 21 February 2022

Covid Measures in Slovenia Dropped from Today: Should Croatia Follow Suit?

February 21, 2022 -  As Covid measures in Slovenia become a thing of the past, should its neighbor Croatia follow suit?

"The measures introduced by the headquarters have proved ineffective and should be considered to be removed because if they are not effective, then it is unnecessary to have them."

Today, Slovenia takes a step towards the life we once knew. COVID certificates will generally no longer be needed anywhere, travelers will no longer have to qualify to be vaccinated, recovered, or get tested, and the same is true for employees, reports Novi List

There are no more restrictions on the number of guests in restaurants and cafes, and nightclubs are starting to operate. The self-testing of students, which Croatia is only beginning to implement, is being abolished, but the basic measures remain in force - masks, disinfection, and distance.

There are no such announcements in Croatia yet. 

Although the number of newly infected people in Croatia decreases, there are no announcements of lifting the measures currently in place. 

"Each state, according to the epidemiological situation, assesses when it is time to repeal or strengthen a measure. We have seen a decline in the number of the newly infected in recent days, but these are still high numbers. As a result, we have high numbers of patients in hospitals and many deaths," said Vesna Višekruna Vučina, epidemiologist of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, for RTL.

Scientist Ivan Đikić said that measures in Croatia had not yielded results, many were introduced too late, and people do not adhere to them.

"The measures we have, such as COVID certificates and other measures introduced by the headquarters, have proved ineffective and should be considered to be removed because if they are not effective, then it is unnecessary to have them," said Djikic.

So, should Croatia abolish all remaining epidemiological measures?

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Croatian and Slovenian Companies to Form Security and Defence Consortium

ZAGREB, 24 Sept 2021 - The Croatian DOK-ING company on Friday signed a letter of intent with the Croatian Orqa and Slovenian MIL Sistemika, Bijol and Defensphere OU companies on forming a consortium of complementary companies in the field of security and defence.

An agreement was signed at the same time between Croatian and Slovenian defence industry competitiveness clusters with the aim of supporting the two countries' defence industries in absorbing available EU funds.

The signing ceremony was held at the 8th International SOBRA Defence, Security, Protection and Rescue fair, which is being held from 23 to 25 September in Gornja Radgona, Slovenia, DOK-ING said on Friday.

The new Croatian-Slovenian consortium comprises members of the two countries' defence industry competitiveness clusters and opens opportunities for joint applications to the future European Defence Fund and use of EU funds for defence.

The consortium is a result of years of promoting the connecting of companies which, through the transfer of know-how and joint action, strengthen their capacity to develop high-tech products and position themselves on the international market.

For more on business, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 13 August 2021

€3m Croatian-Slovenian Flood Protection Project Finished

ZAGREB, 13 Aug 2021 - A project to reconstruct an embankment on the River Mura in the northernmost Croatian town of Sv. Martin na Muri and build an embankment at Benice on the Slovenian side of the border has been completed, the Hrvatske Vode state-owned water management company said on Friday.

The total value of the FRISCO 2.2. project, financed by Hrvatske Vode and the Slovenian state-owned water management company with roughly equivalent amounts of money, is €2.99 million.

The FRISCO 2.2. project, designed to improve cross-border flood protection, is the third cross-border flood protection project approved for EU financing as part of the Interreg V-A Slovenia-Croatia cooperation programme.

That programme aims to reduce the threat of the cross-border rivers Dragonja, Kupa, Sutla, Drava, Mura and Bregana flooding the areas they run through and FRISCO 2.2. project refers to flood protection activities in the area of the River Mura.

The purpose of the project is adjustment to expected climate change and its challenges and reducing the risk of floods in Sv. Martin na Muri in Croatia's northern Međimurje County and in the settlement of Benice in the nearby Slovenian municipality of Lendava.

For more news, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 2 July 2021

Slovenia Absolutely Supports Croatia's Schengen Entry

ZAGREB, 2 July 2021 - The Slovenian Council of the EU presidency absolutely supports the Schengen entry of Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, and is willing to put that on the agenda as soon as the member states reach agreement on it, Slovenian Interior Minister Aleš Hojs said on Friday.

Frankly, we are most interested in Croatia's entry, for understandable reasons, because they are our neighbours and that would ease many of the problems we have on the border, for both Croatia and Slovenia, Hojs told a group of Brussels correspondents invited to Slovenia on the occasion of its Council of the EU presidency, which started on 1 July.

Over the next six months, Hojs will chair the Home Affairs Council, which is in charge of Schengen enlargement.

He said he was willing to put the issue of the three countries' Schengen entry on the agenda at any moment, but that he felt it was not a good idea before all member states agreed on that.

Hojs said it was smarter not to vote until there was full consensus. He added that as chair, he would do his best to convince those states that were still sceptical about Schengen enlargement that it was the right decision.

Early in June, the European Commission called for enlarging the Schengen Area to Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, which meet all the technical requirements for membership.

The Schengen Area consists of 26 states, including four that are not in the EU - Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. All EU member states are in the area without border control except Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Ireland.

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

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Croatian PM Attends Ceremony Marking 30 Years of Slovenia's Independence

ZAGREB, 26 June 2021 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković attended a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of Slovenia's independence in Ljubljana on Friday, and in his speech he pointed out the ties between the two nations in history and at the time of their independence from Yugoslavia 30 years ago.

"Croatia and Slovenia are two friendly countries, and Croats and Slovenes are two friendly peoples. What divides us is a trifle compared to what binds us together," Plenković said, congratulating Slovenia on the 30 years of independence.

He said that on the same day in 1991 the parliaments of Slovenia and Croatia had taken crucial decisions that led to the independence of the two countries. He noted that after the fall of the Berlin Wall, other countries had also become independent, but that Croatia and Slovenia did not gain their independence peacefully. 

"Both our countries were the victims of military aggression, we both know what war is like," Plenković said. This fact binds Croatia and Slovenia even today as they both know what was happening then, he added.

Plenković said he hoped that the Slovenian presidency of the European Union in the second half of the year would be successful and that he was sure that Slovenia would make a significant contribution to this process with its knowledge and creativity. He stressed that Slovenia can count on Croatia as a partner and friend in this process.

The ceremony was also attended by the Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the foreign ministers of Italy and Portugal, and EU Council President Charles Michel.

In his address, Slovenian President Borut Pahor called for unity in diversity, for an end to political quarrels and for achieving "a third consensus" on how Slovenia should be developing over the next 30 years. He said that his country should develop through a smart and green strategy by strengthening plurality and dialogue in society. 

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

Friday, 11 June 2021

Adriatic Counties To Be Removed From Slovenian Red List

June 11, 2021 - Good news after it was established yesterday that Slovenian tourists would not need to go into self-isolation when returning from the Adriatic counties, according to the decision of the Slovenian Government to remove the Croatian coast from its red list, which will take effect from tomorrow.

At yesterday's session, the Slovenian Government decided that the Adriatic Croatia administrative unit is no longer on their red list. The counties of Istria, Primorje-Gorski Kotar, Lika-Senj, Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia, and Dubrovnik-Neretva were thus removed from the list of countries and areas with a high risk of coronavirus infection, reports hrturizam.hr.

Namely, in areas not on the dark red or red list, there is no high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, so a person coming from such an area can enter Slovenia without being sent into mandatory self-isolation if they submit proof that they've been in the area.

Apart from Croatia, Switzerland, the Vatican, the Austrian administrative unit of Tyrol, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and the Portuguese Azores were removed from the red list of European Union countries at yesterday's session. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro are no longer on the same list comprised of third countries. The administrative units of Pannonian Croatia, the City of Zagreb, and Northern Croatia are still on the red list. This means that a person coming from these areas in Croatia is quarantined for ten days due to possible infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus upon returning to Slovenia

The decision to remove the Adriatic counties from their red list, made by the Slovenian Government yesterday, will take effect on Saturday, June 12th.

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

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Janša: Slovenia and Croatia Making Joint Efforts to Expand Space of Freedom

ZAGREB, 30 May, 2021 - Prime Minister Janez Janša said in Zagreb on Saturday that Slovenia and Croatia were two countries with similar histories and that nowadays "they are fighting together for the expansion of Europe and for all its parts to be free."

On Saturday evening, Janša arrived in Zagreb to attend a special concert in the Croatian National Theatre (HNK) on the occasion of Croatia's Statehood Day, observed on 30 May.

In reference to the early 1990s when his country and Croatia gained independence, Janša said that "those were the times of huge risks and courage both for Slovenia and Croatia."

"I can remember the steps we made to get rid of the yoke of the Yugoslav Communist system. Today, Slovenia and Croatia are members of the European Union and NATO, and we are together fighting  for the expansion of Europe and for all its parts to be free," said Janša, who was welcomed by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

Janša went on to say that the two countries were now able to help other countries and "want to expand the space of freedom."

He invited his Croatian counterpart to ceremonies in Ljubljana on the occasion of Slovenia's Statehood Day on 25 June. Six days after that holiday, Slovenia will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, and this will be the first time for Ljubljana to be the EU chair.

Janša congratulated PM Plenković on Croatia's successful chairmanship of the Council of the EU  in the first half of 2020 against a backdrop of "very demanding circumstances marked by the (COVID-19) pandemic."

Plenković, who described Janša as a friend and good neighbour of Croatia, said that he was confident that during the Slovenian chairmanship in the second half of this year, Croatia's Schengen and euro area membership bid would be strongly supported by Ljubljana.

He noted that the third remaining objective in the foreign affairs was Croatia's admission to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

As soon as we accomplish those three goals, we can say that we have fulfilled our tasks, having in mind the size of our country, Plenković said.

He pledged the further strengthening of Croatia's institutions, democracy and economy in the fourth decade of the country's independence.

We are committed to strengthening the social inclusivity and to the stronger positioning in the EU and NATO, he said adding also that Croatia was dedicated to green and digital transition.

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

For more news about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Slovenia, Croatia, Italy Sign Statement on Protection of Adriatic

ZAGREB, 21 April, 2021 - The foreign ministers of Slovenia, Croatia and Italy signed in Brdo Pri Kranju, Slovenia on Wednesday a joint statement on the protection of the northern Adriatic, after plenary talks on joint cooperation in that area.

Speaking to the press after the signing, Anže Logar of Slovenia said that he, Gordan Grlić Radman of Croatia and Luigi di Maio of Italy endorsed conclusions on strengthening the three countries' cooperation in the protection of the Adriatic, which he said was the basic framework for strengthening cooperation in areas of common interest.

Last year Croatia and Italy announced the proclamation of exclusive economic zones in the Adriatic, including Slovenia in consultations on the matter. Slovenia, which under international law does not have the right to do the same, assessed that as a positive move by its two neighbours.

Early this February, the Croatian parliament proclaimed an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic, giving Croatia additional rights in relation to the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone declared in 2003 to build artificial islands and exploit the sea, wind and currents in that zone in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

At a meeting in Trieste on 19 December, the three ministers adopted a joint statement in which they share a vision of the sea as a bridge uniting all the peoples in this area and a source of progress for all. They were agreed that the Adriatic, as a closed sea with intensive traffic and a vulnerable eco-system, needs an integrated approach to environmental protection and sustainable development.

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

 

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Friends of Croatia: New TCN Series On All Things Diplomatic

April 20, 2021 - Check out the newest TCN series "Friends of Croatia", dealing with all things diplomatic, by TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac

December 22, 1990, the Croatian parliament known as Sabor brought its first independent constitution, known as „The Christmas Constitution“. After that, the same parliament officially declared Croatia as an independent country and no longer part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on June 25, 1991. Then followed the Ex-Yu War known in Croatia as a Homeland War, which lasted until 1995.

While this war is one of the foundations of Croatian independence, noted by the modern constitution as well as on other grounds of historic events, the dedication of soldiers, tactics, weapons, force and combat skills weren't the only cards Croatia had to achieve its sovereignty. It was also the communication with the international community and international recognition. This allowed Croatian citizens to not end up in the trap of Transnistria, a sovereign state officially recognized as part of Moldova, where Moldova does not rule due to the army and force monopoly by the Transnistrian government, but whose passports have no benefit for its citizens and despite being a state, in official maps does not exist.

Iceland was the first sovereign country to recognize Croatia as a sovereign state on December 19, 1991, followed by Germany in whose recognition took effect on January 15, 1992. Slovenia technically did recognise Croatia first, the same as Croatia was the first to recognise Slovenia, but neither country had international recognition at the time, which is the reason Iceland counts first. Floored by Iceland and Germany, other countries started to recognize Croatia and the new-found Republic joined the UN on May 22, 1992. The international status was then additionally boosted with joining Nato on April 1, 2009, and the EU on July 1, 2013.

Today, Croatia has 176 diplomatic relations; and for TCN writers, reporting on diplomacy is nothing new. Diplomatic relations can be viewed, in layman terms, like friendships, and this is why this series is called „Friends of Croatia“. As stated by the E-International relations site, diplomacy has existed as long as the human race. It can be viewed in the first negotiations amongst individuals before graduating to the level we know today.

„Among the many functions of diplomacy, some include preventing war and violence and fortifying relations between two nations. Diplomacy is most importantly used to complete a specific agenda. Therefore without diplomacy, much of the world’s affairs would be abolished, international organizations would not exist, and above all, the world would be in a constant state of war. It is for diplomacy that certain countries can exist in harmony“, writes the E-International relations site.

And indeed, shutting down diplomatic relations is a final step before potential war escalation and the spread of violence. Even with certain diplomatic tensions, Croatia has with Slovenia around Piranski Bay, or with Serbia regarding uncleared questions from the Homeland War, the fact there are diplomatic relations both with Serbia and Slovenia ensures that these tensions can be solved by peace and not violence.

But what exactly are the details of Croatian diplomatic relations with other countries and international organizations? This is precisely what this series strives to bring by explaining the history of Croatian diplomatic relations by talking to diplomats, embassies, and representers of international communities, with an informative, unique approach to each specific relation. The series wants to inform of the ups and downs of Croatian international collaboration, how to make them better, what benefits are there in these relations for Croatia, and what benefits are there for other countries. Keep your eyes open for articles in these series with more details and interesting facts about diplomacy in general too.

If you are working in the embassy or in an international organization in Croatia, feel free to reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

To read more from the series "Friends of Croatia", follow TCN's dedicated page.

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

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