Monday, 18 October 2021

Milanović and Pahor Unveil Monument to Slovenian Poet Prešern in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 18 Oct 2021 - Croatian and Slovenian Presidents, Zoran Milanović and Borut Pahor, unveiled a monument to a Slovenian poet, France Prešeren in Zagreb's Bundek Park, on Monday after they had unveiled a bust to one of the leaders of the Croatian National Revival, Ljudevit Gaj in Ljubljana earlier in the day.

The monument to Peršen is situated in Bundek Park's Alley of Poets, thus joining monuments to the Russian writers Aleksandr Pushkin and Sergei Yesenin, the Hungarian writer Mór Jókai and the father of Bulgarian literature, Ivan Minchev Vazov.

Prešern's poem Zdravljica (A Toast) is the text of the Slovenian national anthem.

Addressing the public, Milanović said that Croatian and Slovenian anthems were created during the same period and they also have in common the fact that that they are peaceful.

"What it (the Slovenian anthem) has in common with the Croatian anthem, besides being written at nearly the same time, is that it is very peaceful”, President Milanović stated at the unveiling of the bust of France Prešeren.

Milanović added that both Gaj and Prešern were "lawyers by profession, but unsuccessful ones."

"It was at the time when the national word and language, without which there is no nation, were formed, built, measured, and designed by lawyers. Today this is unthinkable. Such were the times, today we live in the time of a bureaucratized, but common European Union. A most beautiful day, this morning Gaj in Ljubljana, and this afternoon Prešeren – let us continue this way. Croatian-Slovenian relations are becoming a more and more beautiful story, and there is no reason for it not to remain as such," President Milanović said in concluding his address during the bust-unveiling ceremony at Bundek.

Pahor described Prešeren as "a key figure in Slovenian history," and that his poetry "promotes European values like good neighborly relations, coexistence and fostering differences."

He underscored that today great divisions exist in Slovenia, Europe, and the world and that in that context Zagreb and Ljubljana are capitals that are showing "Europe as their joint home" how to celebrate their own and European identities based on values that bring peace and security.

"I want this day to be a holiday of good neighborly relations, coexistence, friendship, and trust between two nations," said Pahor.

The idea for the monument to France Prešeren was initiated by Slovenia's Embassy and the Slovenian House in Zagreb whereby the Slovenian community in Croatia is celebrating 30 years of Slovenia's independence.

The City of Zagreb prepared the site for the monument and Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said today that he was happy to support the project.

"This monument is an expression of respect for and friendship with the Slovenian people," said Tomašević during the ceremony.

France Prešeren, who was born on 3 December 1800 and died on 8 February 1849, is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest Slovenian poets.

For more on politics, click here.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Croatian Agency and Sparkling Wine Idea Win Prestigious Cresta Award

October the 14th, 2021 - The Croatian agency, Bruketa&Zinic&Grey, and the Untouched by Light sparkling wine from Slovenia's Radgonske gorice won the prestigious Cresta award recently.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, Cresta is an international award for creativity in marketing communications, which has been awarded since back in 1993 and for which many of the most respected international creative companies compete. It is considered to be a real global benchmark for and of creative standards.

The award-winning project of Croatian creators Untouched by Light, is the first sparkling wine in the world to be produced, sold and tasted in full, and was created in response to scientific research that confirms the negative impact of light on wine aromas, especially when it comes to sparkling wine.

With it, the Bruketa&Zinic&Grey agency and the Slovenian winery Radgonske gorice created a completely new product instead of the traditional advertising, with the aim of positioning this winery on the global market. Winning the Cresta Award, this creative idea found itself side by side with major global brands such as Adidas, Pepsi or Xbox. Unlike similar competitions, here the winners are chosen by the sum of the points of the 120 members of the jury, without their mutual discussions which may influence the scoring.

Some of the jury members were Marco Cremona from Google, Oriel Davis-Lyons from Spotify, James Hirst from Pinterest and various other representatives of some of the world's strongest creative agencies. Since back in 2018, the Cresta platform has been led by Lewis Blackwell, who was previously the creative director of Getty Images and the publisher of Creative Review magazine, and Alan Page, an award-winning creative director and songwriter.

"Despite the fact that more than a year has passed since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, or perhaps because of it, we have seen a good cross-section of fresh innovation and deep feelings in a lot of works that have really impressed the jury," said Alan Page at the awards ceremony.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

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.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Croatian World War 1 Memory: Research Project Investigating Memory and Heritage

September 7, 2021 - In a pool filled with social research supported by the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute, Liljana Dobrovšak leads a project to explore the Croatian World War 1 Memory. The heritage and sites of memory of this horrible historical event as well as political and social background interpreting those events will be displayed on an international round table on September the 9th and 10th, 2021.

As the past always keeps inviting us back to learn something new the history books overlook, events such as World War 1 require revisiting.

Enter ''The First World War in the Culture of Memory. Forgotten Heritage'', a scientific project led by Ljiljana Dobrovšak to dig deeper into the collective memory of this dreadful war.

''The aim of the research is to initiate a scholarly debate on the ''cultural memory'' of WW1 in Croatia based on newly acquired knowledge in order to determine its causes and why it contributed to the contemporary social phenomenon of ''forgetfulness'' related to WW1 in Croatia.

The objective of this research is to examine WW1's ''cultural memory'' in Croatia back during the time of the Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs/Yugoslavia (and in relation to the wider region and the rest of Europe) through the systematic investigation of ''memory politics'' (legal framework), ''sites of memory'' marking practices and ''commemorative practices’' ''during the war and in the interwar period,'' explains the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute on its website.

This piece of research had two goals. The first is concerned with investigating and recording what the research calls ''sites of memory'', and to fully determine circumstances of their creation, establishment or even, in some cases, the disappearance of those places. This was done by analysing and studying actions and/or attitudes of the Croatian institutions, military and civilian associations next to the central Belgrade institutions, military and civilian organisations towards ''sites of memory'' related to the WW1 in Croatia.

The second goal concerns situating these ''sites of memory'' in a wider socio-political context. This way, researchers can investigate how, at the time, the Yugoslav legal framework of memory politics is developed towards its formation through commemorative practices on its territory, as well as, attitudes of the Yugoslav state and central institutions in Belgrade towards Croatian citizens as members of the Austro-Hungarian Army who died fighting for the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

''The overall result of this predominantly historical research project which is multidisciplinary in character is not only expanded knowledge about neglected and insufficiently researched Croatian cultural and historical heritage but more importantly; the acquired knowledge which enables the scientific and cultural integration of the Croatian WW1 memory, more precisely cultural memory, and its valorised historical heritage into the wider socio-historical European context,'' concludes the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute.

The project started in 2020 and will last until 2023. However, even now, the research has moved far enough to hold an international scientific round table regarding the matter.
The round table lasting from September 9-10 will see lectures from scientists from Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and Croatia.

The event will be held at Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute's multimedia hall in Zagreb, at Marko Marulić Square 19. However, due to the current epidemiological measures, the number of seats at the hall is limited. But never fear, as you can follow the discussions and lectures live via a Zoom meeting (Meeting ID: 892 6457 0158 Passcode: 316547).

Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.

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

Friday, 20 August 2021

Iron Age Danube Route Recognised by European Council

August 20, 2021 - The Iron Age Danube Route is a new addition to the Croatian offer, relevant not just for tourism but for science, research, and education, and recognised by the European Council.

The Iron Age Danube Route addresses one of the most fragile, though imposing and attractive prehistoric archaeological phenomena, the Iron Age landscapes. Characterised by monumental structures, such as burial mound cemeteries, flat cemeteries, fortified hilltop settlements, and oppida, as well as elements indicating the complex organisation of space, Iron Age landscapes belong to the period between the 9th and the end of the 1st century BC, according to the official website of the Iron Age Danube Route Association (IADR).

This association was founded back in July 2020 with the goal of enhancing international scientific cooperation regarding the period of the Iron Age, as this is a period marked by an extraordinary corpus of movable and intangible heritage. The focus on the Danube region is, among other things, owing to this heritage being housed in numerous museums across the Danube region, including the most important regional and national institutions.

''Compiling the existing sources of knowledge and creating a strong interdisciplinary and international network of expert institutions from Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia in the fields of archaeology, cultural heritage protection, tourism, as well as local stakeholders, the Iron Age Danube Route Association was founded in July 2020 with the aim of the further development and management of the IADR,''

The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb is one of the founding partners of the association, and other institutions from Croatia include the Centre for Prehistoric Research, Kaptol County, Papuk Nature Park, and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb. Other partners include museums and faculties from Hungary, Austria, and Slovenia, all bringing their top experts in the field to the table for the association to work.

And that work paid off. As reported by the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb's website, the European Council granted the culture route certificate to the Iron Age Danube Route which stretches through Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, and Slovenia.

''This is the first culture route of The European Council with its headquarters in Croatia“, said the Museum's website adding that the route is managed by the Association.

''The Iron Age Danube Route matched the criteria by the five priority fields of action by the European Council. These include cooperation in research and development, the progression of European heritage and history, educational exchanges, youth culture, engagement within the frame of the current cultural and artistic practices and sustainable cultural tourism development,'' explained the website.

The certificate is important as it enhances the overall visibility of the sight, allowing the public to become better informed about the area, and enriching the overall Croatian cultural and tourist offer, creating new opportunities both for business and for scientific and educational purposes.

Did you know Vukovar is located along the Danube river? Learn more in our TC guide.

For more about Croatian history, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 6 August 2021

Croatia on G20 Summit: First Quantum Communication with Italy and Slovenia

August 6, 2021 - What the country lacks in terms of economy, it makes up for in science. This was proven during the Croatia on G20 Summit. Along with their counterparts from Slovenia and Italy, Croatia's Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB) scientists conducted the first quantum communication, presenting new and safe communication technology.

Unfortunately for the Croatian economy, the country is far from being a member of G20, let alone the prestigious G7, but with the European Union being a member of G20, it's a bit like Croatia is also on the team, too.

Croatian businesses may still face issues, but Croatian science saves the nation's reputation, particularly the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB). As they reported in their press release, Croatia participated in the first public demonstration of quantum communication, along with Italy and Slovenia on the fifth of August. This transmission took place between Trieste, Ljubljana and the Croatian city of Rijeka, and thanks to their scientific expertise, attention was given to Croatia during the summit of the wealthiest countries on the planet.

Dr. Mario Stipčević (head of the IRB's photonics and quantum optics laboratory) and Dr. Martin Lončarić from the IRB handled the transmission from the Croatian side with the support of his colleagues from the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences from Zagreb University and in collaboration with the OIV company which is enrolled in digital signals and networks.

''The quantum connection between Trieste (Italy) and Croatia's Rijeka-Zagreb knot is 100.5 kilometres long and is expanded from Rijeka to the capital of Zagreb via quantum induced communication. The first demonstration of its kind has been made possible with the cooperation of the Croatian academic community and industry,'' said Dr. Stipčević.

According to the website of PicoQuant, a German company dedicated to research and product development, quantum communication is a field of applied quantum physics closely related to quantum information processing and quantum teleportation.

''Its most interesting application is protecting information channels against eavesdropping by means of quantum cryptography,'' says PicoQuant.

The IRB explains that quantum communication satisfies the need for safe communication, which is a priority of every government worldwide.

''This technology achieves maximum security thanks to the quantum encryption that works on the photon exchange, which allows for the instant detection of hacking attempts,'' they pointed out from the IRB.

''Today, we're part of the cornerstone of the new European quantum infrastructure“, said Tommaso Calarco, the president of the European Quantum Community Network (QCN). He added this is the crown of the first phase of the Quantum Flagship programme which offers European Union citizens such privacy protection infrastructure.

Croatia, by all accounts being involved in the shaping of The European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) Initiative, shows the country will not lack behind its other European partners.

''With the success in realising this demonstration, our scientists and experts broke the ice and paved the way to the realisation of quantum infrastructure in the Republic of Croatia,'' concluded Dr. Stipčević.

Learn more about Croatian inventions and discoveries from Tesla to Rimac on our dedicated TC page.

For more about science 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, 26 May 2021

Slovenian PM Supports Croatia's Schengen Entry

ZAGREB, 26 May, 2021 - Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša on Wednesday supported the Schengen entry of Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania as it would strengthen security in Europe.

We support Croatia's entry to the Schengen Area, as well as the entry of Bulgaria and Romania. We believe those are steps that strengthen security in Europe, he told a joint press conference with European Parliament President David Sassoli.

He spoke at the press conference via video link from Ljubljana after presenting to European Parliament leaders the priorities of the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU, which starts on 1 July.

Croatian PM Andrej Plenković said in Brussels on Tuesday he expected Croatia's Schengen membership could be on the agenda during the Slovenian presidency.

"Croatia is on the right track to become a member of the Schengen Area in 2022 and then to enter the eurozone. I think that's possible. When we look at the very good relations we now have with Slovenia, it would be a great scenario if something like that happened during Slovenia's presidency of the Council of the EU," he told the press.

Janša today also supported EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, saying many problems there, including the border issue, would be taken off the agenda with the accession of those countries.

EU enlargement is in our common interest. It should be our strategic response to numerous challenges, he added.

He said that when the EU was dealing with the financial and then the migrant crisis, neglecting enlargement, some other factors started expanding their influence in the Western Balkans.

Those foreign factors don't have the same values as we in the European Union, he added.

Janša said a European perspective was the answer.

We can solve problems by making borders less important. Slovenia is now part of the European Union and Schengen, where there are no physical borders, he added.

He announced an EU-Western Balkan summit for 6 October in Slovenia.

As for the priorities of Slovenia's EU presidency, Janša highlighted respect for the rule of law and EU resilience to crises. He also underlined the importance of the Conference on the Future of the EU, which will end next year during the French presidency.

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

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Slovenian Iskra Has Eyes on One of Largest Croatian Exporters

May the 15th, 2021 - Slovenia's Iskra wants to take over a very well known Zagreb-based company and one of the largest Croatian exporters as the business climate begins gaining some sense of semi-normality back again.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the business climate is gradually recovering, we have learned to live with the coronavirus and the vaccine is here, and for Iskra as well as for many other Slovenian companies, a new wave of development can start. That naturally means greater investments in automation, robotics and new innovative technologies.

This was stated by Iskra's Dusan Sesok, whose family-owned company has come back into focus again here in Croatia as well. The last time it was on Croatia's business radar was on the occasion of them taking over the shipyard in Sibenik from the former owner there - today they're successfully developing a business called Iskra shipyard. Now, the media is following the Slovenian publication related to the takeover of Zagreb's Elka, otherwise the largest regional cable company and one of the largest Croatian exporters.

Following Iskra's information regarding the process around this company, one of the biggest Croatian exporters, which they informed the Slovenian regulator about, it has been found out that the transaction hasn't been completed. The process is still ongoing, according to the director of Iskra.

A recently held meeting was attended by representatives of the ownership ''staff'' of both companies; Matija Sesok, one of the juniors who runs Iskra's operations, as well as a member of the Croatian Elka company, Miljenko Hacek. Apparently, this was an all-day meeting.

Hacek said that with more than half a billion kuna in revenue, Elka is a recovered company, it is stable. It has operated positively for the last two years and even achieved growth last year despite the coronavirus pandemic. They have promising plans for this year, and growth is expected to continue.

Matija Sesok, referring to the same topic, said that Elka's business last year and this year was such that it had become very interesting for Iskra.

Iskra's director, economist Dusan Sesok, who was the Minister of Economy and Finance in two Slovenian Governments, pointed out that his domain included taking over other companies, as well as environmental projects.

He confirmed that Iskra wants to enter a new field of activity - in the field of energy and telecommunications cable production, but didn't want to comment on the alleged potential takeover of one of the largest Croatian exporters - Elka.

''We're still in a sensitive phase,'' he said, and according to him, the first statements on this topic can be expected in about ten days at the earliest. Otherwise, the Slovenian Iskra had a record 130 million euros last year.

Good political relations

This, he says, will be a long-term trend, as after production was transferred to Asia, it is now returning home to Europe as everyone tends to buy in short supply chains from European producers. Iskra employs a total of 1,300 workers, of which 170 are in the Dalmatian city of Sibenik, where they also have about 100 subcontractors.

"Political relations between Croatia and Slovenia are good again after a number of years of tension, which is a good basis for greater connections between our companies," concluded Iskra's Sesok.

For more, follow our business section.

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