February 2020 | ISSUE No. 21 | FREE COPY
EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE
STRONG AND UNITED EUROPE GORDAN GRLIĆ RADMAN
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia
THE NEW US-CHINA TRADE DEAL MARKS AN UNEASY TRUCE Between the lines
REFORMS SPEAK LOUDER THAN ALL APPEALS DAVOR MAJETIĆ
Director General of Croatian Employers´ Association (CEA)
LESS RED TAPE BRINGS MORE BUSINESS SONJA HOLOCHER-ERTL Director Advantage Austria
GO EVERYWHERE BUT COME TO RIJEKA EMINA VIŠNIĆ
Director of RIJEKA 2020, European Capital of Culture
H.E. JOSEF MARKUS WUKETICH
Austrian Ambassador to Croatia
OUR CONNECTIONS RUN DEEP AND STRONG H.E. ANDRZEJ JASIONOWSKI Ambassador of Poland to Croatia
Brains, Not Muscles Over the past days, I have been thinking about the talk I had with Chami Peres, the son of Nobel award winner and statesman Simon Peres, whose book titled “No Room for Small Dreams” we promoted at the beginning of the month. The success of Jews as people and Israel as a nation, with all the prejudice they are fighting against and the enemies they are surrounded with – lies in imagination and creativity! Even the team for rescuing hostages from Air France plane in Operation Entebbe (Operation Thunderbolt) was named Fantasy Team. Peres wrote at the end of the book that the only thing he regrets in his life is the fact that he didn’t fantasize enough! At the New Energy Conference we organized on Mt. Kopaonik, Serbia, in 2015, Israeli Ambassador to Belgrade Yossy Levy said: “Look at you! There’s nothing stopping you to follow our path and use knowledge as your greatest weapon! Brains, not muscles!” That year, out of 600 billion made from export, Israel made 50% of this amount through its IT sector, so by “selling brains”. Ambassador Levy talks about how, mid 1980s, during the rule of Simon Peres, Israel’s economy shifted from traditional production of agricultural products towards IT industry. The bravery of Israelis to fantasize and be creative even in those "serious" fields has made them one of the greatest nations in the world, even though accounting for only 0.1% of the world's population. That is why what Rijeka demonstrated with the European Capital of Culture is significant for Croatia. Intelligence and creativity have succeeded what force sometimes doesn’t manage. Croatia, which is facing the brain drain problem and is included in the infamous Top 10 list together with Bosnia, Serbia, Haiti and Somalia, demonstrated in one of its cities, Rijeka, that it can impress the world with the intelligence and creativity of its people.
STRONG AND UNITED EUROPE GORDAN GRLIĆ RADMAN
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia
FRANCE WEIGHS UP ITS THANKLESS MISSION FIGHTING JIHADISTS IN AFRICA A small Afghanistan
OUR CONNECTIONS RUN DEEP AND STRONG H.E. ANDRZEJ JASIONOWSKI
TANJA BANKOVIĆ Editor-in-chief
Translation SNEŽANA BJELOTOMIĆ
RUŽA VELJOVIĆ Magazine director
SVEN DARRER Advertising manager 091 766 5479, 091 377 4358
ROBERT ČOBAN Director
ILIJA PETROVIĆ INDIGOCHILD Art director
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SUITCASE FULL OF KNOWLEDGE DOLI PREDOVIĆ TODOROVIĆ CEO, The Career Paths
GRETA THURNBERG – A NEW ECOSPEAK JAGODA POROPAT DARRER
CENTRAL EUROPEAN MIND AND THE EU
Director General of Croatian Employers´ Association (CEA)
ALEKSANDAR KOSTIĆ Designer
BOBAN SPASOJEVIĆ Executive director
Between the lines
Business Communications Professional
REFORMS SPEAK LOUDER THAN ALL APPEALS
THE NEW US-CHINA TRADE DEAL MARKS AN UNEASY TRUCE
Ambassador of Poland to Croatia
GO EVERYWHERE BUT COME TO RIJEKA Director of RIJEKA 2020, European Capital of Culture
THE HOPELESS STRUGGLE TO MAKE GERMAN GENDERNEUTRAL Colonic irritation
LIABILITY OF CIVIL SERVANTS AND STATE EMPLOYEES FOR UNLAWFUL PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA
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THIS IS MY YEAR, I CAN FEEL IT NINA BADRIĆ
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Strong and United Europe Juring the presidency of Council of the European Union, Croatia is determined to promote the interests of the European Union and its citizens and position itself
GORDAN GRLIĆ RADMAN Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia
Croatia will have several priorities during its presidency, and each one of them is important on its own, Minister Grlić Radoman stated for Diplomacy&Commerce. Our goal, aside from the positioning of Croatia, is to protect European values, to development, connect, provide security and European influence, according to the Minister. Croatia has prepared its 6-month program for its presidency, which rests on four pillars. Can you tell us a little bit more about each one of them?
— We believe that strong and united Europe is the only answer to the challenges of today’s world. Hence,
Croatia is preparing a presidency agenda based on four priorities under the motto “A strong Europe in the world of challenges”. The first priority of the Croatian Presidency is "Europe that is developing" in a sustainable and inclusive way with promoting balanced regional development. We will also encourage consistent debate on
strengthen infrastructural connectivity of the Union and bring together its peoples and citizens. With the third priority, "Europe that protects", we are determined to further establish the EU as an area of freedom, security and justice based on common values, democracy and the rule of law. Therefore, we will advocate for a coherent
FOR CROATIA, THE EU IS AN UNPRECEDENTED PEACE PROJECT AND A COMMUNITY THAT GAINS ITS STRENGTH FROM COMMON VALUES AND SOLIDARITY demographic challenges, which is a problem affecting not only Croatia, but also many other Member States. The second priority is "Europe that connects" in terms of development of transport, energy and digital infrastructure. Here, we will encourage policies that
and comprehensive approach to external and internal aspects of migration - including legal migration. "An influential Europe" is the final priority where we intend to promote multilateralism and international development through European values and interests. We will
organize an EU-Western Balkans Summit in May next year in Zagreb where we will advocate for a revitalization and strengthening of the EU prospects for Southeast Europe. What are the greatest challenges during the presidency?
— Croatia’s Presidency comes at a time of great changes in the EU, at the beginning of a new institutional and legislative cycle and the negotiation of a new multiannual financial framework. Challenges are many: agreement on MFF still needs to be reached as well as the agreement on future relations with the United Kingdom, starting discussions on the Future of Europe through the Conference - to name just a few. The new European Commission presented important new initiatives - such as the European Green Deal, and it is important to move forward with discussion on these topics.
During Croatia's EU presidency, a conference on Europe's future should be launched. Its purpose is to bring the EU closer to citizens and consolidate its democratic legitimacy. Let me remind you that Ms Dubravka Šuica is the Vice-President of the European Commission and is responsible for demographic issues and organizing this important conference. In preparing our Presidency, we were motivated by the desire to bring Europe closer to its citizens. The Conference on the Future of Europe gives us opportunity to find ways how to better respond to their expectations. Very soon, the three institutions will be defining the mandate of the Conference, and Croatia will be representing the position of the Council of the EU on that process, which should be open, inclusive and focused on policies, challenges and opportunities, that will be shaping the future of Europe in the medium and long term. The coming months are crucial for reaching an agreement on the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The main part of the job is now in the hands of the European Council and its resident Charles Michel, who is in charge of reaching a compromise on the MFF. In cooperation with the President of the European Council, we will strive to facilitate an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced agreement on the MFF.
The idea and the intent is to make a budgetary framework that would be both realistic and efficient enough to meet all the needs and priorities of the EU and its citizens, which is why we believe that cohesion and agricultural policies need to be retained, and new challenges addressed. Our priority as a Presidency is also to work on the sectorial legislation once the agreement of MFF is reached. I want to mention the Zagreb EU-Western Balkans Summit in
effort on both sides, the Withdrawal Agreement was negotiated. In partnership with the other Member States and institutions of the European Union, Croatia will carefully monitor its implementation. As the country holding the Council presidency, we will do all we can for the EU to adopt guidelines for negotiations on future relations as early as the end of February. We see the UK’s departure from the EU as a new beginning in our relationship. Both as the Council
DURING THE EU PRESIDENCY, WE BELIEVE IT IS IMPORTANT TO DYNAMISE RELATIONS BETWEEN OUR NEIGHBOURS AND THE EUROPEAN UNION May. We want to bring together all the heads of states from the EU and countries in Southeastern Europe to accomplish concrete results and give a message of encouragement to our neighbours. How do you comment on today’s foreign political challenges that come with the process of United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union? Do they affect your agenda and how?
— We see the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union as a turning point in the history of the European Union, and it’s a decision that Croatia deeply regrets, but fully respects. At the same time, Croatia welcomes the fact that, as a result of immense
Presidency and bilaterally, Croatia remains determined to invest its efforts to keep the United Kingdom as our close partner. Bearing in mind the fact that enlargement is one of your priorities, do you expect any significant changes here at the May Summit in Zagreb? What do you think how will the new suggested EC methodology affect the outcome of the Summit?
— During the EU presidency, we believe it is important to dynamise relations between our neighbours and the European Union. Therefore, we will organize an EU-Western Balkans Summit in May in Zagreb. This summit becomes even
more important because we have to define what we want in the next decade - the method, the pace, the political messages we wish to send to those countries. Croatia will continue to advocate for strengthening of the EU perspective for Southeastern Europe, based on fulfilment of criteria for membership. The purpose is also to show aspirants that the EU will help them in the process. During our Presidency we will strive for a continued credible and consistent enlargement policy, as an investment in the stability and security of the European continent and strengthening the EU's leading role in the neighbourhood. When it comes to this newly proposed methodology of accession negotiations, we believe it is a good step forward in further evolution of the negotiating process, taking equally into account the interests of all sides, candidate countries and EU Member States alike. We are glad this new proposal is fully compatible with the goals of our Zagreb summit - particularly with regard to the proposal to organize regular high-level dialogue and deeper analysis in key moments of accession processes. We find especially important the proposal for enhancing the predictability of the process through good planning and setting clear conditions. These conditions will be strict, but also objective, precise and verifiable at any giv-
en moment. We believe that this new methodology, together with the new European Commission's assessment of the reform efforts of Albania and North Macedonia, shall enable the European Council to reach a decision in March on the opening of accession negotiations with these two countries. What does the presidency of EU Council represent for Croatia, and what can be expected from Croatia during its presidency?
— For Croatia, the EU is an unprecedented peace project and a community that gains its strength from common values and solidari-
WITH THE THIRD PRIORITY, "EUROPE THAT PROTECTS", WE ARE DETERMINED TO FURTHER ESTABLISH THE EU AS AN AREA OF FREEDOM, SECURITY AND JUSTICE BASED ON COMMON VALUES, DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW ty. Croatia's presidency of the EU is a historic moment and an opportunity to make a contribution and add impetus at the start of a new institutional and legislative cycle in the Union. We want an economically strong Europe to strengthen our countries as well, including Croa-
tia, and make our citizens' status better. We want stronger European infrastructure, better human potential, better security for our citizens and we want to make the Union a leader on the global scene based on the values we share. The role of the EU Presidency is very dear to us, not only because it
means leading the Council’s work, but most importantly because it also represents the success of Croatia’s own European path. From a country that suffered war and aggression, we managed to recover, reform and develop to the point that we take leadership of the EU Council. This makes us particularly proud. Being for the first time at the helm of the EU will be an opportunity for Croatia to shape jointly with our partners, as Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said, “a more agile, coherent and outward looking European Union”, fit to proactively tackle all the challenges ahead.
EU COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE PROCEEDINGS THAT SLOVENIA BROUGHT AGAINST CROATIA What are your expectations for the future of relations with Slovenia? — The Court of Justice of the EU has no jurisdiction to rule on the action brought by Slovenia against Croatia over alleged infringements of European law, and it has stated what we claimed from the beginning - the dispute between Croatia and Slovenia is a dispute within the realm of international law, not EU law. Croatia is not called upon in this ruling to implement the arbitration agreement, nor can Slovenia resolve this matter on its own. Therefore, this judgment is a strong message to Slovenia that it cannot achieve anything by unilateral moves. We are reiterating the invitation to Slovenia to resume bilateral talks in
search of a final solution to the border issue, which objectively is not far away, but I admit is challenging. You see, this dispute on the borderline should not burden people, either Croatians or Slovenians living in the border area. Therefore, we continue to invite Slovenia to find a solution bilaterally through negotiations in line with international law. We are confident that after this ruling of the Court in Luxembourg, the two countries can open dialogue in search of a solution to the demarcation of the land and sea border. We want to send a message that we are mature and friendly states and nations, members of EU and NATO, and that the existing problem is not of such a magnitude that it should have burdened our relations for all these years.
A SMALL AFGHANISTAN
France Weighs Up Its Thankless Mission Fighting Jihadists in Africa African governments want French help, but not all Africans agree After nightfall on a moonless night last November, three French combat helicopters, backed by fighter jets, took off from military bases deep in the African Sahel. Their mission was to support a French commando operation on the ground, tracking terrorists in pickup trucks and motorbikes in the Liptako region of Mali. Flying in tight formation and close to the ground in total darkness, two of the helicopters collided. Thirteen French soldiers, the youngest aged 22, were killed. The deaths shook France. They also revived questions about what exactly the country is doing in this vast semi-arid belt south of the Sahara desert. On January 13th, at a summit he hosted in the French south-western town of Pau with the leaders of five Sahel countries, President Emmanuel Macron tried to provide an answer. France is there to bring “security and stability”, he declared, and nothing else. “If at any time an African state asks the French army not to be there any longer,” Mr Macron said irritably, “we’ll leave.” The paradoxes and agonies of the French operation, known as “Barkhane”, have been brutally exposed by these deaths, as well as those of (many more) troops from other African countries. In early January, 89 soldiers from Niger died in a jihadist ambush of a military post in Chinagodrar, near the border with Mali. This followed a separate attack on a military base in Niger, at Inates, which killed 71 soldiers. The borderlands between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali have become a zone of chronic instability, trafficking and jihadist activity. This has thrived in the Sahel following the collapse of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and Libya’s descent into chaos. According to Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos, author of a new book on France in the Sahel, France has been dragged into what he calls “mission impossible”. It was President François Hollande who originally dispatched French troops to Mali back in 2013
in order to beat back a jihadist incursion. This was not supposed to be a permanent operation. Yet, seven years on, France still has 4,500 troops there. In theory they help train and work alongside a joint force of 5,000 soldiers from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, known as the G5 Sahel. But these forces—Chad’s apart—are not considered to be up to the job. There is also a United Nations’ peacekeeping force in Mali some 15,000 strong.
the “crimes of colonization”. Mr Macron considers the French anti-jihadist operation in the Sahel to be “absolutely essential” in the struggle against terrorism, which France feels is a burden it is carrying on others’ behalf. So it is with evident frustration that Mr Macron now also finds himself the target of a hostile anti-France campaign in the region. Protesters in the Malian capital of Bamako, and in neighbouring Niger, have demanded that French troops
ACCORDING TO MARC-ANTOINE PÉROUSE DE MONTCLOS, AUTHOR OF A NEW BOOK ON FRANCE IN THE SAHEL, FRANCE HAS BEEN DRAGGED INTO WHAT HE CALLS “MISSION IMPOSSIBLE” Mr Macron, who belongs to a generation that has never known Africa under French colonial rule, took office in 2017 keen to take a less paternalistic approach than his predecessors did. He has forged links with non-Francophone countries, including Nigeria and Ghana, promised to give back African art works from Paris, and spoken of
should leave. Critics accuse France of propping up autocrats. Some political leaders, meanwhile, are lukewarm about France’s effort. Amid the charges and counter-charges, the purpose of this week’s summit in Pau, says a French official, was “clarification”. Mr Macron declared in December, while at the NATO sum-
mit in London, that he “cannot and will not” keep French soldiers on the ground in the Sahel as long as there is ambiguity about whether they are welcome. In Pau, he secured from the leaders of the five Sahel countries a formal affirmation of their “wish that the French military engagement in the Sahel should continue”. Yet France finds itself increasingly alone. It has some limited help from the British, Danes, Estonians and Germans. And it is trying to help build up local capacity. Its real partner, though, is America, which runs its own counter-terrorism activities in the region, including an air and drone base in Agadez, in the desert in central Niger, and another surveillance facility in the north. Now the Pentagon is considering scaling back its operations. “We are stuck,” says François Heisbourg of the Foundation for Strategic Research, “We’re in exactly the sort of place we wouldn’t want to be; it’s a small Afghanistan.” From The Economist, published under licence. The original article, in English, can be found on www.economist.com
Our Connections Run Deep and Strong There are many bonds between Poland and Croatia, but one stands out for its importance. That is the Three Seas Initiative which is in the interest of the European Commission, other Member States and the United States and represents a joint success of Poland and Croatia H.E. ANDRZEJ JASIONOWSKI Ambassador of Poland to Croatia
Andrzej Jasionowski, Ambassador of Poland to Croatia performs this duty since January 2018, but his knowledge of the region is in fact much longer and deeper, and it goes back to the early 2000s if we talk about his official duties in this part of the world, and even longer if we include his childhood in this. “I have been an Ambassador for two years, yet I know Croatia and, more broadly, the region and I have had a great deal of affection and fondness for it ever since the 1970s, when I spent my summer vacation on Korčula with my parents”, says HE Andrzej Jasionowski. “I still remember the situation when Poland and Croatia functioned in a different reality, one which did not allow for such a development as we would have dreamed of.” How far has Croatia gone since the 2000s in its relations with both the EU and Poland as a member of the EU?
— 20 years in the life of a state and nation is not long, but from the perspective of an individual there has been a very clear and positive change in Croatia over the past 20 years. In 2009 – 10 years after Poland – Croatia joined NATO, then became a member of the European Union in 2013,
where it has just taken over its first presidency. But Croatia has also developed economically, strengthening its position on the international arena. I know what great achievements these are, because Poland went down a similar road. However, Poland and Croatia are bound by more than just the membership in Euro-Atlantic organizations or common interests. What we also have in common is the similarity of Slavic languages, Catholic religion and, in many cases, similar fates of our nations, including the complexity of the most recent history. I am glad that one of the issues that connect us is in fact our awareness of preserving
no sensitive or contentious issues between them. We work closely together on multiple levels, starting from the presidential level, through governments, local governments and economic exchange, to tourism. I want to draw your attention above all to the Three Seas Initiative, which we initiated together. It is worth emphasizing here that the Three Seas Initiative is an intra-EU project that does not stand, as it is sometimes misinterpreted, in opposition to the so-called old Union. Its goal is primarily to create infrastructure, energy and economic connections in our region. The initiative includes 12 countries, occupying 1/3
POLAND AND CROATIA HAVE EXCEPTIONALLY FRIENDLY RELATIONS, AND WORK CLOSELY TOGETHER ON MULTIPLE LEVELS. FURTHERMORE WE SHARE MANY COMMON GOALS, ESPECIALLY IN TERMS OF EU POLICY historical memory. Just as Croatia honours the victims of Vukovar, Poland also guards the memory of the victims fallen during World War II, whose outbreak was triggered by the German-Soviet Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. What issues dominate the cooperation of the two countries today?
— Poland and Croatia have exceptionally friendly relations, with
of the EU territory and inhabited by 112 million people. However, the success of the Three Seas Initiative is not only in our interest, but also in the interest of the European Commission, other Member States and the United States, which are strongly interested in this project. This is a joint success of Poland and Croatia. We also work closely in the field of security. As part of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence mis-
sion in Poland, several dozen Croatian soldiers are stationed there guarding the eastern part of the North Atlantic Alliance. Polish and Croatian militaries also cooperated closely in Afghanistan. What are Poland’s expectations when it comes to Croatia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU?
— First of all, I congratulate Croatia on taking over the Presidency of the Council of the EU and wish lots of success in holding it. The priorities of the Croatian Presidency are largely in line with Polish expectations. I welcome the plans of the Croatian Presidency regarding the acceleration of the EU accession process of the Western Balkans countries and the maintaining of the EU’s credibility in this region. Poland belongs to the group of Member States strongly supporting the EU enlargement policy. At the same time, I welcome the fact that Croatia mentions the Eastern Partnership among its priorities. Poland also agrees with the Croatian Presidency’s emphasis on the fundamental role of cohesion policy and the convergence process in the EU. In this context, in relation to the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework, Poland presents its current position regarding the preservation of an ambitious level of the EU budget and the adequate financing of agricultural and cohesion policy, which for Poland constitute equal priorities in MFF negotiations. I
am glad that we can count on Croatian support in this area. At one point, new EU Member States were very loud in articulating their positions about the future of the European community. To what extent have they been heard and where do you found common ground with Croatia’s foreign policy goals?
— Poland and Croatia share many common goals, especially in terms of EU policy. The Three Seas Initiative as mentioned earlier, the same view on the development of our region through cohesion funds or EU’s agricultural policy. Together we will do our best to keep these issues high on the agenda in the negotiations of the Multiannual Financial Framework for the years 2021-2027. Security is also extremely important to us, which is also one of the priorities of the Croatian Presidency. Member States with much more seniority are accustomed to a high level of security, and they often forget potential external threats. Both Poles and Croats, as well as countries of the region of the Southeast Europe aspiring to EU membership, have had in their recent history many difficult moments, and therefore are particularly sensitive to these issues.
tian roads. Such an international highway is the norm in Western Europe, but not yet in our region. We must make up for these lags resulting from the communist past of Central and Eastern Europe. Furthermore, there is also a lack of high-speed railway lines between Poland and Croatia, not only in terms of passenger transport, but also when it comes to freight transport, so that, for example, in the future we could connect the ports in Gdynia and Rijeka. It is good that the construction of the LNG terminal on Krk island is moving forward and is already at an advanced stage. This is an important element of the NorthSouth Gas Corridor, which aims
tourists as before its construction. Today we are already considering expanding the terminal. I believe that a similar scenario is also possible in Croatia. Today, Croatia is facing an outflow of a large number of young people from the country, which is something that Poland already went through and faced. What is your advice to the Croatian Government and the people leaving elsewhere to the EU?
— This is a sign of globalization, similar processes occur not only in Croatia or Poland. In Poland, large emigration has been substituted to some extent by an influx of workers from the east, primarily
NEW, GOOD ROADS AND HIGHWAYS, RENEWED, VIBRANT CITIES AND NATURE – THAT IS POLAND TODAY... , I WOULD LIKE MORE CROATS TO COME TO POLAND, A COUNTRY WITH SO MANY THINGS TO DO AND SEE
At the beginning of your term you said that you would like to enhance economic cooperation between Poland and Croatia and develop transport and energy ties, and that you will dedicate your ambassadorial mandate to this. What are the potentials and what are the challenges in fulfilling this plan?
— I am glad that the Polish-Croatian trade exchange has been growing steadily for years and its balance is good for Poland. In 2018, its value amounted to over EUR 1.1 billion. There is no complete data for last year, but one can easily assume that it will be even bigger. The favourable trade balance for Poland is to some extent reflected in the expenses of Polish tourists who come to Croatia every year to spend their holidays on the Adriatic. From Poland’s point of view, cooperation between countries under the Three Seas Initiative mentioned earlier is extremely important. Let us take, for example, the already emerging Via Carpathia route, connecting the Lithuanian shore of the Baltic Sea with Greece’s Thessaloniki, whose branches will connect with Croa-
to diversify energy sources in the region. The Croatian terminal has the support of the European Commission, which proves not only its importance for Croatia, but for Europe as well. The Polish LNG ́ terminal in Swinoujś cie, which is part of this corridor, is a "success story" and can be an inspiration for Croatia. Thanks to it, Poland was able to become independent of gas supplies from only one source. This is the basis of energy security, which also has a positive economic aspect for us – LNG bought by Poland in recent years is 20-30% cheaper than gas from Russia. The terminal did not have a negative impact on the environment and ́ the beaches in Swinoujś cie in the summer boast the same number of
Ukraine. Did you know that Poland is the EU’s leading country in terms of issuing residence permits for non-EU citizens? In 2018, Poland issued 635,000 such permits, over 100,000 more than France and Italy combined! At present over 1.2 million Ukrainians live in Poland - they study, work and start families. Due to the influx of immigrants, Poland has been dynamically developing for years, whereas economic growth is one of the highest in the EU. This does not mean that Poland accepts all economic migrants without exception. Intelligent migration management is important, taking into consideration security issues first and foremost. Of course, the influx of
immigrants is not the only reason for development. Reforms introduced in recent years, such as pro-family policy, incentives for entrepreneurs, wage growth, and the fight against tax fraud are also important. It is thanks to the effective fight against VAT fraud that the Polish budget has raised money to finance the 500+ program, which is a benefit of about 125 EUR per month paid for every child under the age of 18. All this combined brings results, such as, for example, the fact that in 2018 emigration rate from Poland to other Western Europe countries fell for the first time in many years. Polish tourists like coming to Croatia. How often do Croatian tourists visit Poland, and what would you recommend them to visit?
— In recent years, over one million tourists from Poland visit Croatia every year. For residents of southern Poland, the distance to Croatia is almost the same as to the Polish Baltic coast. But Poles from all over the country come to Croatia. So I understand why many Croats decide to spend their holidays in their country considering that they have a beautiful sea and a pleasant climate at home. However, I would like more Croats to come to Poland, a country with so many things to do and see. My good acquaintance from Zagreb visited Poland twice – the first time back in the 1980s and the second time last year. He was amazed at how much Poland had changed for the better during that time. I have the impression that many Croats are not aware of this change. New, good roads and highways, renewed, vibrant cities and nature – that is Poland today... Croatia is a tough competitor in the latter area, but let's give it a try: sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea, almost 3,000 picturesque lakes in Masuria, Tatra Mountais for winter sports’ enthusiasts and hiking in the mountains, and even a real desert. Add to this the richness of Polish cuisine, but also the prices, which are much more attractive than in Croatia. So if someone wants to visit another part of Europe, I encourage them to go to Poland. I would like to remind of everyday flight connections between Zagreb and Warsaw, low-cost airline connections, e.g. from Zadar to Krakow or lowcost direct bus connections. Or you can always simply get in a car and be in Poland after a few hours’ drive along the highway.
Text: ŽELIMIR MARAŠ
Central European Mind and the EU Hansa and Austria-Hungary vs. Multinational Empire Introduction: The Visegrád Group or V-4 became the core of resistance within the European Union and, in a way, it became an unpleasant reminder to EU-12 countries, which formed Europe prior to 1995, about what could happen if we implicitly imply what the EU is and what the European values are, without saying it explicitly. Just recently, the leaders of Slovakia (Pelelgrini), Czech (Babiš), Hungary (Orban) and Poland (Morawiecki) met at the V-4 Summit, and they were joined by Austrian PM Sebastian Kurz as the “fifth musketeer”, whose task was to “oversee” them. This position is not new to Kurz, a clever politician. With him, Austria is once again transforming from a mini-state in the centre of Europe into what once was a superpower of diplomacy, one that can talk with unbefitting Balkan autocrats (Kurz is a very welcome guest even with an Aleksandar Vučić) as well as with western members of the EU, but also with the eastern members, those who understood the European Union and the European idea in a slightly more conservative manner. Namely, a completely wrongly understood concept of the European Union exists in Eastern Europe. The people here think that the idea of EU is to gather all the countries of the content just because they are part of this continent geographically. This is not nearly the idea of EU. EU was created as a group of former West European colonial superpowers that began losing their colonies in that period, so they came together to be a force once again (in a way). When it comes to values, Australia, New Zealand or Canada (or even any other former colony in Africa or the Caribbean) is closer to the European Union than Bulgaria or Hungary. This is one problem.
The other problem is that people in Eastern Europe see the European unification in one of two already tried ways: the Hanseatic League from the period prior to the Discovery of America, which gathered port cities of Northern Europe, from Brugge to Veliky Novgorod, or Austria-Hungary, which was “the first EU before the EU”.
ropeans just because they live here on the same continent. And in this entire complicated story we have Eastern European countries, like the V-4 for example, who don’t want migrations, they don’t want immigrants of different skin colour and different religions, and they don’t want to give a piece of their sovereignty to the EU.
THE PEOPLE IN EASTERN EUROPE SEE THE EUROPEAN UNIFICATION IN ONE OF TWO ALREADY TRIED WAYS: THE HANSEATIC LEAGUE FROM THE PERIOD PRIOR TO THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA, WHICH GATHERED PORT CITIES OF NORTHERN EUROPE, FROM BRUGGE TO VELIKY NOVGOROD, OR AUSTRIA-HUNGARY, WHICH WAS “THE FIRST EU BEFORE THE EU” These concepts imply that there is a unique European cultural space made up of various denominations of Christianity plus possibly Jews, but not Muslims and definitely not other races. This stand is dominant throughout the entire Eastern Europe. But this is not the EU concept because, I repeat, the EU relies on colonial forces and colonies. The fact that you’re white and Christian from Central Europe does not qualify you to enter the EU. The first Indians, blacks or Native Indians appeared in London, Amsterdam or Paris 400 years ago. Not in Riga. EU is a sum of multicultural empires and not of all Eu-
And why would they, they think, and how is that different, Orban thinks, if, for centuries, Hungary had to give a part of its sovereignty to Austria, and then a part of its sovereignty to the Soviet Union in the period from 1945-1990? How will Poland feel that anything is different from the situation when Poland gave a part of its sovereignty to Imperial Russia, and then to the Soviet Union, now that they have to surrender a part of their sovereignty to Brussels? Awkward questions for Kurz, but as Orban said at the summit, Kurz was already in a coalition with the people’s party and came out of this coalition un-
GLOBAL AUSTRIA And will the EU become “global Austria”, as a country on the middle point, with an equal sense of tradition and immigration, nationalism and social rights of its citizens, with the city which is the best city in the world to live in for so many years? This would be a good, or maybe the only solution. Or will it divide into two parts kept together with scotch tape.
touched, after which he entered a coalition with the Green Party which demands more migrations, greater LGBT rights and taxes on non-environmental actions and products, including taxes on airline traffic. This makes him the perfect person to act as a bridge between the “Hanseatic” and “Habsburgian” Europe and the “imperial” Europe in the West. With UK’s exit from the EU, things are somewhat escalating: France doesn’t want more countries that will copy the model - enter EU and be non-liberal, to join the EU. Another “5 and a half” countries of the Western Balkans (4 former Yugoslav republics, Albania and Kosovo in a limbo) and somewhere in the periphery, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, are closer in spirit to these countries than to Sweden and the Netherlands. Macron doesn’t want more “German satellites”, which is how Eastern European countries are seen in the West after 15 years of being there. Then again, precisely these countries from the V-4 wish there was more of them, so they could compete as a whole with the West and the liberal model. Of course, Hungary will support Serbia, as a country that has good relations with Russia, and Latvia will get a rash from the idea that someone close to Russia is being admitted, but hey, all these countries are carried by the same wave. And the thing that can frighten the West the most at the moment is to have V-4 expand to Slovenia, Croatia, the three Baltic countries and Romania and Bulgaria, thus becoming V-11, or… well, what Pilsudski planned Intermarium would be. That is why Kurz will continue to watch over his former crown territories and to monitor the directions of the East and the West, winking to one side with his left eye, and to the other side with his right eye.
ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES
AMBASSADORS OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN AND UKRAINE HAVE SUBMIT CREDENTIALS TO THE EX PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović with H.E. Muhammad Khalid Rao
His Excellency Muhammad Khalid Rao, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, seated in Sarajevo, and His Excellency Vasylj Kyrylych, Ambassador of Ukraine, seated in Zagreb, have submitted their credentials to the Ex President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.
JAPAN ational N Foundation Day
IRAN Islamic Revolution Day
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović with H.E. Vasylj Kyrylych
VATICAN oundation of F Vatican City
To get new term in JANAF
Supervisory Board of the Adriatic Oil Pipeline (JANAF) reappointed Dragan Kovačević as Chairman of this company’s Management Board on Friday, while new members
of the Management are Stjepan Adanić i Vladislav Veselica. Their term will last four years. Kovačević has been at the head of JANAF since February 2012.
LIBYA Revolution Day
ESTONIA Independence Day
MIROSLAV HOLJEVAC Chairman of the Management Board and Regional Manager at Zagrebačka pivovara
He replaced Marko Njavro, who recently transferred to Atlantic Group, where he is the new head of Štark Company seated in Belgrade, and aside from him, Vanja Bartolec also left Zagrebačka pivovara. After 13 years in the brewing industry, Bartolec became the head of marketing in Badel 1862. As part of his new position, Holjevac will
supervise all company activities in Croatia, BiH and Slovenia, and aside from company management, he will also continue to act as Sales Excellence Manager. Holjevac has been with Zagrebačka pivovara since 2000, and he was also member of the Management and Sales Manager for Croatia and Slovenia.
KUWAIT ational Day and N Liberation Day
EGYPT Independence Day
Generation 7000 – New Generation of Miele Kitchen Appliances With the introduction of Generation 7000, kitchen appliances are getting a new design that emphasizes Miele advantages with the refinement of design details In the future, the kitchen will play an even more important role in many households. This is not just a central dwelling space, it’s moving towards the centre of attention as a status symbol more and more often. Generation 7000 – the intuitive generation, is the right solution. With its Generation 7000, Miele is refreshing its entire range of built-in kitchen appliances, from ovens and cooking hobs to steam ovens, coffee makers to Gourmet warming drawers and vacuum-sealing drawers. Attention was paid to symmetrical design, perfect alignment of spaces and positioning of individual design elements. This creates the biggest possible flexibility when it comes to kitchen design, and provides contemporary design solutions for modern kitchens.
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Reforms Speak Louder Than All Appeals The Government made a number of good moves, especially through tax cuts, but CEA believes that these changes must be faster and that they must go deeper if we want to have more than 3% GDP growth, which we need. This is the background of all our appeals for reforms and a key to stop migrations
DAVOR MAJETIĆ Director General of Croatian Employers´ Association (CEA)
Did we “reject the poorly prepared draft law or did we incite a more quality solution where we lobby for better quality legal framework and solutions that are better for the economy, those are our everyday battles and often successes, stated Davor Majetić, Director General of Croatian Employers´ Association, who has been at the head of CEA for ten full years. When you look back, what would you say which things that CEA did are you especially proud of?
— Over the past ten years, CEA managed to preserve and continued to build a reputation as an institution which is an independent, responsible voice of Croatian economy, which means that we are an objective and constructive social partner to every Government of the Republic of Croatia, i.e. to the government on all the levels of management – from national to local. CEA stands for sustainable growth of Croatian economy, and for efficient and stimulating tax system for the economy with flexible labour market and competent work force. We are politically neutral
and we a prepared to give strong criticism to the ruling parties just as same as praises. CEA is a place that brings together employers on all important economic and social topics and legislative issues on a daily basis. We organize at least 600 different encounters, conferences, workshops or meetings for member companies every year, which is at least twice a day on every workday in a year. We connect employers and exchange knowhow in specialized fields, and we also provide access to information
lems are smaller, the same or just a little different than before?
— There is no state without economy, and every wise statesman is prepared more than ever before to listen to the arguments of those who employ and generate revenues. In this specific case, CEA – which represents 70% of private sector’s revenues – has the mandate from employers to speak on their behalf and point out to executive authority about all the obstacles that are preventing the making of higher added value and opening
WE MUST FINALLY OPEN THE ISSUE OF MODERN LABOUR LAW THAT ALLOWS YOUNG PEOPLE TO HAVE FLEXIBLE FORMS OF WORK AND CONDITIONS THAT HARMONIZE PRIVATE AND BUSINESS LIFE BETTER about trends that dominate among global businesspeople and we help domestic companies to adapt to them; from digitalization to sustainable development of business operations. When you try to measure this success according to your requirements today for the legislator, can you say that the state treats you with more respect today, and that your current prob-
of new work places. Business conditions and models of work are changing with progress, technologies and needs of the new generations, but the challenges remain the same. CEA was established because employers needed an independent organization that will lobby to get the economy unloaded more, to remove administrative barriers and to reduce bureaucracy, and this is an on-going process in Croatia because the state makes at
least one regulation per day without a proper analysis of influence and effect on an individual activity. With the Government that pulls to the centre and a new President of the state who might prefer the left wing a bit more, do you expect anything to change in the environment where you do business? Will the reforms be faster or slower, and what does this depend on?
— I already mentioned that we are politically independent and that we will cooperate with the Government in an equal, professional manner, regardless of its political direction. This Government made a number of good moves, especially through tax cuts in the department of the Ministry of Finance, but CEA thinks, considering the numerous challenges we have in the country, that these changes must be faster and they must go deeper if we want to have more than 3% GDP growth, which we desperately need. This is the background of all our appeals for reforms. Other countries are conducting stronger and more comprehensive reforms that generate greater growth of their economy, and this means that they are growing faster than Croatia. Croatia is a small country, and one of our advantages is that we have great en-
trepreneurs and businessmen, to whom we must provide the same conditions for doing business like in competitive EU countries. When one listens to ministers in the Croatian Government, it seems that significant steps are being made precisely in incentives for the private sector, through tax reform and through reform of the education system. How does this seem from your point of view?
— We salute individual efforts of the Government, and of some ministers, but the situation on the ground – in terms of education not being in compliance with the needs of the labour market, shows that this is an area that sadly will not and cannot be resolved within a year. Education must not be a political issue, it is in the interest of all citizens and it is a prerequisite for success and concreteness of our country. Accordingly, what are your top priorities in 2020?
— Presidential elections dominated the end of last year in Croatia, the first 6 months of this year will be marked by the presidency of the EU, and in the second half of the year, we are looking at parliamentary elections. The focus of actors in the public space might be focused the least on solving economic issues, and the danger of domination of populist themes is considerable. It is time to return the burning issues for the economy back to the negotiating table, because time goes by. This
primarily refers to tax and non-tax relief, and a more efficient work of the entire state and public sector, in order to use the budget funds in a more rational and meaningful manner, and in order for the entrepreneurs and the citizens to have a more quality support and services. We must finally open the issue of modern labour law that allows young people to have flexible forms of work and conditions that harmonize private and business life better. Whether they are employers or employees, young people today respond quickly to work and living needs because of technological solutions, and they
Croatia, at the expense of the state, or at the expense of the employer. This is 106,666 average monthly wages that could have been used to increase workers’ salaries or to open 8000 work places annually. We must dedicate our efforts to solving such issues. And I’m not even mentioning our complicated territorial organization or the necessary reform of the health system. It is crucial for all the above mentioned changes to start happening at the same time, and to avoid fire-fighting measures as often as possible since they often cause more problems and challenges than they resolve.
I AM CERTAIN THAT LAUNCHING THE REFORMS WOULD MAKE MANY OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS TO STAY AND TO RETURN TO CROATIA want flexibility, reduced bureaucracy and, of course, transparency and equality. They want a fair work environment where there are equal rules and opportunities for advancement, where work and achievements are appreciated and rewarded, and unsuccessful employees who repeatedly fail to achieve their goals are not tolerated, just like bad employers are not tolerated either. We also want to reduce the scope of socalled false sick leaves, since it has been determined that 40% of sick leaves in Croatia are false, according to the latest reports of the Croatian Health Insurance Fund. Over HRK 800 million is spent on unjustified sick leaves in
What can the state do and what can you do to stop the outflow of workforce?
— Investments and the creation of new jobs are on the priority list, and the state can relieve labour and business costs more. Croatian employers already showed that previous tax cuts were invested in salary increases. Now this pool has been drained and we must focus on economy growth in order to be able to offer a new wage growth. It is necessary to return the trust of citizens who left Croatia, and point out that positive changes are being made in Croatia, that the justice system is working, that bad practices are quickly eliminated and sanctioned. Lack of trust and lack
of perspective are the two terms that Croatian emigrants emphasize as the main reason for migration. Salary is 5th on their list. I am certain that launching all the reforms from the previous question, from the start and thoroughly, would make many of our fellow citizens to stay and to return to Croatia. How is Croatia welcoming the digital transformation? Can the companies respond to global challenges ahead?
— The fourth industrial revolution, just like all the previous ones, is changing the labour market entirely. But, this is not just a matter of intensive digital transformation of business operations, but a digital transformation of all the aspects of our lives. Technologies that are a part of industrial revolution today, like artificial intelligence, robotics and process automation, are much more available and much cheaper. In its full sense, it means a change in the manner of work, a different approach to work and different way of thinking. That is why, as an association, we are continuously preparing and informing our employers and companies, respectively, about all the advantages of digitalization, we connect them with each other in order to provide them with access to knowledge and technologies and to prepare them for the new age, new knowledge and new skills that we will all have to gain. And just as the famous writer asks for whom the bell tolls, I would like to end this by answering that the digital bell tolls for everyone.
Liability of Civil Servants and State Employees for Unlawful Processing of Personal Data The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 provides for administrative fines up to 20 million EUR or 4% of the total revenue for controllers of personal data ALEKSANDAR CRNKOVIĆ Attorney
„Sometimes, whether justified or not, we feel that the personal information we were obliged by legal obligations to give to officials will find its way into the public or at least to our neighbours. Such fear exists mostly in small communities where everybody knows everybody. The awareness of the need to protect our personal information is just emerging. Public authorities in the Republic of Croatia are exempt from these fines under the Act of implementing the General Data Protection Regulation. The Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency (AZOP) is obliged to supervise the processing of personal data by public authorities and to determine the violation of the rules of processing of personal data. Every injured party is entitled to compensation. Civil servants and state employees, employed in public authorities, have access to personal data of citizens, and to some particularly sensitive information (eg. data on racial or ethnic origin, political views, religious or other beliefs, trade union membership, health or sex life). Public authorities process personal data on the basis of their public authority and legal obligations, to which data subjects have no influence. Therefore, if civil servants and state employees illegally perform the processing of the personal data of the data subjects, public authorities will not be subjects to high administrative fines, and data subjects will have to prove beyond a doubt in the court proceedings the personal damage they suffered through such illegal processing of the data and the compensation amount. Are civil servants and state employees liable for the unlawful pro-
AN OFFICIAL WHO ILLEGALLY PROCESSES PERSONAL DATA COMMITS A BREACH OF OFFICIAL DUTY, AS WELL AS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE cessing of personal data? Yes, they are, and primarily through disciplinary and criminal liability. An official who illegally processes personal data commits a breach of official duty, as well as a criminal offense. An official can thus be held liable for both – breach of the official duty and the commission of a criminal offense. The criminal offense of unauthorized use of personal data is regulated by Art. 146 of the Criminal Code, so whoever, contrary to the conditions specified in the law, collects, processes or uses personal data of physical person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for up to one year. In addition to this basic criminal offense, the legislator also provided qualified forms, punishable with of up to three years imprisonment, in case
personal data are transferred from the Republic of Croatia for the purpose of further processing or disclosure, if otherwise made available to another, to acquire substantial financial gain or cause substantial harm if the offense is committed against a child or if it involves the unlawful processing of specific categories of personal information (racial or ethnic origin, political views, religious or other beliefs, trade union membership, health or sex life, criminal or misdemeanor proceedings). If these offenses are committed by an official in the exercise of his / her authority, he / she shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment between six months and five years, which makes the offense more serious. If you have reason to believe that an official has illegally collected,
processed or forwarded personal data, you have the right to raise this doubt in a complaint against that official, primarily to the public authority at which that official is employed (the head of the authority), in the manner prescribed by this body, and to the Ministry of Public Administration by telephone 0800 0304, free of charge, by e-mail: email@example.com or by post to the Ministry of Public Administration at Maksimirska 63, Zagreb. In addition, you can file a complaint about the processing of the data with the public authority itself, and with the data protection officer, as well as a complaint with the Croatian Personal Data Protection Agency. You can file a report based on reasonable doubt that a criminal offence under Art. 146 of the Criminal Code has been committed at any police station or public attorney’s office. Special protection by complaint is also provided in accordance with the General Administrative Procedure Act, under which you can file a complaint to the head of the authority against other forms of actions of public bodies (Article 156 of the General Administrative Procedure Act), to which the head of the authority is obliged to respond by a decision within 8 days of receiving the complaint. Although public authorities are not obliged to pay fines under the General Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/679), they have every reason to harmonize the processing of personal data with the applicable regulations and to ensure the highest level of protection of citizens' data, so as not to be supervised by the AZOP, and in order not to cause any damages they will be obliged to compensate, which is certainly necessary in order to reduce the misuse of such processing by public officials.
BETWEEN THE LINES
The New US-China Trade Deal Marks an Uneasy Truce A truly grand pact remains some way off
With his habit of announcing trade deals only for them to dissolve within weeks, President Donald Trump is a standing reminder that talk is cheap. But on January 15th he signed a phase one trade agreement with China alongside Liu He, the Chinese Vice Premier, and published its contents for the world to see. The 86 pages set out the terms of a new economic relationship between these two giants. Alongside some welcome measures, there are some howlers—and glaring omissions. Throughout the whole, however, runs a common pattern. Clauses that are in reality concessions wrung from the Chinese are often written in such a way that they formally apply to both sides—but with sub-clauses specifying the actions that the Chinese are to take. For example, pledges to protect trade secrets are accompanied by new processes by which American companies can complain about breaches. The deal also addresses several long-standing American complaints about China’s foot-dragging. China pledged that approvals of agricultural biotechnology products will take less than two years. The deal sets deadlines for China to consider licence applications by Master-
Card and Visa. And China will lower bureaucratic barriers to imports of American dairy, pork and beef. As many a weary trade negotiator can attest, China has a history of reneging on promises. But this deal comes with a novel dispute-settlement mechanism. After a speedy consultation, either party may find fault with the other. (History suggests that the Americans are more likely to feel aggrieved.) If a solution cannot be reached, the accuser can unilaterally impose penalties. The accused cannot retaliate, short of pulling out of the deal altogether.
American Treasury removed China from its list of currency manipulators. But if at some point China is put back on the list, the USTR would now seem to have virtually unchecked power to slap tariffs on it. Further problems may be caused by China’s pledge to buy an extra $200bn of American goods and services over the next two years, on top of a baseline of $187bn in purchases in 2017. That is intended to satisfy Mr Trump’s main desire: to close America’s trade deficit with China. But making it happen will probably require China’s govern-
TARIFFS ON HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS’ WORTH OF IMPORTS INTO BOTH COUNTRIES REMAIN IN PLACE, WITH AN EVERPRESENT THREAT OF MORE. THIS IS NOT TRADE PEACE, BUT RATHER A TRADE TRUCE—AND A TENSE ONE AT THAT It is possible that this mechanism will force China to address American grievances. But it may also cause new problems. It hands huge discretion to Robert Lighthizer, the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Take China’s ever-contentious Yuan regime. On January 13th, as a sign of thawing relations, the
ment to direct Chinese companies to buy lots of American goods. Both countries will become more reliant on each other, which neither one wants. And their other trading partners might be squeezed out. The Americans do not seem overly concerned. Mr Lighthizer is keen to move on to implementa-
tion, saying that, as the first deal of its kind, “we have to make sure that it works”. The coming months will demonstrate whether the two countries can establish a friendlier dialogue, and whether their relationship can survive America’s more aggressive use of security-related export and investment restrictions. The deal is far from a reset. As Mr Lighthizer noted, China’s cyber-intrusions and industrial subsidies still rankle with America. Meanwhile, the Chinese media laid out an argument that may become more familiar: if American export restrictions prevent China from fulfilling its purchase commitments, the fault will lie with America. A truly grand pact between the two countries is some way off—and indeed, may never arrive. But this modest trade agreement shows how much the status quo has changed. Tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of imports into both countries remain in place, with an ever-present threat of more. This is not trade peace, but rather a trade truce—and a tense one at that. From The Economist, published under licence. The original article, in English, can be found on www.economist.com
Suitcase Full of Knowledge We want to communicate the best international practices for career development to students with the establishment of Career Paths Croatia, and provide them with an easier entrance to the world of business at home and abroad. For that, they need intercultural and interpersonal skills that this region cares for and utilizes insufficiently
DOLI PREDOVIĆ TODOROVIĆ CEO, The Career Paths
Career Paths Connects had its premiere in Croatia in January this year, with the goal to help students in Croatia with their career development, relying on Italian and other international experiences that Dolly Predović Todorović, CEO of The Career Paths, gained in her long career of an educator, as a professor of Corporate Finance and Valuation in SDA Bocconi School of Management, Director of the International Executive Education Division and Director of the Master in Corporate Finance. She currently sits on the Supervisory Boards of two banks (one Croatian and the other Montenegrin) and of Hrvatski Telekom, part of the Deutsche Telekom Group. In 2012, she founded The Career Paths to dedicate herself as entrepreneur to building a consulting firm in the field of education. Since 2015, Dolly has been the Honorary Consul of Montenegro in Milan for Lombardy, Piedmont and Valle D’Aosta. As an Honorary Consul, you have been working hard to help our students in Italy. Is it a pathway
to successful international career or also a career at home?
— International experience significantly strengthens and opens possibilities for future employment and career development. I would primarily like to point out several significant pillars of internationalization: above all, focus is placed on development of a set of skills necessary for doing business in the 21st century, like self-management, quick thinking, problem solving. Meeting with an international career automatically sets
your original community, and bearing in mind the encounter with other cultures and values, quite naturally increases the social capital as well. Universities are the right place to expand your network and develop interpersonal skills. Staying abroad means that we have to introduce the above mentioned elements into our behaviour, and with this, whether abroad or at home, you increase your competencies and know-how, and this is precisely what the labour market needs today.
A UNIQUE VISION FOCUSED ON PROVIDING SUPPORT TO STUDENTS IN DEVELOPMENT OF QUALITY SOLUTIONS FOR BUILDING CUSTOMMADE ACADEMIC AND CAREER PATHS IS BEHIND CAREER PATHS CROATIA in motion and activates the aforementioned capacities, as well as the intercultural and interpersonal capacities. In today's world of business, soft skills are of utmost importance for better business adaptation. Another important pillar that increases employment opportunities is the social capital, a good social network and development of social skills. Of course, leaving
What is “internationalization at home” and how it affects the career paths of students and their motivation to work abroad?
— The “Internationalization at Home” programs involve active inclusion of the elements I mentioned in my previous answer in academic curricula. We need to find a way for all those who stay to study in universities at home to integrate the values of internation-
al studying into study programs. Of course, it is necessary to motivate the pupils, students and lecturers to take an active part in international academic activities being organized in their communities. It is my opinion that precisely Montenegro and the regional countries have great advantage in this sense, an advantage that might not have been entirely utilized. I will take Montenegro as an excellent example, because we are talking about a country that has a significant number of different cultural groups, a country with strong multiculturalism, multi-ethnicity, and multi religiosity. This is an extraordinary opportunity precisely for studying and dissemination of knowledge, especially due to excellent integration of the mentioned groups. Precisely this inertness in accepting these differences has to be transformed into activation and exploration, because that is an excellent source of new knowledge and skills and precisely of what we refer to “Internationalization at home”. You have an excellent opportunity to learn about different cultures, ethnic groups, religions, to gain new experience, network, increase tolerance, and all this you can do at home, in close proximity. Why not take advantage of such a unique opportunity?
As the founder of Career Path you recently started working in Croatia. What are your aims and goals?
the university do you feel that today’s MBA curricula can catch up with the changes in the global business environment?
— A unique vision focused on providing support to students in development of quality solutions for building custom-made academic and career paths is behind Career Paths Croatia. In the professional approach that Career Paths Croatia cherishes together with Jasmina and Josipa Bagarić, we decided to communicate Italian, but also other international experiences with the goal to introduce students to the best international practices for career development that can help them make their encounter with the business world easier. To get to know and define their skills in the most reliable manner, and to approach the world of business with ease and security with the help of prominent career development experts.
— I believe that they can, but on the condition that a deep and significant change happens within the programs themselves. It’s not enough to learn to apply tools that the labour market demands. So, knowledge about the use of single models is not sufficient, you must learn why this exact tool is applicable, and why would some other tool be a better solution. Companies organize different trainings within their educational processes and that is why it is important for MBA to look at the broader context of knowledge and to call for reflection about processes and instruments, and not to qualify itself as competition to companies that conduct trainings. We must not forget that economy is a social science, it’s not mathematics or physics, it primarily observes the human behaviour. And we need to teach the students not only to work and use instruments and tools, but also to think and reason during their work process and utilization of the same.
Having in mind that many people, young and older, are struggling to find a right career path, what would you share as a word of advice with our readers?
— I will underline experience here as an extremely relevant category. Namely, it is important to focus as much as you can to practice and gaining different experiences, while paying attention and thinking about the effect that such experiences had on development of competencies and skills. It is important to understand and contemplate the importance of experiential categories, but also to develop the ability to apply what we learnt while gaining different experiences. Also, we can individualize strengths this way, as well as utilize opportunities to improve competencies and skills. Therefore, in addition to the acquired knowledge and education, as much experiences and practices as possible to fill the suitcases with your knowledge. Having in mind that the chase for talents is now global, do you fear that countries in the region may feel increased brain drain? How can the states cope with that?
— Rather than fear, I would say it’s a fact – brain drain is happening in Western Balkans since the nineties, but that’s not the case only with the countries in the region. The brain drain doesn’t necessarily have to be tied to unemployment or insufficiently stable material status. In
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE OPENS POSSIBILITIES FOR FUTURE EMPLOYMENT AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT, AND SOME OF THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER SKILLS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY ARE SELF-MANAGEMENT, QUICK THINKING, PROBLEM SOLVING
In your new post at Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, your research is focused on international internships and graduate employability. Would you witness, as some people say, that there is a rising precarity among young academics?
essence, it can be a need for new experiences, different knowledge, new horizons. We have some cases of extremely well-situated people who, fed up with events in the Balkan region, have the need simply to change their environment and vice versa. Many foreigners are showing interest precisely in Montenegro as a fast-developing destination, to find their new place to live right there. I believe that it is necessary to conduct a deep, systemic analysis and research primarily in order to
understand the reasons adequately. Of course, we need to step out of the framework of public debates and deal with implementation of specific measures. I believe that exactly by investing in innovations, science and research, we can increase our human resources and create better conditions for an education that must be practically applicable. As a professor at Bocconi who inspired the creation of the first international MBA program at
— On one hand, I think not, because if someone opts for a specific academic career today, it’s someone who basically wants to do research, and it is becoming more and more specialized. If you want to engage in academic work, this would imply that you know how to use instruments for scientific and research work and how to publish scientific papers in magazines that are periodicals on a global level. So, if you want to pursue academic work that really means serious scientific research. In my opinion, leaving the academic field, especially in regional countries, is most often caused by economic reasons. In other realities, like the Anglo-Saxons or the United States, the world of business is integrating the competencies of the academic community into business development to a much greater extent, while when it comes to regional countries, this mainly happens with engineers, or faculties of technical sciences.
Legal Compliance Are you legally compliant?
PETAR PETRIĆ Attorney at Law, Petrić & Kajić Law Firm LLC
It is a difficult question to answer, but it’s necessary. Why is it difficult? Because there are so many Legislations and Acts regulating a number of different things. How do you know which applies to you and what makes you compliant or not? A lot of unsuspecting business owners have landed up in court because of legal compliance issues – not because they were irresponsible, but because they were not aware of their legal duties in the first place. There are a number of important Acts below that any business owner in Croatia today will need to comply with in order to be termed “legally compliant”. Even the smallest of companies must consider their legal compliance. It is not just something for the to-do list of giant multinationals, legal compliance is a process by which a company adheres to the complex rules, policies and processes that regulate business practice in a particular jurisdiction. What is Compliance? Before a Compliance Programme can be established, the organisation must understand what Compliance means for itself and its stakeholders. Legal and regulatory compliance can be defined as the process by which an organisation ensures that it observes and complies with the laws, regulations, policies and
codes, external and internal to the organisation. Compliance must become a part of the overall business strategy of any organisation's operation - no matter how big or small. Compliance needs to be a non-negotiable and pervasive practice
comply with the identified laws; • preparation of summaries of the applicable laws allowing for the comprehension of the objectives, impacts and actions required; • the preparation of compliance risk assessments and risk registers; • giving employees access to all the laws and regulations, including summaries and checklists which may be applicable to any organisation; • the preparation of a generic compliance matrices, self-assessment questionnaires and due diligence checklists;
THE CONCEPT OF COMPLIANCE IS TO MAKE SURE THAT CORPORATIONS ACT RESPONSIBLY that is implemented throughout the organisation and performed by all. An effective compliance programme requires: • identification of relevant laws and regulations applicable to an organisation both internally and externally; • identification of various risks which may materialise if these laws are not followed or complied with; • assessment and analysis of how these risks might impact your business; • assessing and determining the required and/or recommended actions and controls which need to be implemented in order to eliminate or reduce these risks; • the preparation of a customised regulatory matrix of the identified relevant laws and regulations applicable to the organisation, classified according to category and significance within the organisation; • the identification of departments, business units and subsidiaries and responsible employees within an organisation who have to
• the preparation and implementation of recommended policies and procedures, legal registers, and compliance tools; and • auditing compliance levels and managing areas where non-compliance has been noted. When asked what the steps are for evaluating legal compliance, the only answer is to do your research in all aspects, including, among others: • Data protection • Cyber security • Health and safety • Environmental responsibilities • Financial and accounting requirements • Employment law • Tax law • Advertising regulation • Corporate law Why is legal compliance important? When it comes to business and corporate management, compliance refers to the company obeying all of the legal laws and regula-tions in regards to how they manage their business, their staff, and how they treat their consumers. The concept of compliance is
to make sure that corporations act responsibly What are the types of compliance? There are two areas to consider: internal compliance assures adherence to the rules, regulations, and best practices as defined by internal policies, and external compliance is the practice of following the laws, guidelines, and regulations imposed by external governments, industries, and organizations. Who can be an external Compliance Officer? Companies have an obligation to take appropriate organizational and supervisory measures to prevent violations of the law within a company. Not only large corporations but also small and medium-sized companies have recognized that they have to accept the complex and sensitive compliance issues and resolve it professionally. Attorney at Law as compliance expert could assist you as an External Compliance Officer. Accordingly, he can put your company in a position to create the best possible conditions for legal conformity of your organization. Attorneys at Law have specific expertise and many years of experience in the field of compliance management. To determine the specific need for introduction of a compliance system, Law firms carry out a risk analysis/security audit. Compliance must be supported and lived by the entire company. It must be possible to understand this on the basis of practical structures. Even - and especially - in case an external Compliance Officer operates. This is particularly true in view of the fact that overall responsibility for compliance always remains with the company management and that the topic of compliance has become an integral part of day-to-day business due to constantly increasing regulatory requirements.
Greta Thurnberg –a New Ecospeak Sustainability as a disruptive concept of the new decade has echoed also in a rhetorical field, providing a platform for the rise of a new approach to the environmental discourse. Greta Thurnberg is its prominent voice
JAGODA POROPAT DARRER Business Communications Professional
„The wind of change blows straight into the face of time, “once sang the Scorpions, and it seems the song couldn't be more actual right now. Living in the era of the Fourth industrial revolution things are going greener, leaders younger, business digital. The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has become known globally for her environmental campaign. In August 2018, aged 15, Thunberg began solo climate protest by striking from school. She has since been joined by tens of thousands of school and university students in more than a dozen countries, in climate strikes that have become regular events. A global strike in March drew more than a million people, surpassed in September 2018 by the biggest yet with at least 4 million. Thunberg has described the rapid spread of the strikes around the world as amazing. “It proves you are never too small to make a difference,” she said. She has attracted criticism, particularly from rightwing commentators, who claim she is too young or naive to know what she is talking about. Thunberg has insisted she is just relying on the science (theguardian.com). Yet, she builds her persuasion on pathos (on raising emotions) rather than only on logical appeal. Her messages are loaded with accusations, evokes fear for the future, blaming the elites for the current situations. For example, her message from the World Economic Forum in Davos last month: „Our house is still on fire. “Your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour.”, evokes panic and put blame on the world leader.
Environmental communication is a lot more than just negotiating about environment in different social, cultural, political, economic, and linguistic settings, it is “the pragmatic and constitutive vehicle for our understanding of the environment as well as our relationships to the natural world”. According to this theory, the pragmatic vehicle concerns a set of instrumental
The public discourse is more and more sensible on topics such as climate changes and environmental sustainability. In this light even the Davos Manifesto 2020 encompasses for the first-time words related to the natural preservation. It states that a company is more than an economic unit generating wealth. It fulfils human and societal aspirations as part of the broader social
OUR HOUSE IS STILL ON FIRE. YOUR INACTION IS FUELING THE FLAMES BY THE HOUR functions aimed at educating, training, persuading, convincing, alerting, motivating, mobilizing, solving, making decisions, in other words, making people react. At the same time, the constitutive vehicle focuses on performance of creative function aimed at assisting to shape or even reconsider our views, roles and perceptions of nature and surrounding environment. (Platonova, 2015).
system. Performance must be measured not only on the return to shareholders, but also on how it achieves its environmental, social and good governance objectives. Executive remuneration should reflect stakeholder responsibility. In the section A of the Manifesto we can read that „the purpose of a company is to engage all its stakeholders in shared and sustained value creation. In creating such value,
a company serves not only its shareholders, but all its stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers, local communities and society at large “. Explaining in the section B that „the company is more than an economic unit generating wealth. It fulfils human and societal aspirations as part of the broader social system. Performance must be measured not only on the return to shareholders, but also on how it achieves its environmental, social and good governance objectives. Executive remuneration should reflect stakeholder responsibility “ (weforum.org). Regardless Klaus Schwab, and all the white head world leaders, it seems that the soft power of highly aware and motivated young people, even teenagers, could move the world to embrace alternative business models. Melting Arctic could open new economic opportunities. According to Council of foreign relation, the melting of Arctic sea ice to record lows in recent years. “Many forecast Arctic summers will be free of ice in a matter of decades, potentially opening the region up to hundreds of billions of dollars in investment, including energy production, shipping, and fishing. Environmentalists are concerned that a new era of Arctic exploration and development could spoil one of the planet’s last home to iconic wildlife, and climatologists warn that the extraction of Arctic fossil fuels will contribute to global warming at a time when they believe nations should be paring back greenhouse-gas emissions and pursuing alternative energy sources. But for many, the debate is less over whether the region should be developed, but rather if it can be done sustainably and peaceably “(cfr.org).
Go Everywhere But Come to Rijeka On February 1st, Rijeka became one of the most interesting cities in Europe where domestic and foreign creative resources, fascinating cultures and marvellous heritage seen through new eyes will mix over the next year in a kind of amalgam opera stars, Karita Mattila and Elina Garanča, in Rijeka in 2020. Now, at the end of February and at the beginning of March, we will organize the Needcompany Festival, where this currently most propulsive European drama company will perform three different shows in Rijeka. In the programming direction Dopolavoro, which discusses the work and new technologies, we have artists who exhibit at the biggest global festivals, and they are bringing particularly attractive huge mechanical machines to Rijeka, which will be an attraction by themselves. It’s hard to list them all and I’m afraid that I might overlook something important. It’s best to study the program for the year 2020 via webpage www.rijeka2020.eu and choose.
EMINA VIŠNIĆ Director of RIJEKA 2020, European Capital of Culture
Rijeka officially became European Capital of Culture 2020. Those who didn’t attend this fantastic 24-hour event still have plenty of reasons to buy a plane ticket or simply take a stroll to this epicentre of cultural events in Europe: exhibition of David Maljković, one of Croatia’s greatest contemporary artists, a new revelation of Gustav Klimt and performances of global opera stars Karita Mattila and Elina Garanča are just a few of many reasons to come to Rijeka. We talked with Emina Višnić, Director of RIJEKA 2020, about the different dimensions of this cultural challenge.
You combined culture and you technologies. How was this received in Rijeka and can it really be an incentive for city’s development in the future?
Rijeka officially became the capital of European culture. Is the vision you entered into this project what you managed to fight for in the end?
— For the most part – it is. From the very beginning, our vision was to influence the future of Rijeka’s culture through this project and to build citizens’ sensibility towards culture by including them in the project. In simple terms, Rijeka’s European Capital of Culture project consists of three equally important goals – construction of cultural infrastructure, quality cultural and artistic program that will take place throughout the year 2020, and heritage of the project which includes the built buildings and the built human potentials that will continue to lead and develop the culture in Rijeka even after 2020. You have a lot of programs, but could you single out some of them that would definitely be worth traveling half the world or half of Croatia to see them?
— Over 600 individual events will take place in Rijeka during 2020. Even though all of our programs
ACTIVE CITIZENS IN AN ACTIVE CITY, PERMANENT CULTURAL OBJECTS IN WHICH NUMEROUS PROGRAMS WILL CONTINUE TO BE IMPLEMENTED AND PEOPLE WHO WILL CARRY AND IMPLEMENT THESE PROGRAMS –THAT IS WHAT I EXPECT TO REMAIN A PERMANENT HERITAGE OF RIJEKA 2020 are important, especially those referring to included and activated citizens and local communities, we have a number of events that fit the question you just asked. For example, exhibition of David Maljković was opened on January 31, at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka. He is a
globally renowned artist and one of the greatest contemporary artists of Croatia. In the summer, in July, we will open the exhibition titled “Unknown Klimt: Love, Death, Ecstasy”, and I believe that I don’t have to speak in particular about Klimt’s attractiveness and relevance. We will also have performances of world’s
— Art can always be an incentive for development of the city in the future. A combination of culture and new technologies brings us the Dopolavoro programming direction, which explores the future of work in a creative and extremely interesting manner, discusses the human work and creative work in modern times of new technologies. Programs within this programming direction will bring a number of exhibitions, and the central one is the “The Sea Is Glowing” (Usijano more), but there will also be a series of accompanying exhibitions and artistic activities and installations. All the topics to be opened within these programs have the force to encourage change in the field of understanding of work and the future of work, or at least encourage reflection on what work means to us, what is work in modern society or work in a modern city, and what is the relationship between the modern man or an artist – towards work and new technologies.
If you observe the invested and what Rijeka could get as permanent ownership, is this project expensive or not?
— It’s not expensive, i.e. great funds are invested in it from different sources, for the program and for infrastructure. Total value of the project is around €70 million, where around €27 million is intended for cultural and artistic program and accompanying activities, and the rest of the amount is for construction of infrastructure (reconstruction of cultural buildings and the ship Galeb), but significant EU grants, assets from European funds, will also be used for construction of infrastructure. New cultural buildings that are being built in the former abandoned factory complex downtown will remain a permanent ownership and permanent heritage of Rijeka. Rijeka will get a new building for the City Museum, with a permanent exhibition about Rijeka’s history, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art has already moved into its building built in the first stage. We are also building the City Library building and building for the Children’s House – the first one of this kind in Croatia – which will be the starting point and a meeting place of children's creativity. Tito’s ship, the Galeb, is also being restored, and it will become a ship-museum. Also, a big warehouse building in the port area in Rijeka is being renovated, and it will be the place for major exhibitions in 2020. All this will stay a permanent heritage of Rijeka. And all this is being restored with a high percentage of EU funds, and this will leave more money for other purpose in the local budget, because if the City had built this infrastructure only with its own funds, the reconstruction would probably last much longer, and it would cost the local community much more as well. Also, the art program that takes place in Rijeka in 2020 will attract many visitors to Rijeka, and the citizens of Rijeka and the region will get the opportunity to attend numerous world-class artistic performances in their own city. This experience is extremely valuable. Additionally, with this project, Rijeka has already now gained such great international visibility with which it’s building a positive image not only as a tourist destination, but also as a city that is open, modern and alive, a city that’s good to live in, but also to invest in. Only at the opening we had more than 70 foreign media from 15 countries. Something
like that could hardly be achieved through some marketing campaign, and I won’t even mention the price of that kind of campaign. What is it actually that should remain, is it the spaces, the spirit of culture, of Europe, or something else how you would like this project to continue to exist in 2021?
— It’s both, the spaces I already talked about but also the experience of the audience that will attend many forms and performanc-
are working on implementation of the project. Also, already in the preparation stage, a number of people from civic initiatives, who proposed and carried out minor projects in the field of city planning or cultural programs in smaller groups or neighbourhoods, were involved with the project. I would like all this to remain a permanent heritage of the project. Active citizens in an active city, permanent cultural objects in which numerous programs will continue to be implemented and people who
AS A CAPITAL OF CULTURE, RIJEKA HAS GAINED INTERNATIONAL VISIBILITY WITH WHICH IT’S BUILDING A POSITIVE IMAGE NOT ONLY AS A TOURIST DESTINATION, BUT ALSO AS A CITY THAT IS OPEN, MODERN AND ALIVE, A CITY THAT’S GOOD TO LIVE IN, BUT ALSO TO INVEST IN es of culture and art. Also, this project brings permanent sculptures in one of its programming directions, Lungomare Art, and these sculptures will be placed in several locations in the Kvarner area, and they form a kind of a tourist and artistic route. But, maybe the most important thing is that the people who were involved in this project and who gained and are gaining many experiences and know-how through the project, will stay after the ECC project. In the preparation period, we conducted a series of educations on organization of cultural events and audience inclusion, but a great number of people from institutions that are our partners and in the company Rijeka 2020, which was established for the implementation of the European Capital of Culture Project,
will carry and implement these programs when it comes to both organization and performance. The Maribor Project, one of many, ended in bankruptcy. How great a financial risk is it to get the title of the capital of culture?
— It’s an individual story for each European Capital of Culture. Since these are mainly public funds used to finance the project, European, state and local, logics lead to a conclusion that it shouldn’t be a risky project financially. Every country and city invest in it voluntarily, and they apply in hope that they will get the title. However, precisely because these are public funds, politics or political quarrels of those who hold different levels of government, may be risky for the project. We don’t have such a
problem. During the entire period of preparations, we enjoyed the support from the Government of Croatia, from the County and from the City. The City of Rijeka is the holder of this title, and the Government, County, University and the Tourist Board are strategic partners in the project. We have good cooperation with everyone. Politics don’t interfere with artistic program, they support our work and we are grateful to all of them for that. And that is the path that leads to success of the project.
You have a rich career in the field of culture behind you. Did you have the freedom you wanted and will Rijeka 2020 remain written in red in your personal CV?
— Yes it will. This is certainly one of the greatest projects that I lead and it will remain written not only in my CV but also in my heart. The people I work with are investing great effort to make the project a success. We know and respect each other, we argue and make up. There is a huge amount of positive energy between us. These are very intense years in my career and in my life. I do have freedom in the sense of project management, but it is not and it must not be absolute. Because I am not alone in the project. Slaven Tolj is the Project’s Art Director, the project has seven program sections, each of them has its own manager, and important partners in its implementation are Rijeka’s cultural institutions, as well as numerous associations and organizations, almost 300 of them. In that sense, such a comprehensive participatory project also secures great freedom, but also a great deal of patience in coordination and management.
PEOPLE & EVENTS
24 INDIA MARKED JAN
71st REPUBLIC DAY
Embassy of India in Zagreb hosted the National Day Reception on Friday 24th January at the Sheraton Hotel in Zagreb to mark the 71st Republic Day of India. The reception was attended by more than 300 attendees, including former presidents & Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Zeljko Rainer. Ambassador of India to Croatia H.E. Shri Arindam Bagchi addressed the gathering and highlighted the deepening of India-Croatia relations. Highlights of National Day Reception included guest appearance by Mr. Igor Stimac, Croatian footballer and Head Coach of Indian Football Team as well as cultural performances of Bharatnatyam and Yoga.
Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Zeljko Rainer, H.E. Shri Arindam Bagchi Ambassador of India to Croatia
H.E. Shri Arindam Bagchi Ambassador of India to Croatia
25 “SAUSAGE JAN
Ivan Dečak , H.E. Elizabeth Marianne Petrovic, Ambassador of Australia to Croatia with her daughter
Harvey Norman Croatia are organising an Aussie “Sausage Sizzle” event to raise funds for the NSW Rural Fire Service. On the occasion of fires in Australia, the Ambassador of this country, H.E. ELIZABETH MARIANNE PETROVIC, spoke for our magazine This season’s fires are unprecedented and while we are prepared, well organised and well resourced, the rapidly escalating damage and the heart-breaking human cost called for nothing less than an all-out response. Fires are still burning in some parts of Australia and conditions could still worsen. So it remains an active situation. Our number one priority continues to be the emergency response and the safety of communities and tourists in the affected areas. Australia is grateful for the range of offers of assistance from the global community, including Croatia, to fight the fires, protect our people and preserve our nature and wildlife. At this terrible time, we have seen the best of Australia and of our friends. The brave firefighters; the selfless volunteers and the huge groundswell of community support. Countless individuals and groups across the globe have stepped up to support Australia and our recovery efforts. Australia is open for business. Another good way to support Australia is to visit Australia, so plan your trip and we will look forward to seeing you there.
01 RIJEKA FEB
The ceremony marking the opening of the European Capital of Culture was held at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, and the central event – Opera Industriale, was performed on
05 RECEPTION FOR HEADS OF FEB
DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
the big stage, located at De Franceschi’s Pier in the Rijeka Port. More than a hundred performers performed, and even the audience was involved in the programme.
Ex President of the Republic Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović held a reception for heads of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited in the Republic of Croatia, thanking them for their hard work and dedication and commitment to developing even stronger ties between their countries and Croatia.
Ex President of the Republic Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
05 SLO CRO BUSINESS FEB
After the assembly, a business breakfast was held with the current topic: “Challenges of the Labour Market – Solutions and Guidelines for Employers”. Our
guests are regional experts, the first independent company specializing in human resources in the region of Southeast Europe, with offices in 9 regional countries.
President of SLO CRO Business Club Mr Saša Muminović
MORE PHOTOS ON
The Hopeless Struggle To Make German Gender-Neutral The German language is unsuited to modern sensitivities
“In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has,” grumbled Mark Twain in his essay “The Awful German Language”. The rules for gender in German are indeed baffling: why die Rübe (feminine) but das Mädchen (neuter)? Yet they are as nothing next to the complexities of importing modern gender sensitivities into a language plainly unsuited to them. In German, plural nouns for people typically take the masculine form, and professions are usually gendered. So teachers address mixed groups of pupils as (masculine) Schüler, and whereas Helmut Kohl was Bundeskanzler (masculine), Angela Merkel is the Bundeskanzlerin (feminine). In a non-binary age some find such usage old-fashioned. Studies find
that children often link generic plural terms (e.g., Schüler) with the male sex. This month the northern city of Lübeck decreed that official communications must use gen-
Lübecker means “men (or a man) from Lübeck”). Traditionalists are aghast; one group has vowed to pay the legal fees of municipal staff who break the new rule. But institutions across the Ger-
NOW PARTISANS OF GERMANY’S CULTURE WARS ARE STORMING THE PITCH OF THEIR DEFENCELESS LANGUAGE: THIRD-GENDER THEORISTS BATTLING REACTIONARIES OVER PUNCTUATION der-neutral language. Formulations that avoid gendered terms are preferred; otherwise nouns should be given the feminine ending, set off by a colon to indicate neutrality. Locals thus become Lübecker:innen (Lübeckerinnen are “women from Lübeck”;
man-speaking world are moving in this direction. The structure of German language makes it especially prone to such disputes, says Christine Günther, a linguist at the University of Siegen. English has its own problems, but nouns are gender-
less and job words neutral, bar the odd exception like “waitress”. In Germany, solutions usually involve awkwardly interrupting a word with an asterisk or underscore; Lübeck officials think the colon is easier to read. A glottal stop is used when speaking. In 2018, the Council for German Orthography was asked to rule on the gender asterisk but said such matters should not be settled in a top-down fashion. Now partisans of Germany’s culture wars are storming the pitch of their defenceless language: third-gender theorists battling reactionaries over punctuation. From The Economist, published under licence. The original article, in English, can be found on www.economist.com
NOTIFIED OF APPROVAL OF THE SALE TO UNITED GROUP
The Croatian Competition Agency has notified Tele2 AB (“Tele2”) (Nasdaq Stockholm: TEL2 A and TEL2 B) and United Group of its decision to approve the sale of Tele2 Croatia to United Group. Tele2 now awaits the publication of a formal approval. Tele2 announced the sale of its Croatian business to United Group on 31 May 2019. On 25 November 2019, the Croatian Competition Agency initiated a so called Phase II investigation. Now, the agency has notified Tele2 and United Group of its decision to approve the transaction. A formal approval is expected to be published the coming weeks. As part of United Group’s family of telecom and media companies, Tele2 Croatia will be able to create even greater value for its customers.
NEW DEAL IN MACEDONIA
Končar - Inženjering za energetiku i transport (Končar - KET) and the Electricity Transmission System Operator of North Macedonia (MEPSO) signed a contract for the project of construction of a new 400/110 kV Ohrid transformer station on Friday in Skopje. The deal is worth EUR 14.3 million, as Končar reports. The project involves complete construction of a new 400/110 kV plant, preparation of project technical documentation, delivery, assembly, testing and commissioning of primary and secondary equipment. The other end of the TS 400 kV Bitola power line will be equipped as part of this project.
TO CLOSE A LARGE MALL DUE TO POOR CUSTOMER TRAFFIC
Swedish furniture chain IKEA announced that they will close a big shopping mall in Coventry, UK, this summer due to poor customer traffic and business losses. According to BBC, Ikea says that the store has consistently lost money since it opened in 2007, and the number of customers was lower than they initially expected. Representatives of the famous Swedish company stated that they will talk to the workers soon and try to find them an adequate job in other stores. The Coventry shopping centre is one of 22 Ikea stores in Great Britain.
PROFIT HRK 300 MILLION LOWER
Operations of Zagrebačka banka in 2019 were marked a by a slight increase in net income from interests (2.8%), slight decline (-2%) of net income from commissions and fees, but also by a relevant increase of the cost of provisions and value adjustments (by 191 million, to a total of 761 million), according to the unrevised data published at the Zagreb Stock Market today. The Bank finally reported HRK 1.56 billion in profit after tax for last year, which is 300 million less than the year before. The Bank's profit, of course, represents the principal amount of the Zagrebačka banka Group's reported profit that reached HRK 1.76 billion, i.e. around 240 million less.
GOVERNMENT SELLS OVER 2.9 MILLION SHARES FOR HRK 38.1 MILLION
The Government closed a deal with Badel 1862 at the end of last week, according to which the state sold little over 2.9 million shares in the company, i.e. 11.5%, to Badel, and the state will get around HRK 38.1 million for this stake. This is a transaction that was carried out after the shareholders of Badel 1862 made a decision at
the General Meeting held on January 13 to withdraw the shares of that company from the Zagreb Stock Exchange. The government represented by CERP voted against this decision, and after its entry in the court register, CERP made a request to Badel 1862 within the legal deadline for redemption of shares at fair value.
This is My Year, I Can Feel it Before the concert in Arena Zagreb scheduled for March 7th, the night before the International Women’s Day, Nina Badric has only one big wish: I wish my Zagrebians could surprise me and “tear down” the Arena with emotions and cheers
Foto: Jelena Balić Hair: Mijo Majhen Make up: Sasa Joković Asistent: Marko Tolić
NINA BADRIĆ Singer and songwriter
Nina Badrić, a successful artist, doesn’t lack the experience, or dynamics or success in her career. But, she awaits her new biggest concert in the Lisinski Concert Hall with a great deal of joy and with surprises for the audience and she will discover only a little bit of these surprises in this interview. During her long career, she has had numerous hits and she filled the biggest concert halls, including the Lisinski, to which she often returns. Songs like “Rekao si”, “Čarobno jutro”, “Dodiri od stakla”, “Da se opet tebi vratim”, “Takvi kao ti”, “Moje oči pune ljubavi” are just a few on a list of hits the audience will get to hear at Nina’s upcoming concert. When asked about the repertoire that she is preparing, Nina Badric briefly responded: “This will be a cross section of my career from the 1990s until today”, and she promised lots of laughs, cheerful spirit, divine dancers and many other things. You said in an interview “God was gracious to me; He gave me
music – and that’s who I am.” In your opinion, what does music mean to people today, what emotion would you like to give to the people who will come to your concert?
— My audience and I know each
I HAVE PREPARED SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FOR THIS BIGGEST ZAGREB CONCERT. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE AUDIENCE TO SEE ALL THE SURPRISES I HAVE IN STORE FOR THEM
other’s souls. They know that my concerts are consumed with all the emotions, from joy and laughter, through longing to melancholy. People have a great time at my concerts, or at least that’s what they say; they say I’m funny and that they get a good laugh. But, I have prepared something completely different for this biggest Zagreb concert on March 7, before the International Women’s’ Day. I’ll have dancers, the stage will be full and cheerful, but you’ll see it all when you come to the Arena. I can’t wait for the audience to see all the surprises I have in store for them. As they say no one is a prophet
in their own country. Do you feel that your home town appreciates and loves you as much as you love it?
— Zagreb and I love each other. But the citizens of Zagreb aren’t temperamental like the residents of Split, for example. They openly, passionately and beautifully show their emotions, while we, the people from Zagreb, have a slightly more subtle way of celebrating. I would like my Zagrebians to surprise me and “tear down” the Arena with emotions and cheers. What repertoire will you use to reciprocate?
— It will be a cross-section of my career from the 1990s until today.
I LIKE CHEERFUL PEOPLE WHO SPREAD JOY WHEREVER THEY GO, AND ABOVE ALL I ADORE FUNNY PEOPLE. I PERSONALLY FIND THAT IRRESISTIBLE. AND IF THEY ARE A GOOD PERSON, THAT’S A WINNING COMBINATION To what extent does music today have the elements of what we might call art? Where are you in all this?
Everyone says that you are always smiling and bright. Is that enough for a man, or a woman to be irresistible?
— Oh… I’m sticking to the classics. Both foreign and domestic. By classics I’m referring to people who remained true to music. There are many excellent artists, but the impression is purely visual. The moment the music starts, I mute it. Except for Justin Bieber and Dua Lipa. They’re good.
— Positive people are always welcome. I am an optimist and a fighter by character, which doesn’t mean that I’m not emotional. I myself like cheerful people who spread joy wherever they go. And above all I adore funny people. I personally find that irresistible. And if they are a good person, that’s a winning combination.
If Nina Badrić was to be described with a song, which song would that be?
— “The most beautiful girl in the world” by Prince! Hahaahahahhaha!!!
Are you making plans for the long run, and if you are, we will want more after the concert, do you already have some on your list?
— This is my year, I can feel it :)
A SPECTACLE IN RIJEKA, EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2020
ŠIBENIK TO HONOUR ARSEN: THE RECONSTRUCTED MULTIMEDIA HALL ON THE RIVA WILL BEAR HIS NAM The remodelled former Odeon Cinema at the Šibenik waterfront will be called the Arsen House of Art, according to the Public Institution Šibenik Fortress of Culture which will manage this public space intended for hosting music and stage events, cinema screenings, theatrical performances, exhibitions and conferences. The Šibenik Fortress of Culture suggested the name honouring one of the greatest artists of recent Croatian history, Arsen Dedić.
The ceremony marking the opening of the European Capital of Culture was held at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, and the central event – Opera Industriale, was performed on the big stage, located at De Franceschi’s Pier in the Rijeka Port. More than a hundred performers performed, and even the audience was involved in the programme. According to the organizers, before the eyes of Europe, Rijeka is honouring its workers, artistic avant-garde and tradition of the region that surrounds it, at the same time
reminding of the fundamental social values on which modern Europe is built. The Opera Industriale was performed live by numerous performers to backing tracks, combining sounds of the city, industry and noise, classical instruments, choral singing, ringing bells and sounds of the audience, which is actively involved in the performance. Sound, music and noise, effects created by a combination of light and darkness, powerful symbols of Rijeka and Europe – this is the crux of the attractive opening ceremony programme.
TRIUMPH OF BONG JOON-HO, THE PARASITE WROTE HISTORY
The film “Parasite” took home four Oscars from the Dolby Theatre, including Best Director and Best Movie awards, which is the first time ever for this award to be given to a foreign film, which the audience in Serbia could see last night thanks to RTS. There were no surprises when it comes to awards for actors: Joaquin Phoenix
and Renee Zellweger won the Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively, while Brad Pitt and Laura Dern won the Best Supporting Actor awards. The biggest loser of the evening was Netflix production company, whose films “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” came in with 20 nominations, but ended up winning only two statues.
"QUEEN OF SUSPENSE" MARY HIGGINS CLARK PASSED AWAY
American novelist Mary Higgins Clark, “Queen of Suspense”, died at the age of 92, reported her publisher Simon and Schuster. Mary Higgins Clark, one of the best-selling authors in the world, died “surrounded by her family and friends”, the publisher announced. She wrote around fifty novels that were sold in hundred million copies, of which 80 million in the United States, ever since her first success in 1975 with her novel “Where are the Children".
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