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February 2021 | ISSUE No. 30 | ONLINE EDITION

01 FEB

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HUMANITARIAN CAMPAIGN ARTISTS FROM SERBIA FOR GLINA, PETRINJA AND SISAK

9772466380002

IN THE NEXT LONG-TERM BUDGET OF EU, CROATIA TO GET AROUND €12,7 bln NATAŠA TRAMIŠAK

Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds

GO GLOBAL – GO VIRTUAL IVAN BARBARIĆ

Vice President of HGK for International Affairs

PANDEMIC HITS AUSTRIAN ECONOMY HARD

FIGHT FOR ENTREPRENEURS AND FOR JUSTICE

Director of Advantage Austria Zagreb

Glas Poduzetnika

SONJA HOLOCHER-ERTL

THE KING OF ZAGREB GRAFFITI KREŠIMIR GOLUBIĆ Artist

MARUŠA STAMAĆ

BUILDING BRIDGES DESPITE DISASTERS DAVOR TRKULJA

Charge d'Affairs of the Serbian Embassy in Zagreb Interesting facts

INSIDE THE EU MEMBER, NOT PART OF THE EU By Žikica Milošević


The Best of All Possible Worlds ness of God, the Freedom of Man and the Origin of Evil). The claim that the actual world is the best of all possible worlds is the central argument in Leibniz's theodicy, or his attempt to solve the problem of evil. If we were to conduct a survey among the residents of Europe, they would say quite certainly in 2020 that they were living in “the worst of all possible worlds”. However, even with the pandemic, the closed cafés, restaurants and stores, the facts still show precisely the opposite. Except in the field of environmental protection, the planet Earth today is in the best condition ever - never less dead in wars, never fewer terrorist attacks, never have there been less hungry and poor. Take a look at these maps every time that you, spoiled and ungrateful, think – “Things have never been worse!” I can’t drink my espresso in my favorite café like I’m used to!”

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FOREWORD

ROBERT ČOBAN Director

ome resented me for being overly pessimistic in my editorial "The Worst Is Yet To Come", completely contrary to the expectations of the entire planet that the "good old world" from 2019 would return after the vaccination. I will try to speak in “lighter tones” this time. A few days ago I saw the “life expectancy” map of 1800, 1950 and 2015. From the average of 28 years of age on the entire planet in 1800 (Europe 34, Americas 35, Africa 26, Asia 28, Oceania 35), through the global average of 46 years of age in 1950 to an even 71 years of age which was the average in 2015 – the civilization has made a huge progress. These maps show the progress of medicine, poverty reduction and a smaller number of deaths in wars and revolutions… Are we really living in “the best of all possible worlds”? Quite the contrary from what heroes of Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”, who keep going back into the past believing that precisely that era was the best, think. The phrase "the best of all possible worlds" (French: le meilleur des mondes possibles; German: Die beste aller möglichen Welten) was coined by the German polymath Gottfried Leibniz in his 1710 work Essais de Théodicée sur la bonté de Dieu, la liberté de l'homme et l'origine du mal (Essays of Theodicy on the Good-

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COMMENT

European Stability in Sight A potential tripod Stream-2, dialogue with Russia and China, and unlike his opponents, he is not an advocate for greater conservatism and turning towards the United States. During the "corona crisis", however, there were differences, as Merkel was all for austerity, while Lachet asked for concessions. It seems that a man who will continue the "semi-social-democratic” politics of his predecessor is ready to lead Germany, to maintain European unity, and to turn the EU a force “for itself”. Stock markets and the people are at ease.

ver the past several very turbulent years the European Union has faced many challenges, and they were directly related to its potential collapse. First Britain “shocked” the EU with their Brexit referendum (like when the road workers are “shocked and surprised by snow” in January), then followed the Yellow Vests protests, Matteo Salvini and the corona crisis. Now it is as though the clouds are slowly parting.

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GOODBYE, UK! The United Kingdom is now with both feet outside the Community, and they have their own issues to resolve now. Some things are going well (fast vaccination), some have a bumpy road ahead (the Irish Sea border), some are going badly (drop of GDP due to corona and the new taxes towards EU and other countries with which EUI has free trade agreements). Some will be excellent, as Johnson promised: new contracts with Australia, Canada, USA, Japan, etc. However, they will not be going back. At least not in whole. And will they ever allow Scotland to hold a new independence referendum which could potentially bring a new member to the gates of the EU, it is uncertain – definitely not before 2025 or later.

MACRON AGAIN AS MACRO Emmanuel Macron was a lonely figure who advocated for European unity, strengthening of Europe’s role, for stabilization and consolidation of the Union before accepting new members (which placed WB6 and Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in a new position during negotiations and accession), and the Yellow Vests threatened to shatter his throne. Things are not quite stable even today, but the strengthening of the EU and better relations with Russia and China, which Macron stands for, are increasingly more necessary at a time of crisis. Macron and Merkel together formulated a different form of multilateralism compared to the US even during Trump’s reign, and they intend to keep it during Biden’s rule as well.

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WITH THE THIRD LEG, ITALY, AND DRAGHI, WHO IS “DRAGI” (“DEAR” IN CROATIAN) TO THE EU, EUROPE HAS A NUMBER IT CAN BE REACHED AT AND IT HAS THE STABILITY To Americans, multilateralism means “we, the West, against Russia and China”, but to France and Germany it’s “USA is there, EU is in the middle, Russia and China next to us as partners”.

UNCLE ARMIN AFTER MUTTI The third thing that threatened the EU was the departure of “Mutti” – Angela Merkel, after 16 years of unprecedented stability and growth. Germany has defined the “American dream” in a European way. Germany became the “European dream”. It is an exemplary country that everybody wants to copy. A place with the best economy, the best integration, non-aggressive foreign

policy and soft power: German football clubs and the German national team rule the world, just like the German merchandise, while “Babylon Berlin”, one of the few TV series with 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes website, shows that Germany can make bestselling shows, along with bestselling cars. Angela Merkel was replaced by Armin Laschet and the world was relieved. According to “Die Standard”, his arrival to the head of CDU would not signify the turning of the backs to the Merkel era, because Laschet supported the Chancellor’s politics for years, and he especially took her side regarding the asylum policy. He advocates the continuation of her politics, the construction of Nord

DRAGHI IS DEAR TO EUROPE, LIKE IN CROATIAN LANGUAGE! But then came another sign of settling down. Mario Draghi became the new Prime Minister of Italy. With Draghi’s arrival, Italy is becoming a European pillar in the increasingly boiling Mediterranean Sea. Italy, on the other hand, needed a personality who would guarantee efficient, transparent and timely use of EUR 200 billion from the European fund. The initial reactions at the EU headquarters and of the European Central Bank after Draghi was given the mandate to assemble the Government, were the sighs of relief because the Recovery Fund was safe. “Super Mario” thus returned the old “European tripod” from the age of EEC, when these three countries (it was Western Germany back then) were the architects of the EU project, back in the game. EPILOGUE The Berlin – Paris axis was weak because the difference between the De Gaulle-oriented reformer Macron and the traditionally German-like cautious Merkel was at times too great for anything to be initiated. With the third leg, Italy, and Draghi, who is “dragi” (“dear” in Croatian) to the EU, Europe has a number it can be reached at and it has the stability. And if the fourth leg, the increasingly more agile Spain – which is currently surpassing Italy in wealth, and which is Euro-enthusiastic and enormous, joins them, the stability will be certain.

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INTERVIEW

In the Next Long-term Budget of EU, Croatia to Get Around 12,7 billion Euro Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds will reallocate 111 million euros, or more than 830 million kunas to rebuild the quake-hit area, in agreement with the European Commission

NATAŠA TRAMIŠAK Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds

e sent a report to the Solidarity Fund about the earthquake that hit the City of Zagreb in March 2020, and after the damage was reported, Croatia has €683 million at its disposal from the EU Solidarity Fund, says Nataša Tramišak, Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds. This money is used to renovate public institutions such as schools, hospitals, cultural heritage, water supply and road infrastructure.

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Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds is in charge of the new financial envelope, what can you tell us about the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework? Is Croatia ready for the new period? — Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds is in charge of programming the new financial envelope for the period from 2021 – 2027. We have at our disposal 12.7 billion euro, i.e. the part for which we are in charge, and that is cohesion policy, in the new financial period we will have around 9 billion euros at our disposal. Within the draft legislative proposal for the new 2021-2027 financial period, there are five policy objectives, i.e. five areas of EU investment in the period from 20212027 have been defined: 1. A smarter Europe 2. A greener Europe 3. A more connected Europe 4. A more social Europe 5. A Europe closer to citizens by encouraging sustainable and integrated development of urban, rural and coastal areas and local initiatives The partnership agreement and operational programs are being drafted by June, and then we will start with tenders and the use of new funds.

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THE ESTIMATED DAMAGE IN ZAGREB IS MORE THAN 11.5 BILLION EUROS, WHICH IS A REALLY LARGE AMOUNT This will be the second financial envelope for Croatia, which we will use and we are ready for it, we have ready projects as well as a vision of the 2021-2027Multiannual Financial Framework.

HRK 830 million has already been provided for the reconstruction of 2,000 demolished family houses in Petrinja. In cooperation with the EC, you are also working on amending the OPCC 2014-2020 in order to fi-

nance reconstruction after the earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County. When can the money be expected and what exactly will it be used for? It goes to the state treasury and further to the users? — The Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds will reallocate 111 million euros, or more than 830 million kunas to rebuild the quake-hit area, in agreement with the European Commission. With the amount of 111 million

euros, or more than 830 million kuna, through the change of operational program within the new priority axis, we proposed the activity of construction/reconstruction of the existing housing stock in the function of social housing in Sisak-Moslavina County. It is envisaged that the beneficiary of this activity is to be the State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care, and the end users will be the "vulnerable/marginalized group" (elderly and infirm, people with disabilities, national minorities, people at risk of poverty) who would receive the built or reconstructed housing unit for use. The funds are available immediately, and the Ministry of Construction and the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care are responsible for preparing the program, surveying the residents and preparing major projects to get the withdrawal of these funds to start in the summer. We received the information that the Housing Care Office has 1580 houses that were damaged in the earthquake in the area and are ready for reconstruction within this program, and there is even room for construction of new houses. Our goal is for these family houses to be of high quality, modern and energy efficient, to keep the population, primarily the young people, in the area. There will be several models - for construction of new houses on the existing location, reconstruction of damaged houses, but the basic idea is to go for forms of organized housing for younger families who would like to be closer to urban areas, where there is appropriate public, communal infrastructure. There is a possibility of building completely new parts of the settlement in the earthquake-damaged area, but we will know everything soon after we receive the program for utilization of all the funds.

The plan was for the EU to finance the reconstruction of Za-

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greb, at least for the most part. How much will be available to us and when will that money start to be used operationally? Is the use of these funds conditioned for certain purposes (private facilities as well, or only public). — We sent a report to the Solidarity Fund about the earthquake that hit the City of Zagreb in March 2020, and after the damage was reported, Croatia has €683 million at its disposal from the EU Solidarity Fund. This money is used to renovate public institutions such as schools, hospitals, cultural heritage, water supply and road infrastructure. The estimated damage in Zagreb is more than 11.5 billion euros, which is a really large amount. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan also envisages reconstruction of public buildings from earthquakes, which will not be possible to rebuild with the funds of the Solidarity Fund, because the implementation deadlines are short, 18 months, but we also want to do energy renovation of apartment buildings with structural and earthquake reinforcement, which would also allow the buildings to get a higher class of energy certification. We will soon send a second application for reconstruction of the area that was damaged in the earthquakes that destroyed the Sisak-Moslavina County and its surroundings at the end of last year. The list of damages is being finalized, and we will send a request to the European Union Solidarity Fund in March, after which we will know how much money will be allocated for reconstruction of the Sisak-Moslavina County. You and Tomislav Petric, Director of the Central Finance and Contracting Agency for EU Programs and Projects, presented Split with grant agreements for institutions supporting entrepreneurship in Split’s urban agglomeration. What is specifically planned by this project? — This includes ten contracts to institutions supporting entrepreneurship in Split's urban agglomeration. These projects strengthen the institutions supporting entrepreneurship of Split’s urban agglomeration, with the aim of providing innovative and quality services to entrepreneurs coming from City of Split’s area. The project’s total value is HRK 30.8 million, and that of European Union funds

grants is HRK 25.2 million. The signing of 9 grant agreements, worth over 17 million HRK, strengthens the institutions supporting entrepreneurship of the urban agglomeration of Split with the aim of providing innovative and quality services to entrepreneurs in this area.

contracting, which means that 93 billion kuna worth of projects have been contracted, and projects worth almost 40 billion kuna have been carried out. We plan to continue at that pace. In addition to EU funds, the Ministry also has an important role to ensure balanced region-

IN ADDITION TO EU FUNDS, THE MINISTRY ALSO HAS AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO ENSURE BALANCED REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Signing of the contract for the project "Choose a bike!", which is worth 13.6 million HRK continues the establishment and development of public bicycle systems in the urban agglomeration of Split as an alternative form of public transport. Through this project, 41 new stations with 242 bicycles will be set up in Split’s area of the agglomeration and two bicycle roads established - one in Trogir and the other in Split.

What would you single out as key plans of the Ministry in 2021, apart from the mentioned reconstruction of earthquake-affected areas? What would you single out? — Preparation of the program for the new 2021-2027 programming period is in progress, and we will program the entire period ahead of us by June. Rapid absorption of EU funds for the period until 2020, where we are currently at 114 percent of

al development, therefore we will sign new Development Agreements for Northern Croatia, Adriatic Croatia and Central Croatia, in addition to adopting programs for hilly and mountainous areas, islands and assisted areas, and we will pay additional attention to faster and more even development of Croatia.

What does the Ministry insist on when allocating funds and at what pace do you expect the realization of numerous projects? — When allocating EU funds, we are guided by a balanced regional development. Instead of two, we formed four regions according to the degree of their development. One of them is the Pannonian Croatia, which includes eight less developed counties. In addition to the five Slavonian counties, there are also Bjelovar-Bilogora, Sisak-Moslavina and Karlovac counties. In terms of development, they are below 45 percent

of the EU average and in the next programming period they will be able to provide higher grants to entrepreneurs, up to 50 or 70 percent instead of the current 35 or 45 percent. That is a significant difference. Investments of entrepreneurs from less developed areas will be co-financed with higher aid intensity. For the balanced development of all parts of Croatia, the change of NUTS2 regions is of great importance. At the end of 2020, we simplified and improved the procedure of the Common National Rules. Many entrepreneurs contact us and we see how this simplification of procedures resonated positively among them. I would like the procedures to be further simplified, which will facilitate application to various public calls which we will announce soon. When it comes to procedures, it is important that our citizens and users of EU funds know how the Ministry has adopted a new map of regional aid. I believe in our entrepreneurs, craftsmen, ministries and all institutions and I am sure that by the end of 2023 we will realize everything we have agreed. I believe that all the beneficiaries of projects recognize the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds as their partner, and in these seven months that I have been at the head of the Ministry, I saw a positive reaction. We are rapidly withdrawing funds and we have positioned Croatia high on the European Union scale, even though we are the youngest member state and are just consuming the first envelope, we are ahead in contracting and I believe that we will continue at this new pace in the next financial period. For the new period, we have more projects than the funds available to us, and therefore I can say that Croatia is ambitious, open, proactive and successful when it comes to European Union funds.

Is there a possibility that the approved funds will not be used? Are there any sanctions for that and what are they? — If the projects are not implemented, the funds cannot be withdrawn from European Union funds, but for this reason we have contracted the available funds, we monitor the implementation process and speed up the procedures in order to be able to use the funds one hundred percent. According to all current indicators, Croatia can do it!

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INTERVIEW

Building Bridges Despite Disasters Paradoxically, disasters arouse optimism

DAVOR TRKULJA Charge d'Affairs of the Serbian Embassy in Zagreb

erbia and Croatia are going through a 4th decade of their turbulent relations, and there aren’t many more demanding positions than the Ambassador of Serbia to Croatia and Ambassador of Croatia to Serbia. And yet, when disasters happen, the people come together. We are talking to Davor Trkulja, Charge d’Affairs of the Embassy of Serbia in Croatia, about the relations between the two neighbouring countries.

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Relations between Serbia and Croatia always become almost the best possible when some disaster strikes – after the floods in 2014 or after the recent earthquake. How can we encourage them to be good even without a common misfortune? — The Republic of Serbia is undoubtedly committed to establishing better and more meaningful relations with the Republic of Croatia, which includes relaxation, as well as building better bilateral relations. Natural and other disasters, i.e. the readiness of

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states to help each other in the situation when it is most difficult, certainly are a reason for optimism.

How much has Serbia helped Croatia during the earthquake in Banija? — After the devastating earthquake that hit Banija at the end of last year, state aid of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and Provincial Government of AP Vojvodina, City of Belgrade, Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Zagreb was sent, as well as humanitar-

nation in the amount of 1,000,000 euros, the City of Belgrade donated €100,000 to the Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana for the purchase of housing containers, the Provincial Government paid financial aid in the amount of €50,000 and announced the delivery of construction materials at a much higher value. The Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Zagreb, with the help of donors, provided 100,000 euros for the purchase of 25 housing containers, and the Consulate in Vukovar secured two containers.

ir Group and Telekom Srbije each deposited 40,000 euro, while other companies and businessmen, like the Tigar shoe plant from Pirot, donated building materials and other necessary products or enabled procurement at extremely affordable prices. A significant number of citizens of the Republic of Serbia not only showed compassion and solidarity with the affected population of the Sisak-Moslavina County, but they also got actively involved in the campaign for collecting humanitarian aid and paying financial resources to help those who need it the most. Serbian Red Cross, in cooperation with the Croatian Red Cross, recently delivered humanitarian aid that consisted of equipment for temporary accommodation of at least twenty-five persons, which included the delivery of prefabricated houses, folding beds, bed linen, radiators, kitchen utensils and cutlery, containers for water supply and for maintaining personal hygiene. Also, thanks to solidarity of a large number of individuals and legal entities, Caritas Serbia gathered significant funds which they paid to Croatian Caritas. Among the first to help the people with special needs in the endangered area were civil society organizations from Serbia, associations of persons with disabilities, associations of pensioners, and other associations, such as hometown associations that con-

NATURAL AND OTHER DISASTERS, I.E. THE READINESS OF STATES TO HELP EACH OTHER IN THE SITUATION WHEN IT IS MOST DIFFICULT, CERTAINLY ARE A REASON FOR OPTIMISM ian aid from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, companies and businessmen, humanitarian organizations and citizens’ associations. Artists and numerous citizens of the Republic of Serbia, as well as organizations and individuals from the Serbian diaspora abroad also responded to the humanitarian actions. Immediately after the earthquake on December 30, 2020, the Government of the Republic of Serbia sent a do-

With their donation in the amount of 50,000 euro, Serbian Chamber of Commerce announced aid from Serbian companies and businessmen to earthquake victims. Many Serbian companies with regional operations responded to the call for help. Regional company MK Group deposited the sum of 70,000 euro and sent goods in the value of 40,000 euros to help all the residents of Banija. Elix-

tinue to organize the collection of aid for the vulnerable population. As part of the humanitarian campaign of the Serbian National Council "Banija is our house" and the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Republic of Croatia - the dioceses of Upper Karlovac and Zagreb-Ljubljana, funds are being paid into multi-currency accounts opened in the Republic of Croatia, which are published in the Serbian media with an appeal for hu-

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manitarian aid, including on the public service television - RTS. Among the many selfless examples of help, we should mention the initiative of artists from Serbia who organized a humanitarian campaign "Artists from Serbia for Glina, Petrinja and Sisak - painters and photographers helping people affected by the earthquake in Croatia" in Belgrade, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia and Diplomacy & Commerce magazine. The sale of paintings and photographs by renowned authors raised significant funds.

What are the economic relations and cooperation between the two countries? — Economic relations between Serbia and Croatia, which are based on bilateral agreements on trade and economic cooperation, have been going on continuously since 1998. Since 2013, i.e. since the accession of the Republic of Croatia to full EU membership, trade between the two countries has taken place according to the Stabilization and Association Agreement signed between the Republic of Serbia and the EU in 2008. When it comes to trade between the two countries, it has been continuously growing from 481.2 million euros, which is how much it was in 2009. In 2019, it reached 1,086.2 million euros, which is an increase by 1.5% compared to 2018. Serbia's exports to Croatia in 2019 amounted to 567.8 million euros, which is 0.6% less than in 2018. Imports from Croatia were higher by 4% compared to 2018 and amounted to 518.4 million euros, i.e. the surplus in trade amounted to 49.4 million euros. The growth of exports and imports is mostly influenced by the processing industry. In 2019, 4,975 domestic business entities conducted foreign trade with the Republic of Croatia. There are 1,092 active business entities operating in Serbia, the majority owners of which are legal and/or natural persons from the Republic of Croatia. The most significant exporters from Serbia to Croatia are: Serbian Zijin Copper from Bor; NIS – Petroleum Industry of Serbia from NoviSad; HBIS Group Serbia Iron&Steel, i.e. Smederevo Ironworks; HIP Petrohemija from Pančevo; Adriana.Tex from Ruma; Elixir Zorka – Mineralna đubriva from Šabac; Viktoria Oil from Šid;

Gorenje from Valjevo; Automobile Industry ADP from Mladenovac and others. Importers to Serbia from Croatia are: Star Import; KIM-TEC, Belgrade; Nexe beton; MD International, Belgrade; Preduzeće Podravka, Belgrade; Zagrebtrans; Vindija, Lajkovac; Atlantic Brands, Belgrade; Lidl Srbija KD; DS Smith Packaging, Kruševac etc. Promising sectors for cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Croatia are: clothing products and clothing accessories; rubber and rubber products; boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; plastics and products thereof; furniture; electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; paper and cardboard; dairy products; copper

similar actions. How do Serbs in Croatia manage? — Serbs in Croatia are faced with many challenges today, challenges like hate speech, discrimination, inability to use the Serbian language and script, underrepresentation in civil services and institutions in accordance with the percentage representation, etc. On the other hand, political representatives of Serbs in Croatia from SDSS are coalition partners to the Government of Croatian Prime Minister A. Plenković, which opens up the opportunities for them to actively fight and advocate for their status and position in Croatian society. Let me remind you that Boris Milošević, former MP of SDSS in the Croatian Parliament, has been appointed as

what extent can we interest the Croats to come to Serbia? That might just be the best way to get to know each other. — After a record breaking 2019, when the number of arrivals and overnight stays of foreign guests in Serbia was higher by more than 8% compared to 2018, when it comes to tourism the year 2020 was remembered as very challenging and difficult. According to available information from the Tourist Organization of Serbia, there were more than 50% fewer tourists in 2020, which mostly refers to foreign tourists. The highest number of overnight stays of foreign tourists was recorded in Belgrade, Novi Sad, and during traditionally popular winter months in Kopaonik and Zlatibor

THANKS TO SOLIDARITY OF A LARGE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS AND LEGAL ENTITIES, CARITAS SERBIA GATHERED SIGNIFICANT FUNDS WHICH THEY PAID TO CROATIAN CARITAS and copper products. During 2020, which was marked by the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Serbia posted a 1.4% drop in total foreign exchange compared to the same period the year before, where Croatia is still among the countries with which Serbia has a surplus in exchange.

Minorities are always the bridges of cooperation, if states are cured of the idea that they are a disruptive factor. Currently, Croats in Serbia are experiencing their renaissance with the renovation of Ban Jelačić's house and

Deputy Prime Minister of Croatian Government in charge of social activities and human rights. Republic of Serbia is demonstrating concrete readiness, as it has done so far, to help Serbs in Croatia in a constructive and positive way, by promoting exactly the principle that you yourself stated, and that is that minorities are bridges of cooperation between the two countries.

Serbian tourists rediscovered the Adriatic, but again, just some parts of it. Can we expect the expansion of tourist visits to the rest of Croatia and to

as well. Serbia can boast a large number of natural attractions, historic and cultural monuments, ethno villages and spas, famous Serbian spas in which fans of traditional gastronomy are showing increasingly more interest. An increasing number of foreign tourists visit less researched and wellknown destinations, such as the special nature reserve in the canyon of the river Uvac, Devil's Town (Đavolja varoš), then the Golubac Fortress on the Danube, in the vicinity of which there are numerous well-kept bike paths. Regarding the cooperation in the field of tourism, Republic of

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Serbia and Republic of Croatia are cooperating on the project titled “Cultural Tourist Route – The Road of Roman Emperors”, in connection with which a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on February 24, 2012, the signatories of which are also Romania and the Republic of Bulgaria. Also, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey and Slovenia signed the Cooperation Agreement for the Balkan Spa Institute Forming, based on which the Balkan Spa Institute was formed. Aside from the above, cooperation also takes place within the coordination centre, i.e. Association of Tourism Promotion Agencies and Businesses of PR China and the countries of CEE, seated in Budapest.

Covid-19 for more over a month already. The mass vaccination began on January 19. Immunization is being carried out according to the operational plan and priority groups, and the objective is to complete the vaccination of those over 75 and over 65 with associated illnesses who are part of the most endangered groups as soon as possible. Among the first to be vaccinated were medical staff, then the immunization of residents of gerontology centres began, then the vaccine was received by members of the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the Serbian Army and other security services, after that the immunization of media representatives, education workers and artists began. The av-

second place in Europe in terms of the rate of vaccinated per million inhabitants and in terms of the number of vaccinated per 100 inhabitants. Only Great Britain is ahead of Serbia. We are 5th in the world with the number of vaccinated, and we are taking sixth place in the world in terms of the number of issued vaccines per 100 inhabitants in the past seven days (currently over 950,000 citizens are in the process of immunization, and around 307,000 of them received the second vaccine). The first quantities of Pfizer vaccine arrived in Serbia on December 22. Serbia received one million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China on January 16, and 40,000 doses of Russia’s Sput-

IN SERBIA, CITIZENS CAN CHOOSE THE VACCINE THEY WANT TO RECEIVE, AND THREE VACCINES ARE AVAILABLE – PFIZER, CHINA’S SINOPHARM AND RUSSIA’S SPUTNIK V When it comes to specific data, in 2018, Republic of Croatia ranked fourth with the number of tourist arrivals in Serbia and the number of overnight stays. During 2018, the number of arrivals from Croatia to Serbia was 93,953 and the number of overnight stays 176,944, which is an increase of 15.6% compared to the data from 2017.

How much can Croatia’s experiences on the European path help Serbia, and how much do Serbia’s experiences with vaccines and reactions to the coronavirus and the pandemic help Croatia? — Serbia has been vaccinating its population in the fight against

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erage age of those immunized is 65.4 years, while the percentage in large cities is slightly lower, between 62.8 and 63 years of age. The digitalization of public services contributes to success of the immunization process, where an IT system that enables real-time monitoring of the situation on the field, including local governments and checkpoints, was designed. The citizens apply via e-Uprava or by phone – by calling a call centre, after which they receive messages about the date of vaccination. In Serbia, citizens can choose the vaccine they want to receive, and three vaccines are available – Pfizer, China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik V. Serbia is still in

nik V vaccine arrived on January 29. Then on February 10, another 500,000 doses of Chinese vaccine arrived, and we secured for another 88,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine to arrive by February 22, and the first shipment of 120,000 to 150,000 AstraZeneca vaccines is scheduled to arrive by the end of February. The contract for this has been signed, and we are waiting for the official confirmation from the manufacturer. With this, Serbia should have two million vaccines by the end of February, with which one million citizens will be vaccinated. Other quantities are expected to be delivered during February and March, out of a total of two million doses of the Rus-

sian vaccine. Russian experts also visited Serbia, and they talked to Serbian experts about how to start the production of Russian vaccines at the Torlak Institute as soon as possible. President Vučić recently pointed out that our country will invest in new facilities, new equipment that would meet all the standards, with the objective to produce the vaccine in our country. The Sputnik V vaccine from our country would be distributed in the region, but also to the countries of Europe. However, even with these good results, Serbia is concerned about the fact that other countries in our region have not yet received a single dose of the vaccine, and it is not their fault but it’s because they completely relied on EU’s COVAX program. In order to help their neighbour, Serbia presented 8,000 dosages of Pfizer vaccine to North Macedonia on February 14. As stated by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, A. Brnabić, Serbia is successful in vaccination because it made a decision early on to make the procurement of vaccines its priority, and not to observe this as a geopolitical issue, but only as a health issue, so it decided to start direct negotiations with different vaccine manufacturers with the objective to get the vaccines as soon as possible. All this allowed us to be the second country in Europe to receive vaccines from the Pfizer Company, and Serbia was also the first country in Europe to sign a contract with the Chinese company “Sinofarm". On top of all, as a candidate country for EU accession, our country has donated 2.1 million euros for development of the vaccine through the European Commission, and is also part of the COVAX system. We follow all the procedures for vaccine approval in the countries of origin, but also at the World Health Organization and the EU. When it comes to epidemiological measures, Serbia’s policy is to try to find a balance between the necessary health measures, functioning of the economy and the mental health of its citizens, where they all demonstrated discipline, as well as gratitude because they are able to do their job. In February 2021, the Serbian Government adopted a new, third package of economic aid measures. The total value of all three packages is 953 billion dinars, or approximately 8 billion euros.

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INTERVIEW

Pandemic Hits Austrian Economy Hard We went through the deepest recession since World War II

SONJA HOLOCHER-ERTL Director of Advantage Austria Zagreb

he pandemic has negatively affected bilateral trade between Austria and Croatia in 2020, says Sonja Holocher-Ertl, director of Advantage Austria Zagreb. But, despite the crisis Austrians are the biggest investors in Croatia today with currently more than 4.6 bn Euros invested and thousands of jobs created and secured, says Holocher-Ertl.

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Before the beginning of the corona pandemic, Austrian exports broke the magic limit of EUR 150 billion, of which EUR 1.3 billion are goods exported to Croatia. How much has the crisis that has lasted for almost a year, affected that number to stagnate, decrease or even increase? — The pandemic has negatively affected bilateral trade between Austria and Croatia in 2020. We do not yet have the final numbers for 2020 but in the first three quarters of 2020 Austrian goods exports to Croatia declined by 9.6% compared to the first three quarters of 2019 and Croatian goods exports to Austria by 6.4%. However, the numbers for the first half of 2020 were even worse than that. So bilateral trade in goods already improved in the 3rd quarter and I’m hoping for further improvement in the 4th quarter. Trade in services suffered even more because of the strong tourism component. Austrian services exports to Croatia fell by 16% and Croatian services exports to Austria more than halved in the first three quarters. However, I’m optimistic that bilateral trade both in goods and in services, will recover much faster than after the Global Financial Crisis. It won’t take years again to reach the ‘magic threshold’ of 2 bn EUR worth of bilateral trade in goods between Austria and Croatia.

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I EXPECT RECOVERY TO PICK UP SPEED IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2021 AND A RETURN TO PRECRISIS LEVELS IN 2022 Did the structure of investments change and what areas are most interesting to Austrian investors? — Austrians were among the first to invest in Croatia, helping to develop the Croatian economy in many industries. Be it banking, telecom, tourism, transport, logistics, trade, infrastructure, construction, consulting or manufacturing, Austrian investors have been contributing actively to the economic development in Croatia. Hence, it is no wonder they are the biggest investors in Croatia today, with currently more than 4.6

bn Euros invested and thousands of jobs created and secured. Interestingly, we do not see too great an influence of the pandemic on the activity of Austrian investors, both existing and new. There is still activity in a wide variety of areas and it is hardly possible to point to a specific sector.

Having in mind the proximity of two countries and the significant Croatian diaspora in Austria, are there any new niche markets in Croatia, which have to be introduced to Austrian businesspeople?

— Austrians in general know Croatia quite well but I think that the promising development of the Croatian IT sector is still worth a closer look. Also, the fact that Croatia has potentially access to 24 bn Euros from EU funds and where these funds are likely to be spent will be very interesting for Austrians.

Austria has been under strict Covid measures for several months already and almost in lockdown. To what extent has this affected the economic situation in the country? Do you have any indicators or data? — The Austrian GDP contracted by a whopping 7,4% in 2020. We went through the deepest recession since the Second World

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War. After a promising summer, the second wave of the pandemic with lengthy lockdowns knocked GDP further down, biting into the important winter tourism season and bringing about a reduction of private consumption. One million people are currently out of a job or in a short working week programme in Austria. Only seven EU countries fared worse than Austria – Croatia is not far behind us. Recovery is expected for 2022 at +5,2% GDP and 2021 will remain challenging. If the combination of new highly infectious covid strains and slow vaccination brings about longer or new lockdowns, GDP growth for 2021 could fall well below the expected +4.5%, the recovery of the labour market would be delayed and the strain on the budget would further increase.

What is the plan for recovery of the Austrian economy, because a strong Austrian economy is also a strong economy in the region and in Croatia. What are the measures of the Austrian Government for the economy, towards businesses? — Austria has developed a comprehensive package of measures to support businesses throughout the pandemic, hoping to keep them afloat and avoid lay-offs: Corona short-time work enables the temporary reduction of normal working hours and wages due to economic difficulties. Its purpose is to temporary reduce labor costs for the company and at the same time to keep employees. The hardship fund is a federal government subsidy, designed to support the personal living costs one-person companies, small companies with up to 9 employees, new self-employed persons and freelance workers. The Corona Aid Fund with a volume of 15 bn EUR consists of two components: liquidity aid in the form of a guarantee from the Republic of Austria to secure working capital loans; and fixed cost subsidies in the event of a drop in sales of more than 40% as well as partial compensation for seasonal or perishable goods. In addition to that, Austria offers affected businesses loan guarantees and liabilities and deferrals of taxes and duties, liquidity for exporters through various instruments such as export credit guarantees or bill-of-exchange guarantees, various tax reductions and exemptions for restaurateurs

I’M OPTIMISTIC THAT BILATERAL TRADE BOTH IN GOODS AND IN SERVICES, WILL RECOVER MUCH FASTER THAN AFTER THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS within the ‘Restaurant Package’ and a VAT reduction for the Arts and Culture sector. In order to stimulate investment, companies can take advantage of an investment bonus of 7%-14% for eligible investments (i.e. machinery, business premises, etc.) One important pillar of Austria’s economy is the export of goods and services. To continue the success story of Austria’s export industry, Austria’s exporters need to be able to use every opportunity in every corner of the world every day. This requires entrepreneurial courage, the will to innovate and a partner who knows the circumstances and business environment abroad and who can be counted on anytime and anywhere. And this partner is ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA, the Foreign Trade Department of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber is the legal representative of 450,000+ Austrian companies of all sizes and across all sectors. It is a leading force in economic and social policy making on regional, national and even EU level. ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA not only

is the Foreign Trade Department of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, it is also the official Trade Promotion Organization of the Republic of Austria. With offices on every continent ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA provides services to around 25,000 Austrian businesses each year. It offers worldwide support for all Austrian entrepreneurs who want to conduct business abroad. Services offered include tailor made market research, finding suitable business partners in the respective country, support in establishing a business in the foreign market, help in clarifying issues with both business partners as well as authorities and institutions, provision of basic tax and legal information, organisation of networking events, trade & fact finding missions, and many more. During the pandemic our Advantage Austria offices worldwide are doing their best to keep Austrian businesses connected internationally. In addition to everything mentioned already, we are organizing virtual trade missions, help businesses figure out where and under which conditions they can travel. Via our export radar Austrian businesses get a quick over-

view of opportunities world-wide and our offices then provide them with bespoke support according to their needs.

We have entered 2021, which will also be uncertain. What will be in the focus of your actions and operations in Croatia? — Here in Croatia we will be focusing on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, Infrastructure with special focus on Communal Infrastructure and traffic infrastructure. Digitization and Industry 4.0 are areas, which we will continue to focus on, as are IT and Education. When do you expect the economy to recovery, and in which branches/sectors do you expect this recovery? — I expect recovery to pick up speed in the second half of 2021 and a return to pre-crisis levels in 2022. I expect recovery across the board, with certain industries which are not affected so badly so far, leading the way like IT and construction but also manufacturing. Services should recover in 2022. All this, provided that we are going to get the pandemic under control.

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CORPORATE

Two Decades of Success in Croatia What sets us apart from the rest of the competition are the independence and constant changes in all the areas of business

BARBARA BUJAČIĆ Director Gebrüder Weiss Hrvatska

irector of Gebrüder Weiss Hrvatska Barbara Bujačić has been running one of the world's leading companies that has been operating in Croatia for more than 20 years. She talks for Diplomacy & Commerce about his experiences of running the company, business conditions, and about what the corona crisis has taught us. As a woman at the head of a company, she also revealed to us how she measures success in business and the secrets of team management.

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Last year you celebrated 20 years of doing business in Croatia. You are represented with your own branch and are continuously building your market position in the region. How would you rate the company’s journey from its inception to the present day? — More than 20 years ago we started doing business on the market in Croatia, and our path went from a small shipping company to a serious logistics operator with modern IT solutions. We went from a 100m² office space to a building spreading on 20,000m² outside Zagreb. We went from transportation that consisted of a couple of shipments received through our branches in Austria, to today when we process more than 52,000 shipments a month and have about 80 trucks a day on the road. What sets us apart from the rest of the competition is the independence and constant changes in all the areas of business in order to improve the quality and needs of our business partners. Corona crisis had a negative effect on the operations of many. It seems that you have a different experience? — When it comes to corona, we

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THE COMPANY’S DEVELOPMENT WENT FROM A 100M2 OFFICE SPACE TO A BUILDING SPREADING ON 20,000M2 OUTSIDE ZAGREB. TODAY, WE PROCESS MORE THAN 52,000 SHIPMENTS A MONTH AND HAVE ABOUT 80 TRUCKS A DAY ON THE ROAD have many experiences, both positive and negative. One of the positive experiences is that we had more time to pay attention to our employees, invest more in education and try to approach new ideas in a more creative way. The negative experience definitely refers to the slowing down of the economy, less contacts inside the company, and work from home office. Our experience is such that we simply don’t want to let circumstances we live in dic-

tate our mood and condition our development. That is why we invested in people, i.e. in education, we worked on new services and development and turned the situation in our favour.

What is it that you offer to your clients and why do you recommend precisely Gebrüder Weiss? — The quality of service we offer is excellent, we are fast, flexible and transparent, you can now monitor our performance through the customer portal, where you

can see where your goods are, and when they will be delivered, all in real time.

Everyone is expecting the return “to the old ways” this year. What are your plans for the coming period? — We expect more work, new momentum in the economy and more investors, both domestic and foreign, primarily in industry and food production It is necessary to regulate the legal gaps, resolve the issues of lo-

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cal self-government and authority, issues of national wealth management, etc.

You are at the head of a large company. How do you describe the conditions for doing business in Croatia, and in your opinion, what is it that’s missing for an even more favourable environment? — Positive developments have been achieved in the field of taxation, and a serious drawback is too much administration and slowness and lack of practicality. I think that our economy needs a more laidback approach, with less criticism and more simplicity and optimism, and more investment in education. By this I’m not referring only to higher education, but also to educations intended to raise awareness. A better approach should be in the field of education, so it is necessary to invest in education in two directions: one of them is the university, i.e. scientific approach, and the second is the professional part concerning the education of people to work in production and service activities. And prevent brain drain or outflow of workforce after the training is completed. In the economic sense, we need more of a positive and less of a negative approach that is traditionally present in Croatia. See things from multiple perspectives, and learn from the examples of others and take the best solutions. Both politicians and scientific institutions need more diver-

REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY IS VERY IMPORTANT, AND IT WOULD BE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT IF THE COUNTRIES SURROUNDING US WERE MORE STABLE AND ORGANIZED. THEN EVERYONE COULD PROGRESS sity in their approach. Sometimes the traditional style of managing and learning is great, and sometimes it is necessary to act outside the box.

How important is regional and connectivity at EU level for business expansion and advancement of business operations in your particular case? — Regional connectivity is very important, and it would be even

more important if the countries surrounding us were more stable and organized. Then everyone could progress. It is difficult this way, due to frequent changes in regulations and laws… I think that we have all realized in this crisis how important it is to be a member of the EU, because it does guarantees security. Within the EU, it is difficult to fight prejudice in both directions, but with a good approach and way of doing busi-

ness, people dismiss prejudice. In our specific case, we have a clear opinion on everything, we gladly accept the innovations that the company provides us and we implement them, but we also invest in development locally. And we combine local and multinational.

Gebrüder Weiss is an example of a success story. How do you measure success of the company and You personally and how much does this have to do with the “system” and how much with the individuals who are the leaders? — One of the most reliable ways to measure success are profit, investments, growth, etc. But the one thing it’s impossible to go without are the people, and the potential of employees, if it’s well directed, is the true measure of success of a leader. I still think that, in case of large companies, we need to be aware that we have access to know-how and financial resources. Of course, each of us has our own specific way of management and that’s what makes us leaders or not. Personally, I do not have only one model of behaviour, it depends on the situation, I adjust my way of working, try, project and work out a strategy, and I make most decisions together with my close associates.

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INTERVIEW

Go Global – Go Virtual Results of initial surveys conducted by the Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK) demonstrated that our entrepreneurs currently show the most interest in the markets of Slovenia, Russia, Austria, Germany, the Višegrad group countries and Israel The interest is really great and almost all segments of the economy are covered, which makes us especially happy because we should not limit ourselves to established practices in this global rearrangement.

IVAN BARBARIĆ Vice President of HGK for International Affairs

ne of our most important missions is to encourage and promote export. We are systematically working on this and we are trying to include absolutely everyone who’s interested in entering the international economic waters, Ivan Barbarić, Vice President of HGK for International Affairs, stated for Diplomacy & Commerce. We are placing special emphasis on SMEs because they need help the most due to limited financing options.

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Croatian Chamber of Economy initiated the “Go global – Go virtual” project with the support of European Entrepreneurship Network (EEN), with which they seek to accelerate the recovery of the domestic economy after the corona crisis. What is it really about and what is the idea and goal of the project? — Due to the limited possibility of physical meetings of businessmen during the epidemic, with this project HGK enables virtual connecting of companies from Croatia and foreign countries, i.e. contact with potential foreign partners and holding direct online business meetings. We realized that such a platform is actually an ideal opportunity for our entrepreneurs to find new associates, suppliers and customers and thus use the post-crisis period to rearrange supply chains and business processes. Our goal is for as many Croatian companies as possible to export to developed markets, not only because of the direct profit for our economy, but also because of the invaluable experience that doing business with the best brings to domestic entrepreneurs. How does the project function and who is involved in the project? — In the project announcement, we conducted a survey among our entrepreneurs to see which mar-

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WE COOPERATED WITH NUMEROUS INSTITUTIONS THROUGH THE PROJECT, FROM EMBASSIES, CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, TO VARIOUS BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS kets are most interesting to them and we organized the meetings accordingly. Each cycle includes a plenary section with introductory speeches, followed by B2B talks during which entrepreneurs establish direct contact with potential partners from the industries they are interested in and present their products and services. We cooperated with numerous institutions through the project, from embassies, chambers of commerce, to various business associations of countries with which we organized meetings. We have included everyone who has the know-how to make it easier for entrepreneurs to enter new markets and help them find the right partners in their industry.

Which countries do Croatian entrepreneurs have the most interest in cooperating with and in which areas?

— Results of initial surveys demonstrated that our entrepreneurs currently show the most interest in the markets of Slovenia, Russia, Austria, Germany, the Višegrad group countries (Czech, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary) and Israel, so we followed that when organizing the meetings. Talks have already been held with all these countries, and due to great interest we decided to expand the project and continue B2B talks, so the next cycle is focused on the markets of Italy and Latin America. Until now, almost a thousand companies from very diverse branches took part in the project, so it’s difficult to specify particular sectors that are in the lead. We had companies from the agri-food and metal industry, industry 4.0, tourism, renewable energy sources and environmental protection, health and pharmaceuticals…

International cooperation is something that the Croatian Chamber of Economy insists on and it is one of the primary tasks of the chamber. Who can get involved in HGK projects and how when we talk about this topic? — Yes, one of our most important missions is to encourage and promote export. We are systematically working on this and we are trying to include absolutely everyone who’s interested in entering the international economic waters. We are placing special emphasis on SMEs because they need assistance the most due to limited financing options. We are offering numerous specialized services. For example, through the "Exporting Entrepreneur" (Poduzetnik izvoznik) service, we provide members with individualized proposals of potential partners with contact information in the countries of their interest so that they can offer them their products and services. We provide information, analytical descriptions of the economic and political situation in individual foreign markets, information on the legal business framework (labor law, procedures, customs regime, etc.) and we organize numerous seminars and educational workshops for them on how to export to individual markets. We would also like to single out our Tenderi.hgk.hr service for all the member companies designed to facilitate and automate access to available information on specific business opportunities in foreign markets, i.e. information on foreign public procurement tenders, according to the individual needs and wishes of each member. In addition to specialized services, there are individual projects, such as the HR.izvoz - with HGK to foreign markets (HR.izvoz - s HGK do

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stranih tržišta ) project, in which 805 companies participated, and it is one of the projects of the Croatian Chamber of Economy for which we withdrew EU funds. We are helping them also through the work of HGK offices abroad, whose employees provide the solution for specific problems of Croatian companies with their very presence in the field. At the moment, HGK has open representative offices in Bruxelles, Moscow, Shanghai, Belgrade, Sarajevo and Mostar.

where they can place them most successfully. Therefore, we started making analyzes of export opportunities of individual sectors of the Croatian economy with the Fit4Globe project. The first analysis was made for wood processors, and the results show that the untapped export potential of the domestic wood sector exists in 33 countries totaling $328 million. The highest probability of increasing export is to the markets of Slovenia, Austria, China, US and Germany. The total value of exports

to the Czech Republic and Germany, where furniture accounts for 80 and 52 percent of exports of the wood sector, respectively. Only about nine percent of higher value-added products are exported to Italy, which is our most important market. Therefore, we need as much product finalization as possible, and we must pay special attention to the national and international branding of our wood industry. The aim of the analysis is to strengthen the domestic wood

AS PART OF OUR FIT4GLOBE PROJECT, WE ARE WORKING PRECISELY ON WAYS TO DETECT UNTAPPED EXPORT POTENTIAL IN VARIOUS SECTORS AND HELP ENTREPRENEURS REALIZE THEM TO THE END Economic diplomacy also includes the organization and co-financing of joint appearances of Croatian companies at foreign fairs in order to enable them to present their products and find new customers abroad. In 2019, the appearance of Croatian companies was organized at more than 150 fairs, and more than 2,800 companies participated in these events.

The Croatian Chamber of Economy has prepared a study that analyses export potentials of the wood industry and furniture production in Croatia. Which product groups have the greatest export potential and how big that potential is, and which export markets our producers should target? — We realized that companies need information that would direct them to products that they can produce competitively, and are currently in demand abroad, and analyses of foreign markets

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of the domestic wood sector is 8.1 billion kuna, and if we were to use all the opportunities offered to us, we would increase it by as much as 26 percent. Products with the greatest untapped export potential are seats, joinery and construction products, wood (including plates and parquet blocks) and other furniture and parts. The untapped export potential of the group of products with higher value-added (furniture, parquet, joinery and wood products for construction) amounts to €106.3 million, and its implementation would increase the export of this group of products by almost 38 percent. Analysis shows that we must increase the productivity of the sector and change the structure of exports because we currently have a high share of low value-added products, while furniture export is represented by only a small part. Such a structure is present in most of the most important export markets, except for exports

sector and its export diversification, because our export potential is currently concentrated in only about 20 companies, which make up almost 80 percent of total exports.

Which other industry branches are important for Croatia and its development, and which seem that they are not getting enough attention? What are the benefits and potentials in these sectors? — As part of our Fit4Globe project, we are working precisely on ways to detect untapped potential in various sectors and help entrepreneurs realize them to the end. In addition to the aforementioned wood processing industry, we have just completed an analysis of Croatian machine construction, which showed that we have almost $400 million in untapped export potential in this sector as well. We will continue to perform these analyses in other sectors since they provide a detailed overview of the situation in the sec-

tor being analyzed in the Republic of Croatia, the situation on the world market and analysis of selected product groups with the greatest export potential through the review of ten most important importing countries, the value of our export and of total export and untapped potential for the top ten leading countries. We also prepare a detailed overview of the most important markets, which includes general economic indicators and the most important fairs and competitors.

How do you estimate the year 2021 to develop in economic sense, and do you expect a recovery to begin after the pandemic crisis? What do the figures look like this year compared to last year when it comes to domestic economy? — EC’s estimates from a few days ago showed that the Croatian economy and the economy of the Union last year was slightly better than predicted, but also that there was a certain deterioration of estimates for this year, primarily due to the current pandemic. As for 2020, for the EU this estimate has increased from -7.4 percent to -6.3 percent, and for Croatia from -9.6 percent to -8.9 percent. The third quarter, i.e. a significantly better tourist season than expected had the biggest impact on such trends for Croatia. The situation was somewhat better in most of the fourth quarter, but at the end of the year, as in most of the EU, the economy closed again, which had a negative impact on GDP. This was also reflected in the forecasts for this year, so the growth estimate for the EU was reduced from 4.1 to 3.7 percent, and estimates for Croatia from 5.7 to 5.3 percent. An estimate for 2022 has been published, according to which the EU should grow by 3.9 percent, and Croatia by 4.6 percent. More precisely, according to new estimates, real GDP in Croatia in 2022 should be only 0.3 percent higher than in 2019. Of course, these estimates will depend on the development of the pandemic, but we must do everything possible to welcome the end of this global plague fully prepared and take advantage of all possible opportunities that will surely open up for us. If we play the cards dealt to us well, I am convinced that we will far exceed the figures mentioned by the Commission and recover at a much faster pace.

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INTERVIEW

Fight for Entrepreneurs and For Justice What we resent the Government of the Republic of Croatia the most for their inconsistent crisis management, poor communication communication with entrepreneurs and the lack of concrete aid for the economy

MARUŠA STAMAĆ Glas Poduzetnika

side from organizing protests and collecting signatures for the petition, and the everyday fight for the rights and work of micro-, small and medium-size entrepreneurs in Croatia, Glas Poduzetnika announced also a request for assessment of the constitutionality of certain measures of the Government of the Republic of Croatia in their fight against the corona virus. Maruša Stamać from Glas Poduzetnika talks for Diplomacy & Commerce about further steps, how they will fight for the rights of their members and about all the current topics.

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A large campaign of the Glas poduzetnika Association was held on Ban Josip Jelačić Square, with the participation of over five thousand people who complied with all the prescribed epidemiological measures. Let us

Europe are shutting down. But what distinguishes Croatia from them are two things. Firstly, epidemiological measures in Croatia are often illogical and discriminatory. Why can restaurants provide food for delivery,

EPIDEMIOLOGICAL MEASURES IN CROATIA ARE OFTEN ILLOGICAL AND DISCRIMINATORY remind our readers of the demands you made to the Government of the Republic of Croatia and how much those to whom the demands were addressed have actually heard you? — It is clear to us that the situation is currently as it is. It is also clear to us that the countries in

but cafés cannot sell coffee for delivery or takeout? Why are bakeries, newsstands and stores making a profit on coffee when that’s not their primary activity? Let’s be clear, coffee to go will not save the cafés, but discrimination has been corrected by allowing this. As though the situation is not com-

plicated on its own, but the entrepreneurs now have to put up with injustice. Injustice is felt also when one set of rules applies to Jupiter, and another set of rules applies to all the rest of us bulls (to paraphrase the Latin proverb). And that is why we organized the large protest on Bana Josipa Jelačića Square. Another thing that differentiates us from many other countries in the EU is the lack of financial compensation. Countries like Germany and Austria, where a strict lockdown is in force, indeed do compensate this to their entrepreneurs. If the Government of the Republic of Croatia abolished the human and constitutional right to work due to force

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majeure, then they must compensate this adequately. This is what we keep repeating - compensation is necessary, economic measures must follow the epidemiological measures. We also hold Minister Ćorić responsible for the entire situation, since he did not show the slightest understanding for entrepreneurs. Some of our requests have been heard by the authorities, they corrected some of the wrongs committed against entrepreneurs, but that is nowhere nearly enough. Further, they also heard the cries for compensation, to which they coldly responded that there are no funds for such an affair. Well, that should be a priority! We see that there are funds for some other things, like the acquisition of Ina, for rescuing state-owned losers, but there’s no money for salvation of thousands of Croatia’s micro-, small and medium-size companies. That is something that we just can’t accept!

Everything seems to be as it was before, are you planning any new steps and which ones? — We are definitely thinking about the next steps, but we are yet see which steps to take. There

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might be a new, even bigger protest, that’s something that many of our members want. We will certainly file a request for assessment of constitutionality of certain measures. The catering industry and the fitness community are already working on that, with our strong support. We are also thinking about claims for damages. We’ll see. We are consulting with our colleagues from similar organizations in the European Union on everything. We are watching what they are doing in their countries and on EU level. It’s certain that entrepreneurs will not be left alone with their problems, for which they are not to blame.

Your petition for abolition of mandatory membership fees for Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) has collected over 23,000 signatures. You managed to unite the opposition and the public in this matter, and initiation of work on systematic changes in HGK was announced

as well. UGP has several requirements. What are they and how will you continue to fight for their realization? — Our main request is the voluntary membership and voluntary membership fee in Croatian Chamber of Commerce. So, we definitely do not want the chambers to be terminated, but we believe that voluntary membership could improve the quality of service. If the Croatian Chamber of Commerce had to fight for each of its members, it would have to provide a quality service, truly be an advocate of its members, defend entrepreneurs and the Croatian economy. However, today we have a situation that due to political staffing, the leaders of HGK applaud every decision of the Croatian Government, whether it is good or bad. We consider it a great success that the UGP united the opposition around the changes in the Law on the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, despite their differences. We are glad that they set aside their worldviews and stood

by the entrepreneurs. Because of such pressure, the ruling party decided to change the Law. We will certainly keep track of what is going on and how the Law will change. The survey we conducted among our members is not encouraging. Namely, most of them think that the changes will be only cosmetic and that the Croatian Chamber of Commerce will continue to be financed from the budget. We consider this to be a bad thing and we will fight with all available means to really abolish the mandatory membership. HGK has become a symbol of non-transparency, political staffing and irresponsible spending of entrepreneurs' money, so we believe that it is very important to give this institution a fresh start and show that the time has come for a different way of doing business.

What is it that, in addition to the above, UGP resents the Croatian Government the most in crisis management and how

THE TOURISM SECTOR IS THE MOST AFFECTED SECTOR IN THIS CRISIS. MANY TOURISM BUSINESSES WERE NEVER FORMALLY CLOSED, LIKE CARRIERS, TRAVEL AGENCIES, EVENT INDUSTRY, BUT THEIR TURNOVER FELL BY OVER 90%

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would you solve some of these problems? — What we resent the most is their inconsistent crisis management, poor communication with entrepreneurs and the lack of concrete aid for the economy. We believe that from the very beginning it was necessary to communicate what epidemiological measures would follow the numbers of those infected and what economic measures will come with that. It was necessary to communicate what will happen when the number of infected drops and what kind of dismissals will be applied. This is necessary for entrepreneurs to be able to plan their business. This kind of uncertainty is something that makes the already difficult situation even more difficult. Will the job preservation measure be extended, what will happen with fixed costs, what will be opened or closed? These are all questions that entrepreneurs ask themselves every day, and they aren’t getting any answers. Also, the adopted epidemiological measures must be the same for everyone and we must all adhere to them in the same way. There must be no exceptions that are very hurtful, not just for entrepreneurs, but for every citizen of this country. The Sisak-Moslavina County, but also the Zagreb County and the City of Zagreb, were impacted by a strong earthquake. In addition to the bare struggle for life, many jobs are endangered, as well as the turnover and business operations of many. How to help the vulnerable in the area and what is most important in this regard? — The Glas poduzetnika Association (UGP), or more precisely, our Economic Council lead by Vuk Vuković, prepared an overview of successful and unsuccessful reactions to natural disasters worldwide. They reached a set of proposed measures for economic revitalization based on these experiences. When we talk about the Sisak-Moslavina County, it’s necessary to incite entrepreneurship activity in this area. We must do our best to prevent entrepreneurship in Sisak-Moslavina County from dying out, because that means the death of that area. The Glas poduzetnika Association proposes a complete tax relief. We request that in the period of 5 years, employees are not charged income tax, sur-

struction would be financed or co-financed. After implementing this set of measures, the Sisak-Moslavina County could become an example of how to successfully economically revitalize an area affected by a natural disaster. Otherwise, nothing good awaits that region.

TODAY WE HAVE A SITUATION THAT DUE TO POLITICAL STAFFING, THE LEADERS OF HGK APPLAUD EVERY DECISION OF THE CROATIAN GOVERNMENT, WHETHER IT IS GOOD OR BAD tax, or contributions, and that in the period of 10 years, income tax in this area be 0%. We are also requesting an exemption from paying all forms of parafiscal levies for this area for citizens and companies for a period of 10 years, and maximum relief of regulatory processes of opening and closing companies and obtaining operating and building permits free of charge under urgent procedure. These measures must apply to all existing companies in the affected area, but also to any new company that decides to start a business in this region. We do not think this will have a significant impact on the budget as this area contributes less than 1% to domestic GDP. The precondition for all this is a rapid reconstruction of households, infrastructure and business facilities. Reconstruction in Zagreb and in Sisak-Moslavina County must

be maximally transparent, and local and private companies and local workers must be hired as contractors, while the central government must help by fully subsidizing the procurement of construction materials for reconstruction of private homes, by co-financing energy renovations of houses and buildings, by taking on the full cost of reconstruction of infrastructure and public buildings and by giving interest-free loans to business entities that were impacted by the quake to allow their faster recovery. Even though Croatia doesn’t have the funds from which a rapid reconstruction could be financed, we have the advantage of using EU solidarity funds precisely for this purpose. In addition to the funds from the rebalanced budget, we expect the central government to withdraw EU funds as soon as possible, from which the recon-

As of spring we expect some kind of return to some normal living and business conditions. Tourism, catering, carriers, have the opportunity to return to normal business flows. What are the specific ways to help tourism workers, agencies, carriers, caterers to get back into operation if we keep in mind that Croatia is largely dependent on tourism? — I’m afraid that, if this continues, many tourism businesses will no longer exist by the start of the season. The tourism sector is the most affected sector in this crisis. Many tourism businesses were never formally closed, like carriers, travel agencies, event industry, but their turnover fell by over 90%. Precisely because they were not closed by the official decision of the National Civil Protection Headquarters, they are not entitled to compensation of fixed costs, they’re piling up losses, and help is nowhere to be found. Liquidity loans are still difficult to obtain, the only thing they have is a measure to preserve jobs for employees, but this is not nearly enough because, understandably, business costs are far higher. Carriers have a big problem with leasing for which they simply do not have the means to settle. All moratoriums are now ending and the question is what’s next? They had been loud for a long time, and now they are silent because they are simply dying. According to the new law, travel agencies will have to return money to clients for everything paid within a few months, but hotels, airlines and the like do not return the money paid to them. Therefore, it will be a matter of days when many will close their doors. Many will not live to see this tourist season, and those who are there for it will repay all their debts for a long time to come. In order to avoid these dark scenarios, we believe that they should first be helped by reimbursing their fixed costs, and then with one-time financial aid and easy and fast access to credit lines.

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CORPORATE

Volvo, the B rand that Knows What Drives Diplomats Founded in the distant year 1927, Volvo Cars has built a strong reputation over the years as a world leader in quality, design and safety

specially in this last area, the Swedish brand has held a downright legendary status for many decades now – due to its many breakthrough achievements, which raised the level and changed our perception of automotive safety. Because of so many positive features, proven reliability and a luxurious yet reserved Scandinavian style, Volvo soon became a popular choice among diplomats, too. As a matter of fact, Volvo Cars has been serving the diplomat community already since 1956, today offering one of the most comprehensive diplomat sales programs on the market.

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DESIGNED AROUND PEOPLE The fact is that the advantage of Volvos is not only in what they of-

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MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC COMMUNITY CAN ALWAYS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SPECIAL DIPLOMATIC OFFER OF VEHICLES fer in general, but primarily in how much they manage to adapt to the wishes and needs of individuals. Each Volvo – as the brand itself says – is designed around people. Let's illustrate this: a Volvo Diplomat customer, for example, is able to order a new Volvo, tailored to her or his unique requirements, with a premium level of service and exclusivity guaranteed. Choice can be made between a wide selection of cars and various possibilities, and there is also the option of designing a desired car in the configurator on Volvo website and using Volvo consultants to help make the right decision.

EXCLUSIVE DIPLOMATIC OFFER In addition, members of the diplomatic community can always take advantage of the special diplomatic offer of vehicles, where selected Volvos can be purchased at a significantly lower price, available only to them. Volvo models from diplomatic selection offer the highest Volvo quality and equipment that is carefully adjusted to diplomatic travels, to keep passengers relaxed even on very long journeys. SUVS, A MORE MODERN CHOICE FOR DIPLOMATS And while every single car from

special Volvo Diplomatic Sales program is tailored to unique wishes of diplomats, there are some Volvo models that are becoming more and more desirable among the community, with growing popularity. These are the XC models, a line of exceptional SUVs that represent an alternative to more classical diplomatic cars and offer plenty advantages. For example, the Volvo XC40 excels in driving experience and cutting-edge technology and brings lightness to journeys, while its somewhat bigger brother Volvo XC60 impresses with perfect technology, highest comfort and equipment adjusted to the lives of diplomats. Finally, there is the Volvo XC90, the most sophisticated Volvo to date that brings refined power and impeccable comfort to diplomatic travel.

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In the current special offer, prepared exclusively for members of diplomatic community, all three XC models are available under particularly favorable conditions: XC40 T2 Momentum AT8 starting from 21.900 EUR, with savings up to 38 % XC60 B4 Momentum AT8 starting from 25.831 EUR, with savings up to 56 % XC90 B5 Mom AT8 AWD starting from 38.961 EUR, with savings up to 49 %

RECHARGE, PAYING ATTENTION TO PEOPLE AND NATURE What has also always been the nature of thinking at Volvo are the cars that carefully look after environment. Just as diplomatic trav-

WHAT HAS ALSO ALWAYS BEEN THE NATURE OF THINKING AT VOLVO ARE THE CARS THAT CAREFULLY LOOK AFTER ENVIRONMENT els are often long, it is important in the long run to know how to preserve natural world. Therefore, Volvo Diplomatic offer also always includes cars that are very protective to nature. Today, these are the new plug-in hybrids XC40, XC60 and XC90 Recharge that provide more power and less impact on the environment. As every Volvo, of course, all three offer all the elegance and comfort on diplomatic travels. In the special offer created exclusively for diplomats these cars are available: XC40 T5 Recharge Inscription

Expression AT7 starting from 31.282 EUR, with savings up to 36 % XC60 T6 Recharge Inscription Expression AT8 starting from 41.712 EUR, with savings up to 46 % XC90 T8 Recharge Inscription Expression 7s AT8 starting from 49.990 EUR, with savings up to 49 %

FIND OUT MORE However, the SUV selection is far from everything – as already mentioned, Volvo offers diplomats the widest possible selection

of its vehicles with always the best terms of purchase. VCAG as Volvo Car Corporation authorized importer for Adria Region, provided for You “concierge” service where in direct contact with our Fleet Manager (Mr. Matija Bilic / matija.bilic@vcag.net ) you will be guided through whole sales process and all assistance needed and possible will be provided. Please do not hesitate to ask any question you feel need clearance, all in purpose making your purchase as lean as possible. You can read more about all the Volvo cars and the Volvo Cars Diplomatic Sales service on the website volvocars.hr, or if you prefer to contact Volvo directly, write to diplomatic.sales@vcag.net. Bon voyage diplomatique!

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CORPORATE

"A Place Where Beauty Whispers" Here at Boutique Clinic SKINOVA, we are proud of the fact that each client is an individual with their own worldview and their own needs go to the gym, carefully choose the clothes we wear, etc. Care for ourselves and our appearance is woven into our genes and we can’t escape it. Trends are changing. Today we are bombarded with perfect faces and perfect bodies from all screens - the trick is how to keep your look, your personality and just emphasize and refine it a bit so that everyone around us would say “You look really good today. Rested. Fresh". There in precisely lies this power of aesthetics and us physicians in the profession. Find what’s best for you, what works best for you, and what fits your personality to still be you, just a slightly better version of you.

JOSIP LOVRIĆ Boutique Clinic SKINOVA

ost clients in aesthetics are women. Also, men have also embraced the fact that a well-groomed and neat appearance sells. They understand that in this day and age, it takes much more than a white shirt and tie to keep a client, win over new ones, and position oneself in a hierarchical business environment, and to present oneself in a social environment as well, Josip Lovrić , MD, founder of Boutique Clinic SKINOVA, explains.

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Many years of experience in the beauty industry and working with clients has resulted in the creation of Boutique Clinic Skinova. When you opened the practice, what was your guiding idea? — I would rather say I’m lucky enough to work in aesthetic medicine which is just one of the extensions of the exponentially growing beauty industry. Numerically, it is the fastest growing branch of medicine in the world with an annual growth of about 8%. In 2019, more than 13 million non-surgical procedures and aesthetic treatments and more than 10 million aesthetic surgical corrections were performed globally! As a surgeon, I am trained to look at the morphology of the disease, see the problem, and eliminate it with surgical precision. There is no place for this in aesthetic medicine. I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work for years on developing my soft skills, skills such as listening, understanding, comprehension, coping with stress, providing support and consequently developing empathy – a set of skills that is only now finding their way to undergraduate and graduate studies. Perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned, no matter how trivial it may sound, is to listen - listen to

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what clients want and turn those desires into reality within the limits of the possible. Boutique Clinic Skinova was created from this, as a response to clients’ desire to have an intimate and warm space, with a homey atmosphere, which does not exude sterile hospital walls, a space in which there will be no traditional “doctor-patient” barrier. Under the influence of social networks, aesthetic medicine has jumped out of the domain of

we often encounter different holistic approaches because doctors are not there only to provide treatment, but often to listen, advise, recommend, nurture, approve and guide, all in order to achieve a satisfied appearance of each client. When we combined all this in one intimate environment, Skinova was born.

“The Place Where Beauty Whispers” is your slogan. How do you

IN 2019, MEN DID 841,735 BOTOX TREATMENTS AND 262,902 EYE LIFT SURGERIES! taboos and positioned itself as a culture of nurturing oneself. In aesthetic medicine, the client is not a number; he is not a red referral. In aesthetics, every client is primarily a human being, and aesthetic medicine is the only branch of medicine in which there are no patients but clients, consumers. Therefore, in aesthetic medicine

define beauty and how do you convey it to your clients? — I think that the clinic’s slogan answered your question. Beauty should whisper. It should be visibly invisible; visible to the eye and yet unfathomable. Let me clarify. Each one of us tries to be the best version of self. For that reason we are careful about what we eat, we

On the business side, how risky was it to open a practice at a time when many are closing their businesses? How stable is the market and are there any changes compared to before? — The risk is always there. Whether it’s the pandemic or some other reason. However, risk should not discourage us. Risk can easily turn into fear, and fear is the biggest break. To take a chance is to leave your comfort zone and give it your best because you passionately believe in something. Sadly, we are witnesses that many business are closing down and of the consequences it has on us, small entrepreneurs, but also on the global economy. But, in a world where we are closed between our 4 walls exists some sort of a “paradox”, to call it that, where we want to please ourselves to make us feel better, so therefore aesthetic medicine might not have felt such a drop as some other activities have. Indeed, examinations and consults were digitalized and we conducted them via video links, but this inner desire for a good feeling and the “wow effect” always remains. The market is stabilizing slowly. After the initial lockdown in March, there was a global panic due to a short-

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age of all consumables – just remember that it was almost impossible to buy disposable masks and gloves. Things are slowly returning to normal today, and we are looking at the horizon with much hope that the masks will finally drop, that cafés, restaurants, theatres, museums and playgrounds will come back to life again, and the desire for social acceptance with grow with this.

There is an impression that your clients are mainly women, but there are also a large number of men. Why is a well-groomed look crucial in the business world today when we talk about the stronger sex and what does this mean? — Indeed, most clients in aesthetic medicine are women. According to the 2019 Global Annual Report of International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 86.9% of all aesthetic treatments and procedures was performed on women, while 13.1% was performed on men. When we translate this into numbers, men did 841,735 Botox treatments and 262,902 eye lift surgeries! I won’t even comment on liposuctions and dermal fillers. When it comes to care products for men, we are talking about an annual turnover of $34 trillion with an annual growth of 3%. Yes, men have embraced the fact that a well-groomed and neat look sells. They understand that in this day and age, it takes much more than a white shirt and tie to keep a client, win over new ones, and position oneself in a hierarchical business environment, and to present oneself in a social environment as well. There are numerous sociological and psychological studies confirming that it will be much easier for us to find approval for what is pleasing to our eyes. Whether it's colorful food on a plate in a restaurant, sneaker design and car body shape, or a trendy hairstyle with a neat beard and clean facial skin. The world of business revolves around sales – we sell ourselves, the brand we represent, we sell ideas we believe in, etc. Appearance is crucial in sales. Period. Why do we choose branded clothing items rather than grandma’s knitted sweater? Because it doesn’t fit in the business milieu. Also, the level of awareness of men has increased today so they are aware that acne scars on the face and a messy chin can affect the business results. Dark circles

under the eyes and a wrinkled forehead give the impression of a tired, sleep deprived and exhausted man, which every co-worker and client can (and will) notice, and sweat stains on the shirt under the armpits can suggest poor hygiene habits and create a subjective feeling of inferiority.

rection of the nose and ears, eyelid correction and gynecomastia. Luckily, all these issues can be resolved during “coffee break”, and that’s why men often contact us. They mainly come for the platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy for the scalp and hair growth, mesotherapy cocktails for a thick-

AESTHETIC MEDICINE IS THE ONLY BRANCH OF MEDICINE IN WHICH THERE ARE NO PATIENTS BUT CLIENTS, CONSUMERS

What is it that men use the most, what is it they reach for when it comes to aesthetics? — Men are very simple. In the non-invasive segment of aesthetic medicine that doesn’t require surgical interventions they are concerned about 5 things: hair, chin and jaw, wrinkles/ skin quality, dark circles under the eyes and sweating. Less often, they opt for more invasive surgical procedures that still require recovery time after surgery, but in this segment the most common inquiries are about liposuction and "high muscle definition" surgery, surgical cor-

er and fuller beard, but more and more often they make inquiries and come for the formation of the jaw line with dermal fillers because a clearly and sharply defined jaw line is an expression of masculinity. A special category are men with problematic skin prone to oiliness, acne and scars, and in such cases a multimodal approach to treatment is used, which often includes certain cosmetic treatments in order to balance the pH of the skin. But definitely, in the business men's world, Botox is regularly applied against armpit sweating. We all spend 8 hours a day, and

even longer, in a shirt and jacket, often indoors, which results in increased underarm sweating. In order to reduce the number of embarrassing situations in which we hide stains on the shirt, a large number of the male population comes twice a year for Botox treatment. But we’re not just talking about men in the business world; we’re also talking about athletes. When using creams and other skin care products at home, men like the rule “the less the better” – daytime cream, night cream and aftershave serum, but they have to show results!

What would you offer to all the business people as a suggestion, and what do you offer to make their life and work easier and more beautiful? — If you take a look at online forums and men’s groups on Facebook, it’s interesting to see how often men ask questions like “How to get rid of scars on the face?”, “Which product to use for lush hair?”, “Does this deodorant work? ”, ”Do you guys have experience with beard oil?”,“My girlfriend went for Botox, it looks great. I would go too, but I'm scared. What are your experiences?”. Aesthetic medicine is medicine, and not a beauty parlour. The first rule of medicine is “Primum non nocere”, meaning “First, do not harm”! Encouraged partly by imposed trends, and partly by your own desire to better position yourself in a competitive world, always seek advice and consultations from experienced doctors who will find a way in agreement with you to keep your own personality, build self-confidence by solving scalp problems, dark circles, tired looks, excessive sweating and, depending on the type of work you do, emphasize the characteristics that can set you apart from the competition. Here at Boutique Clinic SKINOVA, we are proud of the fact that each client is an individual with their own worldview and their own needs. The motto “The Place Where Beauty Whispers” outlines the vision of approaching each person individually - together with you we give you the opportunity to eliminate all the "bugs" that bother you and discreetly "upgrade" you to be exactly what you want - full of confidence to become a better, groomed version of yourself, with the comment "You look great, let's do business!“

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CORPORATE

Legal Controlling for Business Entities Legal controlling means determining the current state of business from a legal aspect and continuous control of compliance of business with all legal regulations

PETAR PETRIĆ Attorney-at-Law, Petrić&Kajić Law Firm LLC

ompliance of business operations with legal regulations is a fundamental prerequisite for safe and successful business of entrepreneurs. By introducing legal controlling into the business process of entrepreneurs, harmonization of business operations with legal regulations is achieved.

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Why is it important for entrepreneurs? Because it provides: - full focus of entrepreneurs and managers on business - professionalism in doing business - Lack of fear of control by the competent authorities and the consequences of imposing penalties How is it implemented? - Through continuous control of compliance of operations with legal regulations. Which legal controlling includes?

 TATUTORY RIGHTS OF S COMPANIES • checking the existence of basic acts and other documentation • checking the regularity of the company's statutory rights - members of the company, company management, Board of Directors, Supervisory Board, checking the registration of necessary activities • verification of the exercise of management and property rights in companies

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COMPLIANCE OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS WITH LEGAL REGULATIONS IS A FUNDAMENTAL PREREQUISITE FOR SAFE AND SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OF ENTREPRENEURS • regularity of convening and holding the General Assembly, sessions of the Supervisory Board, etc. • composition, storage and updating of corporate documentation (share register, decisions of corporate bodies, etc.)

LABOUR LAW • status of procedures for establishing and terminating employment (compliance of employment contracts with regulations, termination procedures and agreement termination by mutual consent) • existence and orderliness of labour acts: – work regulations – Rulebook on organization and systematization of jobs – all prescribed regulations and

general acts of the company • existence of regulation of rights and schedule for the use of annual leave, • existence of a plan for redistribution of working time, • harmonization of decisions on paid and unpaid leave, payment of holiday entitlements • vacations and holidays with regulations and acts of the company • existence of records on working hours of workers and of mobile workers • checking the orderliness of payrolls and delivery to workers

CONTRACTS – CONTRACT LAW • checking the legality and com-

pliance of the contract and all accompanying documents (purchase, sale, rent, loan, etc.) with legal regulations and acts of the company • analysis of the company's contractual relations with third parties and compliance of contractual rights and obligations with legal regulations and acts of the company

 INANCIAL LEGAL STATUS F AND COLLECTION OF RECEIVABLES • checking the level of payment security, testing of security instruments (debentures, bank guarantees) • determining the status of enforcement and other proceedings for the purpose of cred-

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itors’ collection from the company or company’s collecting from debtors • checking the status of all court and other proceedings of the company before courts, notaries, administrative and other bodies

I NTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND COPYRIGHT • checking the status and validity of trademark and industrial design registrations before domestic and foreign authorities • the degree of established protection of all intellectual property rights • checking the orderliness and compliance of copyright and related contracts with legal provisions • checking the legal status of Internet domains

 DPR AND PERSONAL G DATA PROTECTION • checking compliance of personal data protection in the company with domestic and EU regulations, as well as with international regulations, which includes: – verification of contracts on the transfer of personal data and verification of the level of protection of personal data – regularity of collection and processing of personal data, necessary consents and registration of personal data collections – preparation of the Ordinance on the collection, processing, use and protection of personal data

– drafting of implementing acts, decisions and statements – preparation of standards, procedures and methods, purpose, scope of processing and storage of personal data, – analysis of the need for pseudonymization of personal data, – instructions for the protection of personal data – analysis and plan for the development of organizational and technical measures for the protection of personal data

 OMPETITION LAW C AND PROTECTION OF COMPETITION • checking the compliance of transactions with regu-

lations on the protection of competition • checking the existence of concentration

 EAL ESTATE AND R BUILDING RIGHT • checking the status of registration of real estate owned by the company in the land register • checking the status of registration of real estate owned or in possession of the company in the cadastre • checking the existence of the status of public, cultural and maritime property • checking the compliance with environmental protection regulations • regularity of contracts related

LEGAL CONTROLLING COMPRISES A NUMBER OF ELEMENTS OF COMPLIANCE OF BUSINESS ENTITY'S BUSINESS OPERATIONS WITH LEGAL REGULATIONS

to the acquisition or encumbrance of the company's real estate • checking the existence of location, use and other necessary permits for the company's real estate

 ONTROLS OF C INSPECTIONS AND OTHER COMPETENT BODIES  HECKING ALL OTHER C AREAS OF ACTIVITY DEPENDING ON THE SUBJECT OF BUSINESS OF THE ENTREPRENEUR Through implementation of the legal controlling procedure, the importance of the model of full and complete compliance with regulations is emphasized to entrepreneurs, and they learn how to achieve such a business model. The legal framework of digital transformation and business is regulated within the framework of legal controlling, which includes the conclusion of electronic contracts, use of electronic signatures, online business and web store - opening a web shop, and performing online trade activities. Legal controlling comprises a number of elements of compliance of business entity's business operations with legal regulations, so in the process of legal controlling the initial baseline is precisely determined and continuous activities are undertaken to check the following elements from legal areas important for orderly and successful business of each business entity. Who conducts legal controlling? - legal services and lawyers.

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CORPORATE

8 Pillars of the Finest Home Bar The professionals from Fine stvari Company, dealing in distribution of luxurious, fine drinks in Croatia, helped us present to you an ideal selection of drinks to stock your home bar. Fine stvari offers only the best! FINE STVARI COMPANY

here’s an old Chinese curse, saying “May you live in interesting times”. Watching Angela Merkel finish her fourth mandate as the first female German Chancellor in history; witnessing the QAnon movement and the storming of the US Capitol; seeing the bumpy rollout of Brexit and the global pandemic changing the way we negotiate, communicate, travel, learn and do business — times are interesting, that’s for sure. As the knowledgeable selectors of finest spirits in Croatia, the experts from Fine stvari Company can only speculate about the future of soft power, the success of multilateral diplomacy and whether the European Union's single diplomatic identity will strengthen its role as an international political actor. What they can do, though, is suggest how to

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set up the little pleasures of life you can always come back to, namely, the personal institution of every respectable connoisseur — the home bar. There's a certain list of drinks every home bar should contain. Of course, many brands are available on the market so we bring you the

ka, “Texas Born and Bred” is distilled from corn so it is actually gluten-free. Its production process is similar to that used to make fine single malt scotch whiskeys and high-end French cognacs; it is, as they say, “smooth, I mean really smooth” so you can actually drink it alone or in a mix.

THERE'S A CERTAIN LIST OF DRINKS EVERY HOME BAR SHOULD CONTAIN selection that is available in Croatia and that, in our opinion, has a great quality to price ratio. Therefore, the home bar should include:

TITO'S HANDMADE VODKA Vodka, originally coming from Russia or Poland, is the blank canvas of your home bar cocktails — you can mix it with a wide variety of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. This particular vod-

A CHOICE OF HIGHQUALITY GINS There are several versions of the story about the origins of gin, one of them telling that in the 16th century, a professor of medicine tried to prepare a cure for stomach disorders using the diuretic properties of juniper berries. This is how he came to invent a drink called Genever that later on became known as gin. The fra-

grance and taste of gin is wonderful to drink alone, like vodka, and yet, some of us prefer to combine it with a little bit of quality tonic water like Aqua Monaco and a slice of lemon. For your home bar, we suggest the very best in the world - Aviation American Gin, France’s most sophisticated Le Gin and the German-made Brick Gin. All three of them are very different and all three are a fine choice.

VERMOUTH AND BITTER Coming to the crucial ingredient of a perfect Martini or Negroni cocktail, you should treat Vermouth as wine and, once opened, keep it in your fridge. Mulassano Bitter is the better alternative to other bitter aperitifs — an aromatic infusion of gentian, cassia, Sicilian orange peel, angelica, juniper and thistle and will be the right link for your next homemade Negroni.

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SELECTION OF GOOD QUALITY SINGLE MALTS The backbone of a home bar should be a good selection of single malt whiskeys, ideally from the only independent farm distillery on Islay - Kilchoman Distillery, and well the tested brands, again Scottish, like Glendronach and Benriach. There is a relatively new category of American Single Malt whisky, which we think deserves to stand equally with the aforementioned ones. It is the one with a signature flavor profile – balanced and bold – called Westward.

THE BACKBONE OF A HOME BAR SHOULD BE A GOOD SELECTION OF SINGLE MALT WHISKEYS ASSORTMENT OF RUMS Rum may have gained its popularity on adventurous boats of seamen but it has come a long way since then. The rum selection we propose is without added sugar or colorings and will please even the demanding admirers of single malts. You will find this liquor made from sugar cane or molasses in numerous mixed drinks (the good Old Fashioned is having a comeback these days) so we

propose Veritas, Clairin, Hampden, Caroni and Clement as your first and foremost starting base. If anyone tries to borrow some for making weekend desserts, you can be sure the cakes will taste wonderfully.

FAR EAST WHISKY BOTTLES Long time ago whiskies were produced only in Europe. Nowadays, Asian countries, particularly Taiwan and Japan, have excelled

in this craft and have been running magnificent distilleries making exquisite whisky products. For a respectable home bar with a certain number of connoisseurs in the house, any category of Kavalan and Mars whiskies should be included.

AQUA MONACO TONIC WATER & GINGER BEER Super tasty to drink on their own or in a summer ice coffee, these 100% certified organic, vegan and climate-neutral Aqua Monaco items will be a great supplement for your next gin & tonic or Mule cocktail.

FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS You never know when there's good news around the corner and you should always be able to celebrate it. As the last key bottle in your home bar, we come to you with Champagne Jacquesson Cuvee No. 742, the pride of a small family champagne estate, Maison Jacquesson. You can't go wrong with this one! On top of the bottled drinks, in order to prepare the drinks for yourself, your family members or your guests properly, it's good to have a couple of basic items of

equipment like a mixing glass, bar spoon, strainer, a set of glasses (Martini glass, tumbler glass, highball glass etc.) as well as fresh lemons, limes, oranges – preferably organic. A nice set of herbs is also welcome, like mint leaves, rosemary and lavender. Sugar lumps, Angostura bitter and some clear ice are additional pluses. Making ice the right way is a whole other story that doesn't exactly fit in this article but, generally, the bigger the pieces of ice, the greater the pleasure.

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ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES

ANĐELA ŠUTIJA President of Association of insurance and reinsurance brokerage companies HGK Anđela Šutija from AON Insurance & Reinsurance Brokers was elected as the new President of the Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Brokerage Companies HGK at the session of the Association held on January 17, while Mate Markota, member of ZABA Partner Management, was elected her deputy. “We need to have clearly defined competences of the brokers and we have to work on clearer communication on the advantages of strategic risk

management, promotion of profession’s reputation and we have to strive to achieving the maximum, for individuals and companies equally,” Šutija said, adding that her motto is “Dream big, start small, act now”, which, from her experience, is equally applicable to both business and private life, and also to the position that the Company has to assume in the upcoming period. The Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Brokerage Companies HGK exists since 2005.

NENAD KLEPAČ Vindija Management Board President In the future, the management of Vindija Company will be led by Nenad Klepač, who held the position of a member of the Management Board and Director of Commercial Department, according to decision of the Supervisory Board of the company majority owned by the Drk family. The new Management Board consists of Tamara Drk-Vojnović, Dubravka Drk-Mravlinčić and Saša Vojnović and Alan Mravlinčić. These

are members of the family of the recently deceased Dragutin Drk, who spent more than 50 years at the helm of the Varaždin company. The new President of the Management Board Klepač spent his entire career, more than 30 years, in Vindija. With about HRK 3 billion in annual revenue, Vindija is one of the leading food companies in Croatia, and its business system unites 13 member companies with about 3,700 employees.

KREŠIMIR DOMINIĆ Regional Marketing Manager Crowe Audit and consulting company Crowe Hrvatska strengthened its team with marketing expert Krešimir Dominić, who took over the position of Regional Marketing Manager, where he will be in charge of marketing and communications in the wider European region. Before transferring to consulting industry, he developed his career in communication agencies, especially in the PR sector, event planning and digital communications for clients in the Adriatic region. He brings with him two decades of experience in communi-

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cations for financial and consultant industry, ICT, consumer goods, institutions and non-profit organizations. He is a full-time lecturer in several courses in marketing and public relations at the London School of Public Relations, and this year’s member of the jury at the Effie Awards competition. I am glad that we are establishing the regional marketing function in the Crowe network, which is a unique opportunity to strengthen the brand of the eighth largest world accounting and auditing network in our region”, Dominić states.

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COLUMN

Effective Communication With Face Masks On Whether with clients and colleagues in offices, with students in classrooms or among friends, facial masks cover the great deal of everyday face-to-face communication - its nonverbal cue. What are the downsides, and how to enhance communication with face mask on it is discussed within this column

JAGODA POROPAT DARRER Business Communication Professional

hile still in pandemic mode of working and living one cannot ressist the urge to ask itself in what extent do wearing facial masks influence a good communication. As known, a high percentage goes on nonverbal communication while interacting with each other. For instance, some authors mention 7% of our emotions we articulate verbally, 38% it is expressed by the tone of voice, and 55% with facial expressions. Facial expressions play a prominent role in communication and relay of emotion across individuals. The need for face masks, as an important protective measure to decrease the spread of the virus, had a huge toll on interpersonal communication. Facial expressions and gestures play a major role in facilitating interpersonal communication, comprehension, and the delivery of intended messages. As such, wearing face masks hindered the ability of seeing and understanding people's expressions during conversations, and decreased the impact of communicated material, suggest Mheidly et al. (2020). Interpersonal communication describes the interaction between two individuals or more through oral or physical (gestures) interactions. Proper application of the protective mask involves covering the mouth and the nose, which muffles sound and makes it challenging to understand speech and some higher-pitched voices. Furthermore, the same authors underline that the eyes and the mouth are the two main organs that help in reading other's faces. By wearing face masks, people are

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inclined to focus more on the eyes to be able to understand the facial expressions intended. Eye contact can be used to show empathy and concern for others, to manage feelings, to express interest, or to help with communication. Nevertheless, prolonged eye contact can result in uncomfortable feelings sometimes, as it can magnify actual interest in communicated material or convey signs of aggression. According to BBC, today, more than 50 countries mandate wearing masks in public. Many citizens in countries without strict regulations wear them anyway to protect themselves and others from catching coronavirus. And in many countries, particularly in Asia, wearing masks – to guard against pollution, for example – was already the norm. In some culture covering parts of

face is common and usual. Nevertheless, in the West, the subtraction of nose, mouth, and cheeks during interpersonal communication will necessitate further adaptation. According to CNN, we can can adjust and enhance our communication by focusing on some of the other pieces that aren't hidden behind a mask. If you cannot read someone else's emotional state, your ability to empathize with them may be compromised. Likewise, if your own mask is hiding your emotional state, others may not be able to empathize with you. Wearing a mask can also make you feel more distracted and self-conscious, further weakening your connection to others. Fortunately, as suggested by CNN, we can regain some control over communication by

ACCORDING TO CNN, WE CAN CAN ADJUST AND ENHANCE OUR COMMUNICATION BY FOCUSING ON SOME OF THE OTHER PIECES THAT AREN'T HIDDEN BEHIND A MASK

working with what we have left -- the eyes. If we want to increase understanding with a masked individual, we should look them in the eyes, which may be easier said than done. Eye contact triggers self-consciousness, consumes extra brain power and becomes uncomfortable after only three seconds. But, eye contact can also make us appear more intelligent and trustworthy. As well, we have to become aware of our own body language, too. When engaged in a conversation, we can appear more attentive by turning our body toward the individual, leaning in or nodding. To let another person know we want to start speaking, we have to straighten our posture, hold up our index finger or nod more frequently. Finally, we should be aware that imitating the posture of another person can increase how much they like us and even agree with us. Frequently when wearing a mask we tend to speak loudly. CNN suggests not to do that. If we feel the need to speak louder, just have to be aware that raising our voice can alter the message we are trying to send. Changing the tone of our voice can change the whole conversation, so instead of increasing volume, we should try improving enunciation. Having a mask on also can sometimes feel like there is a physical barrier between us and the person we’re communicating with. Sociologist Harris Ali from York University says there’s a natural tendency – in an almost unthinking manner – to take off the mask to speak. If we find ourself struggling, psychologist Al Zayer has this advice to offer: “Over-communicate – use more words than you normally would, and ask more questions, to make sure you’re correctly picking up on the other person’s emotions. Learn how to use your other senses and body language, too.”

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by Žikica Milošević

INTERVIEW

The King of Zagreb Graffiti Art comes in many forms, and including street art. And when one of the creators of the graffiti scene is at the same time as a wine expert - he becomes a multiple symbol of Zagreb

KREŠIMIR GOLUBIĆ Artist

rešimir Golubić - Leon (GSK) was interested in art graffiti in the mid-80s when the first works appeared in Zagreb. Spray takes the first time in 1987, but the real beginning of dealing with graffiti was in 1992 after visiting Berlin. Three friends are launching one of the first graffiti teams in Zagreb - GSK Crew (1993), as well as the first graffiti magazine in this part of Europe - the world-famous ZGBKAOS magazine. Today he is a member of the Croatian Society of Fine Artists since 2020 and one of the leading graffiti and street art artists in the country.

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You have positioned yourself as a leading graffiti artist in Zagreb. How difficult is it to be a hyperrealist artist and having a street credibility concurrently? — Okay, right now to say I'm among the first, if not the first

all over Europe and have been drawing in many cities. With my colleagues I worked at graffiti ZGBKAOS magazine that was published from 1995-2001. and today I do graffiti workshops, organize child graffiti birthday parties, I am

ularly likes to be called Street Art nowadays. Stencils are Wall-painted pictures that are made by cutting of gaps in template... Hyperrealism is not present with Stencils, and street credibility has been raised for years...

ON THE GRAFFITI SCENE I REALLY DID EVERYTHING, ILLEGAL AND LEGAL GRAFFITI, TRAVELLED ALL OVER EUROPE AND HAVE BEEN WRITING IN MANY CITIES graffiti artist of the second generation of Zagreb graffiti writers. For the first time I took the spray in hand in 1987, but my graffiti career began in 1991/92. On the graffiti scene I really did everything, illegal and legal graffiti travelled

currently preparing my own exhibition... and am I the lead artist? Rather not though, they are young forces, fresh blood and ideas... I currently work beside classical graffiti stencils, too i.e. I am active in the part of the scene that pop-

Who is your role model? Banksy or are you more oriented to the graffiti street school? — There are many role models, and Banksy is really one of the Top World Names of that other part of the scene - Street Art. I love both

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movements, as the street school, or classical graffiti in big letters, tags and writing own name, maybe in terms of the message - I was here... but I love Street Art - that is stencil graffiti, and all the forms of street art. In today's age of Internet where everything is very easy and quickly available, I stumble upon so many good works by various street artists that makes it difficult for me even to count them all.

Why rock & roll for an inspiration? It is obvious that the musicians theme is dominant across your works. — Music has been significant in my life at all times since puberty and finally to this day when I go to concerts and festivals with my children where I have the opportunity to tell them about how it was before and that it was better... Eh, I got really old .. Actually it's all in Rock'n'Roll... Sex-DrugsRnR... Isn’t it so? Very inspirational... some of my favourite stars I have decided to perpetuate myself in the works and I had an ex-

hibition in 2016 that I named "Rock'n'roll will never die"... stars never die. In 2019 there was a new exhibition called “Punk’s Not Dead”... just like graffiti…

You are also a great wine connoisseur - talk to us about this part of your work and personality. — I just love to enjoy (occasionally and moderately) having a glass of fine wine... it's been 15 years since I actually record, more ex-

when my friends are asking what we did drink 7-8 -9 years ago??? I just look in the archive and recall what we were drinking, what kind of wine it was there and who was present... maybe this looks like a diary of a covert drinker to me... And I managed to link graffiti and wine... but that's another story... graffiti are always here. Right at the beginning of the year, my colleague Modul 8 and I painted the famous Lunika winery from Kanfanar in Istria.

— Yes, in 2019 I had a solo exhibition at the GRETA Gallery, which unfortunately is no longer working because it was severely damaged in the Zagreb earthquake. At the beginning of 2020, there will be a closure, but somehow when everything is added up, that corona-crisis year went well. I managed to have two previously arranged group exhibitions in Australia, three in Germany, two of which I personally attended, and last autumn a large solo exhibition at the Fotogaleri-

I WORK AND CREATE A LOT AND IN FACT I AM CONSTANTLY ON THE MOVE…I USE TO SAY SOMETIMES: THERE IS NO REST WHILE THE RENOVATION IS GOING ON! actly record what I drink so I have collected a fair amount of impressions about the wines I drank. Not only do I write but I also collect wine bottle labels... yes, yes... I succeeded in removing every or almost every label and in keeping it along with a couple of sentences that I wrote... The catch is

In the fall of 2019, you made an exhibition in a famous Greta gallery. Just when the good things started, the prospects of exhibitions in Australia and the like, everything closed. How did you survive the pandemic? What happened and what are the plans for the future?

ja in Ljubljana. In fact, everything turned out well. Plans? This year it should have two exhibitions in Pula and Maribor, and one smaller one in Zagreb in April. I work and create a lot and in fact I am constantly on the move… I use to say sometimes: There is no rest while the renovation is going on!

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PEOPLE & EVENTS

"Artists from Serbia for Glina, Petrinja and Sisak" Diplomacy&Commerce magazine's humanitarian campaign successfully completed

Robert Čoban, H.E. Hidajet Biščević and Frano Lasić

Svetislav Bule Goncić and Milan Marković

Brankica Janković and H.E. Hidajet Biščević

Dubravka Negre and Theodora Aretaki

Veran Matić and H.E. Hidajet Biščević

n 1st February, in cooperation with the Croatian Business Club in Belgrade, Croatian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Hidajet Biščević, and several other artists and public figures from Serbia, Diplomacy&Commerce successfully completed the humanitarian campaign involving the sale paintings and photographs titled "Artists from Serbia for Glina,

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Petrinja and Sisak - painters and photographers for the people affected by the earthquake in Croatia." The following artists – painters and photographers – donated their artwork: Cile Marinković, Biljana Cincarević, Janoš Mesaroš, Jelena Blečić, Dragan Stojkov, Milutin Obradović, Nenad Kojić, Sead Zejnelagić, Milena Zevu, Milena Lasić, Siniša Kadić, Sev-

er Zolak, Miša Obradović, Marko Krunić, Nebojša Babić, Brian Rašić, Mario Leone Bralić, Joškin Šiljan, Vanja Rebić, Milan Marković, Theodora Aretaki, Teodora Bradić, Vuk Vučković, Mila Gvardiol, Tadija Janičić, Aleksandar Spasić, Andjela Verkić, Sandra Janjatović, Renata Bujić, Kolja Božović and Croatian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Hidajet Biščević. A total of 39 works of art

were offered for sale for humanitarian purposes, of which 26 pieces from 21 artists were sold. During the campaign that lasted from 8th January to 1st February 2021, over 800,000 dinars was raised. All the proceeds will be donated to the people affected by the terrible earthquakes in Croatia. Robert Čoban, CPG President, the initiator of this humanitari-

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Jovana Marković and Renata Bujić

Dragan Stojkov and Duška Jovanić

Ruža Veljović and Tanja Banković

Robert Čoban and Croatian Ambassador

Boris Najdanović and Mario Leone Bradić

Vuk Vučković and Tanja Banković

Vanja Kovačev and Cile Marinković

Mila Gvardiol and Marija Pasuljević

Nenad Kojić and Igor Tadić

Dragana Radović, Frano Lasić and Milena Lasić Ruža Veljović and Sead Zejnelagić

an campaign, said: "When a series of earthquakes hit Croatia, we thought about the best way to help. We decided to start a humanitarian sale of paintings and artistic photographs from artists in Serbia and in that way, show how much we care „for the neighbour's grass to be as green as ours“, as one election slogan used to say. We had managed to animate two groups of people that

our magazine brings together artists and business people. The first donated their artwork and the second bought it, and then donated the entire amount to the people affected by the earthquake in Croatia. We think that the media's role in such situations is to do what we did, that is to incite the public to get as many people involved and help." Croatian Ambassador to Ser-

bia, H.E. Hidajet Biščević, said: "I am extremely glad that this humanitarian campaign has had such a good response. Considering that we live in challenging and difficult circumstances, the reaction of the Serbian public was astonishing, and the readiness of a large number of Serbian artists to respond and contribute to this campaign validates that the kind of humanity and sol-

Saša Popović and Miša Obradović

idarity that we really need and that we have to build patiently particularly in regard to the overall relations between our two countries." At the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, at the gathering organised in line with all recommended epidemiological measures, artists presented their paintings to their buyers. Singer and actor Frano Lasić was the event's host.

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CULTURE NEWS

Four million kuna for Dubrovnik Summer Festival, 2 million for Split Summer Festival. 355 thousand kuna for HDLU The Ministry of Culture has allocated support to fund art programs and organizations for the current year. The biggest amount will be allocated to the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, seventy-second this year. Just like last year, they will be awarded four million kuna. The Croatian National Theater in Split will receive 1,900,000 kuna for the 67th Split Summer Festival, and 370,000 kuna for the Festival of Marulić Days. Croatian National Theaters in Rijeka, Split,

Osijek received HRK 1,700,000 each for their programs. All institutions that are financed directly from the Ministry will receive the funds directly, and that is why HNK Zagreb is not on this list, since the national theater is specially funded. In the professional theater industry, out of 343 programs that requested approximately HRK 42 million, 288 programs were approved in the amount of HRK 20,336,100.00, which is half of the requested money.

Day of the National and University Library in Zagreb The National and University Library in Zagreb is celebrating 414 years of its existence in this Year of Reading. Awards and recognitions of the National and University Library in Zagreb for 2020 have been awarded as part of the celebration program. For the first time ever, the award ceremony was broadcasted live via the Library’s social networks.

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CULTURE NEWS

Fashion & Comics The “Fashion & Comics” exhibition was opened at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb as one of the events on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the French Institute in Croatia. The exhibition was opened on the very day of the founding of the Institute. The exhibition was set up with the cooperation and with the financial support of the French Institute in Croatia, Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb, and in partnership with the Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l’Image u Angoulêmeu Centre, and it will be open to public until March 28, 2021.

Albina goes to Eurovision Song Contest

Luka Modrić – My game, Autobiography Before us is the autobiography of an athlete, football player and a boy from Zaton Obrovački. This biography was written by Luka Modrić and Robert Matteoni. (SVK). Luka Modrić became part of the football history when in 2018 he won what no one before him had - all four most prestigious world awards for the best player in the world in the same year - the World Cup Golden Ball, FIFA The Best, the UEFA Award and the Ballon D'Or. Before that, as captain and MVP, he took the Vatreni to silver at the World Cup in Russia and made us all part of history. This self-effacing footballer, who continuously faced doubts and mistrust on his way from childhood in exile to the top of world football, won trophies with Real Madrid and the national team, has forever entered the pantheon of winners.

Albina will represent Croatia at the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with her song “Tick-Tock”. She was chosen by the jury and by the audience. Branimir Mihaljević, Max Cinnamon and Tihana Buklijaš Bakić wrote the music and lyrics. Other contestants at Dora Festival were Nina Kraljić (Alkonost of Balkan) with her song ,”Rijeka”, Eric with ”Reci mi”, Ella Orešković with “Come This Way”, Bernarda with her song “Colors”, Sandi Cenov with “Kriv”, ToMa with “Ocean of Love”, Filip Rudan with “Blind”, Beta Sudar with “Ma zamisli”, Cambi with “Zaljubljen”, Ashley Colburn and Bojan Jambrošić with “Share the Love”, Brigita Vuco with “Noći pijane”, Mia Negovetić with “She's Like a Dream” and Tony Cetinski & Kiki Rahimovski with “Zapjevaj, sloboda je!”. Vesna Pisarović performed outside the competition. Albina was a contestant in Croatian version of the talent show “The Voice”.

Martin Luther King – Autobiography of the Giant of the 20th Century in His Fight for Civil Rights and Equality I Have a Dream… “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character…” – this is one of the most frequently quoted sentences from Martin Luther King's numerous speeches that led the civil rights movement forward and kept the nation's attention focused on the issue of equality. Forty years after his murder, many of Martina Luther King’s dreams have come true, including the one of the first African-American President of the United States of America. Relevant and authentic, this AUTOBIOGRAPHY gives us a rare insight into historical events and the great, sometimes controversial figures that marked the middle of the 20th century: John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mahatma Gandhi and Richard Nixon. This valuable book paints a rich and colorful picture of people, times and events at the time of changes that shaped and continue to shape our future.

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INTERESTING FACTS

by Žikica Milošević

Inside the EU Member, Not Part of the EU

Faroe Islands

hrases about "Serbia's entry into the EU" and "the Kosovo issue" have been constantly mentioned lately, thus linking the two. It is, however, interesting to note that there are the EU member states whereby parts of their territory are not parts of the EU. And we do not mean trivial cases such as Cyprus, which northern part seceded under the name of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. There are other, contractually agreed "exceptions". The first and most famous are the

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two autonomous provinces of Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Both areas are part of Denmark but are outside the EU, which gives them the opportunity

that withdrew from the EU in 2012 because they estimated that it was "unprofitable" for them. The French territories (OCT) that are not part of the EU are: Pierre and

IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE COUNTRY TO BE PART OF THE EU, BUT NOT AS THE WHOLE to conclude their contracts outside EU legislation or to respect fisheries laws "at their whim". There is also St. Barthelemy, which we already wrote about,

Miquelon, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia, as well as the uninhabited French Southern and Antarctic Territories. The Netherlands also

includes 6 overseas countries and territories in the Caribbean. These territories are not part of the EU. Also, prior to Brexit, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey were not members of the EU. The Åland Islands voted in a 1994 referendum, separately from Finland, on whether they wanted to be part of the EU, and unlike the Faroe Islands, this Finnish autonomous territory voted to be part of the EU. So, it is possible for the country to be part of the EU, but not as the whole.

Greenland

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