It’ S Spr Ing, even In december
ry “from the sidelines of Christianity” that has once again become relevant these days:
On February 19th, 2004 in Budapest, at 5 am, the officer of the Army of Azerbaijan, Ramil Safarov, broke into the room where the 25-year-old officer of the Army of Armenia, Gurgen Margaryan, was sleeping and cut off the head of the young Armenian colleague with several blows with an ax. Both were in Budapest for a three-month NATO seminar as part of the Partnership for Peace program.
be that Margaryan allegedly „insulted the Azerbaijani flag“.Foreword roBert ČoBan Director
"It’s spring, even in December, on the 13th or any other…”, Johnny Štulić sang on Azra’s album “Filigranski pločnici” in 1982, describing events from December 13th, 1981 when General Jaruzelski imposed martial law in Poland in response to protests by the Solidarity trade union, the most massive anticommunist movement in the Eastern Bloc since 1945.
I remember that night, December 13th, it was snowing, I was sleighing in Štrosmajerova Street in Bač when the news reported about the events in Poland of which I regularly kept a journal as a 13-year-old elementary student. Back in the 1980s, Poland was one of the most progressive countries of Eastern Europe, a “rebel” on the other side of the Iron Curtain. The Hungarians were like that in 1956 and later –in 1989. Today, Poland and Hungary are among the most conservative countries of the “eastern part of the EU” – the right to abortion is abolished, the rights of women, minorities, the LGBTQ community, and migrants are contested… What happened to Poland and Hungary? Some will say that these are actually “Catholic ideas” that seemed progressive and oppositional in socialism, while today they are declared backward.
Putin’s aggression against Ukraine partially returned Poland to “factory settings”, but it seems that Orban’s Hungary today is the “most un-European” country in the EU, even though they like to say that they are “on the sidelines of Christianity”. Here is a sto-
Margaryan’s roommate, Hungarian officer Balazs Kuti, saw the Azerbaijani officer with an ax in his hand. He started shouting at the Azerbaijani to stop, and the latter told him that he would not even touch him. Then he hit Margaryan with the ax several more times. “The expression on his face was as if he was satisfied because he had just done something very important!”, the Hungarian said at the trial. The autopsy revealed that Safarov inflicted 16 blows to his victim’s neck and head with an ax. The killer planned to go to the next
In 2006, a court in Budapest sentenced Safarov to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole until 2036. It seemed that justice had been served for this gruesome crime. Six years later, after the arrival of Viktor Orbán at the head of the Hungarian Government, the authorities unexpectedly made a decision to extradite Safarov to Azerbaijan so that he could continue serving his sentence there. As soon as Safarov set foot on the soil of Azerbaijan, the president there, Ilham Aliyev, pardoned him, and the murderer was welcomed as a national hero and promoted to the rank of major. The media in Hungary then recalled that a few months earlier, Viktor Orbán visited the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, where he discussed „energy and economic issues“. The Commissioner for Human Rights in Azerbaijan, Emira Suleimanova, said on that occasion that the sentence for Safarov was too severe and that he „should serve as an example of patriotism to other young people in the country.“ Demonstrations broke out in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, several hundred people gathered in front of the Hungarian Consulate, pelted the building with eggs and burned the Hungarian flag. Armenia broke diplomatic relations with Hungary, and even the cabinet of the then US President Barack Obama asked Budapest for an official explanation for this move. Moscow did the same, assessing that this action will make the Kremlin‘s efforts to mediate in the territorial dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh more difficult.
room and kill another Armenian, but the door was locked. In the meantime, the Hungarian ran for help and the police appeared very quickly and arrested Safarov.
Safarov admitted to committing the crime, and the policeman at the scene testified that the victim’s head was practically severed from his body. Safarov’s attorneys tried to persuade the judges that the killer was mentally unstable and suffered from post-traumatic syndrome that he suffered during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War. The motive for the murder is stated to
After his murder, Margaryan’s body was transferred to Armenia where he was buried in a military cemetery, and in 2013, a monument was erected in his honor in Yerevan. In 2020, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Azerbaijan violated numerous conventions by pardoning Safarov. Acting on the request of the family of the murdered Armenian officer, they ruled that Azerbaijan has no real reason not to implement the sentence that was pronounced against Safarov before the court in Budapest.
IIt will soon be one year since the start of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine and the war that most of us never expected. The question remains did we remain ignorant and did we not know how to recognize the danger, because realistically, the war started in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea. And this war has been shaping our reality and our lives since February 2022, laced with uncertainty but also with faith in reason and with a hint of optimism.
Color Media Communications, the publisher of Diplomacy&Commerce magazine, is the owner of the regional license for the global annual edition of The Economist’s “World Ahead” magazine, which is also published in Croatia, in the Croatian language. What does the magazine predict for 2023? In short - a year of hope.
After two years during which the pandemic was the force that shaped our immediate future, now the main driver is the war in Ukraine. In the upcoming months, the world will have to come to grips with the unpredictability of the conflict’s impact on geopolitics and security, efforts to control the inflation, chaos in energy markets and China’s uncertain path after the pandemic. To make matters even more complicated, all these things are tightly connected, like a series of gears. These are some topics and trends that should be paid attention to: All eyes will continue to be on Ukraine. Recessions are looming as a result of the war and energy prices. There is also a hint of mild optimism regarding the troubles surrounding the climate. On the global geopolitical scene, China seems to be heading towards its peak as a threat to America’s dominance, which will continue to be deeply divided. In this light, the change of allies is visible, both traditional and also the formation of new alliances. We can single out tourism as a good thing. As tourists are showing interest in “revenge” tourism (“revenge on COVID”) after the lockdowns, traveler spending will almost return to the 2019 level
new Year, new Hopes
The year behind us – 2022 – is definitely not what we expected, at least not globally. Individually, used to crises, we live adapted to new circumstances.
of $1.4 trillion, but only because inflation has pushed up prices. The actual number of international tourist trips - 1.6 billion - will remain below the pre-pandemic level - 1.8 billion in 2019. Business travel will remain low as companies are cutting costs.
We will continue where we left off, our next double issue in 2023 will be the February/March edition.
The Diplomacy&Commerce magazine team wishes you happy holidays.
we wIll contInue wHere we leFt oFF, our next double ISSue In 2023 wIll be tHe FebruarY/marcH edItIon.
croatia meets all the most important goals in foreign policy
to demining, care for veterans, and experience in the peaceful reintegration of occupied territory.
How does the situation in Ukraine affect the situation in the Western Balkans? What are the challenges you face and what are the solutions?
As the youngest member of the EU, Croatia made history as the only country that became a member of Schengen and introduced the euro at the same time. In addition to achieving our most important goals, we continue to support Ukraine, but also our neighbors on the path to EU membership, says Gordan Grlić Radman, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in the Government of the Republic of Croatia, for Diplomacy&Commerce.
The year 2022 brought a number of important events in the world marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, how do you see the further development of this situation?
As a member of NATO and the European Union, Croatia - which itself was a victim of brutal Greater
Serbian aggression three decades ago – understands very well what Ukraine is currently going through, and we expressed full solidarity with them from the very beginning in their fight for freedom, democracy and the principles of international law. In May, I visited Kyiv together with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, where we personally expressed our support to President Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian authorities and the Ukrainian people. Also, in October, the Croatian Parliament co-hosted the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform in Zagreb together with the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. This meeting was organized at the right time, and clear messages of support
for Ukraine were sent from Zagreb. Also, through their support for Ukraine, a vast majority of countries in the world have strongly committed themselves to the defense of the international order, which rests on the foundations of international law. As for our further involvement, we will continue to support Ukraine politically and diplomatically, i.e. we will continue to provide them with financial, humanitarian and military assistance as much as we can. It is also important to already start working on the plan for the reconstruction of Ukraine, together with our international partners and allies. This is where Croatia is ready to provide assistance, in particular, we can share our knowledge when it comes
Russian aggression on Ukraine caused tectonic political shifts on a global level, therefore there is no doubt that it has a very strong effect on the situation in the Western Balkans. Also, there is no doubt that a clear perspective of further Euro-Atlantic integrations is the only right path for the stability of countries in the Western Balkans. As for our position, we will continue to provide assistance and transfer of know-how in the implementation of necessary reforms. In this context, at the Berlin Process Summit, we clearly expressed the need for further strengthening of ties at all levels and cooperation in the field of energy, development of transport infrastructure, digital development and strengthening of human resources. The strengthening of energy infrastructure, transport networks and growth of the digital sector are factors that will certainly contribute to economic development, employment opportunities and innovations in the countries of the Western Balkans. Likewise, we clearly emphasized our strategic interest at this important meeting, which is the strengthening resilience of the Western Balkan countries and their progress on the way to the EU.
However, when we talk about the progress of Western Balkan countries towards the EU family of states, it is important to emphasize that all candidate states have to be consistent and credible when it comes to joining the sanctions against Russia. So, if they want to achieve their European perspective, they must be fully aligned with the EU’s foreign and security policy. This was also theGordan Grlić radman Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in the Government of the Republic of Croatia
unanimous message from the Summit in Tirana, where the perspective of EU membership was confirmed for them, but also a perspective that is based on clear criteria and urgent political reforms.
Following on from that, how do you see the current political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the decision of High Representative Schmidt related to the electoral law?
The move made by the High Representative of the International Community for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, in which he used Bonn powers and changed parts of the electoral law that relate to the structure and functioning of the House of Peoples of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the way of making decisions when electing the most important members of its executive power, is essentially the first step towards the reform of the electoral system and the return of B&H to the state of constitutionality, which is based on the Washington Agreement and the Dayton - Paris Peace Agreement. Our Government welcomed the action of the High Representative, and will also support all those political processes in the future that will ensure the equality of the Croatian people guaranteed by the Constitution and enable the legitimate political representation of the three constituent peoples in the collective bodies of government, as well as eliminate all other forms of discrimination in the electoral process. At this moment, we expect the fastest possible formation of B&H institutions, the continuation of the constitutional and electoral reform, and the continuation of B&H’s European path, where Croatia is absolutely ready to help with its knowledge and experience.
It is a generally known fact that Croatia is entering the Eurozone as of January 1, 2023, as well as becoming a member of the Schengen area, how significant are these two achievements for Croatia?
This Government has been working on joining the Eurozone and the Schengen area since the beginning of its term, because these two foreign policy goals were of strategic importance for the Republic of Croatia. And there is no doubt that these political achievements will complete our integration process into the European Union and result in additional advantages for Croatian citizens and our economy, as well as contribute to an even stronger
international position of Croatia. For example, membership in the Eurozone will certainly contribute to a stronger position of our economy and its competitiveness, as well as greater resistance to economic crises. As for Schengen, Croatia went through a very demanding evaluation for membership in this circle of a majority of EU members, and fulfilled 281 recommendations in 8 areas of the Schengen acquis. In addition, with its Schengen membership, Croatia will certainly contribute to security of external borders of the European Union, and consequently to the security of EU citizens, as well as to migration management, and will enable complete freedom of movement for Croatian citizens within the Schengen area. By becoming a member of Schengen, our citizens also enter the largest zone of free movement in the world at a time when few member states were ready to discuss the expansion of the Schengen area, but we achieved this goal with our persistent work on fulfilment of the necessary conditions. I am sure that our Schengen membership is a great gain for the EU. I must emphasize that we are the only country to become a member of the Eurozone and Schengen on the same day. This certainly adds to our international reputation and it is an incentive for new investments in our country, because 80% of Croatian trade and 75% of visitors come from Schengen member states.
In conclusion, I would like to remind once again how in this great year we connected the Croatian territory with the Pelješac bridge and completed our European integration with two major memberships - in the Eurozone and Schengen.
What is the current situation when it comes to joining the OECD?
In June of this year, the OECD Accession Plan for the Republic of Croatia was adopted in Paris and it was a great success considering the challenging global circumstances. After all, Croatia recognizes and shares the main values of the OECD – democracy and the rule of law, as well as social justice. Our accession process began in July, and the process of reforms and alignment with the best practices of OECD member states awaits us, but we are already very serious in our efforts to fulfill all the tasks that lie ahead of us. OECD represents a key platform for creating policies and exchanging initiatives that shape the global economy. Membership in this important organization also has a strategic importance for us because it will contribute to the further strengthening of our economy, but also to the most important thing - a higher standard of living of our citizens.
You were recently in Rome at the Mediterranean Dialogues, how important is cooperation
with the Mediterranean countries for Croatia, given that it recently became a member of MED9?
The dimension of Mediterranean cooperation and strengthening of relations with countries belonging to the Mediterranean region is very important to us. We recently discussed the European neighborhood policy and the global food crisis during the conference in Rome, and I emphasized that Croatia strongly supports the preservation of stability in the region through comprehensive economic cooperation and the policy of enlargement of the European Union and NATO. In addition, I emphasized our ambition to become the energy hub of this part of Europe, but also beyond. In this context, the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley project, a collaboration with partners from Italy and Slovenia, will certainly significantly contribute to energy diversification, which is of exceptional importance for the overall stability of the region. Clearly, the current energy crisis and the fastest possible transition to renewable energy sources can only be managed through stronger regional cooperation. We must be pragmatic and face the future. Therefore, the LNG terminal of 2.9 billion cubic meters on the island of Krk positioned Croatia as a regional energy hub, and thus contributed not only to our own energy security, but also to that of neighboring countries. And we made the decision to expand from 2.9 to 6.1 cubic meters of gas. Equally, the fastest possible development of the Ionian Adriatic Pipeline is an important step towards the diversification of European gas supply routes. We also discussed the important role of the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations in response to the current food crisis at the recently held Second Ministerial Dialogue on the Food Security Crisis. We strongly support the UN’s role in a comprehensive response to this problem through cooperation with partners and international organizations. The current level of insecurity in the global food supply is a direct result of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy, disruption of supply chains, extreme weather conditions and global armed conflicts. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has worsened the food availability situation around the world to extremes. After these global experiences, there is no doubt that it is necessary to adapt the world’s food and energy systems in the future in order to prevent using them as a weapon or a means of blackmail
With full membership in the European Union in 2013, Croatia has already accepted the entire Schengen legal acquis, but only by joining the Schengen area will controls on the movement of people across the internal borders of the European Union be removed. Croatia will thus abolish border controls towards Slovenia and Hungary on January 1, 2023, while airport controls towards Schengen destinations will be abolished at the beginning of the summer flight schedule, on March 26, 2023.
However, many Croatian citizens and employers are still not sure what exactly changes with the entry in Schengen, nor what are the advantages that made entry into Schengen Croatia’s political, as well as economic, priority.
The Schengen area was established in 1995, and it represents one of the foundations of European integrations, together with eurozone. With Croatia’s entry into Schengen, this area without internal borders will include 23 of the 27 member states of the European Union, while the other four members - Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus and Ireland - are not yet Schengen members. On the other hand, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are not members of the
European Union, but participate in the Schengen Area. In practice, in many ways Schengen functions as a territory of one state, with traditional controls for those entering and leaving the area, but without internal border controls.
croatia in Schengen
– what is actually changing for the citizens, and what is changing for the business
In addition to joining the eurozone, Croatia started the new 2023 also as a member of the Schengen zone.
ing the risks associated with buying and selling outside a particular country.
It is estimated that almost 1.7 million people currently live in one Schengen country and work in another, with approximately 3.5 mil-
come to Croatia from countries in the Schengen area, which means that Croatian tourism will gain new momentum with this.
Entry into Schengen will significantly affect Croatian citizens in the border areas with Slovenia and Hungary, especially those who work or study in these countries.
Ever since the establishment of Schengen, trade within Europe has grown, and numerous European companies have grown along with it. Schengen helps significantly in promoting trade integrations when it comes to trade in goods and services. As was clearly seen during the coronavirus pandemic, disruptions at internal borders have significantly affected European businesses, the circulation of goods, the provision of services and the mobility of people, including crossborder workers and those traveling to visit friends and families. Even labor mobility in the Schengen area has a positive effect on trade - by increasing the demand for foreign goods, improving awareness of more favorable producers from other countries, as well as by reduc-
lion people crossing internal borders every day. Entry into Schengen enables the unhindered flow of people and goods, and the absence of border controls will significantly speed up and facilitate business for companies operating on the single market of the European Union. The European Commission has calculated that suspending the Schengen Agreement would lead to a loss of 5 to 18 billion euros per year.
It is estimated that Europeans annually perform 1.25 billion travels inside the Schengen area, which if great benefit for the tourism sector. Croatian citizens will be able to travel from Lisbon to Tallinn without border control, while tourists from markets important to us will be able to come to Croatia for vacation faster and easier. Most visitors
It is important to point out another dimension of Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area, which relates to human rights. Namely, Croatia was the first in the European Union to establish an independent mechanism for monitoring police activity towards migrants and asylum seekers at its external borders, aimed specifically at preserving their fundamental rights. Independent persons and institutions are included in the monitoring mechanism, while the umbrella body that issues annual reports includes European agencies, ombudsmen, UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration.
Membership in Schengen definitely and individually makes every single European country participating in it a stronger trade partner, while each new Schengen component makes this unique area economically more significant. Therefore, the fact that Croatia’s entry into Schengen will give new freshness to this important joint project - both in Europe and globally - is not negligible.
ScHengen IS a KeY component oF eu’S SIngle marKet and It brIngS tangIble economIc beneFItS to countrIeS partIcIpatIng In tHIS area.
The further development of situation depends in large extend on Armenia which must make a choice - to shake the hand of peace and good neighborliness extended to it by Azerbaijan, or to choose confrontation. Unfortunately, 30 years ago, Armenia chose war by occupying 20% of the Azerbaijani territory and expelling almost a million Azerbaijanis from their homes. For many years hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis faced enormous difficulties living in train coaches and tents. Despite on several resolutions of the UN Security Council, other international organizations which called for complete, urgent and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from occupied territories, the occupation was going on for decades. Unfortunately an international community, key international players have not done enough to ensure an implementation of the above -mentioned resolutions and bring to an end an Armenian aggression.
Nevertheless, the Azerbaijani people led by President Ilham Aliyev, during the 44-day Patriotic War in 2020, liberated its lands, thereby ensuring the implementation of international law in general and the relevant resolutions in particular.
During almost 30-year-long occupation Armenia has deliberately destroyed cities and villages, looted and plundered all cultural and religious sites in occupied Azerbaijani territories. 9 Azerbaijani cities and hundreds of villages have been
barbarically wiped out by Armenia. Armenia attempted to erase the traces of Azerbaijani people living in these territories for centuries.
Aghdam city was destroyed to such an extent that it was called as Hiroshima of Caucasus. After the liberation, our Army could not find a single safe building in Fuzuli city to raise the Azerbaijani flag. Out of 67 mosques in the territories which were under Armenian occupation, 65 have been razed to the ground and the remaining 2 have been severely damaged and desecrated, including by being used for pigs and cows.
Azerbaijan resolved the 30-yearlong conflict and restored its territorial integrity. Right after that, Azerbaijan announced its readiness to start the border delimitation and demarcation with Armenia, as well as to start ne-
peace or further confrontation
The situation in the South Caucasus in general and in relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia in particular is quite tense today and can develop towards peace or towards serious confrontation.
rial claims against its neighbors. The international community should also play its positive role in this regard and urge Armenia to fulfill its obligations which arise from Joint Statement of the Leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia signed in November 10, 2020. This document actually ended the Second Karabakh War in 2020 and Armenia has taken on certain commitments under this document, which, unfortunately, have not been fully implemented.
Armenia has yet to fully withdraw its illegal armed formations from the territories of Azerbaijan. In a similar vein, Armenia artificially delays the restoration of transport links, including by rejecting to provide unimpeded access between mainland Azerbaijan and its Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
menia in 2021, have been found in sovereign territories of Azerbaijan.
With the end of almost 30 yearslong armed conflict with Armenia, Azerbaijan has now embarked on elimination of its negative consequences. Enabling hundreds of thousands of IDPs to return to their homes in safety and dignity, and ensuring peaceful life in the postconflict territories, are the absolute priority for the Government of Azerbaijan. The first group of families have recently returned to the Aghali village in the liberated Zangilan district of Azerbaijan, which was rebuilt based on a “smart village” concept.
Azerbaijan is also resolute to reintegrate its citizens of Armenian origin residing in post-conflict territories into its political, social and economic space, guaranteeing the same rights and freedoms with all the citizens of Azerbaijan. The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan provides the solid legal framework in this regard.
gotiations on a peace agreement with Armenia, based on mutual recognition of sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other. Such an agreement would turn our region into a region of peace and cooperation.
Azerbaijan has created a new reality in the Southern Caucasus region which has to be taken into account. Armenia has to make a choice between regional cooperation and illegal and baseless territo-
Contamination of liberated territories with mines laid by Armenia on a massive scale is the major impediment for the reconstruction efforts and return of IDPs. Sadly, after the signing of the trilateral statement in November 2020, 268 persons have become mine victims. 45 persons, including 35 civilians, were killed. Armenia continues indiscriminate planting of mines in the territories of Azerbaijan. In total, 2728 landmines, made in Ar-
Along with large-scale postconflict recovery, reconstruction and reintegration works, Azerbaijan has also initiated the process of normalizing inter-State relations with Armenia. Despite devastating consequences and unhealed wounds of war and occupation, Azerbaijan offered Armenia peace based on mutual recognition and respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within their state borders, delimitation of borders and opening of regional communications. For the past two years Azerbaijan has been demonstrating strong political will to promote the peace agenda.H.e. anar imanov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Croatia
we Hope tHat long-awaIted peace, SecurItY and StabIlItY wIll prevaIl In tHe SoutHern caucuSeS, at laSt.
the necessity of integrated and comprehensive approach to education
The fundamental goal of all graduate studies should be the provision of competitive and applicable knowledge and research skills, as well as the training of experts who will be able to actively contribute to the design and implementation of new economic strategies and policies to ensure sustainable development.
Libertas University stands out from the competition in terms of quality, and two postgraduate studies stand out in particular: “International Relations and Diplomacy” and “Business Economics and Sustainable Development”. Prof. Luka Brkić, PhD, from Libertas University speaks for Diplomacy&Commerce
botH poStgraduate doctoral programS oFFer tHe educatIon and proFeSSIonal traInIng oF expertS and ScIentIStS wHo are deSIrable In tHe labor marKet.
about the advantages and what postgraduate studies offer, and also about the quality of higher education in Croatia.
As a professor who has been educating for many years and has in some way taken part in the process of creating new ex-
perts, how would you rate the educational system of postgraduate studies in Croatia? To what extent do they follow the needs of the market and how much they are in line with the European ones?
Croatia is characterized by very poor and high labor costs and the rigidity of the labor market, as well as a lack of workers with higher and specialized knowledge and skills, and a high degree of mismatch betweenprof. luKa BrKić, pHd Libertas University
the acquired know-how and the needs of the economy. Unfortunately, the structure of Croatian students does not correspond to demands of the labor market. In the area of innovation, low realization results from the limited participation of the private sector in research and development activities. Finally, the European Semester: the process of shaping, coordinating and enacting economic policies, which includes national authorities, the European Commission and the European Council, clearly indicates that the core of Croatia’s structural problems lies in the fields of international competitiveness and the functioning of the labor market, and thus the education system as a whole.
Libertas University especially highlights two postgraduate studies: “International Relations and Diplomacy” and “Business Economics and Sustainable Development”. What exactly do the studies offer and how are they conceived?
The “International Relations and Diplomacy” studies show that complexity has always been an issue for anyone who tried to understand the dynamics of international relations. By analyzing the structure of international space we question the consistency of positioning of the stakeholders, and in the study of the process of integration as a new perspective in global and local relations, the realization of the union of the state and the market, and the connection of macroeconomic regulation and microeconomic adjustment, we want to point out all the heterogeneity of contemporary thought in matters of international relations - from the point of view of basic theoretical orientation, as well as from the point of view of the problems it examines. “Business Economics and Sustainable Development” is based on cooperation of the Libertas International University in Zagreb and the Institute for Development and International Relations in Zagreb, and in terms of its content, this doctoral study is the first study of its kind in the Republic of Croatia. This study was launched in consultation with representatives of relevant stakeholders, and scientists and researchers who work on the topics of sustainable development, the economy of value creation and green growth of the economy, such as the Society for Sustainable Development Design, the Energy Institute Hrvoje Požar and the Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development. Research in this study program is focused on the
study of new social, management, economic, environmental topics that are significant for sustainable development at the local, national and international levels, and are extremely poorly represented in other postgraduate doctoral and research programs. When it comes to research topics, I would like to point out some of them: sustainable development policies and practices, corporate social and environmental responsibility, collaborative strategies, ecological economics, circular economy, sustainable transport system, social sustainability research, climate change, agriculture and development, audit systems and environmental management, policy and strategy for governments and businesses.
When we talk about modern diplomacy and international relations, how different are they in practice today compared to before, and what would you single out as the basis of contemporary diplomacy that we can see in the postgraduate study program of Libertas University?
Configuration of domestic interests and access of these interests to the executive power is actually an essential factor in understanding the formation of preferences of stakeholders at an international
level. In attempts to analyze the complexity of the international space, some questions have arisen about the mechanisms that promote both political stability and change. If the international space can be defined as a complex system, then a high level of unpredictability must be accepted within that reference framework. This doctoral study systematizes knowledge about the government, about the motives of statesmen’s behavior, providing the basis for interstate interactions. Behavioral analysis, game theory, analysis of systems and subsystems, the process of making political decisions are central to this approach.
How do you perceive sustainable development, which is a popular topic in today’s world? How much do we recognize that topic, especially together with business economics?
Sustainable development has three dimensions: economic, social and environmental. The issue of preservation and sustainable use of the environment as a lever for development is gradually integrated in development policies. Sustainable development cannot be achieved only with technological solutions, political regulations or financial instruments. We need to change the way of thinking, and the practice of acting, and such change requires
quality education and learning for sustainable development on all levels and in all social contexts promoting awareness of “green growth”, collaborative relationship towards the community and the ecosystem, corporate sustainability, sharing and value creation economy and health preservation. Finally, the concept of sustainable development at UN level was accepted at the Rio de Janeiro conference in 1992 as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Study programs are intended for people with an acquired academic degree, mostly with advanced careers. What attracts doctoral students to postgraduate studies at Libertas University the most?
Both postgraduate doctoral programs offer the education and professional training of experts and scientists who are desirable in the labor market. Both programs recognize the necessity of an integrated and comprehensive approach to education at the doctoral level, and, in addition to a certain number of courses common for all areas of economics and sustainable development, i.e. international relations and diplomacy as necessary basic knowledge, they offer attractive elective courses intended for closer specialization of doctoral students, with the aim of creating internationally recognized and socially responsible researchers for the purposes of development of science and society as a whole
How would you rate the range of acquired knowledge of the students at the beginning and at the end of the studies and how they apply the newly acquired knowledge and what are their opportunities?
Participants will acquire the know-how for formulating critical questions for the design and implementation of research at a high international level by dealing with the interdisciplinarity and complexity of social, political, economic and environmental issues with learning outcomes and competencies in accordance with the needs of the labor market and economic growth in the Republic of Croatia. At these studies, employees of scientific and research institutes, employees of state administration bodies, managers in private companies, consultants, researchers of civil society organizations and think tanks not only from Croatia but from the entire region of Southeast Europe,
creativity is born from challenges
General Manager of the DP Lux Group
DP Lux is one of the fastest-growing companies in the region, in the retail and beauty industry. In his interview for Diplomacy&Commerce magazine, Miloš Milutinović, the company’s general manager, talks about the company’s products, niche products and the differences between premium and lux products.
You base your business on niche products. What are they exactly and what are their main features?
Concerning niche perfumes, as typical representatives of the niche industry, what sets them apart is that they are innovative products that have unique fragrance compositions of topquality ingredients. Due to their uniqueness
and complexity, niche perfumes provide a personalized experience of customer satisfaction. Each of us finds our own emotion and identity in a niche perfume.
ers who incorporate experiences and feelings into their creations. Therefore, niche perfumes are the ultimate works of art, and it is up to us to find the one that we will enjoy the most. I would like to point out that one of the important features of niche perfumes is that most of them are unisex, because they do not reflect gender, but the experience of certain emotions.
Is every premium product also a luxury product?
In which way do niche perfumes differ from fashion and cosmetic brand perfumes?
Unlike fashion and cosmetic brand perfumes, niche perfumes are created by design-
In my industry, the premium does not denote something unattainable, but something that provides a sense of satisfaction and meaningful added value in everyday life. I will give you an example of this - one of the brands we distribute, The Spirit Of Dubai, is one of the most famous brands in the world of niche perfumes. Their premium perfumes
premIum IS SometHIng tHat provIdeS a SenSe oF SatISFactIon and meanIngFul added value In everYdaY lIFe
Our buyers deserve the best value for their money
are in the standard price range for this type of product. On the other hand, this brand entered the Guinness World Records with its perfume called SHUMUKH, as the most expensive perfume in the world. With its unique two-metrehigh packaging, which is encrusted with gold, silver, pearls and topaz, as well as 3,571 diamonds, SHUMUKH is synonymous with luxurious perfume.
What does premium mean to you?
In many ways, in the post-COVID period, the consumer world is embarking on a new era. As if the concept of hyperconsumerism and the principle where the price is the key determinant in marketing mix have been abandoned overnight
I have always been advocating that “less is more”. In this context, I would like to mention the discussion about the difference between style and fashion. For me, style is eternal and fashion is fleeting. Style is not based on trends, but on quality in every segment - from materials used and the top-notch production process to service, packaging, presentation, communication and the choice of sales channels. This is how we arrive at premiumization. It is one of those new expressions that are linguistically, perhaps, difficult to pronounce clearly and quickly, but which we can easily get used to. The bottom line is that premium is quality that prevails over quantity.
In 2021, you expanded your distribution business to 11 countries in Central and Southeastern Europe with a tendency to expand further. At the same time, your premium retail chain, Belodore, is currently present in 6 countries in the region and is the second-largest chain of its type in Europe. Could you explain to us how come you experienced the greatest expansion at the time of the greatest crisis, namely since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Throughout my career, I had to deal with various types of crises. My abundant experience has taught me that crises can be viewed as a blessing in disguise because all crises imply progress. Creativity is born from challenges, crises facilitate inventiveness and grand strategies. The one who overcomes the crisis overcomes himself - everyone who perceives it as an opportunity is aware that the crisis will lead to weaker organizations giving way to stronger ones on the market. Therefore, the only true crisis is a crisis of incompetence, reluctance and unwillingness. When everyone was reducing marketing budgets and strictly focusing on downsizing activities, we were focused on cash flow management, but not in a way to cut costs at all costs. On the contrary, the focus was on reducing the costs of complexity and creating new opportunities for the placement of our products, with one goal in mind - to bring the feeling and the best offers found in global metropolises closer to our customers in all the countries where we do business.
As a distributor, DP LUX covers a market of 65 million consumers. In the retail segment, DP Lux covers a market of almost
35 million people. How does the current global economic crisis affect the development of the premium product market and how much does market consolidation help you in your business?
Many macroeconomic and market shifts and trends in the last five years have favoured premium products, starting with the degree of customer education, which is at an enviable level. level. Today, they know what they want, what are the features of each product, and what are the global trends... All this reduces the need for impulsive purchases and puts the service, the overall environment in which the sale takes place and the customer›s feelings in the foreground. These facts certainly favour premium products. Furthermore, due to negative macroeconomic trends, the target group that buys this product category has demonstrated the highest degree of resistance. Also, there is much stronger brand loyalty in the premium segment.
cal challenges, control, connecting with your team... All of the aforementioned are only part of the daily challenges that arise from market consolidation.
Given that you are a distributor of over 90 brands and communicate with companies worldwide, what is your experience concerning their perception of our region as a market?
I will try to illustrate our partners’ perception in one phrase - “non-established market”. This perception is based on assumptions and insufficient information, which is a common problem today and one of the biggest mistakes that leaders and managers can make.
After visiting the region, our partners are often very surprised by the quality of life, the breadth of education and information that people here possess, the good knowledge of foreign languages, culture and history and how much they follow global trends. Some of them irreparably fell in love with everything our markets have to offer.
I would like to use this opportunity to brag a little too – as a rule, Belodore boutiques are chosen as the most prestigious sales points of most brands and frequently find a place in their presentations and publications. This speaks volumes about how much the opinions have changed and how much awareness that Western Europe and the USA are not the only markets suitable for the placement of premium products has grown.
DP Lux especially focuses on systematizing the experience we gained from doing business in 12 European countries through a unique group of values and benefits that we offer to our distribution chains and consumers via our retail chain that sells Belodore niche perfumes.
We initiated this qualitative systematization through an internal project. We want to bring the spirit of global metropolises, quality of service, ambience and shopping experience closer to our markets while respecting all the idiosyncrasies that they have. Also, we strive to educate consumers that quality costs money, but not without reason, and premium products have a much better price vs. quality ratio than products from other categories. Hence, year-on-year, we have been witnessing that consumer awareness is developing and that the premium is not unattainable and certainly not overpriced. In short, our customers deserve to get the best for their money.
The second part of your question was about consolidating our business in several markets. Certainly, this process brings with it several benefits - from using the potential of economies of scale, a better negotiating position with the brands we represent, the possibility of selecting the best personnel, and access to new knowledge and experiences.
We cannot expect better business results tomorrow if we do business in the same way as yesterday. Changes are necessary, therefore I believe that it is necessary to look at the whole world as a single market. Of course, expanding to a larger number of markets brings with it its own challenges. Effective management, fighting with local competition, logisti-
On the other hand, each of us should be aware that we are representatives of our respective regions and that as such, we have a responsibility towards all the countries that our companies represent. We do not only represent ourselves and our company but something much wider and bigger than that. I really mean this. This attitude is deeply rooted in my value system, which I try to convey to everyone around me.
Speaking about your job, how do you connect and use the current experiences you have as a university professor and the general manager of an international company?
Nothing is more practical than a good theory, but there is no better theory than good practice. In both of my occupations, I am always guided by this rule I’ve heard from a very dear professor. Everything we do in life requires a balance, but also an even development of potential in all segments. The academic work encourages me to keep up to date with all the news in the domain of my scientific expertise, while on the other hand, I have the great pleasure of being able to implement and review all my academic knowledge through the practice of a person who is at the head of an international company that has recorded double-digit sales for the last five years. Also, working with students is invaluable - it gives a person the opportunity to always stay current. Their energy and ambition are truly infectious. Several special students today work in very important positions at the DP Lux Group, which makes me even happier and more proud.
notHIng IS more practIcal tHan a good tHeorY, but tHere IS no better tHeorY tHan good practIce.
amBassador of tHe repuBlic of aZerBaijan presents credentials to president of tHe repuBlic H.E. Anar Imanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Croatia, with residence in Zagreb, presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Croatia Zoran Milanović.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Sevda Imanova, First Secretary Zaur Abbasov and Third Secretary Orkhan Talib-zad. President Milanović was accompanied by the Adviser to the President of the Republic for Foreign and European Policy Neven
Pelicarić, Director-General of the DirectorateGeneral for Economic Affairs and Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Irena Alajbeg and Secretary of the Cabinet for Foreign and European Policy in the Office of the President of the Republic Ivan Mutavdžić.
The new President of the Management Board of Jamnica plus and the new Chief Executive Officer of the Beverage Group.
Simona Kostrevc is an economist by profession, and she started her rich experience at Petrol in 2002, first as a student at the Faculty of Accounting, and later at the Faculty of Finance, where she gained extensive
experience and operational and professional knowledge in the field of accounting and finance. In 2006, he took over the management of the Accounts Payable Department at OJ Financije, and in 2011, he became responsible for the establishment of a receivables and credit risk management system for subsidiaries in SEE markets. In 2013, he took over the management of the Claims and Liabilities Department in OJ Finance, and two years later started the project of establishing the OJ Background Office, which he has been leading since 2016. In June 2021, she took over the management of the integration office in Zagreb, where she oversaw the merger process of Crodux Derivati dva d.o.o. with Petrol d.o.o.
Since 2017, Siniša has been the President of the Management Board of Roto Dinamic, where he and his team achieved excellent business results. During his career so far, he has gained rich experience and knowledge in the field of procurement, retail, wholesale, marketing, logistics and controlling.simona Kostrevc The new President of the Management Board of Petrol Croatia
F ocu S on
Her Excellency Diana Helen Madunic, Ambassador of Sweden to Croatia for Diplomacy&Commerce explains the priorities of the official Stockholm presidency of the EU Council, but also about the process of Sweden‘s accession to NATO and assistance to Ukraine.
Sweden takes over the presidency of the EU from 1.1. 2023. for six months. What will be the priorities of the presidency?
Our priorities will be questions that are of utmost importance for the whole European Union at the moment. Therefore, the Swedish Presidency has identified four main priorities:
The security of the EU and the importance to continue standing united in the support of Ukraine and against the unlawful aggression of Russia.
Efforts to promote economic growth and the competitiveness of the EU, by strengthening the internal market and global trade opportunities, but also by speeding up the digitalization of the Union.
Thirdly, we believe that the EU needs to invest more in the green economy by putting the “Fit for 55 program” into action, but also speeding up the energy transition to make us all more independent from fossil fuels, not
tHe SwedISH pr Ior ItIeS oF tHe eu preSIdencY are alSo european pr Ior ItIeS
least from Russia. The transition to a fossil-free and resource-efficient circular economy will also require major investments in innovative European industries that can translate the best ideas and innovations into functional solutions.
We should also not forget that the European Union is based on values such as democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Upholding these values, in times when they are under pressure in different parts of the world, will therefore be an essential element of the Sweden’s Presidency.
Sweden wants to become a member of NATO. How far have the negotiations with Turkey reached in this regard, and when do you expect to become a full member of NATO?
The former and the current Swedish Government have discussed the issue several times with the Turkish President and the Turkish Government. They did not come to a conclusion yet, but the dialogue is ongoing on different levels, and we hope that an agreement will be reached soon.
However, we were not entirely surprised by this situation. A ratification process with thirty member states of NATO is rather complicated, so one has to be prepared that obstacles can occur.
But we hope that we will soon be able to resolve the issues and move forward by strengthening the NATO with two new member states, and thus the security of all of Europe.
In which direction will official Stockholm’s support to Ukraine go? And do you think it is possible to reach an agreement to end the war in 2023?
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine Sweden has extended a very strong support for Ukraine – political, economic, military, humanitarian and legal – including support for Ukraine’s candidate status to become member of the EU in the future.
At the end of November, the Government sent another military support package to Ukraine that was larger than all the eight previous military materiel support packages combined, and the humanitarian package was the largest sent to date. The contents of the military support package amount to a total of about 3 billion Swedish kronor (approx. 270 million euros). The support is primarily intended to help Ukraine get through a winter, which by all accounts will be very difficult. I am not in a position to predict when the war might end, but I hope of course that it will happen soon.
H.e.diana Helen madunic Ambassador of Sweden to Croatia Interv I ew
Finally, croatia’s presidency in 2020 showed us the importance of always being prepared for the unexpected, whatever it might be.
what science can do
is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology.
Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit astrazeneca.com and follow the Company on Twitter@AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca d.o.o., Radnička cesta 80, 10000 Zagreb, Tel: +385 1 4628 000; www.astrazeneca.com HR-1888, 12/2021, valid until 12/2022
a crucI al Y ear For europe
War, inflation, recession. Europe is facing difficult challenges at home. At the same time, global geopolitical tensions are forcing Europe to take on a new, more active role.column
CExternal shocks have rocked the world – and Europe – in recent years. While Brexit exacerbated both short-term and long-term ailments in the British economy, the pandemic caused supply shocks and recession all over the continent. Energy shortages pushed up costs. Inflation took off. The Russian invasion of Ukraine destroyed lives and livelihoods for millions.
Inflation for the Euro Zone as a whole is now 10 per cent – the highest since the introduction of the common currency. Headline inflation is probably about to peak. Many of the bottlenecks caused by the pandemic are widening, some have vanished. The cost-push inflation is gradually receding. But all forecasts are uncertain. If energy costs rise during a cold winter with supply of Russian gas shut off, prices may shoot up again.
Core inflation, albeit lower, is still trending up, much higher than the inflation target. Inflation has spread to most sectors, and in some countries there is a risk that rising wage costs will prolong the inflation.
The ECB is facing a difficult situation.
• On the one hand, monetary policy needs to be tightened in order to bring inflation down towards the target. Inflation expectations need to be kept in check – necessary after years of easy money.
• On the other hand, tightening will probably deepen and prolong the recession. Higher interest rates increase the cost of living and have negative effects on asset prices. The result is lower consumption and investments.
As of now, most forecasters see a rather mild decrease of GDP for the union as a whole. Maybe some 1.5-2.0 percentage points – clearly less than the pandemicinduced recession of 2020, and smaller than the dip expected in the UK. Labour markets are strong, and the banking sec-
tor is less fragile than in previous crises. But once again, forecasts are uncertain. It is not difficult to paint a bleaker picture where a more brutal and longer war depresses the European economy and vicious feedback loops emerge in financial markets.
This has not prevented the leaders of the European Central Bank to issue stern warnings that policy needs to be tightened even in the face of dire real consequences. They see no alternative, given the shockingly high inflation levels
Here we need to note that the ECB is the central bank not for just one country. It is the central bank of the entire Euro Zone, i.e 20 countries when Croatia joins. Since inflation and economic growth differ between member states, some countries may find the European key rate out of sync with their national economy. Today there is a huge divergence between national inflation rates in the Euro zone.
The Baltic states all show inflation above 20 per cent, while Spain and France are at 7. One interest rate might not fit all.
The monetary union has great economic benefits, increasing trade between members and reducing currency volatility. But the common monetary policy means that structural developments in member states need move in the same direction and that national fiscal policy should complement monetary policy. However, there have been few powerful tools to drive structural convergence. There is no common fiscal policy and mobility of resources across national borders is low.
This imbalance goes back to the Maastricht treaty of 1993. It laid the foundation of the monetary union, but did not address the need for co-ordination with fiscal policies. Neither did the treaty furnish the EU with the tools of a common foreign policy. The union is in this respect still half-baked.
The European Commission is trying to build a more complete union. AmbitiousKlas eKlund, Senior Economist, Mannheimer Swartling
plans for infrastructure, energy and climate investments have been presented. These will help in the long term; but in the short term the looming recession may increase tensions and dissatisfaction with the union.
Thus, Europe’s economic policymaking is facing a crucial test in 2023, not only meeting the recession but also laying the ground for more ambitious structural developments.
This does not mean that Croatia has made a mistake in adopting the euro. The timing may not be optimal, given all the challenges at the moment. But Croatia’s inflation rate is close to the European average, which means that the ECB’s refi rate should be broadly in line with Croatia’s needs. Furthermore, the entry of a new member state shows the strength and attractiveness of the European idea, even in this turbulent world. Or rather: especially in this turbulent word.
croatia’s adoption of the euro contributes to a such a strengthening of european co-operation, economically as well as politically. In the long run, this benefits not only croatia but the entire european union.
Looking beyond Europe, we see in 2023 an environment fraught with strife, lacking effective governance. China is an authoritarian state, plagued by Covid, but still mounting a challenge for global leadership. The US is haunted by polarization, an increasingly dysfunctional political system, and its share of the global economy is steadily shrinking. Russia nurses dangerous dreams about rebuilding its tsarist borders. And there is no global organisation capable of enforcing any global code of conduct, neither for how states should behave towards each other, nor for how to co-operate for common purpose, like mitigating climate change.
Instead, trade wars and decoupling threaten the open global market which has been crucial for the rise and wealth of Europe. Therefore, in this epoch of crises and challenges it is necessary for the European nations to co-operate in order to build a resilient political economy, and to mount a credible alternative to great-power domination.
IK eav ISIon to create a better everY daY lIFe
e promised that we would always be on their side - of our customers and our co-workers - and we will continue to do so, both today and in the future. In an environment that is constantly changing and with increasingly thin wallets, it is important for us at IKEA to be available to the many, while at the same time we are taking special care of sustainable business and the overall impact on the environment. Next year, 2023, will be especially challenging. Therefore, we have put our energy and efforts into these areas of activity.
Creating a positive impaCt through sustainability
Going circular is a big responsibility and a systemic change for IKEA –one that impacts every aspect of what we do - from how and what products and services we develop and the materials we source, to how we develop the complete IKEA value chain. It’s a challenging journey, but also a great growth opportunity for our business. It’s a big responsibility in the impact we have on resources and the planet –through how we do things and how we work with others. It also means we can have a big impact on climate change.
Our values are based on keeping resources such as products, parts, and materials in use for as long as possible by reusing, refurbishing, and remanufacturing them. When this is no longer possible, only then do we turn to recycling. We want to make it possible for our customers to participate in the circular economy and change their mindsets and their behaviour. Ultimately, we want to have positive impact on the world and help change it.
That is why we committed ourselves to making all our products circular and using only renewable or recycled materials by 2030.
better homes affordable to the many people
Keeping prices as low as possible is IKEA’s daily task, today more than ever before. Many people are facing rising living costs and economic disruptions due to inflation, especially energy prices. Unlike the early period of pandemics, today some of our major suppliers are challenged by price increases due to unused capacity throughout the supply chain. These increased prices would be passed on to retailers and then to customers, creating additional pressure on demand.
To mitigate these trends, in October we launched a long-term activity called “We lower prices where we can”. Our customers can now enjoy up to 20 percent lower prices for some of our most popular and well-known products, such as the MALM bed frames and KALLAX systems, KIVIK sofas, and MAMMUT furniture for the youngest.
In accordance with the possibilities and trends in the global market, we will try to maintain this offer as long as possible, and possibly expand it, thereby providing our customers with additional items at more favourable prices, while at the same time enabling our suppliers to better use their capacities.
Caring about the people
In moments like these our vision of creating a better everyday life for as many people as possible, especially our coworkers, gains even greater importance.
IKEA has therefore made additional efforts this year to mitigate the negative impacts on the standard of living of its employees and support their livelihood. Thus, we raised salaries in Croatia by an average of 10.15% this year, and the maximum increase is up to 16.50%.
Co-workers at IKEA Southeast Europe have different opportunities for realization and remuneration for special en-
gagements on the additional project, or temporary tasks. Thus, colleagues who are willing to explore more opportunities, contribute and develop, receive an additional monthly amount on top of their basic salary during the engagement period.
Globally, we are taking steps to further support our colleagues during the global crisis by activating several joint initiatives, including a 10-millioneuro social fund to support those most in need. We have also doubled the discount on more than 2,000 energysaving products and home furnishing items, as well as Swedish Food Market items – for our employees in all Ingka Group markets.
Finally, when it comes to the region, which includes Ukraine, we remain strongly committed to our employees there and continue to support themwith income and job stability and at the same time all basic benefits, including healthcare, pension, insurance, and other support policies.
supporting people with disabilities is our important goal for the Coming period
As part of our constant efforts to help the community in which we do business, this year we decided to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a donation. We supported Humana Nova social cooperative from Čakovec, that employs 45 people, mostly persons with disabilities. Their production relies on usage of discarded or waste textile and we are so happy to see them grow, expand their workplace and provide more opportunities for the people from vulnerable groups.
This is just the beginning of our efforts to help people with disabilities, to whom we will devote a lot of attention in the future.
We are dedicated to creating a good life for our customers, and we want to ensure the same for our co-workers.
eKaterina eGorova CEO, IKEA SEE
Speaking of the IKea Southeast europe region, the total investment in salary increases in the markets of croatia, romania, Serbia, and Slovenia amounts to three million euros.
leadIng bY example: aStra zeneca dr I veS a bold SuSta InabIlI t Y agenda
A straZeneca is a global, scienceled biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory, Vaccines & Immunology. It operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. In 2020, the Balkans Cluster was created, which includes Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro. This year the group also approved a project, thanks to which the company will enter through a partner the countries in the Southern Balkans: Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo.
As a global business, AstraZeneca plays a key role in tackling the biggest challenges of our time and has very ambitious program in several directions: access to healthcare, environmental protection and ensuring ethical and transparent policies. In November the company was ranked in the top 3 position in the 2022 Access to Medicine Index (AtMI)*. AstraZeneca was recognized as the industry leader in Product Delivery, noting its application of tailored access
strategies for different countries reflecting their income classifications across all product categories. The company follows the UN‘s Global Sustainable Development Goals and is aiming to have a negative carbon footprint by 2030.
To support the Group’s sustainability agenda, Croatian team is driving numerous initiatives locally too. Since the beginning of this year, it is ordering only electric cars and by 2025 the company’s fleet will be 100% electric. Recently the team planted 1000 trees in the Sljeme forest as part of the global initiative “AstraZeneca forest”. Every year all employees in Croatia participate in different charity runs to help funding national disease awareness activities. In 2023 the company will launch their Young Health Protection program in Croatia. It aims to raise the awareness among younger population on the negative effects of smoking and to support them in choosing healthier lifestyle. As part of Balkan Cluster, Croatian team is also investing
in beehives’ adoption through which the countries are additionally supporting the environment protection. More than 30 CSR causes are executed for the last year in the Balkan Cluster, most of which are driven by the employees themselves.
*AtMI is an independent ranking of 20 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and evaluates their impact on improving access to medicine in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It focuses on three technical areas: Governance of Access; Research and Development (R&D); and Product Delivery. AstraZeneca moved up from 7th to 3rd position after performing well across all three technical areas. Veeva ID HR-2991, December 2022, valid until December 2023
Since the beginning of this year, it is ordering only electric cars and by 2025 the company’s fleet will be 100% electric.
countrY wItH cloSe to 28 mIllIon vISItorS per Year
IAs in most parts of Europe, tourism in Sweden began sometimes during the 19th century. In fact, the firstSwedish tourist association was foundedin the town of Uppsala in 1885, with theaim of promoting tourism in Sweden andhelping people discover their own country.At the turn of the century, in 1900, first-
swimmers started to swim in the sea inSkåne and on the island of Gotland. Manycame to watch this unheard-of event – menand women swimming together! During thesecond half of the 20th century, tourism inSweden started to happen “en masse”, focusing on diverse nature sights, snow andeven sun. Charter flights began in 1953 and-
until 1996, the number of travelers hadgrown to around 1.6 million.
What can Sweden, considered by many as“a cold and dark country”, offer to tourists?The number of visiting tourists in Swedenhas been steadily growing over the last fewyears. But what is there to see? To do? Tobuy? To eat? Why should you go to Sweden?
Most people view Sweden as “a country somewhere up there in the North”
tour ISm are there bears in the streets in sweden?
Sweden is a land of varieties. It has awealth of opportunities for everyone; whatever the person might be interesting in. Fromthe green and warmer South to the snowcovered North, from the beautiful coast ofthe West to the archipelagos in the East.
Are you interested in culture, heritageand arts? Sweden has a rich and interestinghistory. This is a country that has not been inwar for centuries. Thus, the cultural heritagehas been preserved. The obvious places tovisit are the towns - from the capital Stockholm, to Gothenburg (Göteborg), Malmö,and Umeå. But the countryside is also full ofsurprises! Just visit “The Kingdom of Crystal”(the county of Småland where glass hasbeen hand-blown since 1742), and Stockholm, the town that rests on many smallislands, and Sweden’s most visited town.The “must-do’s” in Stockholm are:
• Vasa Museum: The 69-metre-long warshipVasa sank on its maiden voyage in themiddle of Stockholm in 1628 and was salvaged 333 years later, in 1961. For nearly ahalf of century the ship has been slowly,deliberately and painstakingly restored toalmost its original glorious state. The threemasts on the roof outside the specially builtmuseum show the height of the ship's original masts. Today, the Vasa Museum is themost visited museum in Scandinavia, withover one million visitors a year.
• ABBA Museum: The Museum is morethan just that. The permanent exhibition ischock full of ABBA memorabilia
pressive Baroque garden was created inearly 1681.
• Gamla Stan: Gamla Stan, the Old Town,is one of the largest and best preservedmedieval city centers in Europe, and oneof the foremost attractions in Stockholm.This is where Stockholm was founded in1252.
All of Gamla Stan and the adjacentisland of Riddarholmen are like a living,pedestrian-friendly museums, full ofsights, attractions, restaurants, cafés,bars, and places to shop. Gamla Stan isalso popular with handicrafts and souvenir aficionados.
Another important aspect of the modernculture is the Swedish literature, primarilythe crime novels which have gained largereadership worldwide. Have a peek intothe Swedish society, understand the collective Swedish psyche, and see wonderfulnatural settings! And you can do all of thatthrough the novels by Stieg Larsson (Millennium Trilogy), Henning Mankell (Detective Wallander books and TV series), CamillaLäckberg, Lars Kepler, Liza Marklund, JensLapidus and others.
like stageoutfits, instruments, gold records, awardsand much more. But it’s also an interactiveexperience that invites you to sing, dance,mix music and try out virtual stage outfits.
• Skansen, the outdoor park: Skansen is afavorite both with Stockholmers and visitors passing through. This is the oldestoutdoor museum in the world and alsothe Stockholm Zoo which houses animalsnative to Scandinavia. This is also a Swedenin miniature with 150 farms and dwellingsfrom different parts of the country disassembled and transported here.• The Royal Palace: One of the largestpalaces in Europe, the Royal Palace isthe official residence of His Majesty theKing of Sweden. It has over 600 rooms.The Palace is open to the public and hasno less than five museums. It was largelybuilt during the 18th century in the ItalianBaroque style, in the location where theTre Kronor Castle burned down in 1697.
• Gröna Lund: Experience the joyful andmagical world of Gröna Lund, Stockholm´samusement park.
• Drottningholm: Take a day trip to Drottningholm and experience a historic milieuof the highest standard. The Drottningholm Palace is Sweden's best-preservedroyal palace built in the 17th century, thepermanent residence of the royal familyand one of Stockholm's three World Heritage Sites. The palace features the magnificent salons from the 17th, 18th and 19thcentury, a beautiful park, a unique palacetheatre and the Chinese Pavilion. The im-
Would you consider Sweden as a designtravel destination? The country has gainedthat status as a result of having a tolerantculture which created opportunities and isa breeding ground for innovative solutionsand ideas. Swedish design doesn’t onlycover traditional things like cloth, furniture,jewelry, etc. but also innovations, new ideasin architecture, and new restaurant food. Swedes are encouraged from a young ageto defy norms, experiment and dare trying.Hence, Sweden is known as one of the mostinnovative countries in the world and duringyour stay as a tourist, you have the opportunity to embrace all the different aspectsof modern design at every step.
As it stretches from the South, leaningonto Europe by the Öresundsbron fromSweden to Denmark, to the cold and darkNorth, Sweden has a very diverse history,culture, nature, food, adventure, sports,etc. So here are a few teasers, just to helpyou decide to visit Sweden!
• Ice hotel: The world’s first hotel made of iceand snow. Founded in 1989, it is re-madein a new guise every winter. The hotel islocated in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi – 200km north of the Arctic Circle.
• Midsummer: This large gathering is one ofthe most loved Swedish traditions. Peopleoften begin the day by picking flowersand making wreaths that they place onthe maypole, which is a key part in thecelebrations. The maypole is raised in anoutdoor spot and traditional ring-dancesensue, to the delight of the children andsome of the adults Lucia: The annual candlelit Lucia procession, which takes place on
Sweden has gained that status as a result of having a tolerant culture which created opportunities and is a breeding ground for innovative solutions and ideas
13th December,is perhaps one of the more exotic-looking Swedish customs, with girls and boysclad in white fulllength gowns, singingsongs together. It is celebrated everywhere: in homes, schools, hotels, companies, outdoors.
• Semla: a cream-filled bun traditionally eaten in January-February. Around20,000,000 semlas are consumed everyyear.
• Dalahäst: The Dala Horse is the mostpopular Swedish souvenir. This is a woodenhorse, handpainted by Swedish woodcutters in the province of Dalarna, which originates from the 1700s. It is usually paintedin red, but comes in other colors too.
• Snowmobiling: Snowmobile safaris caninclude having lunch in wilder-
ness anddinner in Sami teepees, saunas, hot tubs,mountain lodges, campfires, ice fishing.
• Northern lights: The Northern Lights, orAurora Borealis, appear around the beginning of September (Kiruna) to around theend of March all over Swedish Lapland.Welcome to Sweden! Enjoy the sustainability and diversity of Sweden as a tourist!
Sweden has a very diverse history, culture, nature, food, adventure, sports…
litigation or mediation?
How to resolve a dispute – in court or through mediation
view of the dispute, questions are asked, the attorneys have the opportunity to present their legal view of the dispute and potential issues.
• Determining the possibility of dispute resolution – in conversation with the parties the mediator determines their true interests related to the dispute, discusses the best alternatives for resolving the dispute (BATNA and WATNA) and, if necessary, holds separate meetings with each of the parties in the dispute.
Centre of the Croatian Mediation Association, Mediation Centre of HGK, Mediation Centre of the Croatian Bar Association, of the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts, Mediation Centre of the Croatian Insurance Bureau, etc. (out-of-court mediation)
• Before the court – mediation service of the court which the dispute is being heard (court mediation)
communication and negotiation techniques and, most importantly, acceptance by the parties.
Due to the aforementioned required qualities, the most represented mediators are lawyers, mostly attorneys, judges, former judges.petar petrić Attorney at Law, Petrić & Kajić Law Firm LLC
When assessing and preparing the strategy on how to resolve a dispute, in court or through mediation, your lawyers play the key role. From the initial contact with your party, conducting an assessment of the risk of initiating and conducting a dispute and assessing the risk of initiating and participating in the mediation process, familiarizing the client with advantages and disadvantages of both ways of resolving the dispute, establishing contact with the other party or their lawyer, preparing your client, representing or consulting your party in the proceedings, until the resolution of the dispute with which the party is satisfied, requires full engagement and special skills and knowledge of your attorney or lawyer.
What is mediation and how is the process carried out
Mediation is a procedure where parties look for their own solution to a dispute or conflict through negotiations, with the assistance of a third professional – mediator.
The mediation process consists of sev eral stages, which are:
• Introductory remarks about the mediation process - it is the task of the selected mediator to meet the parties who have agreed to conduct the mediation process, to ask the parties to agree to the rules of conduct in the mediation process.
• Determining the subject of the dispute and collecting information on the dispute – the parties and their attorneys present their
• Negotiation – the mediator encourages the parties to assess the possibility of success in the dispute, to review all potential dispute resolution options as well as the future of their dispute if they do not reach an agreement with the other party.
• Reaching an agreement - everything that was agreed between the parties in mediation is summarized and the text of the settlement is drawn up and signed.
If a party has a lawyer, then the lawyer can advise them in all stages of the mediation process, starting from the selection of mediator to reaching an agreement and making a deal.
Selection of a mediator is one of the key elements for success of the mediation process.
types of dispute for whiC h the mediation is most appropriate Mediation is appropriate for almost all types of dispute because the type of dispute is not relevant for success of the mediation, but the willingness of the opposing parties to resolve the dispute.
Mediation produces equally good results in disputes between entrepreneurs, business partners, disputes between family members, neighbours, in labour disputes, but also in all other types of dispute.
However, in addition to lawyers, a significant number of people from other professions are also involved in the work of mediators, especially in cases where the sensitivity of the disputed issues (family disputes) or the complexity and specificity of the area of dispute, which is not primarily of a legal nature (construction disputes, medical errors, complex financial disputes, etc.) requires special knowledge, which lawyers, of course, do not possess.
Thus, accountants, engineers, architects, social workers, psychologists, experts in labor relations issues, doctors, consultants, pedagogues, etc. can often be mediators.
What is the main difference between mediation and litigation
The main difference between mediation and a trial is that in the mediation process, the parties themselves reach an agreement with the help of a mediator, and this agreement is a result of their free will, unlike a court dispute where the judge makes a binding decision that is not the result of the will of the parties and is beyond their control.
when is mediation
C arried out
Mediation can be conducted:
• before the start of court proceedings, and
• when the parties are already in court.
where C an the mediation be ConduCted
• Before a registered mediator entered in the registry kept by the Ministry of Justice and Administration
• Out of court – in institutions for mediation, e.g. Mediation
Choosing a mediator
Apart from the willingness of the parties to engage in mediation, the quality of the mediator is also important for the success of mediation.
Mediators are required to have experience in working with parties in conflict situations, to have knowledge of court proceedings and the ability to assess how court proceedings can affect the parties and their mutual conflict.
Mediators are required to attend additional courses every year, i.e. to improve their skills and quality,
In trial, the parties entrust the decision on the resolution of the dispute to a third person - the judge, and in mediation, the parties make the decision on the dispute themselves, with the help of a third person - a mediator, who helps them find a solution to the dispute, but does not decide what that solution is.
Mediation is conducted in one or more short or longer meetings, and the parties, their lawyers who are their advisers and the mediator participate in the meeting. Often, a complex and lengthy court case ends in one day in a mediation process or after just a few meetings focused on searching and finding a solution through mutual open communication between decisionmakers.
Sustainable marketing communication
Consumers attitudes and behavior are increasingly moving towards sustainable lifestyle – a trend accelerate in 2020. That behavior consists in buying foods that it is in season, reducing meat consumption, buying locally grown products, bringing bags instead of buying ones. Survey in U.K. suggests that 55% people say that for companies and brands has become more important to behave more sustainably, meaning, consumers expect brands to do good. Interest for ethical brands increases rapidly. The same survey says that 62% shoppers said they cared about at least one sustainable aspect when purchasing online through 2020. Additionally, 72% of interviewed people said that having a brand’s values reflect their own beliefs, is a deciding factor in what they buy. The result could be interpreted as having a purpose that goes beyond profit is an opportunity to drive meaningful connection with consumers. In other words, doing good is good for business. The awareness of acting in a sustainable way is growing in a rapid rate. In the words of Tanya Steele, CEO, WWF-U.K. „we are the first generation to know that we are destroying the world, and the last that can do anything about it. This is a wakeup call for the world, and business leaders.
Trend of consumers attitudes and behavior increasingly moving towards sustainable lifestyle accelerated in 2020. Suzanne Tallon, senior manager at Grocery suggests that if brands aren’t authentic, honest and transparent in their sustainability policy and efforts, they could be considered disingenuous or guilty of greenwashing. The term greenwashing, as explained in businessnewsdaily, means that a company purports to be environmentally conscious for marketing purposes but actually isn’t making any notable sustainability efforts. Furthermore, she explains the origin of the word claiming that environmentalist Jay Westerveld coined the term “greenwashing” in 1986, in a critical essay inspired by the irony
of the “save the towel” movement in hotels that had little impact beyond saving hotels money in laundry costs. The idea emerged in a period when most consumers received their news primarily from television, radio, and print media, so they couldn’t fact-check the way they could today.
Companies that have engaged in greenwashing on a wide scale have made headlines over the years. In the mid-’80s, for example, oil company Chevron commissioned a series of expensive television and print ads to broadcast its environmental dedication. But while the now-infamous “People Do” campaign ran, Chevron was actively violating the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, as well as spilling oil into wildlife refuges. As Carlyan Edwards suggests, greenwashing has changed over the last 20 years, but it’s certainly still around. As the world increasingly embraces the pursuit of greener practices, corporations face an influx of litigation for misleading environmental claims. She gives an example: The Alliance to End
Plastic Waste (AEPW) – a Singapore-based nonprofit backed by big oil and chemical companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil, and Dow – claims to be spending $1.5 billion to clean up plastic waste in developing countries. Despite this supposed goal, AEPW not only failed to honor its promise to clean up the Ganges River in India, but its member organizations went forward with plans to produce even more plastic.
To act in a proper sustainable way, Edwards suggests communication tactics companies should apply. Among others, she mentions avoiding fluffy language, meaning not to throw around words or terms with no clear meaning (e.g., “eco-friendly” or “natural”)., to watch out for hypocrisies, such as efficient light bulbs made in a factory that pollutes rivers, to avoid evocative images such as not using branding images that give an unjustified green impression (e.g., flowers blooming from exhaust pipes), designations that are just not credible (Look out for obvious attempts to “green” a dangerous product to make it seem safe), don’t use a label that looks like a third-party endorsement but is actually made up as well as be sure to outright lies (Never use totally fabricated claims). The same author emphasizes the difference between green marketing and greenwashing. Unlike greenwashing, green marketing is when companies sell products or services based on legitimate environmental positives. Green marketing is generally practical, honest, and transparent, and it means that a product or service meets the main sustainable criteria. However, Edwards adds, it’s easy for green marketing to translate to greenwashing in practice when an organization doesn’t live up to the standards of sustainable business practices. “Eco-friendly,” “organic,” “natural” and “green” are just some of the widely used labels that can be confusing and misleading to consumers, and concludes and recommend companies and brands „to tell their company’s sustainability story and avoid greenwashing. It’s a dirty practice, and we all know how costly a trip to the cleaners can be.“
As sustainability emerges being a national concern, more and more consumers expect companies and brands adopt sustainable practices, but many attempts, instead of being authentic slithers in greenwashingjaGoda poropat darrer Business Communication Professional
As part of the NEDO project, the installed solutions go beyond the current state of the techniques and lay the foundation for further implementation of advanced solutions in the Slovenian electricity system. The acquired knowledge will also be helpful in the wider international environment. The Slovenian and Japanese partners of the project, the company ELES, the Japanese agency NEDO and the company Hitachi, together with other high-
ranking guests from both countries, solemnly celebrated the completion of the project at the Ljubljana Castle. The Minister of Infrastructure M.Sc Bojan Kumer, Minister of Education, Science and Sport Ph.D. Igor Papič, Ambassador of Japan to Slovenia, His Excellency Hiromichi Matsushima, President of the Japanese NEDO Agency Mr. Hiroaki Ishizuka, Hitachi Vice President Mr. Katsuya Nagano, and Mr. Akito Fukasawa from Hitachi attended the event.
CCGDA and A1 presented the Analysis of the Croatian industry of video game producers. This analysis covers 66 companies that made a profit of more than 10 million euros last year. Nanobit alone generated 60 percent of the industry’s revenue. The Croatian gaming scene has come on leaps and bounds over the last five years or so, with the unlikely location (in the opinion of many) of Novska in continental Croatia becoming the very heart of the Croatian gaming scene. Many companies and studios have since popped up all over the country, and slowly but surely Croatia is becoming as recognized for its gaming potential as it is for that of its blossoming IT and tech scene. Gamepires is otherwise known for reaching an extremely impressive 250,000 sales in the first 24 hours of SCUM’s release, as well as over one million sales in a mere three weeks, making it the fastest selling new game ever on Steam.
musk i will resiGn as ceo of twitter as soon as i find a successor
dp lux group tooK over 100% ownersHip of tHe perfumery cHain plaZa in Bosnia and HerceGovina
DDP Lux Group, the previous partner owner, took over 100% ownership of W.Plaza d.o.o. from November 21. and thus became a leader in the beauty retail industry with two perfumery chains, Belodore and Plaza. W.Plaza has been operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina for more than two decades and includes the Plaza perfumery chain as well as L’Occitaine mono-brand stores. Plaza Perfumery is the leader in the Bosnia – Herzegovina market in the retail sale of perfumes, facial care products, as well as make-up cosmetics, with a portfolio of almost 100 brands from all over the world. DP Lux Group is a company that successfully operates as a distributor of over 90 brands in 12 European countries and cooperates with the most significant beauty retail chains in the region (Douglas, Jasmin, Plaza, Martimex, dm, lilly, cm, BIPA and others). The Group is, also, owner of one of the largest niche perfumery chains in Europe, the Belodore, operational in 6 countries.
Almost 60 percent of Twitter users voted for Musk’s departure. Over 17.5 million users participated in the survey. “I’ll be resigning as CEO as soon as I find someone crazy enough to take over! After that, I’ll just be running the software and server teams,” Musk tweeted. The survey didn’t offer a third option, “not sure/don’t know,” which the accuracy of such online polls is being questioned, but the results seem to offer Musk a way to gracefully exit a troubled
tenure at the company. Musk released the survey after he said he made a mistake by introducing new restrictions banning mentions of rival websites such as Mastadon and Instagram. Due to the backlash, Musk has vowed not to make any additional major policy changes until he receives the results of the survey. half of Twitter’s staff and other stormy moves that made many wonder if the popular service has a future under the current management.tHe nedo project is officially completed Cgda croatian video Game producers earned HrK 485.8 million
conference “Svijet u 2023”: we are expecting a sharp slowdown in the world economy next year
“Croatia in the Eurozone and Schengen – light in the tunnel of global recession and insecurity” was the theme of the “Svijet u 2023” conference as a public presentation of the fourth Croatian edition of The Economist’s annual global magazine “World Ahead”.
Diplomacy&Commerce magazine (Color Modei Communications) together with the Livit company in Croatia organized the 4th conference «Svijet u 2023.» at the Croatian National Bank. In addition to the interview of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, along with the traditional diplomatic panel, some of the conference’s key speeches were given by Governor Boris Vujčić, longtime director of The Economist Joan Hoey, and recognized world economist Klas Eklund. The hosts of the conference, Ivan Vrdoljak and Robert Čoban, greeted the gathered guests, and in his live interview at the conference, Prime Minister Plenković pointed out that we are in the year of the Government’s delivery, which is marked by the completion of the Pelješko Bridge, the entry into Schengen and the introduction of the Euro.
“I sent a joint letter with the Greek Prime Minister to the President of the European Council to once again support the granting of candidate status to BiH from the highest level. Croatia is continuously advocating for this, just as we fought for the candidate status for Ukraine in June. I don’t see why it should happen at the European Council, unless it happens on Thursday. We will be strongly “FOR”. To us, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a friendly, neighboring country with which we want to have the best possible relations, in which we want the Croats as a people to have early rights, and they will be equal the fastest if the whole country goes towards the EU on the reform path” – he answered foreign political questions from journalists during the conference Prime Minister Plenković.
The governor of the Croatian National Bank, Boris Vujčić, pointed out that the introduction of the euro strengthens resistance to crises and positions Croatia among the most developed countries, and he commented on the euro coins that citizens can buy from 1 euro and said that they “go like halva”.
At the traditional Diplomatic Panel, expectations and challenges in 2023 were discussed by H.E. Diana Helen Madunic, Ambassador of Sweden, H.E. Simon Thomas OBE Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Ambassador of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Anar Imanov.
The long-time director at The Economist magazine, Joan Hoey, emphasized in her presentation that we are facing a sharp slowdown in the world economy in 2023, while the president of the Croatian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Mirna Marović, was very direct about the new business buzzword of sustainability – “Everyone is talking about sustainability, and few people truly understand it, and even fewer companies live sustainability. Sustainability means the transformation of all processes within the company – from the satisfaction and role of employees to the final suppliers in the supply chain. Sustainability means disruption, the same process disruption as digitization was. There are too many opportunities and money in the world for everything to remain on buzzwords and symbolic gestures. Don’t forget, what is good for the planet and people is also good for business.”
The conference was supported by ACI Marine, Hrvatske Autoceste, HBOR, Kent Bank, De Longi, Adventure Xchange, Enna.Mr Robert Čoban, Mr Ivan Vrdoljak, PM Andrej Plenković, Governor Boris Vujčić PM Andrej Plenković Governor Boris Vujčić Mr Klas Eklund, H.E. Diana Helen Madunic Ambassador of Sweden to Croatia, Mr Boban Spasojević Svijet u 2023 conferene and magazine director