HSS-EIZG Post-conference Report

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Opportunity or threat?

Reform of local and regional self-government in Croatia

Organisation: Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung and the Institute of Economics, Zagreb (EURA institutional member)
Head of the Organising Team: Dubravka Jurlina Alibegović (EURA board member)
Dates: 27 and 28 October 2021

About the conference:
The conference was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice and Administration of the Republic of Croatia.
Ivan Malenica, the Minister of Justice and Administration opened the conference with a speech in which he announced the reform processes in local self-government.
The aim of the conference was to provide a platform for discussion between academics and practitioners on key issues for the reform of local and regional self-government as a precondition for faster and uniform development of all parts of Croatia.

Main issues discussed:
  • Is it the right time for changes after the 1993 territorial organisation?
  • What does effective cooperation between municipalities and cities mean?
  • What answers does local and regional self-government provide to demographic and fiscal challenges?
  • How to strengthen the capacities of local and regional self-government?
  • How to achieve more transparency, but also business security, in the digital era?
  • Ethics and/or efficiency?
  • What is the role of citizens in local self-government?
  • What is the role of political parties in strengthening local democracy and developing local community?
  • How to make local community a desirable place to live?

Keynote speeches:
Paweł Swianiewicz, Department of Local Development and Policy, University of Warsaw, and EURA member was invited as a keynote speaker and gave a keynote lecture “Recent local government reforms in Eastern Europe”.
Second keynote speaker was Christiane Plempel-Scholl, head of the Department for Administrative Reform, Bavarian Ministry of Finance and Homeland. She presented “Bavarian experience with the implementation of the Homeland Strategy “Offensive.Homeland.Bavaria.2025.”

Two panel discussions were organized at the conference - one with representatives of parliamentary political parties and the other with representatives of county prefects, city and municipal mayors on their political views, readiness to support local and regional self-government reforms, restrictions on reform actions and measures and similar issues.

Representatives from the Croatian academic community (15) presented the results of their research in the field of local and regional self-government.

Conference proceedings will be prepared (in Croatian).

Conference programme Conference summary

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