The final conference of the project “Strengthening the Capacities of Civil Society Organizations in the Implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in Croatia” was held in Zagreb on November 14, 2023. The conference was organized by the project leader CERANEO – the Center for the Development of Non-Profit Organizations. Representatives of the Local Democracy Agency Sisak, one of the project’s partner organizations, participated in the conference.
At the beginning of the conference, Vesna Totić, a professional associate from CERANEO, presented the goals, activities, and achievements of the project. Subsequently, experts from the Faculty of Law at the University of Zagreb, from the Department of Social Policy, delivered expert presentations addressing relevant topics in Croatia. Prof.dr.sc. Gojko Bežovan presented the challenges of housing policy in Croatia and innovative frameworks for potential housing reforms. Dr.sc. Danijel Baturina discussed education and employment in Croatia in the context of the implementation of the Action Plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights, while izv.prof.dr.sc. Jelena Matančević presented the challenges of developing social services in Croatia, with a special emphasis on long-term care for the elderly.
The second part of the conference featured a panel discussion with representatives of partner organizations on the topic of “Challenges of NGOs in the Implementation of the Action Plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights at the local level”. During this panel, participants highlighted numerous challenges faced by civil society organizations in their counties, and the audience also joined the discussion. Lea Milošić Dude from the Association “Mi” Split emphasized the issue of housing for young people on the coast, and Nikolina Bartol from the Network of Associations Zagor highlighted the problem of funding for associations and irregular competitions. Other panel participants included Mirna Makovac from LDA Sisak, who addressed post-earthquake challenges in the county, and Zvonko Mlinar from the Croatian Network for the Homeless, who discussed the lack of institutional support in the work of NGOs. This panel opened a dialogue with conference participants from different sectors, allowing them to present their perspectives on the issues and fostering the possibility of inter-sectoral cooperation and understanding.
The project “Strengthening the Capacities of Civil Society Organizations in the Implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in Croatia” was supported with €89,258.86 in financial assistance from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway under the EEA Grants. The project aims to strengthen the advocacy capacities of civil society organizations and other stakeholders to monitor and implement the European Pillar of Social Rights at national and local levels. Civil society organizations in Croatia play a crucial role in promoting and protecting democracy and human rights.
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