Digital Croatia: 2020 Bringing Less Queues, Less Drama, Less Uhljebs?

Lauren Simmonds

A digital Croatia was once a pipe dream and not much more. This country is worryingly infamous for its senseless, draconian bureaucracy and its love of turning what should be one sheet of paper into ten.

This love of paper, waiting, queues, being abused by salteruše (women who work behind counters in state administration buildings) and taking a number and waiting for hours is as masochistic as it is sadistic. Such is life in this country, Uhljebistan, from time to time.

It’s difficult to understand how an EU country in the 21st century, where computers actually exist, still finds it acceptable to make people take entire days off work to sit and wait in queues in windowless, airless offices with numbers for their turn to be belittled by an unqualified salteruša who only has that job because she’s someone’s cousin’s friend from school – just to get their hands on a piece of paper they’re perfectly entitled to. A digital Croatia could prevent at least some of the idiocy of these types of experiences.

The tax office, MUP, HZZO offices and everything along those lines sends shivers down the spines of the experienced, who set out of their houses, having to drop all of their obligations, ready to be greeted with the expressionless pan face of an administrative clerk behind some dirty glass, prepared to have an argument over absolutely nothing after said salteruša reels off outdated or indeed completely false information as apathetic onlookers also awaiting their fate watch.

Could we finally be approaching the tail end of all of that utter nonsense and entering with the new decade into the era of digital Croatia? Maybe. 

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 1st of January, 2020, this year, life will become much easier with the digitisation of the dreaded Croatian administration. Registering a newborn baby, applying for a permit to build a house or the issuing of ID cards and passports are part of 77 new services from e-Građani (e-Citizens).

Applying for access to land records, applying for construction and location permits, purchasing vignettes for a boat, and giving consent for a passport or child’s ID card are all part of the new public e-services recently made available to citizens thanks to the birth of digital Croatia.

From the comfort of their own homes, as opposed to being trapped in a poorly decorated room with other victims of Uhljebistan, citizens will now be able to perform 77 e-services through the e-Citizens system, which was established back in 2015 and used by 804,881 citizens, as 24sata reports.

In order to be used, one must register with the central government portal. When e-Citizens started operating, only a few services could be used and there were few ways to sign up, but now things are beginning to expand, finally.

Each service that can be used through the e-Citizens system states what level of authentication is required, or in what way a person must be logged in to use it. More and more banks are making use of the e-Citizens system with registration through their token or m-token. Such registration has a security level of 3. It is sufficient, for example, to obtain a certificate of impunity or to report dependents and so forth.

A newborn baby can also be registered from home via the e-newborn (e-novorođenče) system, but the baby’s mother must have a new ID card with an electronic signature verified in order to do so. If the father also has a new e-ID, he can confirm the mother’s application from home as well, and if he does not have one, then it still needs to be done the old way, by going to the registry office. In addition to obtaining documentation without going to offices, the e-Citizens system also sends messages to your Personal Inbox to update you.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more on digital Croatia.


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