ZAGREB, Sept 24, 2020 – Parliamentary opposition parties on Thursday raised a series of objections to the government-sponsored Defense University bill to establish a Defense and National Security University, with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) proposing that the bill be withdrawn from the floor.
“The bill belittles the science and education sector,” said Sanja Radolovic (SDP), claiming that it was unconstitutional and unlawful. “We support the development of defense and security, but why to establish a university, why not start with a college?” she added, wondering who would validate degrees and why the Ministry of Science and Education was not in charge of the bill.
Marija Puljak of the Pametno party welcomed the initial idea but stressed that everything should be done in accordance with the procedures in place.
“I think that the challenges of today, such as the coronavirus epidemic, cyber-attacks, and climate change, require our army to be well educated, trained, and equipped to be able to cope with these challenges,” said Andjelko Stricak of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).
Marko Pavic (HDZ) said that there was a great tradition of military academies and universities in the world. He said he was pleased that a university would be established to cover the military security sector. “We should be more ambitious. The biggest companies target people who complete such studies,” he noted.
Defence Minister Mario Banozic said that the new university would be organized as other public universities in Croatia, that it would be subject to laws governing defense, and would respect the constitutional provision on university autonomy.7