North and South: Cooperation between Dubrovnik and Varazdin

Lauren Simmonds


Is greater cooperation between two cities at either end of the country on the cards?

As Glas Grada reported on the 29th of June, 2017, there is a great interest between the two city councils for deeper cooperation between Varazdin and the Pearl of the Adriatic.

Yesterday, Marko Potrebica, President of the City Council of the City of Dubrovnik received an official visit of his counterpart from Varazdin, Damir Habijan. The two discussed the experiences of the representatives of the representative bodies of the two cities that have a lot of links in terms of the organisation and the functioning of the same official bodies, as well as of the local self-governing units they represent.

In the continental city of Varazdin there are 4,000 more inhabitants than in Dubrovnik, but the number of employees in the city administration is much lower; 115 civil servants are employed, while in Dubrovnik there are 225 civil servants and employees in the same field. Potrebica stated that during this period, the City of Dubrovnik is seeking greater efficiency and transparency regarding the work of, and what takes place in the city administration.

Waste management issues are a burden felt pretty much equally by both cities, and it is concluded that cooperation and the exchange of experiences can significantly improve the existing systems while in the process of adapting to European requirements, with special focus being placed on recycling and waste separation. The withdrawal of money from EU funds was also one of the key points of the conversation between the two.

Both Varazdin and Dubrovnik are rich in culture, history and heritage. While what Dubrovnik offers is known throughout the world and does not really need to be ”explained” in detail, Varazdin is another story, boasting five public cultural institutions and dozens of associations and cultural and artistic associations, the otherwise greatly overlooked continental city is a real cultural bastion of northwestern Croatia. Possible cultural cooperation between the two cities is therefore a perfect starting point for creating deeper ties between Varazdin and Dubrovnik.

President Potrebica’s council presented Habijan with an official invitation to the opening of the 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival, beginning on the 10th of July, while Potrebica received an invitation for this year’s edition of the Spancirfest Festival, which is traditionally held in the second half of August in Varazdin.


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