Prime Minister Meets with Prefects of Croatian Counties

Total Croatia News

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ZAGREB, December 11, 2018 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said at the fifth meeting of government officials and prefects of Croatian counties and representatives of the associations of towns and municipalities and the parliament’s local government committee in Rijeka on Tuesday that the government’s cooperation with counties had become “systematic, open, and based on partnership.”

The relationship between the government and county heads has become friendly, we all understand each other’s priorities and look for ways for individual ministries to support Croatia’s regional development, help reduce inequalities, create a positive legislative framework and find adequate budget funding, Plenković said, stressing that changes to the Act on the Financing of Local and Regional Government Units had made two billion kuna available to local government units in the first 11 months of this year.

Plenković recalled that the government was holding sessions outside of Zagreb, that meetings were held with county heads and that the Council for Slavonia held meetings as well. “The government’s presence across the country is very concrete, project-oriented, useful and continual. We can say that we have developed a methodology which seems favourable to counties, cities, municipalities and other parts of Croatia.”

Speaking about projects in Rijeka, he mentioned infrastructure, tourism and cultural projects. “Rijeka has been developing excellently and the government supports all projects, whether new or old … and the government’s partnership policy will continue,” said the prime minister.

Šibenik-Knin County head and Croatian Association of Counties head Goran Pauk thanked the government for implementing principles of partnership, open cooperation and support in contacts with local government officials. Pauk believes that the planned transfer of state administration duties to counties will simplify and rationalise future processes and increase citizens’ satisfaction.

Over the past few years we have taken over numerous tasks and duties from the state and the general impression is that we perform them more efficiently and in a more organised way because we are closer to citizens and know their priorities and needs, said Pauk.

Primorje-Gorski Kotar County head Zlatko Komadina welcomed the fact that the meeting was taking place in Rijeka, noting that the survival of the local shipbuilding industry was the most important issue for the county at the moment.

Rijeka Mayor Vojko Obersnel, too, spoke about the survival of the shipbuilding industry and called for finding a solution to help shipbuilding survive both in Rijeka and in Pula.

After the government’s meeting with county heads, an agreement was signed in Rijeka on a 20 million grant kuna for the Public Administration Ministry for a project to optimise the system of local and regional government. The project is designed to establish a single database for local government units and define a grading system based on different criteria.

The system will help determine which local government units perform well and which do not. Based on that, measures for the improvement of their work will be defined and the system will later possibly give guidelines for a possible reduction of the number of municipalities and towns.

For more on the local administration system, visit our Politics section.


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