ZAGREB, July 18, 2019 – Ivan Malenica who has been nominated to replace Lovro Kuščević at the helm of the pulic administration ministry, on Thursday said that he would continue implementing projects of the digitisation of public administration and merger of state administration offices with county governments.
Ahead of meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Malenica told the press that his predecessor Kuščević had managed to complete some activities and that he will continue the job until the end of this term.
“I think that it will be possible to finish all that in the next year, so that we demystify public administration in Croatia and restore citizens’ trust,” Malenica said.
Asked whether he would scale down the powers of the Conflict of Interest Commission, Malenica said that he will see. “There is bill on the matter and we will see what they refer to.”
He underscores that he has a vision of what public administration should look like and that it is meant to be at the service of citizens who can be satisfied with civil servants, with their efficiency and performance.
Commenting on the Constitutional Court decision that the rights of the ethnic Serb minority in Vukovar should be improved, he said that that is a Constitutional Court decision and as such it needs to be respected. He announced that he would discuss that matter with the Vukovar authorities.
Malenica said that he accepted the ministerial position because it was challenge in his career and that he can also do something for Croatia in the area of public administration. He dealt with this area of work during his work as a researcher and believes that that can be applied to public administration.
“I will see just how different practical work is compared to research when I step into office but I think that there should not be any problems,” said Malenica.
The candidate for the new State Assets Minister, Mario Banožić, said on Thursday that the state should keep control over the companies that make it competitive.
I cannot now say whether the state should have five or six strategic companies and whether others should be on the market. I have to get an insight, however, I believe that the state should have control over those companies that make the state competitive, Banožić told reporters while coming to Government House for talks with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković who yesterday nominated him for the new state assets minister after Goran Marić resigned this past Monday over media reports on his involvement in murky real estate deals.
Banožić praised Marić for having made a great step forward in state property management, notably in cases where ownership was unclear and in the registration of state assets.
Addressing the press ahead of a meeting in Government House with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Labour and Pension System Minister nominee, Josip Aladrović, on Thursday said that he would invite social partners, unions and employers, to a social dialogue and to revive the Economic-Social Council (GSV).
“I would like to first mention that we will call social partners to a dialogue and to resume activities within the GSV,” Aladrović said, adding that he considers that most of the matters tended to in the department of labour and pension system under outgoing minister Marko Pavić were handled well.
Aladrović did not wish to comment on the union initiative to call a referendum against the proposed pension reform after the unions collected more than 700,000 signatures.
“Considering the number of signatures and all the work done prior to that, I would say that that was the democratic will of the people. In future we will attempt to anticipate and launch social dialogue,” he said.
He believes that it is necessary to allow the government and the public administration ministry to do their job and to see if there is a sufficient number of votes for a referendum and the Constitutional Court needs to determine whether the referendum question is in accordance with the Constitution.
“I would not like to interpret something that the Constitutional Court will interpret considering that we achieved what we wanted with the pension reform and that is long term sustainability of the pension system and adequate pensions.”
Aladrović also said that the Conflict of Interest Commission had launched proceedings against him due to a “minor oversight” and that he will accept any decision the commission makes. He apparently did not enter a car he possesses into his declaration of assets.
He said that he joined the HDZ when he was 16 or 17 and thanked Prime MInister Plenković for showing his confidence and giving him the honour to be a minister.
“I am certain that I will justify that trust and that I will do my job responsibly and that the results of the Ministry of Labour and Pension System will be visible in a very short time,” he said.
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