Minister Malenica at Zlati Kamen Conference in Slovenia

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Minister of Justice and Public Administration Ivan Malenica participated in the Zlati Kamen Conference on the development of Slovene municipalities, held on 28 February in Ljubljana.

He presented the project “Optimisation of the local and regional self-government system” and a model for the functional integration of self-government units in Croatia.

“Changes in the organisation of local self-government cannot happen overnight, even though changes that affect the development of local communities happen quickly, sometimes even suddenly. Therefore, local self-government must find a solution that will ensure that each municipality and city have mechanisms to react to the changes that affect the quality of life of citizens in a timely, efficient and quality manner. Optimisation of the local and regional self-government system and functional integration are the first steps in the overall change of the system of local self-government in Croatia. These two processes will enable each municipality and city to develop polices based on quality and credible data. It is necessary that these changes are implemented on the basis of scientific knowledge and strategic plans", the Minister said.

Speaking about project activities, the Minister explained that the project “Optimisation of the of local and regional self-government system” established a uniform IT database that will be used by municipalities, cities and counties to design development policies. The project collected about 400 data sets and 190 indicators.

In a pilot project covering 40 units of local and regional self-government, a survey was conducted on the functions performed by self-government units and civil service training.

When it comes to functional integration of units, the Minister stressed that in July the Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted a Decision on criteria for awarding incentives for voluntary functional integration or actual merger of local self-government units, and the Ministry of Finance announced the Public Call. It covers two models, Model A for the financing of functional integration, and Model B for the financial support of actual mergers.

Minister Malenica stated that the reform processes are part of the National Public Administration Development Plan 2021 - 2027, a medium-term strategic plan with an overall value of over EUR 325 million (HRK 2.45 billion).  The Plan has five priority objectives: user-oriented public administration, digital transformation of public administration, development of human resources, strengthening policy capacity of public administration and improvement of the functionality and sustainability of local and regional self-government units.

On the sidelines of the conference, Minister Malenica had a bilateral meeting with Slovenian Minister of Public Administration Sanja Ajanović Hovnik. They discussed reform processes in public administration, modernisation of public administration procedures and services, and Slovenia’s experience with functional integration of local self-government units.