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16 January 2006

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New Attempt to Prepare Civil Society Development Strategy

16 January 2006

On Thursday, January 12, Croatian Government established the working group for preparation of the draft-National Civil Society Development Strategy and submit it, by the end of April of this year, to the Bureau of Associations, reports HINA News Agency.

The Government invited 19 bodies and associations to nominate their representatives in the working group. The nominations should arrive to the Associations Bureau by Friday, January 20.

Toghether with several ministries and other state institutions, the working groups will include representatives of the National Foundation for Development of Civil Society, the Croatian Law Centre, GONG, Croatian Women Network, the Union of Association of Persons with Disabilities.

The Working Group will also include representatives of the Potrosac Association of Consumers, Eko Kvarner association, Coordination of Homeland War Association and Croatian Caritas.

This is the second attempt to start the work on the National Civil Society Development Strategy. The previous attempt led by the Bureau of Associations in 2005, resulted in a draft-document that was renounced by the NGO sector as incompetent and lacking in expertise and quality.

That document, together with the statements by Jadranka Cigelj, the Head of the Bureau, in an interview she gave for “Glas Concila” weekly, resulted in the initiative for her replacement, started by the Civil Society Forum.

Although the Government didn’t replace Cigelj, the Prime Minister publicly distanced his Government from her statements and the draft-Strategy, saying that the Government had no information and has not received any such document.

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