Platform 112: Assessment of the Reform Capacities of the Croatian Government, 2011 –2014

Zagreb, November 13, 2014

On the eve of the last year of the current Croatian Government’s term, the civil society watchdog coalition Platform 112 expresses concern and regrets regarding missed opportunities that have led to a decreasing number of people who truly exercise their rights, as well as a further loss of citizens’ trust. Instead of turning away from the kleptocratic legacy of the Croatian Democratic Union, towards more democracy and a way out of the economic crisis, the Government has opted for a status quo with respect to rule of law, quality of democracy, protection of human rights, public goods and dealing with the war.

We are aware that this assessment of the Government’s reform capacities with respect to the Platform 112’s policy requests is being published in an ambient of political polarisation, where war traumas are being recycled for the benefit of political manipulations, while the conservative right spurs fears and passion, searching for culprits among the Others. In such a context, we are faced with the compelling fact that none of our 112 requests have been fully realised, while significant positive shifts are visible in respect to only 16 of them, making up a saddening total of 14 per cent.

The heart of the problem lies in the lack of competencies related to leadership and strategic management in particular. Obviously, the current holders of public office came to power unprepared even for those reforms inherited from the EU negotiations, which they strongly advocated for while in the opposition, as well as in their pre-election Plan 21. Abandoning their own political objectives was not accompanied by taking responsibility, especially in the case of the Prime Minister, but also other public officials, who implicitly and informally used lack of authorization from the top as an excuse for their inaction.

We are convinced that the root cause of the economic and the growing social crisis – evident in increasingly deeper conflicts of worldviews and intolerance – is fundamentally political. Despite declared principles of openness and improvements in individual policy areas, our comprehensive analysis has shown that the role of citizens and organised civil society is still being ignored, especially when politically sensitive issues are at stake.

Deeply aware of these circumstances, we shall not give up and shall not accept this long-term downward trajectory into the abyss as a situation with no alternatives. The Croatian state and society have to find a way out of the economic crisis, the impoverishment of an increasing number of citizens, the deterioration of fundamental values of democracy and rule of law – in short, a way out of hopelessness that immobilizes us and pulls us backwards. It is necessary to put an end to the struggle for political power for the sake of power, , as well as manipulation in the name of ideologies that, oftentimes, not even their proponents believe in. It is necessary to stop with yelling and threatening, name-calling and agitating. Instead of lynching those who think differently, we propose and seek dialogue. A turn towards the inclusion of all those interested in common action for solidarity, tolerance and creativity is possible. We need to sit down and engage in dialogue.

  1. Stable responsible and democratic institutions, and equal access to justice
Stability, predictability and fairness of procedures and equal access to justice 1,5
Public administration marked by integrity, professionalism and unbiased approach to citizens 0,5
Effective and independent oversight over reforms stemming out of EU negotiations, especially Chapter 23 0
  1. Quality of democracy
Education system that prepares citizens for active citizenship 1
Public authorities acting on principles of transparency and participation 0,6
Comprehensive election reform 0,7
Freedom of assembly and expression, in line with international standards of human rights as well as free and professional media 0,8
  1. Fight against corruption and fight for public interest;
Institutional and legal framework for effective prevention and sanctioning of political corruption within public bodies 0,6
Protection of natural and public resources from particular interests 0,2
Greater expenditures for education system that will ensure equal access to pre-school, primary, secondary and high education 0,3
  1. Equality and dignity for all people
Improvement and consistent implementation of anti-discriminatory legal provisions, including sanctions 0,4
Improved legal and institutional framework for the protection of socially excluded citizens, especially in respect to the UN Convention for People with Disabilities 0,4
Set up of efficient mechanisms of workers’ rights realisation 0,5
Efficient and truly independent citizens’ oversight over security and intelligence sector: the military, the police and security and intelligence services 0,3
Promotion of human rights and peacebuilding in foreign policy of the Republic Croatia 1,4
  1. Legacy of war, dealing with the past and peace-building
Efficient and unselective investigation and processing of war crimes 0,7
Finding all the missing in the wars in former Yugoslavia 0,7
Taking responsibility on part of Government for the damage, unauthorized investments, housing and resolution of statutory, social and labour related issues of victims of war 0,4


Platform 112 – Croatian watchdog coalition committed to the promotion of the rule of law includes the  following  civil society organisations:


B.a.B.e. Budi aktivna. Budi emancipiran, Centar za mirovne studije, Documenta – Centar za suočavanje s prošlošću, GONG, Kuća ljudskih prava Zagreb, Regionalni info-centar za mlade Rijeka – UMKI, Roditelji u akciji – RODA, Srpski demokratski forum, Transparency International Hrvatska, Udruga mladih “Mladi u Europskoj uniji”, Udruga za promicanje ljudskih prava i medijskih sloboda CENZURA PLUS, Udruga za samozastupanje, Udruga za zaštitu ljudskih prava i građanskih sloboda HOMO Pula, Udruga za zaštitu prava ireligioznih osoba i promicanje ireligioznog poimanja svijeta Protagora, Zagreb Pride, Zelena akcija, Ženska soba – Centar za seksualna prava


Platform 112 is supported by the following organisations:  

Brodsko ekološko društvo, Centar za građanske inicijative Poreč, Centar za mir, nenasilje i ljudska prava Osijek, Centar za mir, pravne savjete i psihosocijalnu pomoć Vukovar, Centar za podršku i razvoj civilnog društva DELFIN, CESI – Centar za edukaciju, savjetovanje i istraživanje, DEŠA – Dubrovnik, Domino, Eko-Eko Komin, Eko Pan, Eko-Zadar, Ekološko turistička udruga Šolta, Ekološka udruga Krka Knin, Fade In – Fantastično dobra institucija, Forum za slobodu odgoja, Hrvatsko debatno društvo, Hrvatski savez gluhoslijepih osoba DODIR, Hrvatski savez slijepih, Hrvatska udruga za školovanje pasa vodiča i mobilitet, Info zona, Informativno Pravni Centar (IPC), Iskorak – Centar za prava seksualnih i rodnih manjina, Koalicija udruga u zdravstvu, Koordinacija udruga za djecu, Kurziv – Platforma za pitanja kulture, medija i društva, Lezbijska grupa Kontra, MIRamiDA, Mirovna grupa Oaza Beli Manastir, Mreža mladih Hrvatske, Multimedijalni institut, ODRAZ-Održivi razvoj zajednice, Organizacija za građanske inicijative, Pravo na grad, Projekt građanskih prava Sisak, Radio Mreža, Savez udruga stanara Hrvatske, Socijalna politika i uključivanje (SPUK), Udruga Delta, Udruga roditelja djece s posebnim potrebama Put u život – PUŽ, Udruga za društvenu afirmaciju osoba s duševnim smetnjama – Sjaj, Udruga za nezavisnu medijsku kulturu, Udruga za pomoć i edukaciju žrtava mobbinga, Udruga za pomoć osobama s mentalnom retardacijom Međimurske županije, Udruga za prirodu, okoliš i održivi razvoj Sunce, Udruga za promicanje inkluzije, Udruga za promicanje istih mogućnosti, Udruga za razvoj civilnog društva SMART, Udruga za razvoj građanske i političke kulture Karlovac Polka, Udruga za unapređenje kvalitete življenja LET, Udruga za zaštitu ljudskih prava i humanitarne aktivnosti Dalmatinski odbor solidarnosti-DOS, Udruga za zaštitu prirode i okoliša Zeleni Osijek, Volonterski centar Zagreb, Zaklada Slagalica, Zbor istraživačkih novinara, Zelena Istra

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